High Peaks Leads “First Day” Hike up Moody Mountain on Jan. 1

01/01/2017 10:00 am

Start your New Year off right by joining the N.C. High Peaks Trail Association Jan. 1 for a brisk adventure climbing Moody Mountain and exploring lands recently added to Mt. Mitchell State Park.

This outing will be part of the annual statewide “First Day Hikes” sponsored by the NC Department of Parks and Recreation and held in state parks across North Carolina to promote physical fitness and outdoor activities.

High Peaks - the official “Friends of Mt. Mitchell State Park” organization – will lead hikers on a challenging 5.5-mile jaunt across several hundred acres recently purchased by The Conservation Fund and slated to become part of Mt. Mitchell State Park in early 2017.

Hikers should assemble on the Burnsville Town Square at 10:00 a.m. Because there is no parking at the trailhead, everyone will be required to ride on a Yancey Transportation van for a donation of $5 per person. No pets are allowed on the vans, so they won’t be allowed on the hike.

Bring warm clothes in layers, plenty of water, lunch and snacks. The hike will include a 1,500-foot climb up Moody Mountain and an 1,800-foot descent to Laurel Branch, so hiking poles are advisable. There is a stream crossing, so wear sturdy, waterproof boots.

Hikers are required to contact hike leader Jake Blood at nchighpeaks@gmail.com or 828-284-6878 to reserve their seat on the van and to make sure their experience level is suitable for the hike. As always, check the club’s website,www.nchighpeaks.org, or Facebook page for last-second changes due to weather.