Hike Schedule 2017 Format
ALL-DAY WEEKEND

Sunday No. A2402-949      Apr 07, 2024
Kephart Prong to Sweat Heifer Trail 8:00 AM
Hike 8.6, Drive 110, 2020 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA,
Mike Knies, 828-628-6712, knies06@att.net
First Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40.
Second Meeting Place: Maggie Valley Post Office at 8:30 AM - but contact leader first.
900M Contact the leader by email for reservation. Learn about the logging operations before the GSMNP and the Civilian Conservation Corp. were established. We will explore an old logging and former CCC camp site close by the trailhead. After passing the Kephart Shelter in two miles, we will take the Sweat Heifer Trail two miles to another old RR logging camp slightly off the trail to explore the remains. We will return on the same path and have lunch at the shelter. NOTE: A parking pass for each vehicle is required in the GSMNP. For more information: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fees.htm.

Saturday No. A2402-59      Apr 13, 2024
Boyd Branch #1 Ingles Field Gap - Rice Pinnacle 10:00 AM
Hike 6.5, Drive 10, 1001 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, p400
Carroll Koepplinger, 828-231-9444, cakoep29@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: Asheville Outlets parking lot behind Waffle House off Exit 33 of I-26. Contact the leader by email for reservation. This is a new hike in the Bent Creek area. From the Boyd Branch trailhead, we will hike up to Ingles Field Gap and end at the Rice Pinnacle parking lot. Short car shuttle.
Topo(s): Dunsmore Mt

scout report: The stats are slightly different from the hike schedule. The hike is 6.5 miles long with only 1001' ascent. It is a moderate woods hike on good trails, with good views from the higher altitude segments. Most of the hike will be on single-track trails, with a smaller portion on forest roads. Rice Pinnacle parking lot is always a crowded place to park, so we will carpool from the meeting place at Asheville Outlets.


Sunday No. A2402-454      Apr 14, 2024
Porters Creek Trail 8:30 AM
Hike 7.6, Drive 160, 1350 ft. ascent, Rated B-B,
Danny Bernstein, 828-450-0747, dannyhiker@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Food Lion - 35 Westridge Market Pl. Candler.
Second Meeting Place: Pilot Truck Stop off Exit 24 of I-40 at 9:00 AM - but contact leader first.
900M Contact the leader by email for reservation. Porters Creek Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is famous for its wildflower displays in March and April. We will first pass the remnants of old homesteads and the Owenby Cemetery before entering a moist, sheltered cove with large trees, masses of wildflowers (we hope) and a rushing creek. On the way, we will detour to the John Messer farm site and the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club cabin. This hike is #25 of the 100 Favorite Trails. NOTE: A parking pass for each vehicle is required in the GSMNP. For more information: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fees.htm.
Topo(s): Mt Le Conte

hike report: A wonderful day on Porters Creek Trail. Thirteen hikers including two (almost) new hikers, twelve blowdowns (we counted them) and an amazing array of flowers. We went at the pace of the most eager wildflower photographer. The Messer barn was ruined by a windstorm last year. The park is stabilizing the structure and historic preservation experts will decide what needs to be done. Thank you all for coming and sharing a beautiful trail.

scout report: I scouted this hike twice. One as a real scout with Olivia from Friends of the Smokies and the second time when I led the hike for FOTS. The trail is bursting with flowers. It is also full of blowdowns. I have contacted the head of maintenance for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hopefully, the maintenance crew might be able to get out there. But don't count on it.


Sunday No. A2402-216      Apr 21, 2024
Sams Gap to Devil Fork Gap on the A.T. 8:15 AM
Hike 8.5, Drive 90, 1900 ft. ascent, Rated B-A, at-mst
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
No reservation needed. Form carpools and meet the leader at the second meeting place. This section of the A.T. features nice views into Tennessee from the ridgeline, traversing a series of knobs along an unusual section of the TN-NC state line where Tennessee is east of N.C. and the southbound hiker is actually traveling north. Car shuttle. Please bring enough cars to shuttle hikers. Remember to check Breaking News for changes or cancellation.
Topo(s): Sams Gap

