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Do Knoxville: Smoky Mountain Field School and other outdoor activities

By The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

May 14--FIELD SCHOOL

Smoky Mountain Field School will hold the following classes in May. To register go to www.smfs.utk.edu or call 865-974-0150.

May 17:

Early Settlers -- Their Heritage and Dialect, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., $49. Join author and KNS columnist Sam Venable and his wife Mary Ann in a session which covers mountain ways, traditions and southern Appalachian dialect.

Backpacking with Confidence: 9 a.m.May 17-May 18, $98. Learn the basics of backpacking and know-how to care for yourself in the backcountry.

Introduction to Spin-Casting and Spin-Fishing: 1-4 p.m., $49. Gain a basic working knowledge of spin-fishing equipment, casting, and techniques. Learn how to choose, rig, and cast open-faced spin-fishing equipment.

May 24:

Elkmont -- Transition and Change: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., $49. Join a retired Smokies ranger on an informative walking tour of one of the most fascinating areas of the Smokies, the Elkmont area.

May 29:

The Light Show in the Smokies, 7-11 p.m., $59. Visit the Elkmont area in the evening to learn the history of the area and the natural cycle of the synchronous fireflies.

PHOTO CONTEST

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is accepting submissions for its "Zoom in to the Appalachian Trail" photo contest, a nationwide search for the best photos featuring close-up shots of the details that make up the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).

The photo contest asks participants to recognize that the A.T. is not only a footpath, but is also home to a vast array of wildlife and vegetation, scenery, unique people and special Trail communities. Contestants will submit a photograph of a favorite feature along the Trail. Photos may include people, places, scenery or more.

The top three photographers will each win a one-year membership to the ATC and will be featured in A.T. Journeys, the official magazine of the ATC.

Photo submissions will be accepted through June 3 and can be uploaded via the ATC's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ATHike. The public will then vote for their favorite photos through July 13. Winners will be announced the week of July 14.

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For a complete list of submission guidelines, rules and regulations, or to enter, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/2014photocontest.

THIS WEEK AT IJAMS

Friday, May 16, 10 a.m. -- 1 p.m.: Seniors Outdoors at Ijams. A half-day event to introduce adults over 50 to the great outdoors within our city limits, and all that it has to offer at Mead's Quarry at Ijams. To register: Call the Knoxville Office on Aging at: (865) 524-2786 by Tuesday May 13. Rain Date: Tuesday May 20.

Friday-Sunday, May 16-18: Rent a Canoe, Kayak or Paddleboard at Ijams. Experience Mead's Quarry Lake with a paddle. Capacity of canoes is two adults. Children may be permitted to ride in the canoe with a parent if the weight limit is not exceeded as determined by River Sports Outfitters at the point of entry. A valid driver's license or state identification will be required and a credit or debit card will be held as security during the rental period. Flotation devices are provided and must be worn at all times. Equipment is available on first come, first served basis. A liability release/waiver signed by an adult is required for all bike and canoe rentals. Rentals: $11 per hour or $35 full day.

Saturday, May 17, 9 a.m.: Ijams Wag-N-Walk (All Ages): Grab your favorite four-legged friend and join Ijams' own veterinarian, Dr. Louise Conrad, as she walks her own canine companions. She'll review good doggy etiquette and help owners understand the special safety concerns for dogs in nature. $5 for non-members and free for members. Call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

Saturday, May 17, 9:30 -- 11 a.m.: Breakfast at Ijams. $5 per person. No pre-registration is required.

Saturday, May 17, 10 a.m., 2 and 3 p.m.: Ijams Creature Features (All Ages). Get nose-to-beak with some of our resident furred and feathered ambassadors. Free, but donations to support animal care are welcome. Pre-registration is not required.

