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Outdoors

Franklin one of 35 stops along the Appalachian Trail.

In 1948, Earl Shaffer became the first person to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Now at 2,168.1 miles, the journey is an ambitious mission in itself, but completing the trek wasn't Shaffer's sole mission. His intention was to "walk off the war" to forget about the sights, sounds, and losses of World War II.

It took Shaffer a little over four months to hike the entire trail. Recognizing that having to become reaccustomed with day to day life, and to set aside the training and instinctual reactions taught by the military as being no easy feat, following in Shaffer's footsteps, Marine Corps Captains Mark Silvers and Sean Gobin turned to nature to help become reassimilated into life after service.

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The Rabun County Tourist Development Authority (RCTDA) plans to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Karl Wallenda’s 1970 walk across Tallulah Gorge with 10 days of events designed to showcase the county and neighboring region.

The June 18-29 Tallulah Gorge Skywalk Celebration will go on as scheduled, even though the main attraction, aerialist Nik Wallenda and great grandson of Karl Wallenda, has postponed his high wire walk across the Gorge for now. A personal appearance by the aerialist has not been ruled out by the RCTDA, even though there is no date or time for such an appearance on the Tallulah Gorge Skywalk Celebration web page at present. The page link went live last Thursday from the TDA website Explore Rabun.com. Each event requires registration and will have its own ticket price ranging from $15 to $95.

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Franklin is officially into the 2015 Franklin Trail Days Celebration and Hiker Bash. During this month-long celebration, Franklin welcomes Appalachian Trail thru-hikers to take advantage of the hospitality of Franklin as an official AT Community. The citizens and businesses of the town offer the hikers from the Appalachian Trail many special events, as well as being a place to rest, resupply, take a shower, spend the night and just plain celebrate hiking the Trail.

The events allow the hikers to acquaint themselves with our area, and allow the local town-folk to get to know the hikers and to share in the adventures of those who are using this season to hike the trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Katahdin, Maine.

Hikers can already be seen in Franklin on a daily basis. Backpacks and sleeping bags are a dead give-away that their owners are most likely headed north on the Trail this spring and summer. Be aware and show them the mountain hospitality for which Franklin is known.

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Adding buoys to the lake is a lengthy process.

Members of the Nantahala Community are once again reaching out to commissioners for help establishing a recreation area at Nantahala Lake.

Nantahala community member Daniel Loop spoke to the Macon County Board of Commissioners last week asking for help making a cove on the lake safer for residents for recreational use.

According to Loop, there is buoy located at Lakes End Pier that sits 50 yards off of the shore. The buoy is intended to signify to boaters that starting 50 yards from the end of the pier, the lake is a "no wake zone." The buoy stands as one of three legal buoys on the lake, and allows residents of the community to use the cove for recreational activity without having to worry about watercrafts zooming by. With tourists and visitors using Nantahala Lake throughout the year, Loop explained that not everyone knows the boating safety rules and the buoy is often ignored.

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