The NC High Peaks Trail Association has taken on new duties by agreeing to serve as the Crabtree Falls Chapter of the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Volunteers will maintain hiking trails and overlooks on the Parkway from near Linville Falls (MM 316) to just north of Craggy Gardens (MM 363).
“High Peaks had already been maintaining two hiking trails and 11 overlooks along this section of the Parkway,” said John Whitehouse, the club’s newly-elected president for 2017. “This formalizes our relationship with the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway without creating a completely new group. Our main job will be to provide, assist and monitor volunteer work along this section of the Parkway.”
High Peaks already serves as the Friends of Mt. Mitchell State Park organization, providing volunteers and assistance when needed while also serving as fiduciary agent for donations collected at the park.
Whitehouse, a founding member of High Peaks, was elected president at his Board’s Nov. 17 meeting. Robert Branch was chosen as vice-president, while Susan Weller will continue serving as treasurer and Nancy Fitzgibbon will continue her duties as secretary.
The group announced an exciting list of hikes for the coming year, with an emphasis on traversing nearby sections of the Appalachian Trail. The hikes will range from moderate to strenuous, with sign-up announcements to be released in local media outlets and on the club’s Facebook page and website, www.nchighpeaks.org.
The website has detailed information about most hiking trails in the area, including an interactive trail map. Whitehouse noted that a group called HDCarolina recently released several videos highlighting some area hiking trails. Episode 47 focuses on the Green Knob Fire Tower Trail and features High Peaks volunteers.
“HDCarolina’s website should also soon provide links to the three webcams operated by High Peaks that show the Black Mountains and Mt. Mitchell,” Whitehouse said. “Their videos are a great resource for planning a hike, and include lots of info on how to find the trailhead and what to expect along the trail.”
Check out the videos at https://www.hdcarolina.com/index.php.