Saturday, May 17, 2 p.m.: Cooking from the Garden (Recommended for adults). Edibles are popping up all over Ijams, and we'll learn how to incorporate them into some of your favorite dishes. $3 for Ijams members and $5 for non-members. Call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

TAKE A HIKE

The Smoky Mountain Hiking Club will host the following outings in May. For more information, go to www.smhclub.org

Wednesday, May 21: Anthony Creek, Bote Mt, Spence Field. Hike: 10.4 miles. Depart from Alcoa Food City, 121 North Hall Road, at 8 a.m. Leader: Malcom McInnis, mcinnism@tds.net

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Saturday, May 31: Blue Heron Loop and Railroad Display. Hike: 7 miles, rated moderate. Depart from Outback Restaurant,314 Merchants Drive, at 8 a.m. Leaders: Brad Reese, bradktn@bellsouth.net, and Tim Ryan, tim51@comcast. net

TAKE A HIKE, TOO

The local Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club will host these outings in May:

May 17-18 Backpack: Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, NC. Hiking distance will be about 9.2 miles total with substantial elevation gain. Rated difficult. Preregister with Will Skelton: H 523-2272; Cell 72-7327; whshome@bellsouth.net.

May 24 Take-a-Hike, Biodiversity Tour: Rabbit Creek Trail, Great Smokies. This 5.4 mile hike from Abrams Creek to Campsite 16 and back will feature understories of mountain laurel, blueberry, and huckleberry with an open canopy of pines and oaks. Rated easy. Preregister with Mac Post at 865-806-0980 or mpost3116@aol.com (email preferred).

May 31 Wildlife Float: Rankin Wildlife Management Area, Douglas Lake. 3 to 5 miles of flatwater paddling. Arrange your own canoe rentals if you need a boat. Preregister with Ron Shrieves: phone 922-3518; ronaldshrieves@comcast.net (email preferred).

CHEROKEE EXHIBIT

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a Cherokee touring exhibit, "Understanding our Past, Shaping our Future," through Tuesday, May 27, at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. The exhibit focuses on Cherokee language and culture, using sound recordings as the basis for presenting a coherent story in words and text.

The content for the exhibit was developed, by design, with significant community input allowing a more personal Cherokee story to be told. Community teams held monthly discussions to develop exhibit themes and images. Rather than presenting a chronological history, teams developed a thematic approach to sharpen the Cherokee perspective focusing on Cherokee homeland, heritage sites, tourism, family, and community celebrations.

The touring exhibit is sponsored by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in partnership with Cherokee Central Schools, Southwestern Community College, and Western Carolina University.

TRAIL VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

The Knox County Parks & Recreation Department is implementing a new community-wide Trail Volunteer Program that will offer local trail and greenway users the opportunity to make the park system a friendlier, cleaner, more inviting place to bike, run and play.

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The program is a partnership between Knox County, the City of Knoxville, the Town of Farragut, Ijams Nature Center and Outdoor Knoxville. Those interested in joining the program can apply online at http://knoxcounty.org/parks/trail_volunteer/application.php

Any responsible adult, of any age and ability, is welcome to take part. Volunteers should be willing to commit a few hours each month to visit their specific trail or greenway. Even a small contribution of time will be helpful, and the experience will be rewarding and fun.

The basic responsibilities of a trail volunteer member are to:

GREET all trail users and act as goodwill ambassadors for our community.

INFORM users about the park and trail system, trail directions, etiquette and rules.

ASSIST users who are lost, need bike repair, first aid (when trained) and assist local governments or land managers concerning maintenance and illegal activity.

Knox County's Senior Director of Parks and Recreation Doug Bataille, along with other partners and sponsors of the program, will be available for media interviews on Thursday, April 10 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Mead's Quarry trail head, 2915 Island Home Ave.

For information visit http://knoxcounty.org/parks/trail_volunteer/index.php.

SENIOR SOFTBALL

Join us for fitness, fun and friendship. If you are a woman 55+ or a man 60+ you are eligible to play in this special non-competitive softball league. Age rule exceptions are made for those who have a disability but can still play softball. We play on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:30-11:30 at Caswell Park on Winona beginning April 8 through October. Join us any time during the season. Everyone plays regardless of ability, we don't keep score and balls and strikes are not called. Five teams are currently active but they're still forming. $10 per season for accident insurance required by the City of Knoxville. For more information email jeanreif63@att.net.

TRAIL HELP

The Smoky Mountains Hiking Club needs experienced backpackers to help maintain the Appalachian Trail in some relatively remote parts of Smoky Mountains National Park. If you would like to "adopt" a piece of the AT and can make three or four trips per year to the backcountry, call George Ritter at 865-483-9758 or email recruiting1@smhclub.org.. The work mainly consists of cleaning out water bars and cutting back vegetation.

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(c)2014 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.)

Visit the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.) at www.knoxnews.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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