Hike Schedule 2017 Format
ALL-DAY WEEKEND

Sunday No. A2103-794      Jul 04, 2021
MST: Cowee Access to Haywood Gap 8:30 AM
Hike 8.5, Drive 90, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, at-mst
Kathy Cornn/Kyle, 828-458-1282, katherinenkyle@gmail.com and Michael Cornn, 828-458-1281, mwcornn@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. We will start at the spectacular Cowee Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway and hike steeply downhill on a little-used manway through a beautiful spruce forest approximately 1/2 mile to the MST. Once on the MST we will walk east approximately 8 miles to the Parkway crossing at Haywood Gap. This hike can be considered as moderate since much of the distance is easy walking on an old roadbed. Almost all of this hike is above 5,000 ft., so it should feel great on a hot July day. CAR SHUTTLE.
Topo(s): Sam Knob

hike report: Nine of us scrambled down a steep hill with no trail to the MST from Cowee Overlook on the BRP. We saw a turkey and several of her poults. We also saw a huge mushroom, chicken of the woods. Toward the end of the hike the trail was lined with blooming fly poison and Galax. We also met a section hiker of the MST who was on his way to Clingmans Dome.


Sunday No. A2103-337      Jul 11, 2021
Shining Rock from Black Balsam #1 8:00 AM
Hike 11.0, Drive 65, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated A-B, Wilderness hike, limited to ten hikers, contact leader for reservation. p400,sb6k
Kathy Cornn/Kyle, 828-458-1282, katherinenkyle@gmail.com and Michael Cornn, 828-458-1281, mwcornn@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26.
Second Meeting Place: BRP Cold Mountain Overlook at MM 412 at 8:30 AM
We will take the ALT from FS 816 to Shining Rock (6040 ft.), climbing Black Balsam (6214 ft.), Tennent Mtn. (6040 ft.) and Grassy Cove Top (6040 ft.) along the way. This will be your chance to bag four SB6K peaks while enjoying beautiful views covering the area from Pilot Mtn. to Cold Mtn. We’ll return via the Ivestor Gap Trail to get a different perspective on the same area. This hike is #49 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Sam Knob

hike report: Eight of us hiked to Shining Rock via Black Balsam, Tennent Mountain and Grassy Cove Top all peaks over 6,000 feet. Turk’s cap lilies were among the wildflowers that lined the trails and we had clear views most of the day. Rain did finally find us at the end of our lunch and on the way back from Shining Rock. The hike included one peak and one trail named after CMC members. Tennent Mountain was named after Dr. Gaillard Tennent who became the first president of CMC in 1923 and the trail we hiked most of the day- the Art Loeb Trail was named after CMC member Art Loeb in 1969. We had a heavy downpour when we got back to the cars and on the drive back to Asheville.


Saturday No. A2103-534      Jul 17, 2021
Turkey Pen, Pounding Mill, Mullinax Loop 10:00 AM
Hike 7.0, 1200 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, p400
Bruce Bente, 828-692-0116, cell 828-699-6296, bbente@bellsouth.net
Only Meeting Place: Turkey Pen parking lot. Driving distance from Asheville is 50 miles round trip. We’ll follow an interesting manway to the S. Mills River footbridge, then do a loop on the scenic Pounding Mill and Mullinax Trails.
Topo(s): Pisgah Forest

hike report: A small group of two CMC members and one guest hiked this pleasant loop hike. We followed a nice wooded manway from Turkey Pen parking lot down to the river, across on the hiker suspension bridge, the South Mills River and Pounding Mill Trails up to our lunch spot on a big log at the junction with Squirrel Gap Trail. After lunch, we continued on Squirrel Gap, Mullinax and South Mills River Trails, across the bridge and then up on the usual trail up to the cars. We were surprised by seeing only a few mountain bikes and hikers on a Saturday in the summer.


