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Daily Schedule

Smoky Mountains, NC


About Smoky Mountains:

The Smoky Mountains get their name from the smoke-like haze that envelops them. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park which spans parts of North Carolina and Tennessee is an International Biosphere Reserve area and a World Heritage Site. With its unspoiled forests which are comparable to those found by the early pioneers, mid-October brings a beautiful pageantry of Autumn colors. 


*Hike on a mountain trail

*Enjoy the autumn foliage

*Visit a Cherokee village and interact with native Americans


It will be cool in the mountains, especially during the early mornings and the evenings. Temperatures are likely to be 45°-50° F during the mornings and evenings, and 60°-70° F during the daytime. It is also expected to rain some during our trip. You should bring warm clothing for the cool weather; sweaters, sweat shirts, long sleeves shirts, light jackets, and rain jackets are recommended as well as some good sturdy shoes for hiking. Be sure to have enough clothing for three days, and your personal toiletries (toothbrush, soap, towels, etc.) Luggage space is very limited in our vans. Pack your belongings tightly. Please avoid bringing suitcases, if possible. Duffel and/or book-bags are the best.


Planning Your Budget:

Extra costs (not included in $60 registration fee):

  • The Cherokee Village will cost about $18. There are also some other attractions nearby which are free. 

  • There will be some optional attractions for which you might need to pay. If you don't wish to spend, you can walk around and go "window-shopping". If you are planning to take in some of the optional attractions, plan on bringing an additional $20-30.

  • Several meals while sightseeing. Plan on spending about $15-25 for these meals.



Out of State Arrival:

Arrive at Columbia, South Carolina on the night before our departure day. We will pick you up at the airport, bus, or train station soon after your arrival. You will need to arrange your own housing at an area hotel.



Friday, October 11

Schedule and areas to visit are tentative and subject to change depending on weather

  • 9:00 AM - Depart from Columbia (IFM office)

  • 11:30 AM - Maggie Valley, NC - Stop at a scenic overlook for photos and shop for Smoky Mountain souvenirs

  • 12:30 PM - Scenic drive to Cherokee, NC. Free time in Cherokee for lunch and souvenir shopping. There are a lot of genuine Native American craft stores on both sides of the road. Subway, Burger King, and other restaurants are nearby.

  • 2:30 PM - Oconaluftee Indian Village - A living museum with many details of homes, crafts, culture and lifestyle described by guides.

    • There is an "Indian Garden" to the right of the entrance that is free for anyone who does not wish to pay the $18 to go inside.

    • Alternate: Museum of the Cherokee Indian (about $9.00) - lots of reading, but some life-size displays.

    • Additional Free Time for Souvenir shopping

  • 4:00 PM - Depart for Bryson City, NC & purchase supper there.

  • 5:30 PM - Meet host families at First Baptist Church and go home for the evening

Saturday, October 12

  • 10:30 AM - Meet at the church and depart for Fontana Dam and Village.

  • 12:00 PM - Purchase lunch at area restaurant

  • 1:30 PM - Hiking in Joyce Kilmer forest.

  • 5:30 PM - Group supper with the host families, then go home for the night.

Sunday, October 13

  • 9:00 AM - Breakfast at host home.

  • 9:45 AM - Sunday School for Internationals at the host church.

  • 11:00 AM - American Church Worship Service at First Baptist Church of Bryson City, NC  (WEBSITE) (our host Church)

  • 12:30 PM - Lunch

  • 1:30 PM - Depart for home via the scenic route (see waterfalls!)

  • 8:30 PM - Arrive in Columbia (estimated time)

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