Smokies’ Alum Cave Trail receives $14k grant from REI

(Photo: Friends of the Smokies)

KODAK (WATE) – A trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will now be reconstructed after a grant from REI.

The outdoor company gave the Friends of the Smokies a grant for $14,000. The money will be used to reconstruct and rehabilitate Alum Cave Trail. The trail will be completed in November. Construction work includes repairing cable and handrail systems, reduce trail braiding and preventing erosion by improve draining.

“Alum Cave Trail is one of the most iconic trails in the Smokies,” said Tobias Miller, GSMNP Trails Supervisor, “it not only is the most popular route to the summit of Mt. LeConte yet its route takes users to many popular scenic destinations along the trail such as Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, and Alum Cave Bluffs to name a few. The Trail will see up to 700 hikers a day during peak season, so the restoration work being done with the support from Friends of the Smokies and REI is imperative to achieve our goal to provide safe access and protection of Park resources for the generations of hikers that will come and experience this treasure.”

The grant was the product of the 2016 REI Local Grant program. Store locations in Knoxville and Ashevillle provided money for the fund.

“REI is committed to supporting the places that give back so much to us. Alum Cave Trail, one of the most iconic trails in the park, is one of those places,” said Nolan Wildfire, Outreach Market Coordinator at REI Knoxville. “Supporting the trail and our local national park is just another way that REI understands that a life outside is a life well lived.”

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