ALL-DAY WEEKEND

Sunday No. A2204-642      Oct 02, 2022
Smokemont Loop 8:30 AM
Hike 8.0, Drive 110, 1300 ft. ascent, Rated B-B,
Lynn Pettipaw, 914-602-4464, lynn.pettipaw@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. 900M Limit of 10 hikers. Contact leader for reservations. We will hike the Smokemont Loop Trail clockwise, starting in the Smokemont Campground and climbing steadily up Richland Mountain before descending to Bradley Fork. The Bradley Fork Trail follows the water along an old roadbed. We will take an in-and-out detour up the Chasteen Creek Trail to the cascade before returning and continuing down the Bradley Fork Trail to the cars at Smokemont. A wonderful early autumn hike in the Smokies. This hike is #28 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Smokemont

hike report: I was joined by 8 other hikers for a great day in the Smokies. We got lucky and were not impacted by Hurricane Ian. We stopped by the cemetery and checked out the marked and unmarked gravestones. We had beautiful cool weather for the tough climb up Richland Mountain. We took a much-needed break at the top of the climb, before continuing on. The rest of the hike was more relaxed. We hiked to Chasteen Creek falls, which were flowing well due to recent rain. We took a lunch break there and I showed the group how to create blurred waterfall photos. We then continued back to the campground. Before heading out, the group visited the historic Lufty church, which we found very well maintained.

scout report: Glen Kime joined me for scouting the Smokemont Loop. We parked in the campground and hiked the loop in a clockwise direction. We chose to do the hike in a clockwise direction in order to get the majority of the climbing done early. Near the beginning of the hike, we stopped at the Bradley Cemetery, which was covered in yellow flowers. Most of the graves are unmarked, but we found a few marked ones from the 1920’s. From there it was a relentless uphill climb, which ended after 2.3 miles. We took a number of breaks to catch our breath. After that, the remainder of the hike is much easier, and the trail becomes wider. Before the Chasteen Creek Trail, there is a very long log bridge crossing. We turned off the loop to the Chasteen Creek Trail to visit the waterfall, where we will stop to enjoy lunch. We returned to the campground and walked along the campground road back to our car. We logged the hike as 8.2 miles, with 1,622’ elevation gain, which we did in 4 hours.


Sunday No. A2204-944      Oct 09, 2022
Black Mountain Trail to Club Gap 8:00 AM
Hike 9.7, Drive 51, 3090 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA+, 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 Forest Walmart parking (back of center aisles close to Taco Bell) at 8:30 AM
This hike begins at the Pisgah Forest Maintenance parking lot and follows the Black Mountain and Club Gap Trails. We will climb to beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, and continue on to Club Gap and down to FS 477. Car shuttle. This hike fills the requirement for #66 of the 100 Favorite Trails.

scout report:

hike report: Six Hikers showed up for this 10.6-mile hike. It climbed about 2000' in the first 5 miles over an improved trail. It was graded and shaped for mountain biking. We saw many riders over the course of the day. We lunched on the trail before the summit, missing the fine views. The second half of the hike was more up and down, breaking up the remaining 1000' of climb.


Saturday No. A2204-531      Oct 15, 2022
Pisgah Inn to Beaver Dam Gap 10:00 AM
Hike 7.9, Drive 50, 1100 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, at-mst, p400
Bruce Bente, 828-692-0116, cell 828-699-6296, bbente@bellsouth.net
Only Meeting Place: BRP French Broad Overlook at MM 393.8. Contact leader for reservations. We'll hike the MST at higher elevations to see the best fall colors. Enjoy this moderate, mostly downhill MST hike with great views along the way. Car shuttle.
Topo(s): Dunsmore Mt

hike report: Nine hikers enjoyed a moderate hike from Pisgah Inn to Beaver Dam Overlook in beautiful sunny fall weather. The leaf colors were bright and everyone was in a good mood. Every overlook that we walked through was full of leaf-peepers also enjoying the day and the scenery. A great day to be outdoors!


