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Outdoors Fifth Annual April Fools Trail Days welcomes hikers Saturday, March 30

Franklin will again celebrate its appreciation of Appalachian Trail Hikers with the town’s first festival of 2013, April Fools Trail Days, on Saturday, March 30. This daylong event will take place in Historic Downtown Franklin and bring together AT hikers, locals and visitors for a great celebration featuring displays, workshops, live entertainment and fun, food and more.

“April Fools Trail Days was conceived, in part, by our designation as an Appalachian Trail Gateway Community,” said Linda Schlott, Franklin Main Street Program executive director. “We have a full day of fun planned and encourage everyone to come out and support the hiking community that makes such an impact on our town each year.”

Franklin is the first town to receive this designation along the 2,181 mile trail stretching from Georgia to Maine. 2013 marks the fifth year for April Fools Trail Days in Franklin.

Saturday’s activities begin at 10 a.m. where visitors and citizens alike will be able to connect with national vendors of hiking gear, take in educational exhibits and workshops, plus enjoy great music, food and more.

“New this year is a Gear Exchange that will be held at one of our sponsors, Three Eagles Outfitters,” said Schlott. “If you have hiking gear, a canoe or even skis that you want to sell or trade, you’re welcome to participate in this free gear exchange.”

While the gear exchange is free, those interested in participating must pre-register. Call Three Eagles Outfitters for more information at (828) 524-9061.

One of the day’s highlights will be the 2013 Go Outside & Play Road Show [powered by Subaru] presented by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine.

This exhibit encourages participants to become more involved with their local outdoor community and to inspire spectators to be more active in the outdoors.

“Many other activities are planned during April Fools Trail Days,” Schlott continued. “Workshops this year include wildlife medicine, photography, outdoor leadership with Toccoa Falls College and boot fitting.” All workshops will be held in the lower level of Franklin Town Hall on Main Street.

The Macon County Public Library is also hosting events the week leading up to April Fools Trail Days. Plus, Books Unlimited on Main Street will have authors throughout the day of the festival signing their books. Find complete information including the Saturday events schedule online at

Running in conjunction with April Fools Trail Days is the Annual Hiker Bash hosted by Ronnie Haven at Sapphire Inn on East Main Street. This facet of the weekend is a way to connect, share stories and advice on hiking the AT and fill up on some good eats. The Hiker Bash will begin at 6 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

April Fools Trail Days is sponsored by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Outdoor 76, Franklin Main Street Program, Town of Franklin Tourism Development Authority, Three Eagles Outfitters, and the Nantahala Hiking Club.

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