It was a rather calm morning deep in the Pisgah National Forest. The anxious noise of the city was far from recollection, with only the rushing sounds of a nearby creek bubbling in our ears. Filled with excitement, I took a deep breath and inhaled the cool, damp, mountain air; this is my stomping ground. My name is Shaylyn (Sarge) Sargent, and the Clawhammer hike today was my first hike of the 2019-2020 AmeriCorps service term with SAHC. I could barely keep my socks on. Due to the threat of storms, we had a small group — Israel and his friend Abby along with her black puppy, Prairie. Israel, a former SAHC hike leader, shared his experience with me as we set off down into the rhododendron depths of the forest cove. Read more
We are grateful to the Biltmore Company for supporting local land and water conservation in a variety of ways over the years — including help with the purchase of the 134-acre Yellow Spot tract in the Highlands of Roan and a recent $10,000 grant to support ongoing conservation efforts. We appreciate Biltmore Company’s recognition of the natural link between SAHC’s conservation efforts and the inspiring vision of George Vanderbilt.
“When George Vanderbilt began planning his estate in Asheville, North Carolina, his vision was twofold. First, he wanted to create a place where he could relax and entertain friends and family. Just as important, however, was his desire to preserve the surrounding landscape. From this vision came the nation’s first planned forestry program and the beginning of a family focus on the environment. Today, Biltmore continues to honor Vanderbilt’s legacy of preserving the land and protecting the environment.
In continuance of this legacy, Biltmore is proud to support the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and its efforts to protect the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.
Biltmore focuses its philanthropic efforts on social, economic, and environmental goals of the overall company, as well as partnerships within the counties of western North Carolina and its surrounding areas to support people in need, food and farming, and the preservation of cultural and natural resources such as water, wildlife and forestry. The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy demonstrates values in alignment with Biltmore’s focus areas.
Thank you to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and their great work to protect the natural resources of the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee for the benefit of both present and future generations.”
“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
“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.
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 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
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 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
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
The mission of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy is to conserve the unique plant and animal habitat, clean water, farmland, scenic beauty, and places for all people to enjoy outdoor recreation in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, enduring for future generations. We achieve this through long-term conservation relationships with private landowners and public agencies and owning and managing land. We are committed to creating and supporting equitable, healthy and thriving communities for everyone in our region.
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372 Merrimon Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801