Sunday No. A2204-239      Oct 16, 2022
Bee Tree Gap to Rich Knob 8:30 AM
Hike 7.0, Drive 30, 2262 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA, at-mst
Bruce Bente, 828-692-0116, cell 828-699-6296, bbente@bellsouth.net
Only Meeting Place: Back parking lot of Folk Art Center. Contact leader for reservations. This out-and-back hike on the MST from Bee Tree Gap is a variation of hike #239. We will hike through varied forest terrain over Lane Pinnacle to Rich Knob and return the same way.
Topo(s): Craggy Pinnacle

hike report: Becky's hike was led by Bruce Bente because Becky was out of town. The hike route was changed to a one-way hike from Bee Tree Gap to Rattlesnake Lodge and then down to the BRP. We had five hikers, including three guests. Danny enjoyed explaining features along the trail to the guests and they appreciated it, especially around the Rattlesnake Lodge site. Cloudy weather in the 60s, but the leaf colors were still bright along the hike. BRP traffic was heavy , and we saw more hikers on the trail than expected.

scout report: The last week of September was a gorgeous time to scout this hike with a friend. There are several spectacular 180+ degree views along this ridge, and the leaves were just starting to change color, so views east and south were great. Falling leaves will really open things up, so be ready with the sunscreen. The trail is in pretty good shape, and the mileage isn't long, but it's rough terrain (some stretchers and hand holds for those of us who don't have long legs), so we should all get a good workout. See you there! Becky


Saturday No. A2204-421      Oct 22, 2022
Canebrake Trail 9:00 AM
Hike 11.0, Drive 90, 1900 ft. ascent, Rated A-A,
Sarah Broughton, 828-564-3662, sarahebroughton@icloud.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 9:30 AM
Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. This hike will start at the Frozen Creek Rd. parking lot in Gorges State Park and hike down the Canebrake Trail to our lunch spot at the Foothills Trail pedestrian bridge where the Toxaway River enters Lake Jocassee. Return via same route. The trail is an old logging road. Our hike back will have a steady but moderate incline.
Topo(s): Reid

Sunday No. A2204-938      (canceled)      Oct 23, 2022
Waterrock Knob to Rocky Face 8:00 AM
Hike 8.5, Drive 90, 1535 ft. ascent, Rated B-A, sb6k
Mike Knies, 828-628-6712, knies06@att.net
First Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40.
Second Meeting Place: Haywood County Rest Area 19500 Great Smoky Mtn. Expy. (US 23/74) Waynesville NC at 8:30 AM
**This hike has been canceled.** Limit of 7 hikers. Contact leader for reservations. This is an extended version of hike #938. We 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 continue for five miles over Pinnacle Bald and Perry Top to Rocky Face, where we will descend to a waiting vehicle. 30-minute car shuttle.

Sunday No. A2204-511      Oct 23, 2022
Florence Nature Preserve 8:00 AM
Hike 6.0, Drive 24, 1368 ft. ascent, Rated C-B,
Marie Chamberlin, 678-492-6718, marie.m.chamberlin@gmail.com
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 by chimney on US 74A at 8:15 AM - but contact leader first.
Limit of 10 hikers. Contact leader for reservations. This hike is a loop in the Florence Nature Preserve, a 600+ acre tract in the Hickory Nut Gorge. It has easy loops with moderate climbs. We’ll hike on the Yellow, Blue and Orange Trails to a nice overlook, then take the Blue, Red and Orange Trails to the Rattlesnake Knob overlook. We'll return via the Red, Blue and Yellow Trails. This is hike #76 of the 100 Favorite Trails. Carpooling is encouraged due to limited parking.
Topo(s): Bat Cave

hike report: What a beautiful day for a hike in Florence Nature Preserve. We followed the route dictated by the Favorite 100 Hikes (#76) and clocked 6.2 total miles.Many many leaves had already fallen on the trail, so when we weren't accompanied by the sound of the stream nearby we heard the sound of feet scuffling through the dried leaves. We encountered other hikers with their well behaved dogs also enjoying the warm fall day. This is definitely a favorite place to hike as there is always the possibility of choosing different trails in the preserve. And it is close to town so a good option when entertaining out of town visitors. We welcomed a newcomer to CMC and hopes she will join other hikes in the future.


