Thunderstruck Hike 2018

“You can do this, Izzy, it’s only October,” I tried to convince myself as I braced for the angry, bitter, frigid wind outside in the parking lot. I was at the carpool rendezvous point at 8:30 am, 15 minutes before the group would arrive, and I needed to get breakfast. I opened the latch – come what may.

Steaming, painfully hot coffee in one hand, toasty vegan breakfast burrito in the other I was able to wait outside for the rest of my participants to arrive. I should have packed a thicker sweater. In total, eight of us met for the carpool – the rest would join us at the trailhead at Waterrock Knob.

I had the privilege of riding with my good friend Nico and two new friends Art and Wes. Adrienne Lenker’s new LP abysskiss played on my stereo as we ascended the Blue Ridge Parkway. Time slid effortlessly by as we discussed the finer points of stealth camping. Read more

Clawhammer Hike 2018

“The sounds of Alison Krauss’ debut filled the gaps in spirited conversation between excited, carpooling hikers.

“Steel rails chasin’ sunshine round the bend. Winding through the trees like a ribbon in the wind.”

Having filled up the trunk with Clawhammer Oktoberfest Marzen Lager from Highland Brewing Company, we were finally approaching the trail head. Today we would ascend approximately 1,500 feet over a distance of 10.5 miles to the summit of Clawhammer Mountain in Pisgah National Forest.

As part of our “For Love of Beer and Mountains” partnership, Highland Brewing Company’s seasonal brews are named after natural elements of the Southern Appalachian landscape.

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Wicked Weed — Brewing Appalachia

Wicked Weed Brewing has crafted a special brew to support conservation of mountains, forests, farms, streams, and rivers across Western North Carolina and East Tennessee.

“We are thrilled and proud to be represented as the nonprofit for Appalachia!” says Membership Director Cheryl Fowler. “We are very grateful to Wicked Weed Brewing for donating a portion of proceeds from all sales of Appalachia Session IPA, to help support conservation of the mountains we call home.”

Named for the mountains that surround Asheville, Appalachia Session IPA is on tap for a limited time. A percentage of all sales of Appalachia Session IPA will be donated to SAHC to support protection of headwater streams that flow into three major river basins, including the French Broad River, Catawba River, and Broad River. Read more

Kee Mapping and Surveying

Kee Mapping and Surveying was established 11 years ago and now has over 20 team members.  One of our first projects was with SAHC on a property that had stunning views of the Black Mountain Range. Over the years, we have maintained a working relationship with the conservancy protecting thousands of acres throughout Western NC.

Our success and growth has been fueled by our passion for the environment, land conservation and water quality. Read more

Southern Sixer Kickoff: Roan High Knob

This past weekend SAHC and Highland Brewing set out on one of the “For Love of Beer and Mountains” partnership hikes! This hike celebrated the Southern Sixer IPA as well as the 40 peaks above 6,000ft in the Southern Appalachians.   The group got to the trail head excited, the day was made for hiking, there were blue skies and cool temperatures.  In addition to a wonderful day this maybe SAHC’s first hike with a (local) celebrity.  Sammy has starred in a promotional video by the City Chamber.  You can see his debut here!

The hiking was tough. The cold temperatures the week prior had  left some very icy patches on the trail.  The hikers, however, did not let the icy obstacles ruin their fun, everyone continued to chat as we slowly made our way up the mountain.  In the end everyone was very thankful for trekking poles! Read more

Cold Mountain Hike 2017

Cold Mountain is a 6,030ft peak in the Shining Rock Wilderness, while not the highest peak in the Southern Appalachians it is certainly one of the most famous!  Naturally, we were very excited to lead the Cold Mountain Challenge Hike again this year.  Everything was set to go when the snow storm hit,  it was not going to be possible for us to hike on our scheduled date. However, we decided  “the hike must go on!” The group trekked up Cold Mountain this Saturday, December 16th and had a excellent time. Read more

“For Love of Beer and Mountains” Thunderstruck Hike

On November 11th a group of intrepid hikers set out to on a partnership hike with SAHC and Highland Brewing!  We could not have asked for a more perfect day to be in the mountains. We had sunny blue skies and cool temperatures.  The Thunderstruck Hike, named after Highland’s seasonal Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, traverses Blackrock Ridge.  The hike is a challenging one but passes through many diverse ecosystems! The group was definitely up for the demanding trek, everyone moved quickly, not fazed at all by the steep uphill climbs. Read more

Westmoreland and Scully

Kevin Westmoreland and Joe Scully take pride in being part of this thriving and unique area. Their company, Westmoreland and Scully, is building strong links between their restaurants, the Asheville community, and the world.

“Long before our restaurants were part of the Asheville restaurant community, both Joe and I had hiked the mountains and valleys of Western North Carolina with our families,” says Kevin. “We had been part of programs that taught the importance of wilderness and wild places to our children.”

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“For Love of Beer & Mountains” Southern Sixer Challenge Kickoff!

Last Saturday, we led our first guided Southern Sixer hike to the summit of a peak above 6,000 feet. For this “For Love of Beer and Mountains” Southern Sixer Challenge Kickoff, we traveled to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to climb Mount Kephart, named after Horace Kephart, who played a major role during the early years of the park. We were fortunate to be greeted by a majestic herd of elk both on the way into the park and at the end of the day!

While the summit of Mount Kephart doesn’t afford spectacular views, you can continue just a quarter mile further to “The Jumpoff,” the top of a 1,000 foot sheer cliff on the side of the mountain that provides views for miles to the east. From this vantage point we could see back towards SAHC’s Smoky Mountains focus areas, where we work to conserve land adjoining the national park, creating a buffer for wildlife and helping preserve viewsheds in this unique landscape.

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Appalachian Realty Associates

Founded in 1979, Appalachian Realty Associates is a unique and independent real estate brokerage located in Asheville, NC. It has been owned and operated by Betsy Reiser, who moved to Little Sandy Mush in 1974. Erik Aasland, broker with Appalachian Realty Associates, supports SAHC at a corporate partner level through our Real Estate Partner Program.

“Appalachian Realty has always been aware of the need to preserve the beauty and natural resources that we are afforded by the surrounding mountains,” says Aasland. “To help ensure the continued stewardship of our surrounding mountains, farms and waterways Appalachian Realty Associates will continue to support the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in any way it can.” Read more