Apr 04, 2021
Hike 10.0, Drive 80, 1900 ft. ascent, Rated A-A,
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. 900M This shorter version of #218 will be an in-and-out from Cove Creek Rd. to the intersection with McKee Branch Trail, and will include a loop through the Science Center and past Ferguson Cabin. Great views along the way.
Bunches Bald,Cove Creek Gap
Apr 10, 2021
Hawkbill Creek Flower Hike
Hike 7.5, Drive 70, 1000 ft. ascent, Rated B-C,
828-667-0723, cell 828-231-9444, email@example.com
Only Meeting Place: 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot) off Exit 25 of I-26. This hike is designed to have adequate time to observe and appreciate the spectacular variety of wildflowers and ramps along the route. We will follow a little-used trail following Hawkbill Creek up to its starting point, then return by a combination of backtracking and along an old forest road.
Henry, Bruce and I scouted this hike last Saturday, Mar.20th. This trail does not see many "boots on the ground". There are a number of areas that require extra care including a few stream crossings which may require a step or two in a couple inches of water. These crossings are relatively short (3-5 ft.). There are also a couple of other areas that require several feet of hiking up a "mini" creek.
This is an in/out hike with 1390' of elevation gain to the return around location. It's all down hill from there!
NOTE: This will be a slow paced hike!
Apr 11, 2021
Big Creek to Walnut Bottom
Hike 10.3, Drive 55, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated A-B,
Only Meeting Place: Pilot Truck Stop off Exit 24 of I-40. 900M Driving distance from Asheville is 100 miles round trip. Follow the sight and sound of a spectacular mountain creek through a beautiful forest to Walnut Bottom in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Midnight Hole, Mouse Creek Falls and several rapids are major features on this hike. We hope to catch wildflowers at their peak and spend a little time to identify them. Email to reserve your spot. Must be paid-up CMC member.
Cove Creek Gap,Luftee Knob,Waterville
A classic hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The weather was wonderful. After people went back and forth on signing up, we ended up with 14 hikers.
We were quite spread out since spring flowers were at their best.
We were happy to see a few horse groups on the trail.
All together a great day.
Apr 18, 2021
Gabes Mtn. Trail
Hike 8.3, Drive 130, 1800 ft. ascent, Rated B-A,
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. 900M This hike will follow a mostly gentle trail from Cosby Campground to Maddron Bald Trailhead through open old-growth forest. Added attractions are a short, steep side trip to the bottom of Hen Wallow Falls, lunch at a shady, streamside campsite and a visit to the restored Baxter cabin.
Luftee Knob,Mt. Guyot
On Sunday the 18th, eight hikers joined me to hike the Gabes Mt trail from Cosby CG to Madron Bald Trailhead. On this perfect sunny day we were hoping for some good wildflower viewing and it didn't disappoint. Along the way were Grandiflora Trilliums, Wild Geraniums, and a Showy something. As we were leaving Hen Wallow Falls were were met by the Union County New Jersey Hiking Club.
Over 5 miles into the hike we lunched at Camp 34 leaving less than 3 miles to complete our 8.3 mile hike. After visiting the Baxter Cabin we finished up at the cars about 3pm .
Apr 25, 2021
White Oak Flats, Pounding Mill, Hickey Fork
Hike 7.5, Drive 85, 1900 ft. ascent, Rated B-A,
First Meeting Place: 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot) off Exit 25 of I-26.
Second Meeting Place: Corner of US 25/70 & NC 208 at 9:00 AM
Meet leader at second meeting place. Starting at the footbridge over Hickey Fork, we'll do a nice loop hike using three different trails and finishing on heavily rebuilt Hickey Fork Rd.
Nice hike again through the woods of Shelton Laurel Backcountry in my neck of the woods of Madison County living. This time, the Trilliums, Spring Beauties, Bell Wort, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and others were in bloom, more so on one side of the mountain and just budding on the other side of the mountain.
Some wanted to complete one of the challenges in "100 Best Hikes of WNC" by going up to Camp Creek Bald (about an extra 1 1/2 miles round trip) while I waited below at one of trail junctions.
Again, as mentioned in the past, the name of one of the trails here is NOT "White Oak FLATS". It is "WHITE OAK TRAIL" --- no "Flats" in the name. Confusion has occurred a long time ago with identifying the former White Oak Flats Trail listed on old trail maps that is now the Jerry Miller Trail. Of course, as is known, the Jerry Miller Trail is not part of the loop hike that we do here in the Hickey Fork area.
