Please bring warm clothes, hiking shoes, rain gear, water bottle, backpack lunch and camera. All hikes begin at 10:00 a.m. unless announced otherwise. Meeting location and directions will be sent upon RSVP. Please ask permission before bringing your dog.
Hikes are FREE to SAHC Members; $10.00 non-members, unless otherwise noted. (Hikes on public lands are free for all participants; see individual hike descriptions.) Registration is required. For directions, additional information, or registration, please contact Rich Preyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828.253.0095 ext. 205.
Madison County, NC
Date: Saturday, April 27th
Start Time: 10:00 a.m.
Leaders: Josh Kelly, WNCA Public Lands Biologist and Rich Preyer, SAHC Americorps PR & Outreach Associate
Cost: FREE for SAHC and WNCA members; $10 for non-members
Join us for some wildflower hunting in beautiful Madison County. We will slowly climb the slopes of the Haddock Family Foundation property in search of Trillium, May Apple, Blood Root, Lark Spur, and many others. The group will head up the sugar maple dominated slope in the central drainage of the property, just east of Jess Cove. It will be a challenging climb as hikers will gain approximatel 1,000 feet of elevation over the course of the hike. Pleaes bring a light lunch, water, rain gear, warm clothing, good hiking shoes, a camera, and sunscreen. Four legged friends are welcome on this hike. Please RSVP to SAHC at email@example.com or 828-253-0095 x 205.
LITTLE HUMP PARTNERSHIP HIKE
Little Hump Mountain in the Highlands of Roan
Date: Saturday, May 18th
Start Time: 10:00 a.m.
Difficulty: 8.1 (Strenuous)
Cost: FREE for all participants
Leaders: Rich Preyer, SAHC Americorps PR & Outreach Associate and Ben Wicker of Highland Brewing Company
Celebrate our ‘For Love of Beer & Mountains’ partnership with US Forest Service and Highland Brewing Company with a hike to Little Hump Mountain in the Highlands of Roan. Learn all about Little Hump, for which Highland's latest seasonal is named. Little Hump Mountain, at an elevation of 5459' with superb 360 degree views. We will be starting at Roaring Creek and gaining 1,500 feet of elevation. This will be a strenuous five mile hike round-trip. Bring a packed lunch to enjoy, plenty of water, rain jacket, and warm clothes (It can be freezing up there even in the middle of summer). Please contact Rich Preyer at firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Directions will be sent upon RSVP.
Presented as part of our "For Love of Beer & Mountains Partnership":
Highland Brewing Company (HBC) has partnered with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help raise awareness of the beauty and uniqueness of our region’s resources and bring attention to efforts to protect them. HBC names each seasonal release for a feature of our natural landscape.
YOGA ON THE MOUNTAIN
Blue Ridge Pastures, Fairview, NC
Date: Sunday, May 26
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Where: Blue Ridge Pastures inFairview, NC
Leader: Kim Drye of Lighten Up Yoga/Here Now Yoga
Cost: Free for members of SAHC/ $10 non-members
Come to Fairview and hike to the top of Blue Ridge Pastures, lay down your yoga mats, and practice your chaturangas. With breathtaking views of Bearwallow mountain and Hickory Nut Gap Gorge, hikers and yogis alike will experience true beauty and some stand-up conservation work. You don’t need to have any prior yoga experience — just bring some comfortable shoes, a water-bottle, lunch, sunscreen, bug spray, a blanket, & some warm clothes. Directions will be sent upon RSVP; you can RSVP to SAHC at email@example.com or 828-253-0095 x 205. *Please note that details for this hike could change as the date gets closer*
LOST COVE HIKE - FOR LAND TRUST DAY
Lost Cove, Yancey County, NC
Date: Saturday, June 1st
Start Time: 10:00 a.m.