Sunday No. A2204-236      Oct 30, 2022
Fawn Lake P.L. #1 8:30 AM
Hike 9.0, Drive 72, 1400 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, wc100
Danny Bernstein, 828-450-0747, dannyhiker@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
Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. Starting at the Fawn Lake access area, we will enjoy a moderate hike featuring four beautiful lakes and a waterfall, with a little history thrown in. We'll see Bridal Veil Falls, Lake Julia, Lake Dense, Lake Alford, Fawn Lake, and an old airstrip. This hike meets the requirements for #68 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Standingstone Mtn

scout report: DuPont Forest never disappoints. My son, visiting AVL, helped me scout this hike. Bridal Veil Falls, where the movie "The Last of the Mohicans" was filmed, runs slow or rapid depending on the available water and rain. On this hike we concentrate on lakes and will see four of the five lakes. Lake Alford is my personal favorite - shown here. But, it is the small, picturesque details that hikers will also notice.

hike report: DuPont Forest was quiet today because of the threat of rain. Eight hikers discovered some less popular trails on the way to Bridal Falls. A good, solid group which jelled together right away, stayed together and talked the whole time. Thanks, all, for coming to my favorite place.


Sunday No. A2204-615      Nov 06, 2022
Black Balsam Loop via Graveyard Ridge & ALT 8:00 AM
Hike 7.0, Drive 65, 1200 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, at-mst, p400,sb6k
Karen Schultz, 312-241-3329, Schultz.KarenJ@GMail.com and Ken Scharmann, 847-772-4693, Ksruns@Comcast.net
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 8:45 AM - but contact leader first.
Limit of 10 hikers. Contact leader for reservation. This hike has great views and visits two peaks over 6000 ft. New hikers take note: there is a 200-ft. altitude gain over 1/4-mile early in the hike, and two more uphills, each with about 500-ft. altitude gain, in the last leg of the hike. We will begin from FS 816 on the MST, then left onto the Graveyard Ridge Trail to Ivestor Gap. We return on the Art Loeb Trail over Tennent Mtn. and Black Balsam Knob. We’ll stop at the high points to enjoy the great views. This hike is #50 of the 100 Favorite Trails. You must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to carpool.
Topo(s): Sam Knob,Shining Rock

scout report: We scouted this hike on Wednesday, 10/19 with Marie (thanks for joining us!). It was a beautiful, sunny, 28-degree crisp morning when we started. This is a great hike; I think now one of my favorites. It covers three different trails, with some lovely gentle areas of hiking and some more rugged challenging sections. The views are spectacular, especially from Tennant Mountain and Black Balsam Knob. Although we missed peak colors, there were still some lovely color washes along the way! We started the hike at 9:30 am and finished up at 2:30pm – my Gaia track showed 6.5 miles. This included a couple of trail breaks and a lunch stop at Ivestor Gap. Remember this is a high elevation hike, so lots of layers will be needed! Also, we ran into a group of hunters, so a reminder that it’s hunting season – so please wear orange. A couple of other things to take note of. Although the hike is rated B-B, this is not a beginner’s hike. There are several areas where there is significant elevation gain and a number of sections on the trails that include loose rock. Hiking boots or shoes are suggested over trail runners and hiking poles are really helpful. There are 2 meeting locations. 1. Asheville Outlets (leave the outlets at 8:00 am) 2. BRP – the Cold Mountain Overlook at mile marker 412 (leave at 8:45 am) Please let us know which meeting location we will find you, and/or let us know if you prefer to meet at the trailhead (9:00 am), although keep in mind that parking will be limited. Please also note if you need to use the restroom before we head out on the hike, plan to make a stop at the Pisgah Inn convenience store restrooms, or the restrooms at the Graveyard Ridge Trailhead. Please make sure to allow time for these stops so that you will be at the trailead and ready to go at 9:00 am. We are looking forward to hiking with you all! Karen and Ken.