Sunday No. A2103-516      Jul 18, 2021
Lakeshore Loop 8:00 AM
Hike 10.3, Drive 145, 1600 ft. ascent, Rated A-A,
Thomas Butler, 361-484-3381, butler.tom3381@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40.
Second Meeting Place: Rest area beyond Waynesville on US 23/74 at 8:30 AM
900M Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. We will start at the tunnel at the end of Lakeshore Drive and hike Lakeshore, White Oak Branch, Forney Creek, and Goldmine Trails. Learn the history of the infamous Road to Nowhere, settlement and logging along Forney Creek and the development of Lake Fontana. We will visit some old home and farm sites and discuss the way of life of the pre-GSMNP inhabitants and may visit some cemeteries. This is hike #19 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Noland Creek

scout report: Sharon Walter and I scouted this hike on a warm, muggy day that ended with some light showers. The hike consists of two loops connected by a short section of the Lakeshore Trail. Overall trail conditions were very good. With recent rains there were a few short muddy spots, but the water crossings on foot were very shallow. The trails here are open for horses - there was evidence of recent horse activity and we saw two riders - but no real damage from horses was evident. The hike begins at the parking area and goes through a long, dark tunnel to the trailhead, making the total distance around 12 miles. A small flashlight or a cell phone flashlight comes in handy. Once on the trail there are some moderately steep sections, mostly a walk in the woods. At one point on the Goldmine Loop, a nice view of Lake Fontana opens up. The section along Forney Creek was nice as the creek was really roaring. Other than rhododendron, not many flowers, but lots of fungi beside the trail. In spite of a little rain it was a great hike, and Sharon and I were once again reminded of the importance of the CRAS rule - Carefully Review All Signs - although a little exploring can be a good thing.


Sunday No. A2103-667      Jul 25, 2021
Pink Beds to Pisgah Inn 8:30 AM
Hike 8.2, Drive 50, 1700 ft. ascent, Rated B-A, p400
Henry Kassell, 845-656-5528, hkassell@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26.
Second Meeting Place: Pisgah Inn parking lot near convenience store at 9:00 AM - but contact leader first.
From one branch of the Pink Beds Loop, we will go over the Barnett Branch boardwalk, built by the CMC Friday Pisgah crew. We will proceed on the Barnett Branch Trail, cross Yellow Gap Road, and after a short, steep climb, pause at a waterfall. We'll connect with the Buck Spring/MST up to the Pisgah Inn. Option to do hike in reverse. CAR SHUTTLE.
Topo(s): Cruso,Shining Rock

hike report: Eight Hikers made the journey. We started to the right on the Pink Beds Loop (south side) and traversed the boardwalks to the Barnett Branch trail where we made a left turn. The marsh growth was full and it obscures much of the water way. We continued on the Barnett and snacked at the Waterfall. We noticed in the Yellow Gap rd area people foraging for mushrooms. After reaching the Buckspring Trail we hung a right and finished at the Pisgah Inn about 3:30pm


Saturday No. A2103-451      Jul 31, 2021
MST Sleepy Gap to Bent Creek Gap 9:00 AM
Hike 7.6, Drive 25, 1200 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, at-mst
Carroll Koepplinger, 828-667-0723, cell 828-231-9444, cakoep29@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26. This is a variation of Hike #451. From Sleepy Gap, we will ascend Truckwheel Mountain via a series of switchbacks and then descend to Chestnut Cove. From there, we will make our way to Bent Creek Gap on gentle grades and return on the same trail.
Topo(s): Dunsmore Mt

Sunday No. A2103-44      Aug 01, 2021
Huntfish Falls and Gragg Prong 8:00 AM
Hike 8.5, Drive 150, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, wc100
Les Love, 828-230-1861, lesrlove55@gmail.com and Catherine Love, 828-658-1489, catmlove2@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: River Ridge Market Place behind CVS off Exit 53B of I-40.
Second Meeting Place: Ingles off Exit 64 of I-40 (Black Mountain) at 8:15 AM
This hike in the Wilson Creek area features spectacular waterfalls and the best swimming anywhere, with two swimming holes, one on Gragg Prong and the other at Huntfish Falls. Bring your bathing suit. Be prepared for several wet-feet stream crossings.
Topo(s): Wilson Creek Map

hike report: We had 13 hikers on a nice, mostly sunny day, with only a short shower at the end of our long lunch break at the Gragg Prong swimming area. A welcome cool down after the walk around with most folks just wearing their water shoes or boots through the several creek crossings. The man-way from the Timber Ridge Trail down to Huntfish Falls and the second swim is the trickiest part of the hike. I found out after scouting this one that we are missing a beautiful waterfall on Little Lost Cove Creek by going this way, so next year we will start the hike at Roseboro and have lunch at Hunt Fish Falls, with the second swim at Gragg Prong. Can't wait! Les