Saturday No. A2402-423      Apr 27, 2024
Slate Rock Creek Falls, Laurel Mountain and Pilot Rock Trails 8:30 AM
Hike 7.0, Drive 90, 1680 ft. ascent, Rated B-A, p400,wc100
Judy Magura, 828-606-1490, quilter290@gmail.com and Jim Magura, 828-606-3989, jqs290@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 N end of parking lot in front of Pardee Urgent Care (Mills River) at 8:45 AM
Limit of 15 hikers. Contact the leader by email for reservation. We will begin this hike at the Pilot Cove-Slate Rock trailhead. The trail winds through a beautiful and diverse forest, along a mellow stream before we get to the falls. Slate Rock Creek Falls, about 3/4-mi. from the trailhead, has been added to the WC100 challenge list and is considered the prettiest falls in the area. We should see a variety of wildflowers on this hike. Note: creek crossings may be wet if it has rained recently. After our visit to the falls, we will continue to a steep connector trail taking us up to the Laurel Mountain Trail at Sassafras Gap. We will hike to a great viewing spot just before we start down the Pilot Rock Trail. Expect beautiful views of Pilot Cove, Pilot Rock and Pink Beds. Five mile roundtrip car shuttle.
Topo(s): Dunsmore Mt

scout report: Judy, Jim and Sharon scouted this trail this winter on a cool February day with full sun. This hike will require a shuttle on yellow gap road which is a minor inconvenience. But the hike passes an awesome waterfall on the ascent. The trail is in great condition and once we reach the top we will take time out for our lunch break. We have been on this hike several times previously and it never disappoints, but the ascent does require some stamina. If you are looking for some physical conditioning this 7 mile hike hike and 1700 foot ascent is just what you need for the coming summer. We should see early signs of Spring on this hike. Picture 2 captures the long ascent overlooking the creek. Add a little extra time for the car shuttle.


Sunday No. A2402-113      Apr 28, 2024
Cold Mtn. from Camp Daniel Boone 8:00 AM
Hike 10.4, Drive 52, 3400 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA+, Wilderness hike, limited to ten hikers, contact leader for reservation. p400,sb6k
Thomas Butler, 361-484-3381, butler.tom3381@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40.
Second Meeting Place: Cold Mountain trailhead at Daniel Boone Scout Camp at 8:45 AM
Form carpools and meet leader at the trailhead. Contact the leader by email for reservation. Limit of 10 hikers. From the BSA Daniel Boone Camp, we will climb and climb past laurel and rhododendron to Deep Gap and continue to the top of Cold Mountain for great views towards the BRP and Mt. Hardy. This hike is #47 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Cruso,Waynesville

Sunday No. A2402-924      May 05, 2024
Rocky Fork to Birchfield Lake Wildflower Hike 8:30 AM
Hike 11.5, Drive 70, 2500 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA,
John Beaudet, 423-483-0306, bodaciousat@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot) off Exit 25 of I-26.
Second Meeting Place: Rocky Fork State Park parking area at 9:15 AM
Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. Limit of 15 hikers. Contact the leader by email for reservation. This variation of hike #924 will take us into some of the more remote backcountry of Rocky Fork State Park, with views off a high ridge and many wildflowers, hopefully including patches of pink and yellow lady slippers. The hike begins on the Rocky Fork Trail, then turns onto the White Oak Flats Trail. We will climb up to meet the Birchfield Camp Trail, following this old logging road that leads into the Cherokee National Forest, to a loop around Birchfield Camp Lake. Return is on the same route. This hike fills the requirement for hike #45 of the 100 Favorite Trails.

scout report: The wildflowers are in full bloom in the low country of Rocky Fork along Rocky Fork and Flint Creek and will be past their prime by our hike on May 5. That's why we are heading to the high country where they will still be good. Wednesday I hiked our route and saw loads of trilliums down low but by the time I reached the lake 2000' higher I was seeing only the earliest species, Spring beauty's, Trout lilies, violets. On may 5 we are hoping to see several Lady slipper orchid species and they were just poking up through the leaves and should be just right in two weeks. The trails were great, the lake was full and beautiful, and lots of bear tracks too. With good weather May 5 we will have a treat.


