High Peaks Leads High-Elevation Hikes Aug. 17

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Beat the summer heat and score some spectacular views by joining the NC High Peaks Trail Association for one of two hikes on Saturday, Aug. 17, with both venturing to high elevations along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Lunch Rock

The longer hike, rated as strenuous, will go from Walker Knob Overlook up to Blackstock Knob and down to Mount Mitchell Road (NC 128) for a distance of 4.6 miles and an elevation gain of 1,200 feet. The moderate hike will start at Mount Mitchell Road and go out-and-back to Rainbow Gap, a distance of 4 miles and an elevation gain of about 600 feet.

Both hikes offer spectacular views and cool temperatures as each will take hikers above the 6,000-foot elevation mark.

Hikers should assemble on the Burnsville Town Square at 8:30 a.m. A van will shuttle hikers for the long hike, reservations required and a donation of $5 per person required. The shorter hike will rely on car pools.

Bring lunch, water, foul weather gear, snacks and hiking poles if you use them. Leased dogs are allowed on the hike but not on the vans, so if you want to bring your pooch you will need to provide your own transportation.

Hikers should contact long hike leader Robert Branch at rbranch18@aol.com or 828-682-3102 by Thursday evening, Aug. 15 to reserve their seat on the shuttle van. For the moderate hike, contact leader John Whitehouse at trails@nchighpeaks.org or 682-3217 for more information.

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

Photo info: Hikers will get views like this one from the Mountains-to-Sea Trail if they join High Peaks for either of two high-elevation hikes on Saturday, Aug. 17.