Difficulty: 7.8 (Moderately difficult/strenuous)
Leaders: Rich Preyer, SAHC Americorps PR & Outreach Associate
Cost: FREE for all participants
As part of Land Trust Day, we’re heading to our recently protected Lost Cove tract (p.5). We will start the 5-mile round-trip hike by climbing to the top of Flat Top Mountain. From there, we’ll have an opportunity to look directly into the Nolichucky Gorge & catch a glimpse of the Lost Cove property. Heading west, we will descend two miles along a switchbacking soil road until the Lost Cove Trail dead-ends at the beginning of the Lost Cove Community. Lunch will be on a hidden rock bluff overlooking the beautiful Nolichucky River. Expect a long but rewarding day of hiking. Sign up early – this one will fill up fast! Please RSVP to SAHC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-253-0095 x 205.
Hikes & Adventures in the Highlands of Roan
Date: Saturday, June 22
Time: 7:30 am (start times vary, see descriptions below for details)
Where: Highlands of Roan, near TN/NC border
Social & Presentation
Time: 2:30 pm – 6:00 pm (following hikes)
Where: Roan Mountain State Park, recreation/conference center
Roan Mountain State Park in the Bold, Breathtaking, & Bald Highlands of Roan is our headquarters again this year for the June Jamboree on Saturday, June 22. We will offer a wonderful array of choices for hikes on the Roan Massif, one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Each hike will have its own departure location and time (see below for details). You will receive directions to the departure location and carpool information upon registration. Following your hike, enjoy a cold beverage while sharing stories at Roan Mountain State Park.
Be sure to bring: sturdy hiking shoes, camera, walking stick, water, lunch, sunscreen, binoculars, and appropriate clothing for your hike. The weather may be sunny, rainy, windy or cool. Hikes are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most difficult. Plan early to join us for a full day of high adventure, hiking & fun with friends in conservation!
Hike #1 – Bring it to the Balds -
The Triple B Challenge
Leader: Tom Gatti, SAHC’s first Seasonal Ecologist
Start time: 7:30 a.m. Difficulty: 10+ Most Difficult
Departure Location: Carver’s Gap to 19 E
Are you Bold enough to hike the Breathtaking
grassy Balds of the Roan Highlands?
Take the Triple B Challenge in 2013: join us in traversing 17 miles across the longest contiguous stretch of grassy balds in the world. The Highlands of Roan is our flagship focus area; we’ve protected over 19,000 acres of globally significant, rare habitat and incredible views here – and we want to show it off! We’ll offer special rewards for those who successfully complete the Triple B Challenge. We will post the names of Triple B Challenge hikers, along with their stories and pictures, on our website and blog. Those who complete the Triple B on June 22 during the June Jamboree will get a free Triple B T-shirt, as well as a new or renewing membership to SAHC.
It’s perhaps the most challenging, but also most rewarding, hike that we have ever offered. Hikers will tackle all 17 miles of the Appalachian Trail that stretch across the Highlands of Roan. Along the way, enjoy many of the same sites that can be seen from the Grassy Ridge Hike, but the group will also see the iconic Overmountain Shelter, views from Hump and Little Hump Mountains, and seize chance to complete the “Triple B Challenge” in one go. (Contact Rich Preyer at 828-253-0095 ext. 205 for more details about the Challenge!)
Hike #2 – Carver's Gap to Grassy Ridge
Leader: David Smith, former SAHC Trustee
& Seasonal Ecologist
Start time: 9:00 a.m. Difficulty: 7.5
Departure Location: Carvers Gap Parking Lot
This classic hike is an adventure through the highest elevation Roan Balds, which are considered among the most spectacular scenery along the entire Appalachian Trail. Grassy Ridge, elevation 6,189 feet, is the highest point near the AT with a natural unobstructed 360 degree view and offers so much more with rhododendron, flame azalea, patches of spruce fir forest, and rare plants such as Gray’s lily and Roan Mountain bluets. Those wishing an easier hike can enjoy the flowers and expansive views from Round Bald or Jane Bald instead of going all the way to Grassy Ridge.
