Smokies Fall 2021 Skiwalking School

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Fall Ski Walking 2021

If you’ve seen people swinging ski poles from September to October across Jackson and Swain counties, then you’ve witnessed one of the fastest-growing fitness trends in the country – Nordic Walking or Skiwalking.

The Smokies Skiwalking School for Fall 2021 will officially begin Monday, September 13, 2021 on the Fire Mountain Trail System in Cherokee (parking lot above Oconaluftee Indian Village). Walkers should meet at this location every Monday evening at 5:00 p.m.

Smokies Fall 2021 Skiwalking School Details:

  • Mondays, September 13 through November 1, 2021
  • 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Fire Mountain Trail System in Cherokee (parking lot above Oconaluftee Indian Village)
man skiwalking

Nordic Walking or Skiwalking in Finland where it originated in the 1930s

Invented in Finland in the 1930s by cross-country skiers who wanted to stay in shape during the warmer months, millions of Scandinavians and Central Europeans today are seeing the health benefits of turning a simple walk into a full-body workout. If you would like additional information and/or a special instruction of this exercise please contact Jackson and Swain County Extension Director, Robert  Hawk.

The Benefits of Skiwalking

Research shows that using walking poles increases upper body strength, heart rate, caloric burn, and endurance while enhancing stability, reducing stress on knees, and releasing neck and shoulder tension. (In Germany, their purchase is covered by insurance companies as a health care expense!). They are also very good to use during times of winter and ice since they give the walker extra stability and support from slipping.

  • The level of fitness you desire – go at your own pace.
  • Walk with friends and participate in a social event – almost at any time.
  • The easiest, lowest exertion and pleasurable activity there is!
  • Growing stamina and muscular endurance.
  • Increased vitality and energy.
  • Decreased stress levels.
  • Delight in your improved health!

For more information, please call Robert Hawk, Extension Director, at 586-4009 or 488-3848 or email him at