Saturday No. A2103-203      (canceled)      Aug 07, 2021
Tanyard Gap to Lovers Leap 8:00 AM
Hike 8.3, Drive 70, 790 ft. ascent, Rated B-C, at-mst
Brenda Worley, 828-684-8656, cell 828-606-7297, bjdworley@gmail.com and Tish Desjardins, 828-380-1452, desraylet@aol.com
Only Meeting Place: 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot) off Exit 25 of I-26. This is a shorter version of #203. We will take the A.T. south from Tanyard Gap in the Hot Springs area to Lover's Leap and return. Expect a moderate hike through beautiful woods and views from Lover's Leap. This hike is being offered as a local event during the A.T. Vista 2021 weekend.
Topo(s): Hot Springs

scout report:


Sunday No. A2103-119      Aug 08, 2021
Charlies Bunion from Newfound Gap 8:00 AM
Hike 8.0, Drive 135, 2400 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA, sb6k
Thomas Butler, 361-484-3381, butler.tom3381@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40.
Second Meeting Place: Maggie Valley Post Office at 8:30 AM
900M Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. This scenic in-and-out hike will follow the A.T. from Newfound Gap to a spectacular lunch spot at Charlies Bunion. After lunch we’ll do a side trip to Mt. Kephart and the Jumpoff. This hike is #27 of the 100 Favorite Trails. It is being offered as a local event during the A.T. Vista 2021 weekend.
Topo(s): Clingmans Dome

hike report: This hike to Charlies Bunion was awesome! Mild temps, partly sunny skies, and great views from Charlies Bunion combined for the almost perfect hike. We took the spur to Jumpoff, but that side of the mountain was socked in with cloud cover, offering no views at all. We saw lots of other hikers but overall not too crowded on the trail or at Charlies Bunion. Distance travelled was approximately 9 miles.


Saturday No. A2103-193      Aug 14, 2021
Haywood Gap to NC 215 10:00 AM
Hike 6.5, Drive 85, 600 ft. ascent, Rated B-C, Wilderness hike, limited to ten hikers, contact leader for reservation. p400,sb6k
Marcia Bromberg, 828-505-0471, cell 860-798-9905, mwbromberg@yahoo.com
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. We'll hike along a lovely MST section amid fragrant balsams in the high country and have lunch on the beautiful Fork Ridge Meadow with views of surrounding mountains, including Mt. Hardy. CAR SHUTTLE.
Topo(s): Sam Knob

Sunday No. A2103-373      (canceled)      Aug 15, 2021
Yellow Mountain 8:00 AM
Hike 12.3, Drive 125, 3050 ft. ascent, Rated AA-AA+, ltc
Thomas Butler, 361-484-3381, butler.tom3381@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40.
Second Meeting Place: Rest area beyond Waynesville on US 23/74 at 8:30 AM
Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. We’ll hike in the Cowee Mtns. on a heavily forested, high-altitude trail that ascends four peaks going in and three on the way back. Views from the Yellow Mtn. observation tower are great – a fine lunch spot. Strenuous but rewarding. This hike is #9 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Glenville,Highlands

Sunday No. A2103-237      Aug 22, 2021
Plott Balsams 8:00 AM
Hike 7.0, Drive 90, 2400 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA, sb6k
Henry Kassell, 845-656-5528, hkassell@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. This hike will give you the opportunity to climb three (or four) of the 6000-footers in the Plott Balsams and see spectacular views of the Smokies and nearby mountains. From Waterrock Knob, we will follow a very rough, steep trail over Browning Knob to Plott Balsam. Then we will hike back to our starting point and then there will be an optional hike to the top of Yellow Face. The hike is strenuous due to the rough trail and climbing over fallen spruce trees on steep slopes. Wear long sleeves and pants.
Topo(s): Hazelwood

hike report: Three hikers started out from Waterrock Knob Parking under early morning cloud cover. But the day brightened and was a classic high mountain clouds and sun day. Jeff W. , Seth G, and I set out for Plott Balsam at 9am and returned at 6pm. My friend Seth from NY was looking for an epic hike and he got it! I used a recent GPX track from Sallye S. and it was helpful. The only route finding issue was leaving the summit of Lyn Lowry heading to Plott Balsam. There is a carved tree trunk chair, if you sit in it you are looking at the exit from the summit area that you need. We found the hike challenging as advertised but not overly so . And it measures longer than the data base says: more like 9.2 miles The footing is often sketchy making progress very slow at times . Our nine hour day tells the story. We did visit the downed Cessna aircraft on our return.


