Cade Cove Loop Lope registration now open
The only organized footrace inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now open for registration. Cades Cove Loop Lope will take place on Sunday, November 8. The 5K and 10-mile race sells out fast and only a few parking passes are available so register now to snag a spot. There is also a virtual racing option.
All funds raised support park projects such as historic preservation, wildlife conservation, native plant and grassland restoration and much more. Register for the event here.
Missing hiker near Jocassee Gorges found safe
A 27-year-old Texas man who went missing on the 77-mile Foothills Trail was found safe on Thursday after he was located near the Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area. Richard Gonzalez had last been seen on Monday when he became separated from his companions after swimming in the Chattooga River between Nicholson Ford and Burrells Ford.
Gonzalez was located about 40 miles from where he was last seen. He was reportedly found in good condition and has been reunited with his family. About 30 rescue workers and a group of volunteers participated in the search for Gonzalez.
Forest Service officer shoots dog at Nantahala campsite
A Robbinsville, NC man says a Forest Service ranger shot his rescue dog, Bubba, after the ranger claimed the 1-year-old dog tried to attack him. Dawson Rogers was asleep in his tent with his rescue dog when he heard Bubba bark and leave the tent. Almost immediately after, Rogers heard five gunshots. “Officer (Rick) Franklin… said my dog tried to attack him,” Rogers told the Citizen Times. “I know that my dog has never even growled at anybody.”
The dog’s skull was fractured, causing brain damage and other injuries, and the dog was eventually euthanized. The Forest Service says that the incident is currently under review by the Forest Service Office of Professional Responsibility.
Photo: In the Great Smoky Mountains’ Newfound Gap, the sun sets in the distance behind a series of large, gently sloping hills. Green-orange rays of sunlight streak downwards, showering leafy foreground trees with illumination and leaving the sky above a darkening blue. Courtesy of Getty Images SeanPavonePhoto