Saturday No. A2402-603      May 11, 2024
Big Ivy - Perkins, Laurel Gap and Bear Pen 10:00 AM
Hike 5.9, Drive 55, 995 ft. ascent, Rated C-C,
Marcia Bromberg, 828-505-0471, cell 860-798-9905, mwbromberg@yahoo.com
Only Meeting Place: 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot) off Exit 25 of I-26. Limit of 15 hikers. Contact the leader by email for reservation. This wildflower hike in the Big Ivy Creek headwaters area of the Pisgah National Forest begins 4.4 miles up FS 74 at the Perkins Road Trail. We will hike up to the Laurel Gap Trail, turn right and walk to the Bear Pen Trail, which will take us back down to FS 74. We will walk just under a mile to return to our cars. We should see many spring wildflowers along the way.
Topo(s): Montreat

Sunday No. A2402-979      May 12, 2024
Kephart Prong and Grassy Branch to Dry Sluice Trail 8:00 AM
Hike 9.0, Drive 110, 2579 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA,
Henry Kassell, 845-656-5528, hkassell@gmail.com
First Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40.
Second Meeting Place: Maggie Valley Post Office at 8:30 AM - but contact leader first.
900M Contact the leader by email for reservation. This new out-and-back hike starts on the Kephart Prong Trail, where we will pass remnants of a CCC camp, a camp for WWII prisoners and a fish hatchery, all long gone. Iron rails from the logging railroad days are also found. At Kephart Shelter we take Grassy Branch Trail 2.3 miles to its junction with the Dry Sluice Trail. Along the way we will hopefully see many wildflowers and mosses along with Norway spruce. Charlies Bunion is 1.4 miles to the left at the junction with Dry Sluice. Visiting may be an option. NOTE: A parking pass for each vehicle is required in the GSMNP. For more information: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fees.htm.

Saturday No. A2402-584      May 18, 2024
Butter Gap - Cat Gap Loop 8:00 AM
Hike 9.0, Drive 90, 2000 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA, p400
Marielle DeJong, 828-553-7027, maredejong4@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
Form carpools and meet leader at the second meeting place. Contact the leader by email for reservation. We'll follow the Butter Gap Trail through the beautiful Grogan Creek watershed and Picklesheimer Fields, part of the Art Loeb Trail, and down the Cat Gap Trail. A great spring hike with streams, waterfalls and views. This hike is #59 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Rosman

Sunday No. A2402-61      May 19, 2024
Wayah Bald to Siler Bald 8:00 AM
Hike 12.0, Drive 150, 3050 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA+, at-mst
Donna Lanning, 828-606-7956, dblanning@bellsouth.net
Only Meeting Place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. Limit of 10 hikers. Contact the leader by email for reservation. Starting at Wayah Gap, we will first turn south on the A.T. to 5216-ft. Siler Bald, climbing a short way off the A.T. in the cooler morning. We will then follow the A.T. northbound to 5342-ft. Wayah Bald, taking a short detour to the Wilson Lick Ranger Station, and then back to our cars. Both Balds feature some of the most spectacular 360-degree views in western NC. This hike exceeds the requirement for #8 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Wayah Bald

Sunday No. A2402-592      May 26, 2024
Butter Gap - Long Branch Loop 8:00 AM
Hike 10.6, Drive 67, 1780 ft. ascent, Rated A-A, p400,wc100
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: Pisgah Forest Walmart parking (back of center aisles close to Taco Bell) at 8:30 AM
Limit of 12 hikers. Contact the leader by email for reservation. Form carpools and meet the leader at the second meeting place. This hike will start at Gloucester Gap and follow the Art Loeb Trail over Chestnut Mtn. to Butter Gap. At the gap, we’ll turn downhill onto the Butter Gap Trail, then the Long Branch Trail and Cemetery Loop past the McCall Cemetery. There will be a short side trip to a beautiful but rarely visited waterfall. We’ll finish with a short road walk back to the trailhead. This hike is #58 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Shining Rock

Sunday No. A2402-792      Jun 02, 2024
Fish Hatchery to Bracken Mountain Preserve 8:00 AM
Hike 8.2, Drive 62, 1475 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, 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
Contact the leader by email for reservation. From the Pisgah Fish Hatchery, we will climb up the Cat Gap Loop Trail, then take an unmarked connector trail to merge onto FS 475C. We will follow FS 475C to Bracken Mountain Preserve, where we will take the pink-blazed Pinnacle Trail over Burl Mountain then down to the winding Brushy Creek Trail. Once back on the Bracken Mountain Trail we will hike down to the end. Car shuttle.
Topo(s): Shining Rock