hike report: Black Balsam Loop via Graveyard Ridge Trail hike. The weather report indicated 70% chance of rain, but we decided to do the hike anyway and were pleased that the weather turned around and we had a lovely day. We were happy to have Tennent Mountain and Black Balsam views at the end of the hike as the fog had moved out by then!


Sunday No. A2204-52      Nov 06, 2022
Brunch and Hike at The Swag 9:15 AM
Hike 3.0, Drive 90, 800 ft. ascent, Rated C-C,
Bev MacDowell, 828-777-5806, bevmacdowellhappy@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. 900M Limit of 12 hikers. Must email or text leader to hold a spot. Payment secures your reservation. A rare opportunity to enjoy a buffet brunch at The Swag, a top rated, high elevation resort bordering GSMNP. The 11:00 AM brunch will be followed by a short hike to Purchase Knob along the Cataloochee Divide Trail, then back to our cars. Beautiful, sweeping views and possible late fall colors. A check or Venmo payable to Beverly MacDowell for $70.62 (includes tax & gratuity) until maximum filled. (Alcoholic beverages are extra). Brunch will happen rain or shine. No refunds. Hikers need to be diners. Mail checks to: Bev MacDowell, 190 Mount Royal Drive, Arden, NC 28704
Topo(s): Dellwood

scout report: A lovely hike in mild Fall weather Tuesday over to the Science Center. We walked around the property, saw a group from Silsa/Asheville High studying the Salamander program conducted there & historic Ferguson cabin.The folks at Swag are gracious and I’m excited to dine with 11 others this Sunday.

hike report: We were a lucky dozen for a lovely pre Thanksgiving buffet (delicious) and a 4+ mile hike and walk about after dining. Unusually warm in upper 60s and partly cloudy skies were our conditions. It was a talkative group that seemed to enjoy each other’s company . Good food, folk & forest!!


Saturday No. A2204-101      Nov 12, 2022
Lower Big Laurel Creek 9:30 AM
Hike 7.5, Drive 60, 350 ft. ascent, Rated B-C,
Kay Haskell, 610-613-4858, HaskellKM@Gmail.com
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 10:00 AM - but contact leader first.
Limit of 15 hikers. Contact hike leader via email for reservations, and include meeting place. Hike along a beautiful stream with whitewater, big rocks and surrounding high cliffs to the French Broad River. Interesting flora. Parts of the trail are rocky – hiking boots/shoes are recommended. This hike is #43 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Hot Springs

hike report: Hike cancelled due to heavy rains the day before.

scout report: Scouted this hike on Nov. 8. which was an unseasonably warm day (mid 70’s) With all the leaves down, the Laurel Creek is visible for almost all the hike which makes the fall season another time to enjoy this relatively gentle hike. The sunlight hitting the rapids, fly fishers casting out in the deep waterholes, all the various stream sounds, dense groves of rhododendrons—this is a special hike to take the time to enjoy vistas. There is still a very rocky section which requires close attention to foot placement, and the parking lot can be crowded. Stopping for photographs and lunch, I walked a very leisurely pace and completed the hike in four and half hours.


