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Popular hiking guide "100 Favorite Trails" updated for the first time in over two decades

An essential guide which has led hikers through the best parts of the Smokies has been upgraded.

100 Favorite Trails of the Smokies and the Carolina Blue Ridge, an essential guide for avid hikers, has been updated for the first time in 25 years. 

The guide features a full-color map printed on waterproof paper for hikers to keep track of trails. 27 of the trails featured in the guide are found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Originally created in 1966 by Bernard Elias, who hiked 10 to 12 trails a year and updated the information using a special shorthand he created. 

The map he made was an immediate hit among avid hikers — its portable package featuring the very best hikes in both the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains. 

Upon his death in 2010, he proclaimed the map to be the greatest accomplishment of his life.

Elias updated the “100 Favorite Trails” map 13 times until its last printing in 1993 when his age prevented him from completing many of the map’s trails. 

While previous versions of the map included trails more geared toward backpackers, the updated edition focuses on day hikes of varying lengths in the Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The “100 Favorite Trails” map is best suited for selecting and keeping track of trails hiked in the area,.and its creators recommend that, when setting out on a trail, people carry a more detailed map focused on that particular area.

Printed in full color on waterproof paper, “The 100 Favorite Trails of the Smokies and the Carolina Blue Ridge” contains numbered trail locations, trail lengths, and elevation gains, as well as detailed hike directions. 

When folded, it measures 4 inches by 8 inches. 

The newly updated map and guide is available for $12.95 in the park’s visitor center bookstores and at GSMA’s online store, smokiesinformation.org.


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