Sunday No. A2103-213      (canceled)      Aug 22, 2021
Blue Ridge Pinnacle, Rocky Knob and Graybeard from the BRP 8:30 AM
Hike 6.3, Drive 65, 2000 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA,
Henry Kassell, 845-656-5528, hkassell@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Back parking lot of Folk Art Center. We'll take a short climb on a maintained trail to see 360-degree views from Blue Ridge Pinnacle. After a short backtrack, the hike switches to manways and follows ridgelines to Rocky Knob and Graybeard for more 360-degree views. A side trip to Walker Knob is a possible addition. The return trip will backtrack and then switch to an old logging road for the last part of the hike.
Topo(s): Montreat,Mt. Mitchell

scout report:


Saturday No. A2103-459      Aug 28, 2021
NC 128 to Graybeard Overlook 8:00 AM
Hike 8.1, Drive 55, 1900 ft. ascent, Rated B-A, at-mst, sb6k
Susan Hutson, 336-406-9279, picassue48@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Back parking lot of Folk Art Center. This is a beautiful hike through spruce and mixed deciduous forest with mossy rocks and spectacular views from parts of the trail along narrow ridges. The trail ascends near Potato Knob and over Blackstock Knob before descending steeply to Walker Knob Overlook. After crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway, we will hike to Graybeard Overlook. This section is not as steep, but neither is it flat. There are spectacular views from the knife-like ridges, including views of Mt. Mitchell and the Asheville watershed. We should be able to hear the flute-like songs of the high-elevation thrushes (veery and hermit thrush). CAR SHUTTLE.
Topo(s): Montreat,Mt. Mitchell

hike report: We had a perfect day for a high elevation hike, high in the 70s and clear blue sky with very little haze. We did a modified hike that did not require a shuttle. It was an in/out hike from Graybeard overlook to Walker knob overlook having lunch at Walker Knob before heading back. Nice views from the ridges and the flowers were feeding bees and butterflies. There were even ripe blueberries for sampling. The trail was in excellent condition with only one small tree that was easy to step over, kudos to out maintenance crews.


Sunday No. A2103-839      (canceled)      Aug 29, 2021
Pink Beds, S. Mills River, Soapstone Ridge loop 8:30 AM
Hike 9.4, Drive 50, 1700 ft. ascent, Rated A-A, p400
Carroll Koepplinger, 828-667-0723, cell 828-231-9444, cakoep29@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26.
Second Meeting Place: Pisgah Forest Walmart Parking (back of center aisles close to Taco Bell) at 9:00 AM
We'll do a long loop, starting with parts of the Pink Beds Loop and S. Mills River Trails, and returning via Soapstone Ridge and Club Gap.
Topo(s): Pisgah Forest,Shining Rock

Sunday No. A2103-368      (canceled)      Aug 29, 2021
Bradley Creek and Riverside Stream Crossings 9:00 AM
Hike 8.7, 650 ft. ascent, Rated B-C, p400
Carroll Koepplinger, 828-667-0723, cell 828-231-9444, cakoep29@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26.
Second Meeting Place: Ingles on NC 191/280 SE corner of the parking lot near the No. Mills River Rd. entrance at 9:30 AM
THIS HIKE IS CANCELED DUE TO CLOSURE OF YELLOW GAP ROAD. Come and enjoy the water on a warm summer day. There are about 25 wet stream crossings, but the terrain is almost level and you will enjoy the beauty of the streams and the diverse flora nearby. Plan to hike in shoes/boots that you don’t mind getting soaked and use two hiking poles. CAR SHUTTLE.
Topo(s): Pisgah Forest