Sunday No. A2204-907      Nov 13, 2022
Wildcat Rock Trail 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 by chimney on US 74A 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.

hike report: You know, in my scout report I made a comment that indicated I was glad it was going to chilly. I was thinking maybe mid 40s. When I got to the trailhead it was 32 degrees, when I got back to the car it was 33. It was very cold and breezy but manageable at the beginning. I was glad to see most of the rock steps were dry. However, the higher we climbed, the colder it got of course. We started seeing rime ice on the trees, on the leaves and rododendron, a magical setting to hike in. Arriving at Bearwallow, the bald was covered in rime ice as were the trees surrounding it and it was very windy, no views, it was foggy, probably freezing fog. We all got cold(er) quickly even though we had lunch back down the trail out of the wind. The wind chill was probably in the teens up there. So, after a quick lunch we headed back down at a faster pace to get to a lower elevation which definitely helped and the sun finally came out for which we were grateful. We were looking forward to heated seats, steering wheels and heaters as well as getting out of the wind. It was an exceptional day, enjoyed by six very hardy hikers.

scout report: I live near Bearwallow Mountain so I’m often up there hiking those trails. There will be more views on the trails because the leaves are mostly down and of course at the open pastures and balds. Little Bearwallow falls, about a mile in from 74 can be a trickle or more if we’ve had rain. Remember to bring a hat, shade is becoming hard to find, also, it’s supposed to be chilly, yay! The Wildcat Rock trail is mostly a climb so we’ll be ready for lunch when we arrive at Bearwallow. On the way up, hikers can climb a short trail and rocks for a pretty view from Wildcat Rock. Note: You do not have to sign up for my hikes. Hope to see you Sunday. Donna


Sunday No. A2204-246      Nov 20, 2022
Coffee Pot Mtn. Loop 8:00 AM
Hike 8.4, Drive 50, 1400 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, 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 NW corner of parking lot near the No. Mills River Rd. entrance (Mills River) at 8:15 AM
Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. 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. This hike is #73 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Dunsmore Mt

hike report: We had to remind ourselves that this was still Fall, despite the 20 degree temps with wind chill. It warmed into balmy 30s with occasional sun to grace us with short periods of solar warmth. The good news is the bikers were few and far between and the long range views just awesome. On our descent, we cautiously advanced through leaves, sometimes creeping up close to our knees. We did some slipping but made it through unscathed. By the time we got to the reservoir, it was more sunny and pleasant. Two new CMC members hiked the the first time today and we were glad to welcome them.

scout report: I scouted this hike on a cool, crisp day with fall colors still prevalent in the higher elevations. Once I got up to the Trace Ridge/Spencer Branch intersection, I saw ribbons and signs…..oh no, there was a bike race going on! I continued up to the parkway and had an early lunch then down to Spencer Branch where the fun began dodging the many bikers racing down hill. Good opportunity to practice reflexive jumping to edge of the trail. I had nice breaks with no bikers but kept on high alert throughout the hike. During the last mile I hiked with a gentleman from Spartanburg and encouraged him to join a future CMC hike. I would recommend poles due to an abundance of slippery leaves and some minor wet crossings. It is a lovely hike and we will probably have more long range views in a month.


Saturday No. A2204-941      Nov 26, 2022
Standing Indian Loop 8:00 AM
Hike 9.6, Drive 160, 1400 ft. ascent, Rated A-B,
Thomas Butler, 361-484-3381, butler.tom3381@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40.
Second Meeting Place: Waynesville Publix parking lot east end off Exit 102 of US 23/74 at 8:30 AM
Contact leader for reservations. Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. This hike will begin at the Backcountry Information Center of Standing Indian Campground. We will hike alongside the scenic Nantahala River, then turn uphill along and occasionally crossing Park Creek to Penland Gap. We'll return on the ridgeline on Park Ridge Trail. There are several minor creek crossings on the Park Creek section, one of which may require a shallow step in water if there has been heavy rain.

scout report: this is a very pleasant hike that begins along the Nantahala River, with a wide and mostly level path on the Park Creek Trail. A shorter loop is more popular, and once you pass the connector for the short loop the Park Creek trail becomes a single track that after a few miles is increasingly less well maintained, mostly with small downed brush. There is a gradual ascent to Park Gap which is at a crossing of a service road with a parking area. Here you pick up the Park Ridge Trail, continue to ascend for a bit and then begin the descent back to the car. Lots of leaves on the trail throughout, but they only cause a problem in one steeper descent section in the last 1/3 of the hike. There are multiple stream crossings and some mud hole crossings, none of which are very difficult to pass.

hike report: Great weather for a late fall hike. At 9.5 miles and 1400 ft of ascent it presented us with a good workout. The trail could definitely benefit from some maintenance, but all our obstacles were passable. With the wet leaves there were some slips, but nothing serious. We saw an abandoned small bus just off the Park Creek trail near where it intersects with Park Ridge, and walked to it for our lunch spot.


