Christy Smith, Author of Lost Cove, Keynotes High Peaks Annual Meeting Oct. 15

The public is invited to attend the NC High Peaks Trail Association Annual Meeting on Oct. 15 and to hear a talk about Lost Cove by the author of a book on the legendary Yancey County settlement.

Christy Smith, who teaches Appalachian Studies courses part-time at King University in Bristol, TN, will keynote the meeting at 10 a.m. at the Burnsville Town Center. Admission is free and open to anyone, although because of the continued risk of Covid infections, attendees are asked to wear masks.

No Experience Necessary: Trail Maintainers Go Out For Fun

No Experience Necessary: Trail Maintainers Go Out for Fun

By Mike Williams

High Peaks and CMC Trail Crew Member


Retired attorney Bob Widman didn’t know a hazel hoe from a Pulaski several years ago when he started volunteering as a part of a weekly trail maintenance crew that helps keep Western North Carolina’s hiking trails open.

Now he’s an old hand at building steps, clearing water drains, trimming back thick vegetation and helping clear fallen trees blocking the trail.

High Peaks Leads High-Elevation Hike to Big Tom Sept. 9

Join the NC High Peaks Trail Association for a moderate 2-mile hike along the spine of the Black Mountains from Mt. Mitchell to Big Tom and return on Friday, Sept. 9.

The hike will offer stunning views and perhaps some early fall colors from the tallest mountain chain in the Eastern U.S. Although rated as moderate because there is little elevation change, the trail is rugged, with a steep stone staircase and several scrambles over steep rock faces that can be very slick if wet. 

High Peaks Leads Mt. Mitchell Loop Hike Sept. 2

Fit, experienced hikers are invited to join NC High Peaks for a challenging loop hike around the summit of Mt. Mitchell on Friday, Sept. 2.

Hikers will proceed north on the Crest Trail from the Mt. Mitchell summit over Mt. Craig and Big Tom, then go down a connector trail to the Buncombe Horse Range Trail, returning to the summit on the Mt. Mitchell Trail. The hike covers four of the trail sections needed for the High Peaks Black Mountains Hiking Challenge.

High Peaks Leads Big Butt Hike August 12

Experienced, fit hikers are invited to join High Peaks on Friday, August 12 for a trek on the Big Butt Trail from Walker Knob Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Cane River Gap.

This 5.6-mile trek is rated as very strenuous and should not be attempted by novices. The route descends about 1,500 feet, but also has a few significant climbs, including a long stairway up Little Butt, which rewards climbers with a spectacular view of the Black Mountains. Hikers will also be given the option of a short side-trip to the Big Butt summit. 

Info Meeting Takes Place Aug. 4 for Appalachian High Route

BURNSVILLE, N.C. – A new 339.5-mile hiking loop, which begins and ends in downtown Burnsville, is the subject of a community meeting on Thursday, Aug. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Yancey County Public Library.

Jake Blood and Jennifer Pharr Davis, co-creators of the Appalachian High Route, will answer questions and provide information about this initiative to attract hikers to the area.