Apr 26, 2021
Buckeye Gap and Haywood Gap Trails Circuit
Hike 9.0, Drive 30, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, Wilderness hike, limited to ten hikers, contact leader for reservation.
828-684-8656, cell 828-606-7297, firstname.lastname@example.org
Only Meeting Place: BRP Cold Mountain Overlook at MM 412. Driving distance from Asheville is 70 miles round trip. We'll hike the MST and the Buckeye Gap Trail in the Middle Prong Wilderness, down a ridgeline on an old logging railroad grade, then past an old logging camp. At the junction with the Haywood Gap Trail, we'll hike steeply up alongside Haywood Gap Stream to Haywood Gap and follow the MST back to our cars.
Thanks to Sallye and Adrianne for scouting this beautiful and challenging hike with me. Adrianne is also leading it on Wednesday May 5. The first 6 miles of the hike is a gradual downhill on an old logging railroad bed. We take the MST until it runs into Buckeye Gap. We follow Buckeye Gap down to an old logging camp. We enjoyed a variety of wild flowers on this part of the hike. We should have some of the same and different wildflowers later in April when I lead the hike. When we reach the intersection with Haywood Gap Trail, we take a 3/4 mile spur down to the Middle Prong to enjoy the Middle Prong Waterfall during our lunch break. We will retrace our steps back to the intersection and take Haywood Gap back up to the MST and to our cars. There are several small creek crossings and at least 3 deep crossings where water shoes and poles are required. The hike up the Haywood Gap Trail is very rocky with steep places, but we have close-up views of the beautiful and wild Middle Prong as it makes its way down the mountain. We started at 9:30 and got back to the car at 3:30. My GPS showed 9.82 miles and 1800' ascent.
May 01, 2021
Hot Springs, Roundtop Ridge on A.T.
Hike 11.6, Drive 70, 1800 ft. ascent, Rated A-A,
Only Meeting Place: 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot) off Exit 25 of I-26. From Tanyard Gap we will hike south on the A.T. towards Hot Springs, then up beautiful Roundtop Ridge, then down the A.T. to Tanyard Gap. We might take an additional in-and-out to Rich Mountain fire tower.
We scouted this hike on a beautiful, sunny Spring day. There was very little leaf coverage on the first half of the hike, so plan to have long sleeves or a hat, and sunscreen for protection. There is a lot to see along this hike! On Roundtop Ridge we'll see the recent maintenance work to clear this trail from growth following the fire several years ago. We'll have lunch in a meadow just outside of Hot Springs, and then walk down the road a bit to our ascent back to the cars via the Pump Gap and the AT, where we'll see some lovely rock work along the trail. The climb back to the AT on Pump Gap is strenuous, making this a challenging hike. There is an optional 1 mile at the start of the hike to the fire tower, which has recently been restored, making this a potential 12i hike. There are several blow downs and water crossings. I recommend bringing hiking poles, and plan to have more water and snacks than you think you will need. Please note that due to the potential for blow downs on part of this hike, an alternate hike will be offered if rainy or windy weather is predicted.
May 02, 2021
Coffee Pot Mtn. Loop
Hike 8.4, Drive 50, 1400 ft. ascent, Rated B-B,
828-230-1861, email@example.com and Catherine Love,
Only Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26. We'll circle Coffee Pot Mtn. by hiking Trace Ridge Trail to Beaver Dam Gap on the BRP and returning on the Spencer Branch and Fletcher Creek Trails, with a stop to look at the Hendersonville reservoir and dam.
We had 11 hikers and enjoyed a beautiful day to see plenty of wild flowers (Pink Lady Slippers being the highlight). We had a leisurely lunch where the Trace Ridge Trail hits the Parkway, then took in the incredible view from the Beaverdam Gap overlook, appreciating all the work the Parkway folks put in to keep that view open. We noted all the great water diversion work SORBA has been doing on the Fletcher Creek Trail and then took in the sites at the Hendersonville Reservoir. Back at the cars at 3:30.