Sunday No. A2204-330      Nov 27, 2022
Raven Cliff Falls 8:30 AM
Hike 8.0, Drive 95, 1600 ft. ascent, Rated B-A, wc100
Les Love, 828-230-1861, lesrlove55@gmail.com and Catherine Love, 828-658-1489, catmlove2@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
Contact leader for reservations. We’ll do a pleasant walk to the pedestrian bridge over the top of a beautiful 250-ft. waterfall in Caesar’s Head State Park in S.C. The hike will follow the Raven Cliff Falls Trail and a portion of the Foothills Trail to the bridge and return on the same trails. $3 per person entry fee.
Topo(s): Table Rock

hike report: We had 8 hikers on a rainy morning, with a heavy cloud hanging over the Caesar's Head SP Visitor Center. We took our time and did the Devil's Kitchen loop and by the time we started our hike the rain had stopped. As the day progressed the sun came out and we had great views from the bridge over the waterfall. Our second stop was the viewing platform and by then it was a beautifully sunny day and the benches there provided an excellent mid-afternoon resting point. The views were great all day since the leaves were all down and 2 of our hikers were on their first CMC hike. They, along with the rest of us, really enjoyed the leisurely day. Les


Sunday No. A2204-106      Dec 04, 2022
Ferrin Knob via Spencer Branch and Bad Fork 8:30 AM
Hike 9.0, Drive 42, 1550 ft. ascent, Rated B-A, at-mst, p400
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: Ingles on NC 191/280 NW corner of parking lot near the No. Mills River Rd. entrance (Mills River) at 8:45 AM - but contact leader first.
This moderate jaunt in the North Mills River area is a loop hike that starts at the Trace Ridge trailhead and climbs via Spencer Branch Trail past the Hendersonville Reservoir to our lunch spot atop 4064-ft. Ferrin Knob, the former site of a fire tower. We will return via the Bad Fork Trail.
Topo(s): Dunsmore Mt

Sunday No. A2204-420      Dec 11, 2022
Allen Gap to Tanyard Gap 8:15 AM
Hike 8.8, Drive 60, 2100 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA, at-mst, ltc
Tish Desjardins, 828-380-1452, desraylet@aol.com
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
Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. This is one of the prettiest sections of the A.T. in our area. We will take a side trip to the newly-renovated Rich Mountain fire tower and visit the Spring Mountain shelter. Please bring enough cars so that all hikers can be safely belted in for the car shuttle. This hike is #42 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Hot Springs

Saturday No. A2204-691      Dec 17, 2022
Upper Whitewater Falls - Round Mtn. Gap 9:00 AM
Hike 8.0, Drive 120, 1000 ft. ascent, Rated B-C, wc100
Marcia Bromberg, 828-505-0471, cell 860-798-9905, mwbromberg@yahoo.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 9:30 AM
Limit of 15 hikers. Contact leader for reservations. We will follow the Foothills Trail west from the NC 281 parking lot to Round Mountain Gap, then follow the Round Mountain Trail back to the Whitewater Falls overlook. From here we will drop steeply on the Foothills Trail east, cross the Whitewater River bridge, and later turn right and uphill on a short spur trail to the Bad Creek parking area. Short car shuttle.
Topo(s): Reid

