Start the New Year off right by joining the NC High Peaks Trail Association on Monday, Jan. 2 for one of two hikes at the Black Mountain Campground. Both outings will visit picturesque Setrock Falls.

A moderate, 2.5-mile jaunt on the Lower River Loop is best for beginners and those in need of getting in shape. The more ambitious hike will cover 3.7 miles on the Upper River Loop and includes a couple of steep uphill climbs. Both groups will stop at the waterfall, and both hikes will last 2 to 3 hours. 

Hikers should assemble at the parking lot across from the entrance to the Black Mountain Campground at 10 a.m. Bring lunch, water, snacks, hiking poles if you use them, foul weather gear if needed and plenty of layers of warm clothes. Leashed dogs are allowed on the hikes but please bring poop bags and clean up after your pet. 

If you have questions, contact John Whitehouse at (preferred) or 828-682-3217. With the start of the new year, hikers will be required to sign a Liability Waiver, which can be found at: The hike leaders will be Gay Rose and Diane Schramm. 

High Peaks would also welcome suggestions for hikes in 2023, which the club is planning now. The preliminary list of hikes can be found at: Please email or call John with your ideas. 

As always, check the High Peaks Facebook page or website,, for last- minute changes due to weather. 

Photo Info: Both Jan. 2 High Peaks hikes will include a visit to picturesque Setrock Falls.

Setrock falls