Sunday No. A2402-365      Jun 09, 2024
Mt. Mitchell Ramble 8:30 AM
Hike 8.0, Drive 65, 1400 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, sb6k
Kelly O'Rourke, 434-249-5176, kellyleann@comcast.net
Only Meeting Place: Back parking lot of Folk Art Center. Contact the leader by email for reservation. We’ll do a loop on several trails in the Mt. Mitchell area, including the Old Mt. Mitchell Trail, Camp Alice Road and the Commissary Ridge Trail. There will be an optional side trip at the end to Mt. Craig and/or Big Tom. Trails are technically challenging, poles are recommended. Temperatures at Mt. Mitchell are about 10 degrees cooler than in Asheville and weather can vary greatly. Layer accordingly. This hike is #87 of the 100 Favorite Trails. Note: Leader will be staying at Black Mtn Campground Sunday night for another FH100 hike the next day. Contact her if you are interested in that activity after the hike.
Topo(s): Montreat,Mt. Mitchell

Saturday No. A2402-615      Jun 15, 2024
Black Balsam Loop via Graveyard Ridge and ALT 8:00 AM
Hike 6.3, Drive 70, 1200 ft. ascent, Rated B-B, at-mst, p400,sb6k
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: BRP Cold Mountain Overlook at MM 412 at 8:30 AM - but contact leader first.
Limit of 12 hikers. Contact the leader by email 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. Timing should be right for blooming mountain laurel, flame azalea and rhododendron. This hike is #50 of the 100 Favorite Trails.
Topo(s): Sam Knob,Shining Rock

Sunday No. A2402-572      Jun 16, 2024
Mt. Le Conte via Alum Cave Trail 7:00 AM
Hike 11.0, Drive 136, 3000 ft. ascent, Rated A-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 7:30 AM
900M Limit of 10 hikers. Contact the leader by email for reservation. Form carpools and meet leader at second meeting place. A hike up and down Mt. LeConte on the Alum Cave Trail. Under the Trails Forever program, the Alum Cave Trail has had extensive restoration work from top to bottom adding to the stability and safety of the trail. Enjoy great views from Cliff Tops at lunch and a visit to the LeConte Lodge and the summit of LeConte for SB6K peak baggers. This hike is #23 of the 100 Favorite Trails. NOTE: A parking pass for each vehicle is required in the GSMNP. For more information: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fees.htm.
Topo(s): Mt Le Conte

Sunday No. A2402-231      Jun 23, 2024
Cane River Gap to Point Misery 8:00 AM
Hike 7.5, Drive 60, 2800 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA,
Marie Chamberlin, 678-492-6718, marie.m.chamberlin@gmail.com
Only Meeting Place: 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot) off Exit 25 of I-26. Limit of 12 hikers. Contact the leader by email for reservation. This hike begins with a significant 1200-ft. ascent, then continues along the top of the ridge with a few gradual ups-and-downs. We will continue over Little Butt to Point Misery, where hikers will enjoy one of the best perspectives on the entire Black Mountain Range. Return via the same route.
Topo(s): Mt. Mitchell

Saturday No. A2402-599      Jun 29, 2024
Daniel Ridge - Cove Creek - Cove Creek Falls Loop 7:00 AM
Hike 10.0, Drive 70, 1800 ft. ascent, Rated A-A, p400,wc100
Kristen Friedman, 203-253-0813, Kristenwho62@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 7:30 AM
Form carpools and meet leader at the second meeting place. Contact the leader by email for reservation. We will beat the heat of the day by getting an early start on the 4-mile Daniel Ridge Loop. Next we will follow a FS road by Toms Spring Falls and go down an unmarked connector trail to Caney Bottom Trail, from which we will make a short side trip to a lovely water feature. We will then loop around to Cove Creek Trail, up past Caney Bottom Falls and continue to Cove Creek Falls. Then we'll go back to Caney Bottom Trail, intersect Cove Creek Trail, back up the FS road to our cars at the Daniel Ridge trailhead.
Topo(s): Shining Rock

Sunday No. A2402-337      Jun 30, 2024
Shining Rock from Black Balsam #1 8:00 AM
Hike 11.0, Drive 60, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated A-B, Wilderness hike, limited to ten hikers, contact leader for reservation. p400,sb6k
Michael Cornn, 828-458-1281, mwcornn@gmail.com and Kathy Cornn/Kyle, 828-458-1282, katherinenkyle@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 - but contact leader first.
Contact the leader by email for reservation. 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