Experienced, fit hikers are invited to join the NC High Peaks Trail Association for a rigorous, 9-mile hike on the flanks of the Black Mountains on Saturday, April 8.
The hike will make a loop of the Bald Knob Ridge and Buncombe Horse Range Trails, and will feature a challenging climb of about 1,700 feet in elevation. Hikers will be treated to views of the rich cove hardwood forest near the headwaters of the South Toe River, along with the high-elevation Spruce/Fir habitat that thrives on the upper reaches of the Blacks.
Join the NC High Peaks Trail Association for a moderate, fun hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail on Saturday, March 25. Hikers may see a few early wildflowers as this section traverses a rich cove mountainside near the Blue Ridge Parkway between Buck Creek Gap and Neals Creek Road.
The 4-mile hike is rated as moderate, with a steady climb of a few hundred feet to get started, then a long stretch on a contour leading down to Neals Creek.
Join the High Peaks Birders for a birding stroll at Cane River Park near Burnsville on Thursday, March 16 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
The outing is open to everybody and will be led by experienced birders who will be happy to help any novices that want to give it a try. The group will be listening especially for woodcocks, a species that courts this time of year.
Join the NC High Peaks Trail Association for a challenging hike on the Black Mountains on Saturday, March 11th.
The 8-mile hike is rated as strenuous and will only be open to fit, experienced hikers. The trek will include some bushwhacking over tough terrain and an elevation change of 1,500 feet.
The group should get treated to excellent views to the east and north as they make their way from the Black Mountain Crest Trail along a north-facing ridgeline.
Bring lunch, snacks, plenty of water, rain gear and hiking poles in you use them.
It’s Spring and the High Peaks Birders are ramping for a full schedule of monthly birding strolls that should offer fun for both experienced birders and novices.
“We’re excited to have the High Peaks Birders heading out into the field again,” said High Peaks President Dennis Smith. “Whether you’ve been birding for years or simply want to learn more, the group has something to offer.”
Join the NC High Peaks Trail Association on Saturday, Feb. 11 for an easy hike on Neal’s Creek Road and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail near the Black Mountain Campground.
The outing will be 1.5 miles with only a gentle climb up Neal’s Creek Road to the intersection with the MST. Hikers can either return to the trailhead via a shortcut (1.5 miles) or follow the MST back to the campground, an option that will extend the hike to 2.5 miles.
Join the NC High Peaks Trail Association on Thursday, Jan. 19 for a pleasant hike at Lake James near Marion. The outing will feature visits to three historic cemeteries in the park. This outing was originally scheduled for December but was postponed because of bad weather.
The approximately 4-mile hike is rated as easy to moderate as it will mostly follow level, graded trails that offer local history and beautiful lake views. Some off-trail hiking will be necessary to see one of the graveyards.
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.
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