May 09, 2021
Big Fork Ridge to Rough Fork Loop
Hike 9.6, 1800 ft. ascent, Rated A-A,
Only Meeting Place: Big Fork Ridge trailhead in Cataloochee. 900M Driving distance from Asheville is 70 miles. From the end of the road in Cataloochee Valley, hike up the Big Fork Ridge Trail, then turn right onto the Caldwell Fork Trail. Pass by record-size tulip poplar trees, then turn downhill on the Rough Fork Trail.
The scout hike began and ended at campsite 40 with Helen, Pam, Kathleen, Jim and I. We had beautiful weather to enjoy the Appalachian spring beauty of the Smoky Mountains. The trails were carpeted with early spring foliage and many wildflowers were seen. Trail conditions were excellent after an unusual spell of dry weather. Not normal to see dusty trails in the Smokies! We definitely enjoyed the huge old-growth forest including the Big Poplar, but the abundance of dead Hemlocks was a bit depressing. I recorded 9.6 miles with 1,800' of elevation gain. Climbing was broken up into 2 ascents of Big Fork Ridge on well graded trails. It will be interesting to see the change in vegetation that 3 weeks will bring on when I do the hike again in May.
May 15, 2021
Big Ivy - Walker Ridge Loop
Hike 7.4, Drive 35, 1700 ft. ascent, Rated B-A,
828-505-0471, cell 860-798-9905, firstname.lastname@example.org
Only Meeting Place: 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot) off Exit 25 of I-26. This hike is limited to ten hikers. On this variation of hike 611, we'll begin by hiking down the steep Staire Creek Trail from FS 63, then up the Walker Creek Trail and across the road to continue up on the Perkins Trail to the Laurel Gap Trail. After a 2-mile stroll on this meadow-like trail we'll head downhill on the Bear Pen Trail to return to our cars. These trails are rocky and steep in spots. There are several stream crossings on this hike. We walk near lovely creeks on part of the trails.
May 16, 2021
Oconoluftee, Mingus Creek and Cemeteries
Hike 7.2, Drive 95, 800 ft. ascent, Rated B-C,
Only Meeting Place: Oconoluftee Visitors Center on US 441. 900M Driving distance from Asheville is 95 miles round trip. This hike will combine "100 Favorite Trails" hikes 16 and 17 in GSMNP. We'll hike the Oconoluftee River Trail and then the Mingus Creek Trail to two cemeteries. We will take time to explore the historic buildings and cemeteries.
This is an easy hike with interesting historical sites. The cemetery is on a beautiful site with views of surrounding mountains and the sound of a creek nearby. The Mingus mill had volunteers nearby who were happy to answer questions (and happened to be descendants of those who operated the mill). The River trail was also a pleasant walk with signs of Cherokee folklore posted along the way. There will be time to explore the village behind the visitor center after the hike.
Thanks to Donna L. for scouting this hike with me.
May 23, 2021
Craggy to Little Snowball
Hike 7.2, Drive 40, 2600 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA,
Only Meeting Place: Back parking lot of Folk Art Center. From Bee Tree Gap, we’ll take the Snowball Trail to High Rocks (Hawkbill Mountain), and then on to the old lookout site atop Little Snowball. Return via the same route. If the day is clear, we will have great views from High Rocks and Little Snowball.
May 24, 2021
Kephart Prong, Sweat Heifer and Grassy Branch Loop
Hike 14.2, Drive 42, 3650 ft. ascent, Rated AA-AA+,
Only Meeting Place: Maggie Valley Post Office. 900M This is our annual joint hike with the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, which will offer an opportunity to meet and hike with fellow hikers from another hiking club. Driving distance from Asheville is 110 miles round trip. We’ll do a loop hike, starting at Kephart Prong, and climbing to the A.T. by way of Sweat Heifer Trail. Then we’ll follow the A.T. north past the spectacular views from Charlie’s Bunion, and drop back down on the Dry Sluice Gap, Grassy Branch and Kephart Prong Trails.
May 29, 2021
High Top Tower Site
Hike 9.0, Drive 60, 1900 ft. ascent, Rated B-A, Wilderness hike, limited to ten hikers, contact leader for reservation.
828-606-3989, email@example.com and Judy Magura,
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. This hike was a longtime favorite of the scouts at Camp Daniel Boone years ago. From the camp we will ascend to High Top with its excellent views, and then follow the Fork Mtn. ridge before descending to the rushing Little East Fork of the Pigeon River.