Hike #3 – Yoga on the Mountain
Leader: Kim Drye of Lighten Up Yoga and
Michelle Pugliese, SAHC Land Protection Director
Start time: 10:00 a.m. Difficulty: 4
Departure Location: National Trails Tract Entrance/Roaring Creek Road
Lay your yoga mat in the open, tucked within the stunning landscape of the Highlands of Roan. Prepare to move into your exalted warrior or tree pose while feeling the sun warm your skin and the high elevation breezes simultaneously cool you. SAHC Land Protection Director Michelle Pugliese will lead you on an easy to moderate hike through our protected National Trails Tract in the Roaring Creek Valley, along pristine streams and critical bird habitat, to the Pisgah National Forest for a gentle yoga practice. The meadow lies below the Appalachian Trail and Yellow Mountain, overlooking one of our most cherished conservation focus areas. After the yoga practice, we will walk the short gravel road that is the route of the Overmountain Victory Trail back to our cars. We also have the option of visiting nearby Elk Hollow Creek waterfall after the Yoga session. Namaste.
Hike #4 – One Bird, Two Bird, Red Bird, Blue Bird —
How Biologists Monitor Bird Populations in the Field
Leader: Chris Coxen, SAHC’s Field Ecologist
Start time: 8:00 a.m. Difficulty: 4.1
Departure Location: Roaring Creek Road
Join Field Ecologist Chris Coxen on a trip to Golden-Winged warbler habitat sites, where participants will conduct avian point count surveys. By estimating the density of different species of birds in one area, point counts are one tool biologists use to measure bird response after habitat management. The group will explore sites in various stages of regeneration to see what birds are utilizing these sites. Previous experience with avian surveys is not required. Participants will be taught a basic point count survey protocol before hiking. A brief list of common birds we may see/hear: Red-eyed Vireo, Eastern Towhee, Least Flycatcher, Field Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Vesper Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Wood Thrush, Hooded Warbler, and the Common Yellowthroat.
Hike #5 – Roll & Stroll at the Rhododendron Gardens
Leader: Mary Fanslow, former SAHC Trustee
Start time: 10:00 a.m. Difficulty: 2
Departure Location: Roan High Bluff Parking lot
The Rhododendron Gardens on top of Roan will be blazing with color this time of year. Former SAHC Trustee, Mary Fanslow, will take hikers along gentle terrain with stunning views of the Roan landscape. On this leisurely stroll hikers will learn about SAHC’s newest land protection projects including several tracts in the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area like the Justice Creek property on Spear Tops and Hawk Mountain Farm. This hike is designed to give people of all hiking abilities the opportunity to get outside and enjoy some of the property that SAHC has diligently protected over the last four decades.
* * This trail is paved and wheelchair accessible. **
Hike #6 – Kids’ Day in the Creek
Leader: Rich Preyer, SAHC Americorps Outreach Associate
Start time: 10:00 a.m. Difficulty: 3
Departure Location: National Trails Tract Entrance/
Roaring Creek Road
Bring your kids to play in the creek on SAHC’s beautiful National Trails Tract. This shorter hike is designed to get kids outdoors and explore some of the beautiful water protected by SAHC. Kids will learn about some basic stream ecology, look for crayfish and salamanders, and potentially see some native brook trout. Kids are welcome to bring fishnets, buckets, or other toys to play with in the creek. This hike is for kids 7 and older. Parents are welcome to participate as well. Please bring water appropriate clothing & shoes, plus day hike clothing & shoes.
Don't forget to register for the June Jamboree! Use our online form here.
For questions, directions and registration, contact
Rich Preyer, email@example.com or 828-253-0095 ex. 205
Hike Key Note: We are introducing a new hike key to better explain the difficulty of hikes. Hikes will be rated 1-10 (greater than 10 for extremely difficult hikes). A rating of 5 is considered moderate, 10 difficult, and 1 extremely easy. We come up with this number by plugging in the hike elevation change and mileage to this formula: (0.002 x elevation gain (ft.)) + Round trip distance (miles) = Difficulty rating (1-10).