High Peaks Installs Bear Boxes For Camper Safety Near Mt. Mitchell

The N.C. High Peaks Trail Association recently purchased, donated and installed two bear-proof steel food storage boxes at Commissary Ridge, a popular backcountry camping spot on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail not far from the Mt. Mitchell summit.

The roughly 3-foot-square, 330-pound boxes have bear-proof door latches that should enable campers to store food and other bear-attractive personal items locked away from the prying claws and powerful noses of the area’s black bears. 

John Whitehouse Honored for Trail Work

Pensacola resident and High Peaks founder John Whitehouse was recently honored with the Carolina Mountain Club’s Distinguished Service Award for his tireless commitment to maintaining and improving the area’s hiking trails.

“Few have done as much for our trails,” said longtime CMC member Rocko Smucker, who nominated Whitehouse for the award and made the presentation at the Asheville-based club’s annual dinner. “John is an outstanding leader and mentor. He gets people involved because he’s such a pleasure to be around.”

Annual Meeting to be Held September 30 at Mount Mitchell Restaurant

NC High Peaks Trail Association will have its Annual Meeting on September 30 at the Mount Mitchell State Park Restaurant Lounge.  The meeting will start at 10 am.  All members and the public are invited.   Our guest speaker will be Kevin Cox who will talk about the history of Mount Mitchell and show some of his large collection of photos and artifacts he has collected over the years.  There will be a short social afterwards.

High Peaks Birders Meet at Hotspot Sept. 20

All are invited to join the High Peaks Birders for a birding stroll at Ridge Junction on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Wednesday, September 20th at 7:30 a.m.  The outing is open to anyone interested in learning about birds and especially bird migration.

Ridge Junction is a well-known birding hotspot, especially for fall migrants.  The configuration of the mountain ridges serves to funnel migrating birds, especially early in the morning after a night of flight.