High Peaks Leads Dual Hikes March 9

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Hikers will have two contrasting options on Saturday, March 9 when the NC High Peaks Trail Association offers one easy hike to a waterfall and a second hike that will take on the steepest, most challenging trail in the Black Mountains.

The difficult hike will tackle the Woody Ridge Trail, which climbs 3,500 feet and sometimes crosses steep, exposed rock faces, up to the Black Mountain Crest Trail at Horse Rock and then down to the Bolen’s Creek Trailhead. Total distance will be 7 miles and hikers must contact Hike Leader Dennis Smith beforehand for screening because this hike is not for beginners!

A much more leisurely stroll will take hikers a total of about 1.4 miles out-and-back on a nearly level grade to the Roaring Fork Waterfall near Busick. This is one of the most picturesque of our local waterfalls.

Hikers for the Woody Ridge expedition should gather on the Burnsville Town Square at 8:30 a.m. for transport in a county van for a donation of $5. Hikers should reserve their spot on the van when they call Hike Leader Smith in order to be vetted for the hike. He can be reached at dennissmith4141@gmail.com or 282.284.4000.

Bring warm clothes and rain gear as the weather on the Crest Trail can turn nasty in a hurry. Also bring plenty of water, lunch, snacks and hiking poles if you use them. Dogs are not allowed on the county vans so you must arrange your own transportation if you plan to bring your leashed pet for the hike.

This hike will complete two of the 23 trail segments needed for the Black Mountains Hiking Challenge, a new High Peaks program. More information is available on the club’s website.

Hikers should gather on the Town Square for the Roaring Fork stroll at 9:30 a.m. They will carpool to the trailhead. If you prefer to meet the group there, contact Hike Leader Carolyn Raichle at 407.619.6136 for directions and to let her know you plan to participate. The group coming from town should arrive at the trailhead around 10:15 a.m. This hike should be done by lunch time, but bring water, snacks and hiking poles if you use them.

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

Photo info: Hikers will get a chance to view beautiful Roaring Fork Falls on one of the two March 9 hikes the club will lead.