Sunday No. A2204-845      Dec 18, 2022
Trombatore - Bearwallow Trails 9:00 AM
Hike 7.5, Drive 30, 1900 ft. ascent, Rated B-A,
Marie Chamberlin, 678-492-6718, marie.m.chamberlin@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Ingles on US 74-A 1-1/2 miles south of I-40 Exit 53.
Second Meeting Place: Bearwallow Gap trailhead at 9:30 AM - but contact leader first.
Number of hikers is limited to 12. Contact leader for reservations. Due to limited parking at the trailhead, second meeting place should only be used for hikers coming from Hendersonville or areas south. The trailheads are marked with a prominent signboard and are located across the road from each other at the Bearwallow Mountain trailhead. From Bearwallow Gap, we will first hike the Trombatore Trail to a beautiful meadow with long-distance views, then return past the Gap and up to Bearwallow Mountain with its great views. We will return on the same trail.
Topo(s): Bat Cave

scout report: I scouted this hike on Oct. 29 with friends Karen and Ken. (The Trombatore Trail portion of this hike is currently a substitute for Favorite Hike #77 High Windy which is on private land and difficult to obtain permission to hike.) The day was cloudy and chilly to start. We first hiked the Trombatore Trail which was a colorful hike through the woods up to a pasture. The autumn leaves will all be gone when I lead this hike in mid-December. The trail has lots of ups and downs. It is easy to follow and has great signage to direct hikers away from private property . Unfortunately we had no views from the pasture because the fog had rolled in. We walked to the far edge of the pasture to see the beginning of Strawberry Gap Trail which is Conserving Carolina's newest trail. The pasture is a great place to enjoy an early lunch, especially if the weather is sunny. After lunch we retraced our steps back to the parking area, and after a brief rest we continued on to the Bearwallow Mountain Trail. This trail is a continuous climb of 1 mile up to the summit where on a clear day there are fantastic views. There are also cows, a fire tower, cell phone tower, and other equipment. We will enjoy a snack break here before walking back to the trailhead along a gravel road.


Sunday No. A2204-778      Dec 25, 2022
Bracken Mountain - Brushy Creek Trails 9:00 AM
Hike 8.0, Drive 60, 1400 ft. ascent, Rated B-B,
Karen Lachow, 703-395-5879, heyk127@hotmail.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 9:30 AM
Limit of 15 hikers. Contact leader for reservations. Come and try out the new hiking gear you got for the holidays! This moderate hike will include the Bracken Mtn. and Brushy Creek Trails shared by mountain bikers. It begins with a steep uphill but then mostly nice, gradual ups and downs thanks to many switchbacks. It is a lovely trail with waterfalls, bridges and many “points of interest” noted by signs along the way. It is a great winter hike with good views. This hike is #60 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Rosman,Shining Rock

Saturday No. A2204-267      Dec 31, 2022
Horsepasture River 8:30 AM
Hike 5.0, Drive 92, 1000 ft. ascent, Rated C-C, wc100
Jim Magura, 828-606-3989, jqs290@gmail.com and Judy Magura, 828-606-1490, quilter290@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 - but contact leader first.
Contact leaders for reservations. Come to see the Gorges State Park area in the winter. We will hike upstream alongside the Horsepasture River to see the waterfalls – Rainbow, Turtleback, Drift and Stairway. This hike is #13 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Reid

scout report: Judy, Sharon and me scouted this hike in August and were able to complete it in its entirety. However, we did not linger at the turnaround point up river as they were blasting rock in the rock quarry above and we were escorted down by a safety guard from Drift Falls by the Park boundary to a safer spot on the river. We got some great stores from the guard while we waited for the blast which was quite loud and did shake the ground more than we expected. As an aside, this is #13 on the Favorite 100 Trails Challenge and a great one to check off. Given that we are hiking in late December we are hopeful for good weather in SC. Plan on viewing three falls on the hike: Rainbow Falls, Turtleback Falls and Drift Falls. Since we are hiking this in January, we will have better views of the falls which were partially obscured by foliage in the summer when we completed our scout hike.