May 30, 2021
Deep Creek-Kephart's Last Stand
Hike 13.7, Drive 125, 2200 ft. ascent, Rated AA-AA,
828-684-7083, cell 828-606-7956, firstname.lastname@example.org
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. 900M This lovely hike starts at the Deep Creek entrance of GSMNP, outside Bryson City. The hike follows Indian Creek to the Sunkota Ridge Trail, in the heart of ancestral Cherokee country. We go down to Campsite #57, Horace Kephart’s last permanent campsite. We will look for a millstone placed by the Boy Scouts in 1931. Then we follow Deep Creek Trail back to the cars. Some rockhopping. After the hike, we will visit Kephart’s grave in Bryson City.
Jun 06, 2021
Waterrock Knob, Yellow Face, Blackrock Mtn
Hike 6.0, Drive 80, 2400 ft. ascent, Rated C-AA,
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. This scenic hike offers two SB6K peaks and outstanding views as we hike a rough trail along the ridge line to Yellowface and Blackrock Mtn., and then an established trail up to Waterrock Knob.
Jun 12, 2021
Roans in Bloom
Hike 7.6, Drive 130, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated B-B,
First Meeting Place: 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot) off Exit 25 of I-26.
Second Meeting Place: Ingles on US 19E (Burnsville) at far right side at 9:00 AM - but contact leader first.
An annual favorite, this is a beautiful A.T. hike with some of WNC's finest views. Expect to see flame azaleas, rhododendrons and possibly Gray's Lilies in bloom. From Carvers Gap we'll go north past Grassy Ridge Bald (6160 ft.) to a scenic overlook for lunch, then return to Carvers Gap by the same route. Option at the end to drive up to the gardens area (small fee to enter) and walk 1/2 mile to see the vista from Roan High Bluff (6287 ft.). This hike is #100 of the "100 Favorite Trails".
Jun 13, 2021
Rice Pinnacle P.L. #2 - Ingles Field Gap
Hike 8.3, Drive 10, 900 ft. ascent, Rated B-C,
Only Meeting Place: Rice Pinnacle Parking Lot in Bent Creek. This moderate loop hike features great views of Hominy Valley. We will climb to the eastern part of Stradley Mountain, have lunch at Ingles Field and return by Boyd Branch and Deer Lake Lodge Trails.
Jun 20, 2021
Hike 9.0, Drive 15, 1100 ft. ascent, Rated B-B,
828-667-0723, cell 828-231-9444, email@example.com
Only Meeting Place: Pisgah Forest Bi-Lo. Driving distance from Asheville is 65 miles round trip. This loop hike will start from Cathey's Creek Rd. and follow an overgrown forest road to the Art Loeb Trail, with lunch at the Butter Gap shelter. We'll return via a no-name trail for variety. Nice views.
Jun 23, 2021
Cat Gap-Long Branch-Cemetery Loop
Hike 10.0, 1200 ft. ascent, Rated A-B,
312-241-3329, Schultz.KarenJ@GMail.com and Ken Scharmann,
Only Meeting Place: Fish Hatchery - Pisgah Forest. Contact Karen Scharmann at firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. Highlights of this trip, which begins and ends at the Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery, are the McCall family cemetery and Long Branch Waterfall. This is a pleasant and moderate hike through pretty woods.
Jun 26, 2021
Laurel Mtn. Trail to Turkey Spring Gap - Slate Rock Creek
Hike 8.5, Drive 40, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated B-B,
First Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26.
Second Meeting Place: Ingles on NC 191/280 (Mills River) by gas pumps at 9:15 AM - but contact leader first.
This shorter variation of #131 starts near Yellow Gap and hikes up the Laurel Mtn. Trail to Sassafras Gap, then turns downhill to the Slate Rock Creek Trail, following this pretty mountain stream down to Yellow Gap Rd. This hike will have a 2-mile car shuttle; masks will be required and car windows will be open.
Jun 27, 2021
East Fork Pigeon River
Hike 9.5, Drive 50, 1200 ft. ascent, Rated A-B, Wilderness hike, limited to ten hikers, contact leader for reservation.
Only Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26. The East Fork of the Pigeon River is a great place to be on a warm June day. We’ll hike in the morning, and on our return, we’ll have a chance to play in one of the many pools or just lounge on the rocks before heading back to our cars.