Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
Protecting the World's Oldest Mountains

Upcoming Events and Guided Group Hikes

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 Haley Smith at or call 828.253.0095 ext. 205.

mobilecoolerCommunity Farm Workshop: Mobile Walk-in Cooler Design/Build Part 2
SAHC Community Farm, Alexander, NC
Date: Sunday, October 23
1 - 5 pm
Cost: $20

Come out and learn how to build a mobile walk-in cooler utilizing the CoolBot.  We will cover the design considerations, options, materials and costs for converting a regular enclosed trailer into a mobile walk-in cooler designed to maintain 38-40°F.  The CoolBot is an amazing tool that overrides an air conditioner's temperature gauge, allowing you to convert an insulated room and standard household air conditioner into a walk-in cooler.  Outside the classroom, we will begin the active building process.  During this time you will have the opportunity to get some hand- on experience; we will provide all safety gear. This workshop, presented by SAHC and made possible by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. is applicable to anyone who needs cool storage. It is especially useful for farmers to take produce to market.  Everyone is welcome!

Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. To participate, contact Chris Link at or 828.490.2565.

bookwalterbingeBookwalter Binge Gran Fondo 2016
Black Mountain, NC
Date: Saturday, October 29

The BB Charity Gran Fondo is a bike ride in which cyclists ride a challenging 30, 62, or 83 mile course. The ride begins and ends at Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain, NC. The courses are marked, and follow cars are on route. There are four aid stations in the 83 mile route, 3 in the 62 mile route, and two in the 30 mile route. There are timed mountain climbing sections for those who wish to compete during the ride. The aid stations are staffed by volunteers handing out snacks, sports drinks, and water, and some stations have bike mechanics. There is a rolling road block for the first 5 miles, and intersections that are particularly dangerous have crossing guards. Participants are able to enjoy the colorful fall foliage and experience the hospitality and charm of Black Mountain and Asheville. Participants ride and converse with past, present, and future cycling celebrities, who join the ride as guides and guests. (Photo credit: Lubov Brym with Tom Bryum on Moto)

For the second year in a row, proceeds from the Binge will support SAHC! Register to ride here, or sign up to become a volunteer.

"For Love of Beer and Moutains" Thunderstruck Partnership Hike
Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
Date: Saturday, November 5
Start Time: 10 am

Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous (7)

Leaders: Haley Smith, SAHC AmeriCorps Outreach Associate; Drew Stevenson
of Highland Brewing Company
Cost: Free
for SAHC members; $10 for non-members
Registration: Please contact Haley Smith to register (contact info below)

Join the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) and Highland Brewing Company for a moderately difficult hike to enjoy views of Thunderstruck Ridge, for which Highland’s seasonal Thunderstruck Coffee Porter is named. Participants will hike 5 miles over rugged terrain, through red spruce and fraser firs, red oak forest, and other high elevation trees while occasionally stopping at rock outcroppings for views of Thunderstruck Ridge to the west. The group will hike through the 1,595-acre Plott Balsam Preserve, protected by the Nature Conservancy and eventually reach Blackrock Mountain, which SAHC protected in 2013, at a towering 5,600 feet of elevation. This beautiful section of mountains can be seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Blackrock Ridge itself protects over 1,700 feet of pristine stream corridors. So come out and let’s celebrate Thunderstruck Coffee Porter and land conservation together!

For more information or to register, please contact Haley Smith at or call 828-253-0095 ext. 205.

This hike is offered as part of our "For Love of Beer & Mountains" partnership with Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, NC. Highland Brewing Company has partnered with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy to support conservation efforts and heighten awareness of the unique (and often fragile) natural treasures of the Southern Appalachians.

Fall Hike at Cedar Creek
Webb Conservation Easement, Jackson County, NC
Date: Saturday, November 12
Start Time: 11 am

Difficulty: Moderate (4-5)

Leaders: Haley Smith, SAHC AmeriCorps Outreach Associate

Cost: Free
for SAHC members; $10 for non-members
Registration: Please contact Haley Smith to register (contact info below)

Come out and join the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy on the beautiful 615-acre Webb Family Conservation Easement in Jackson County, North Carolina near the well-known Panthertown Valley and Lake Glenville. Hikers will enjoy a moderate three-mile loop starting at the Webb's rustic cabin near their family's lake. The hike will have an elevation gain of approximately 1,200 feet through primarily acidic cove forest and some red oak forest at higher elevations. We will hike under majestic rhododendron archways and across a few streams. Lunch will be atop a large outcrop known as Laura's Rock from which hikers can admire the surrounding mountains and beautiful fall scenery!

This hike is FREE for SAHC members and $10 for non-SAHC members. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please RSVP to Haley Smith at 828-253-0095 ext. 205 or by emailing her at

Community Farm Workshop: Whole farm planning - Base mapping, site analysis and schematic design
SAHC Community Farm, Alexander, NC
Date: Sunday, November 13
Time: 2 - 6 pm

Save the Date! Details TBA

For questions, directions and registration for hikes or events, contact
Haley Smith, or 828-253-0095 ex. 205.

Hike Key Note: Hikes are 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 putting the hike elevation change and mileage to this formula: (0.002 x elevation gain (ft.)) + Round trip distance (miles) = Difficulty rating (1-10).

Upcoming events

Community Farm Workshop: Mobile Walk-In Cooler Design/Build 2
SAHC Community Farm
Sunday, October 23

Bookwalter Binge Charity Gran Fondo
Black Mountain, NC
Saturday, October 29

"For Love of Beer & Mountains" Thunderstruck Hike
Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
Saturday, November 5

Fall Hike at Cedar Creek
Jackson County, NC
Saturday, November 12

Community Farm Workshop: Whole Farm Planning
SAHC Community Farm
Thursday, November 13

Click here for our full calendar.

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