The Week Ahead – April 4th Edition

Two things for you this week, two full weekend events.

  • NOC A.T. Founder’s Bridge Festival
  • Fontana Lake Paddle/Camp Weekend

Read more for the trip details

Title:NOC A.T. Founder’s Bridge Festival

Where:NOC’s Campus – 13077 Hwy 19 W /Bryson City, NC 28713

Details:Weekend day hikers, long distance warriors, previous AT thru-hikers and outdoor enthusiasts alike are invited to share their passion with a like-minded trail community in honor of the trail that bisects NOC’s Wesser campus. Coinciding with the 2011 class of AT thru-hikers, the event will feature trail-steeped speakers sharing their experiences, live music, gear representatives, product demos and lots of great product giveaways and door prizes.

Presentations & Book Signings

On Friday, April 8, NOC will host women’s AT speed record holder, Blue Ridge Outdoors’ Person of the Year, and North Carolina’s own Jennifer Pharr Davis for a presentation and book-signing. Davis will share her charming, tenacious and unique perspective on long-distance hiking, as well as sign copies of her new book, Becoming Odyssa.

Join us Saturday for the weekend’s keynote speaker is Andrew Skurka, renowned long-distance backpacker and ultrarunner! Skurka, recognized as “Adventurer of the Year” by National Geographic and “Person of the Year” by Backpacker, has thru-hiked the AT, PCT, Colorado Trail and many other long-distance routes. He will be leading two lightweight backpacking skills clinics throughout the weekend, as well as giving a presentation Saturday evening on his recent Alaska-Yukon expedition (as featured in the March issue of National Geographic).

Event Highlights

  • Visit our Gear Fair packed with manufacturer’s reps touting the latest and greatest in backpacking gear.
  • Friday evening the talented musical group Tuatha Dea hosts a drum circle facilitation and group jam. Drums will be provided for audience participation!
  • Join the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) and Smoky Mountain Hiking Club (SMHC) for AT trail maintenance Saturday morning. Sign up in advance by emailing
  • Purchase any pair of Patagonia footwear during the event at NOC’s Outfitter’s Store, and $10 will be donated to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
  • Donate $1 to enter a raffle for one of four Chaco gift certificates and a Deuter backpack. All proceeds will benefit the NHC and SMHC. Entries will be accepted Friday and Saturday, and the winners will be announced Saturday at 8pm. Need not be present to win.
  • Saturday evening, enjoy live music from Asheville’s homegrown bluegrass group, Stumpwater.
  • Enjoy storytelling with renowned thru-hiker JR “Model T” Tate.


All activities will take place on NOC’s Wesser campus and are free of charge and open to the public. For more information and to sign up for trail maintenance, contact Lauren Dieterich – or 828.488.7244. For a complete schedule, event details and lodging information, visit the AT Festivals & Events page on


Title:Fontana Lake Paddle/Camp Weekend

Where:Fontana Lake

Details:Fontana Lake Kayak/Canoe Camping Weekend We will be launching at Cable Cove Campground and paddle to Hazel Creek. Hazel Creek is a back country campsite and historical area. Permits are required and can be obtained at Fontana Damn. This is a self contained trip so bring all that you need that will fit in your boat. Water or a filter is required. Please be prepared for rain and temperature changes. We hope to hike the Proctor Ruins and Bone Valley so don’t forget your hiking boots and camera! For a history of the area visit: Directions: From Bryson City, take Route 74 / 19 about 8 miles (over the Little Tennessee River). Exit northwest on Route 28 toward Almond. Follow Route 28 about 10 miles and turn into the Cable Cove park entry on the right (north). Follow the signs to the Fontana Lake boat ramp. GPS: N 35 deg 26.262′ W 083 deg 44.878′ Contact: Debbie Briscoe Email: Phone: 423-534-3636