High Peaks Leads Two Appalachian Trail Hikes Dec. 9


High Peaks Leads Two Appalachian Trail Hikes Dec. 9

Join High Peaks for our final hikes of 2017 on Saturday December 9 when the club concludes our sequential hikes along the Appalachian Trail that started near Banner Elk in February.

The more strenuous hike will start at Big Bald and descend over 1,700 feet in elevation to Sam’s Gap over a distance of 6.5 miles. The less strenuous hike will begin and end at Sam’s Gap and follow the AT north to a meadow with views of Big Bald and Wolf Laurel, climbing and then descending about 1,000 feet over a 4.4-mile hike.

Hikers should assemble on the Burnsville Town Square at 8:30 a.m. Transportation will be provided in a Yancey County van for a suggested donation of $5, reservations required. All hikers on the longer hike must ride on the van because the group must enter private property to begin the hike and personal vehicles are prohibited. This means no dogs on the longer hike because animals are not allowed on the vans, with the exception of service dogs.

Hikers on the shorter hike may bring leashed dogs but they will have to provide their own transportation to Sam’s Gap. In that case you will need to meet the group riding the van at the parking area on U.S. Highway 23 just before it passes under I-26 around 9:15 a.m.

Bring warm clothes, rain gear, plenty of water, snacks and hiking poles if you use them. A brightly-colored cap or clothing is also recommended because deer hunting season is underway.

Please make your van reservations by Thursday, Dec. 7. For the long hike, contact Hike Leader Dennis Smith at dennissmith4141@gmail.com or 284-4000. For the short hike, contact Hike Leader John Whitehouse at trails@nchighpeaks.org or 682-3217.

As always, check the club’s website, www.nchighpeaks.org or Facebook page for last-minute changes due to weather.

PHOTO INFO: Hikers may get views like this of the Black Mountain Range from Big Bald on the Dec. 9 High Peaks hike, weather permitting.