Sunday No. A2103-68      Sep 05, 2021
Big Butt from Balsam Gap (Walker Knob Overlook) 8:30 AM
Hike 6.0, Drive 45, 1650 ft. ascent, Rated C-A,
Karen Lachow, 703-395-5879, heyk127@hotmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Back parking lot of Folk Art Center. This moderate in-and-out hike will be at over 5000-ft. elevation. We'll take the Big Butt Trail from Balsam Gap (Walker Knob) on the BRP and ascend to Point Misery, Little Butt and then to Big Butt, at just under 6000 ft. We will stop on the way back at Little Butt for lunch. The hike goes through a northern hardwood/spruce forest with excellent views of the Black Mountains. This hike is #86 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Montreat

hike report: Eleven hikers including one new member on her first hike with CMC and one guest joined me for this lovely forest hike. The morning started off very chilly but we quickly warmed up climbing the 1774 ft ascent. The trail maintainers had been through following the storm a few weeks ago having removed some downed trees and weed whacked. We took in the view at Little Butt, then continued up to Big Butt. It was a bit crowded for 12 people so we descended down to a different lunch spot, then hiked out returning to our cars by 2:30pm.

scout report: Donna L. and I scouted this hike on July 24th. I loved this trail - a lovely forest hike that was recently weed whacked; a well-maintained trail with mostly soft footing. Most of the very steep areas are aided by climbing the many wonderful steps impressively built by the forest service. We hiked up to the overlook at Little Butt and took in the view before continuing on. The turn to hike up to Big Butt is well marked and the summit area was cut back and cleared leaving a good spot to stop, have lunch and enjoy the view. At this time of year, we found ourselves surrounded by a garden of Turk’s Cap Lilies, all kinds of fungus, phlox, and blueberries that were just starting to ripen. While these won’t be around for the hike in September, I look forward to seeing what new wonders will be found. We both tracked the hike at 7 miles with an 1800 ft. ascent. Note: I contacted the crew leader John Whitehouse to commend them on the condition of the trail and learned the trail is maintained by a combined effort of CMC and NC High Peaks.


Saturday No. A2103-22      Sep 11, 2021
Chestnut Cove Overlook to Ferrin Knob 8:15 AM
Hike 8.0, Drive 15, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, at-mst, p400
Lorraine Bernhardt, 828-699-8857, lsbernhardt50@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26.
Second Meeting Place: BRP Chestnut Cove Overlook at MM 398.3 at 8:30 AM
Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. This is a moderate in-and-out hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail from Chestnut Cove to Ferrin Knob and return. We will have a substantial, steady climb in the morning, with lunch at the top of Ferrin Knob, and an easy return in the afternoon.
Topo(s): Dunsmore Mt

hike report: I had one hiker remaining on the list after switching to this alternate hike. We had perfect weather and a bear sighting early on. We encountered runners who were training for the upcoming Shut in hike in November. We also met some cool dogs exercising their humans. We had an opportunity for good conversation and lots of travel stories. A nice leisurely walk in the woods!


Saturday No. A2103-632      (canceled)      Sep 11, 2021
Cantrell Lodge from Turkey Pen 9:30 AM
Hike 8.5, Drive 55, 700 ft. ascent, Rated B-C, p400
Lorraine Bernhardt, 828-699-8857, lsbernhardt50@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26.
Second Meeting Place: Ingles on NC 191/280 in Mills River by gas pumps at 9:45 AM
THIS HIKE IS CANCELED DUE TO STORM DAMAGE TO THE SWINGING BRIDGE MAKING IT IMPASSABLE. Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. This in-and-out hike begins at the Turkey Pen parking area and follows the South Mills River Trail to the Cantrell Lodge, following an old logging railroad grade. On the way, we'll cross three pedestrian bridges and see a couple of unusual Carsonite signs. We'll learn more about the history of this historic lodge and area. This hike is #64 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Pisgah Forest

scout report: We had a relatively cool day to scout this hike in August. The trail sign was non existent after crossing the first suspension bridge so that threw us a curve but we eventually figured it out and there was no subsequent issue with signage. When we arrived at the chimney, it was overgrown and had moderately high grass. We found a nice place by the river to have lunch. Overall, it is a pleasant walk in the woods with nice suspension bridges and water views. Turkey Pen Road is rough in places and slow going. I’d recommend carpooling too as the parking lot could get crowded. Thanks to Donna for scouting with me.


