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
On Saturday, September 30th, we continued our “For Love of Beer and Mountains” series on a hike to Upper Catawba Falls. Catawba Brewing Company collaborated with SAHC to create a beer called Breezy Brae Biere de Miel, a honey farmhouse ale brewed with local Wild Mountain Bee Honey.
The Catawba Falls Hike was led by our new AmeriCorps Conservation Education and Volunteer Member Emily Adler, along with conservation property life estate holders Rick and Melinda. The group began on an SAHC conservation easement, hiking down to the Catawba Falls on a route few people get to visit. Read more
As a part of our ongoing efforts to connect people with the land we have protected, we are constantly working to expand SAHC’s partner organizations to educate new groups by bringing them to our Community Farm or other properties that we have protected. This spring, SAHC’s AmeriCorps Outreach Member, Haley Smith, partnered up with UNC-Asheville’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program to lead one of several new hiking courses.
In July, AmeriCorps member Travis Bordley and other SAHC staff enjoyed a beautiful day at Craggy Gardens while providing basic environmental education to a group of students from Asheville’s Jewish Community Center (JCC). These students, mostly elementary and middle schoolers, are a part of a summer camp offered by JCC. The theme of this year’s camp is the word Teva, a Hebrew word which translates to “nature.” Read more
On Wednesday, July 5th, SAHC AmeriCorps member Haley Smith and communications interns Tamia Dame and Fisayo Bashorun helped two local Girl Scouts fulfill a special goal – earning their Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can ear. Scouts Kylie and Gates had only one task left to complete before obtaining the award: leading a project which would leave a lasting impact on their community. The most meaningful way to do this, they decided, was to pass down the valuable lessons about land trust work to younger generations in a hands-on environment. Read more
June Jamboree 2017 Thank you to everyone who came out to join us for six successful adventures in the Highlands of Roan on Saturday, June 17th! Despite the fluctuating weather – from sun to rain and back again – we had a great event. The Roan was resplendent in its characteristic, seasonal cloak of blooms, […]
It was no joke when UNC-Asheville students and SAHC’s Travis Bordley started their backpacking trip, trapped in clouds on April Fools Day. Travis, our AmeriCorps Roan Outreach Coordinator, and eight students headed out from Carvers Gap for a backpacking adventure along the Appalachian Trail — a route that boasts big views. The students, including three leaders from UNC-Asheville’s Outdoor Program, were unfazed and trekked boldly into the cloudy mist. For a few students this was their first time backpacking. Read more
On Saturday, March 25th, an awesome group of hikers gathered to explore our Smoky Mountains Conservation Focus Area with a hike to scenic Hemphill Bald at the top of Cataloochee Ranch, where SAHC placed our first conservation easement in 1993.
The hike began at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Knob, where we were joined by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s AmeriCorps Citizen Science Associate, who taught the group about the education and citizen science programs hosted by the Park at Purchase Knob. We learned about the many ways that they monitor acid deposition — one of which is by studying salamanders. Read more
My buddy Andy and I hiked up Waterrock Knob in January on a misty day. We had hoped to get some snow but we found mist instead, which is always cool. I don’t have a picture of myself on the summit, but I a picture of a the end of the knob with some fog which I thought was cool and moody. We hung out on top for a while, taking pictures of the mist and the plants. We were the only ones up there for a while, which is always a nice treat!
— J. Davison
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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