Women’s Only Backpacking planned in the Smokies

womens hikingGreat Smoky Mountains Association understands that for some women, the national park’s backcountry can be a mysterious, sometimes frightening place, but it doesn’t have to be. When women band together on multi-day backpacking trips, they often complete their journey with a new feeling of empowerment.

“Women traveling together, whether it be on backpacking, hiking or paddling trips, already share a common interest – their love of the outdoors. Immediately, this shared interest brings women closer, puts them at ease, and makes them eager to share new experiences together,” says Liz Domingue, founder and naturalist guide of Just Get Outdoors!

“On all-women trips, women feel free to ‘let their hair down’ and more confident in whom they are and what they can accomplish. As a result, they feel empowered; enjoy great conversations and lots of laughter; and create wonderful new friendships, some which may last a lifetime,” she continued.

Great Smoky Mountains Association members are invited in small groups of eight (including your guide) to learn more about our national park from the perspective of the trail. The women who join this three-day trip July 18-20 into the park’s Twentymile area of the park near Fontana will learn about how to safely enjoy a true rugged outdoor recreation experience. They’ll leave the fast-paced world behind and gain a feeling of accomplishment, said Dana Murphy, GSMA’s membership associate.

“Those attending should arrive on Day 1 prepared with a backpack full of food, water, water treatment system, sleeping accommodations and all-weather gear,” said Murphy.

Only those in good physical condition should consider registering, as they can expect to walk on uneven surfaces with a heavy backpack for a majority of the day. Realizing the possibility of being exposed to fluctuations in weather is paramount, as well, Murphy said.

Backpacking for Women Only is just one of GSMA’s many Branch Out programs planned throughout the year. Those not already members can join the organization, as participation in any event automatically includes an annual membership.
Branch Out Programs are designed to support GSMA members as they learn more about the national park. Registration is required to participate at www.SmokiesInformation.org/info/branch-out-programs.

Great Smoky Mountains Association, the national park’s oldest non-profit funding partner, has provided more than $34 million to support the park’s educational, scientific and historical programs since its inception in 1953. Support for the non-profit association is derived primarily from visitor center sales of educational products and membership dues in nine locations in and around the national park. Those who wish to strengthen their national park experience are encouraged to “Get Rooted in the Smokies” through membership.
For more information about Branch Out events, including meeting times and places, visit the “Branch Out” webpage at www.SmokiesInformation.org or call 888.898.9102, Ext. 222 or 349.