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 Cheryl Fowler at cheryl@appalachian.org or call 828.253.0095 ext. 209.


"For Love of Beer & Mountains" Clawhammer Hike
Clawhammer Mtn, in Pisgah national Forest
Date: Saturday, September 26
Time: 10 am
Difficulty: Very Strenuous
Leaders: Drew Stevenson, Highland Brewing Company, and Haley Smith, SAHC AmeriCorps Conservation Education & Volunteer Associate
Dogs: Well-behaved dogs are welcome, but must be kept on a leash.
Cost: Free for all participants; registration is required


Come celebrate “For Love of Beer & Mountains” with the release of the seasonal Clawhammer Oktoberfest, named for Clawhammer Mountain! The hike to Clawhammer Mountain will be a long and strenuous 10+ mile trip along multi-use trails that traverse mountain bike, equestrian, and hiking trails as well as forest service roads. We will follow the trails up a steep climb along a creek, through wildflower patches, and through a rich cove forest. From Clawhammer Cove to the summit of Clawhammer Mountain, we will climb close to 1,500 feet finishing at 4,072 feet in elevation. The cliff-top view at the summit offers scenic views of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Looking Glass in Pisgah National Forest. There are a couple single log bridges, muddy areas, rocky and steep inclines and a chance of yellow jackets; SAHC wants to provide a fun and safe trip so please be aware of these conditions.

This hike is free but pre-registration is required. SAHC members can register for this hike now; open registration begins September 7.

To register (or for more info or to check your membership status), contact Cheryl Fowler at cheryl@appalachian.org or call 828-253-0095 ext. 209.

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.


"For Love of Beer & Mountains" Thunderstruck Release Party
Highland Brewing Company, Asheville NC
Date: Friday, October 9
Time: 4 to 9 pm

Come celebrate the love of beer and mountains with SAHC and Highland Brewing Company and for the release of the seasonal Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, named for Thunderstruck Ridge in the Plott Balsam Mountains.

Highland Brewing Company will donate $1.00 per pint from the beer sales of the evening to SAHC, to help protect the beautiful mountains, productive farms, and water resources of our region. Help us conserve local land and water resources by raising a pint "For Love of Beer & Mountains", and enjoy FREE music in a family-friendly venue! SAHC staff and volunteers will host a table, and will be happy to answer questions or talk about some of our most recent conservation initiatives. Stop by and say hi!


"For Love of Beer & Mountains" Thunderstruck Ridge Hike
Near Waterrock Knob, off the Blue Ridge Parkway
Date: Saturday, October 17
Time: 10 am
Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Drew Stevenson, Highland Brewing Company, and Haley Smith, SAHC AmeriCorps Conservation Education & Volunteer Associate
Dogs: Furry hiking companions should be left at home for this one; the trail is technical.
Cost: Free for all participants; registration is required


Join 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. To celebrate the release of the Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, participants will have the opportunity to 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. 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 the 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!

This hike is free, but pre-registration is required. SAHC members can register for this hike now; open registration begins September 28.

To register (or for more info or to check your membership status), contact Cheryl Fowler at cheryl@appalachian.org or call 828-253-0095 ext. 209.

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.


Lost Cove Hike
NC/TN Border, near Erwin, TN
Date: Thursday, October 22
Time: 10 am
Difficulty: Strenuous
Leaders: Haley Smith, SAHC AmeriCorps Conservation Education & Volunteer Associate
Dogs: Well-behaved dogs are welcome but must remain on a leash.
Cost: Free for all participants, but pre-registration is required


Join us for a chance to visit one of our most rugged and remote properties in the Nolichucky Gorge! Nestled near the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the secluded Love Cove is a ghost town with a colorful history of self-sufficient families, railroad crews, timer, and moonshine. See fall colors in a beautiful gorge and within an abandoned community.

The group will start the 8.75 mile round-trip hike by climbing to the top of Flat Top Mountain. From there, the group will have an opportunity to look directly into the Nolichucky Gorge and 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 another soil road. This intersection marks the beginning of the Lost Cove Community where we will explore the abandoned town. Lunch will be from a hidden rock bluff overlooking the beautiful Nolichucky River. We’ll end the day by the river to do some final exploring. Expect a long but rewarding day of hiking.

Be sure to bring: Rain jacket, sturdy hiking shoes, extra layers, water, lunch/snacks, camera, and backpack to carry all personal items.

This hike is free, but pre-registration is required. SAHC members can register for this hike now; open registration begins September 28.

To register (or for more info or to check your membership status), contact Cheryl Fowler at cheryl@appalachian.org or call 828-253-0095 ext. 209.


2015 Bookwalter Binge Charity Gran Fondo
Black Mountain, NC
Date: Saturday, October 31

The Bookwatlter Binge Charity Gran Fondo is a bike ride located in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Cyclists will ride a challenging 83, 62 or 3o mile course, enjoying the colorful fall foliage and experiencing the hospitality and charm of Black Mountain and Asheville. Participants will also be able to ride and converse with past, present, and future cycling celebrities, who will join the ride as guides and guests.

ALL Proceeds will go towards the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. We are so grateful to have been chosen as the charity benefiting from the 2015 Bookwalter Binge!

For more info, to register to ride, or to become a volunteer, visit: www.bookwalterbinge.com.

CALL for Volunteers!

We need volunteers to help run the Bookwalter Binge on Saturday, October 31st, and also prepare for it beforehand!

Helping hands are needed for a variety of volunteer tasks: stuffing goodie bags for the riders and marking the cycling route before the event, or on the day of the ride, everything from setting up/ cleaning up the venue to parking supervision to marshaling the course and keeping the riders safe. Whether your love is for cycling or volunteering, we have a place for you to help.

And don’t worry, you’ll be done in time to put on your costume and celebrate Halloween! The day finishes with plenty of time for Halloween celebrations and the shifts have a variety of length, so you can help out even if you only have an hour to spare.

For more details on volunteer positions and opportunities, or to register NOW as a volunteer, please click here. Thank you for helping make this event possible!

For questions, directions and registration for hikes or events, contact
Cheryl Fowler,
cheryl@appalachian.org or 828-253-0095 ex. 209.

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).

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Upcoming events

"For Love of
Beer & Mountains" Clawhammer Mtn Hike

Near Brevard, NC
Saturday, September 26

"For Love of
Beer & Mountains" Thunderstruck Release

HIghland Brewing Company
Friday, October 9

"For Love of
Beer & Mountains" Thunderstruck Hike

Off Blue Ridge Parkway
Saturday, October 17

Lost Cove Hike
Near Erwin, TN
Thursday, October 22

2015 Bookwalter Binge Charity Gran Fondo
Proceeds benefit SAHC
Black Mountain, NC
Saturday, October 31
Volunteers needed
for this event!

Click here for our full calendar.

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