Fit, experienced hikers are invited to join N.C. High Peaks for a very strenuous hike on the Big Butt Trail on Friday, Aug. 11. The group will cover 5.6-miles from the Walker Knob Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Cane River Gap, a route that includes a few steep climbs but overall descends about 1,500 feet.

The hike will offer one of the area’s best views of the Black Mountain chain from an overlook atop Little Butt, something the group will earn with a long climb up a timber stairway from the gap below. Hikers can also take a short side-trip out to the summit of Big Butt.

Meet at the Rose’s Shopping Center Parking lot on the corner overlooking Highway 19-E at 8:30 a.m. The group will take a county van for a donation of $5 per rider, but you must RSVP the hike leader by Wednesday evening August 9 to get a seat. 

Leashed dogs are allowed on the hike but not on the van, so if you want to bring your pooch you must provide your own transportation. In that case, meet the group at Walker Knob Overlook near Mile Marker 360 at 9:45 a.m. You can then hike with group as far as you like before returning to your vehicle.

Bring lunch, snacks, plenty of water, hiking poles if you use them and rain gear, just in case. The county van will shuttle the group back to Burnsville from Cane River Gap, probably around 3:30 p.m.

For more information or to reserve your spot on the van, contact Hike Leader Jimmie Bowen at 252-450-5224 or As always, check the High Peaks Facebook page or website,, for last-minute changes due to the weather. 

Photo caption: Hikers will be treated to some of the best great views on the Aug. 11 High Peaks hike.