For the first time in history of the event, the U.S. Fly-Fishing Championships will be held in the Southeast. More importantly, it’s right in The Swag’s backyard just over the mountain in Cherokee. This weekend, 60 competitors converge on Western North Carolina rivers for the four-day event beginning with this evening’s opening ceremonies in Bryson City. Anglers will hit several rivers at the crack of dawn Friday morning, including Calderwood Resevoir, both the Lower and Upper Nantahala Rivers, Cherokee Trophy Waters of the Raven’s Fork River and Tuckasegee River. Spectators are welcome to watch all the action for free with morning and afternoon sessions both Friday and Saturday with a morning session on Sunday.
The Cherokee Indian Reservation (Qualla Boundary) is an easy drive and day-trip from The Swag with a lot to see and do, including the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and Oconoluftee Indian Village. Cherokee is also one of the major gateway communities to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Swag also has half-day guided fly-fishing trips available for Swaggers to put their skills to the test. For more information on fly-fishing or other Swag add-ons, contact The Swag front office staff at 800.789.7672.
Local author, Danny Bernstein, recently completed the Mountain-to-Sea Trail which stretches nearly 1,000 miles. Starting at Clingmons Dome, the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and treking clear across the Tar Heel State ending up at the highest sand dune on the East Coast in Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the North Carolina Outer Banks. Bernstein, who has frequented The Swag for book signings and readings, started her hike in October 2009 and finished in earlier this month.
The MST, which is still in it’s infancy, is a combination of footpaths, roads and bike routes and changes often as more of the trail becomes established. Danny’s hike took here over 985 miles in 78 hiking days.
Way to go Danny! We hope to welcome you back here to 5,000 feets real soon.
Severe weather that blew through Great Smoky Mountains National Park on April 27th, damaged several trails within the northwestern section of the park near the Cades Cove area. Trail cleanup has already begun with hopes to have many of the trails reopened by the Memorial Day holiday weekend. National park trails around The Swag, including the Cataloochee Divide Trail, were not affected by this storm.
Swaggers continue to get out on the trail and enjoy popular hikes to Hemphill Bald and Purchase Knob, among others. Several have been out and enjoyed the cooler temps that came through the area after the storm. Many reported seeing several wildflowers already in bloom including Solomon seal, common cinquefoil, squaw root, wood anemone and ephemerals.
This week at The Swag, guests have the opportunity to join special event leaders Doug & Kathy Peters as they lead hikes each morning. Next week, renowned storyteller Donald Davis returns to The Swag for his popular “Walks and Talks.” Be sure to visit The Swag’s special event calendar for all upcoming special events.