High Peaks Tackles Black Mountain Crest Trail Oct. 1


The N.C. High Peaks Trail Association will lead one of its most challenging – and rewarding – hikes of the year when the club takes on the Black Mountain Crest Trail on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the peak of the high elevation leaf color season. The outing will be followed by a pot luck supper and party in the Cattail Community.

The 8-mile jaunt will begin at Mt. Mitchell, proceed to Deep Gap and then descend steeply to the Cattail Community. Only seasoned hikers should consider joining because the trek includes several steep climbs, a bit of scrambling down rock faces that requires the use of hand ropes and an overall descent of 3,000-foot, which is tough on the knees.

Hikers should assemble at the Cattail Community Center at 8:30 a.m. and will be ferried to Mt. Mitchell aboard a Yancey County Transportation van for a donation of $5 per person. Pets are not allowed on the vans, so if you want to bring your leashed dog you must arrange your own transportation.

Bring warm clothes, foul weather gear, lunch, snacks, plenty of water and hiking poles if you have them, since they are great for cushioning the impact of steep downhill hikes.

Everyone is invited to a potluck dinner after the hike at the Cattail home of Worth and Susan Weller, which will begin between 4 and 5 p.m. Please bring your beverage of choice and a side dish that will be collected before the hike begins.

Van reservations are required and first-timers on a High Peaks hike must contact the hike leader to discuss their level of fitness and experience. Hike leader Dennis Smith can be reached at 828-284-4000 or dennissmith4141@gmail.com. As always, check the High Peaks website, www.nchighpeaks.org, or Facebook page for last-minute changes due to weather.