Date: Sunday, November 21
Time: Starting at 10:00 am
Where: Flat Laurel Creek Trailhead on Hwy-215
Distance: 6.5 miles total. ~1,100 ft elevation gain.
Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous (7-8)
Cost: FREE for all participants
Join the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and our “For Love of Beer and Mountains” partner Highland Brewing Company on November 21 to celebrate the much-anticipated release of the Cold Mountain Spiced Winter Ale. Participants will travel over 6 miles on one of the most beautiful stretches of trail anywhere in western North Carolina. We will begin traversing through northern hardwood and spruce-fir forests (home to the Saw-whet Owl and Carolina northern flying squirrel) before reaching high elevation shrub and grasslands, both very special ecosystems in North Carolina! The hike will follow Flat Laurel Creek, which boasts several beautiful waterfalls.
The group will eventually make it to the peak of Sam’s Knob. A rocky outcrop with stunning views of Cold Mountain. Here we will eat lunch and soak in the landscape. While eating, we will not only be looking onto Cold Mountain but also Shining Rock Wilderness, the Cold Mountain Gamelands, and the greater Balsam Mountains. In 2016 alone, SAHC added 64 acres to the Cold Mountain Gamelands and purchased 164 acres on the northwestern slopes of Cold Mountain. In total, SAHC has protected nearly 11,000 acres in this area. So come out, and let’s celebrate Cold Mountain Spices Winter Ale and land conservation together. This hike is FREE for everyone!