HIKE for Mental Health

Share the joy of hiking. Bring hope to those battling mental illness.

Share the joy of hiking; bring hope to those battling mental illness.


Charlie's Bunion AT Hike for Mental Health

October 20, 2019
Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Bryson City, NC

The entire hike will be on the Appalachian Trail and will begin at the site of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Dedication...

Take in views and higher elevation forests along the way, then a stunning view from Charlie's Bunion...

Marvel in the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains...

These are just a few of the attractions of the Charlie's Bunion AT Hike for Mental Health near Gatlinburg, TN.

Our hike will begin and end at the Appalachian Trail trailhead of the Newfound Gap Parking area. We will reach Charlie's Bunion just a bit over 4 miles from the beginning of our hike. After taking in the views from the bunion, we will retrace our steps back to the Newfound Gap Parking area.

This hike is being organized as a memory hike for Josiah Wandell and to continue on his love and light while also bringing awareness to the need for mental health care and the need to end the stigma that often paralyzes those that suffer. We hope that the hike will also bring awareness to the emotional, mental and physical benefits that come from being in the great outdoors.

Join us on this amazing fall hike in the Smokies, just 30 minutes from Gatlinburg.

Registration Is Free

Instead of charging a fee, we ask your help raising funds for mental health research and trail maintenance.

It's fast and easy! When you register, you will be able to personalize a sponsorship page and share it through email and your favorite social media such as Facebook or Instagram. How does it work?  

Every little bit helps, and there is no minimum to raise – we just ask that you help us spread the word, then come join us on the trail.

Get a Free Hiking Shirt

Our quick-dry shirts look and feel great, on or off the trail.

Every registered hiker who raises at least $100 will receive a HIKE for Mental Health shirt as a token of our appreciation.

Available in men's or women's sizes SMALL – XXL.

When you register, we will ask your size preference. Once you reach $100 in donations to your fundraising page, we will get your shirt to you.

If you hit the $100 ten days before the hike, your hike leader will have your shirt for you on hike day. Otherwise, we will mail it to you after the hike.

So help us raise money and awareness for this great cause.

For a Good Cause

HIKE for Mental Health is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

All contributions are tax deductible, and 100% of the hike donations support our mission.

Eighty cents of every dollar funds mental health programs, including break-through scientific research into PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar spectrum disorders, depression and other major mental ilnesses. Through research we can find better ways to alleviate the suffering that affects 1 in 4 American families.

The remaining twenty cents maintains wilderness trails across the U.S. By supporting non-profit, volunteer groups that care for our trails, we help preserve wilderness experiences for generations to come. Where the money goes.

Hike Details

Location: Newfound Gap Parking lot, Bryson City, NC
Date: October 20, 2019.
Time: 8:30 AM - 6 PM. Exact times and locations with directions provided to registered hikers only.
Distance: Approximately 8.1 miles.
Difficulty level: Strenuous.
Suitable for beginners? Yes, if you are in good physical condition and can climb 10 flights of stairs without stopping and still be smiling!
Registration fee Registration is free.
Pet friendly? No dogs allowed.
Sponsorship amount: The hike goal is $500. There is no minimum required to join the hike, but if every hiker raised $100 by Oct. 14 will get HIKE for Mental Health shirt.
Free shirt: Hikers who raise $100 or more will receive a free HIKE for Mental Health quick-dry hiking shirt.
Hike director: Adam HastyKristi is a very active hiker, photographer and writer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She writes about and photographs the park, trails and surrounding areas full time. For the past few years she has also covered trail reports for Outdoor Project, RootsRated, Outlaw Donkey, RockCreek Gear and other outdoor companies. "We are hiking on the Appalachian Trail and to Charlies Bunion at the request of Josiah's Dad, Shawn Wandell. He has beautiful memories of Josiah on the stretch of trail that we'll be hiking and memories of true for Josiah as he stood on Charlies Bunion, surrounded by the beauty of the Smokies."

Trail Map

Every HIKE for Mental Health is an opportunity to:

  • get away from the hustle and bustle of work-a-day life and enjoy the beauty of Nature
  • renew old friendships and make new ones
  • have a great time hiking with a good group of people
  • stand up against the stigma of mental illness
  • discover your new favorite get-away
  • raise money for a great cause

Come on out and join us!


If you have any questions or ideas, please contact us.

We are glad to talk with you about your hike and how you can help HIKE for Mental Health.

We hope you will make HIKE for Mental Health a part of your hike.

Go to Schedule of Hikes