On October 3rd SAHC members enjoyed a challenging hike in the Spring Creek Community. The hike was led by landowners Maxine and Jack Dalton. The Dalton's place (75 acres), formerly the Spring Creek Tomato Company, has been in a conservation easement with SAHC since 1999. Hikers walked along the ridge top between the valleys of Spring Creek and Meadow Fork and enjoyed beautiful views of Bluff Mountain and Max Patch.
Article in News-Record (pdf)
Members and friends of SAHC gathered on October 7th for a scenic hike to Hemphill Bald at Cataloochee Ranch. Bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this moderate 5-mile roundtrip hike began on a road used for hiking and horseback riding. Hikers saw fall flowers, horseback riders, mountain streams, and cove hardwood forest mixed with hemlock stands, rhododendron, and mountain laurel. Stunning and colorful views of four counties and a number of mountain tops including Cold Mountain, Crabtree Bald, and Mount Mitchell awaited hikers at the top of Hemphill Bald along with refreshments of wine and cheese brought by Judy Coker, co-owner of Cataloochee Ranch/SAHC Board Trustee.
In 2005 the Town of Waynesville in Haywood County, NC placed the majority of their 8,600 acre municipal watershed into conservation easements. The largest of these easements is jointly-held by SAHC, CTNC, and the State of North Carolina. The principal purpose of these easements is to maintain high quality water resources and ensure that high safety standards are met for the drinking water supply of Haywood County. The Waynesville watershed is normally closed to public access, but free guided hikes are offered twice a year. The final hike of the year was held on Saturday, October 17th. Hikers could join an early departing bird watching group led by Naturalist Don Hendershot or discuss water quality on a later hike led by Dr. Peter Bates of Western Carolina University.