Sunday No. A2103-95      Sep 12, 2021
Hemphill Bald from Polls Gap 9:00 AM
Hike 9.5, Drive 30, 1760 ft. ascent, Rated A-A,
Danny Bernstein, 828-450-0747, dannyhiker@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Maggie Valley Post Office. 900M Driving distance from Asheville is 85 miles round trip. We will hike from Polls Gap to our scenic lunch spot at Hemphill Bald in the GSMNP, with outstanding views. The return route will be via the same trail. On the drive back, we'll stop at the Masonic Marker. This hike is #37 of the 100 Favorite Trails. You must be a paid-up CMC member. No guests.
Topo(s): Dellwood

hike report: This classic hike never gets old. Thirteen hikers, some very experienced, some new(ish) to CMC came and loved it. I enjoy taking people to new areas. We only saw two runners on the trail - no one else. We had the trail to ourselves. This section of the Smokies was not crowded at all.


Sunday No. A2103-938      Sep 19, 2021
Waterrock Knob to The Pinnacle via Blackrock Mtn. 8:00 AM
Hike 9.2, Drive 90, 1558 ft. ascent, Rated A-A, sb6k
Mike Knies, 828-628-6712, knies06@att.net
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. This hike will begin from the Waterrock Knob lower parking lot and continue along a rough trail, passing Yellow Face and mega rock formations, and on to the spectacular view from Blackrock Mtn. From there we will descend a bit and then hike out to even more spectacular views of craggy Pinnacle Park. We will then backtrack a short distance before descending steeply to our vehicles at the Fisher Creek Trailhead. 30-MINUTE SHUTTLE.

Saturday No. A2103-504      Sep 25, 2021
Lane Pinnacle from Bull Gap 8:00 AM
Hike 10.4, Drive 30, 2900 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA, at-mst
Judy Magura, 828-606-1490, quilter290@gmail.com and Jim Magura, 828-606-3989, jqs290@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Back parking lot of Folk Art Center. This hike on the MST from Bull Gap includes a gentle climb through a system of switchbacks leading past the Rattlesnake Lodge site, and further ascents to Rich Knob and Wolfden Knob before arrival at our lunch spot just past Lane Pinnacle with incredible views. We will return to our cars via the same trail. This hike meets/exceeds the requirements of #83 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Craggy Pinnacle

Sunday No. A2103-907      Sep 26, 2021
Wildcat Rock Trail to Bearwallow Mountain 8:00 AM
Hike 10.0, Drive 20, 2300 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA,
Donna Lanning, 828-684-7083, cell 828-606-7956, dblanning@bellsouth.net
First Meeting Place: Ingles on US 74-A 1-1/2 miles south of I-40 Exit 53.
Second Meeting Place: Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trailhead (Florence Nature Preserve) at 8:15 AM
Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. This is a new variation and extension of the Wildcat Rock Trail hike. The trail goes around an apple orchard and crosses Hickory Creek on a wooden bridge before beginning the ascent. We will climb 100 log steps to reach the 100-ft. Little Bearwallow Falls at about 1 mile. After viewing the waterfall, we will climb more than 130 rock stairs as we ascend the side of the cliff line on our way to the Wildcat Rock Overlook Trail, where we will enjoy great views. We will then continue on to the top of Bearwallow Mountain for lunch, returning the same way.

scout report: I live near the trailhead for Wildcat Rock so I hike in that area often. Wildcat Rock trail is a challenge, we will be ascending most of the way up to one degree or another, but it’s also a lovely wooded hike. The waterfall can be sparse to full depending on recent rain. We will stop at the Wildcat Rock access trail for those who want to see the view. There’s not much room up there, a short rock scramble but a very nice view. We will continue on to Little Bearwallow pasture which is very large with a distant view. There should still be cows around and on the rest of the trail to Bearwallow sometimes I’ve had to shoo one off the trail but only when it’s ready to move, they are not intimidated by much. If you’ve already visited Bearwallow Mtn., you’re aware of the near 360 degree views we will enjoy as we have lunch before going back to the trailhead. I will be meeting hikers at the second meeting place. Donna

hike report: Interestingly, my hike attendees dropped from 7 to 1 over a period of days. So on Sunday morning just Debbie G and I started onto the Wildcat Rock trail bundled up against the 50 degree temperature. There was a brisk breeze so we never really got warm, just sweaty. On top of Bearwallow it was very windy so we didn’t stay long and had lunch under the cover of Rhododendrons just inside the trailhead. It was a perfect day otherwise, clear skies and little humidity. Such a great hike!