Join us for the June Jamboree – Saturday June 17 — Our annual outing showcase in the Highlands of Roan!
We invite you to enjoy a day of free, guided outings in the iconic Roan landscape. Enjoy blooming rhododendron and gorgeous views as we celebrate conservation of these globally important ecosystems. We offer a variety of outings for different age, interest, and ability levels — from challenging treks to relaxing yoga or a simple roll n’ stroll. See full descriptions below. These guided outings are all free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.
Event Registration is now closed.
1 – 4 pm at Elk Hollow Preserve
In the afternoon, we will hold a drop-in social on our Elk Hollow Preserve, during which time friends and family can gather and share hike experiences while learning about SAHC’s recent accomplishments, including land protection and stewardship news. Drinks and light refreshments will be provided, so please RSVP so we have enough for everyone!
Attendees to the social will also have the opportunity to preview the new Everett Bowman Trail. Take an optional hike from the Social to explore the trail or splash in the nearby creek to look for salamanders. The 1.5-mile loop trail gently climbs through both open areas and forested habitat, winding through the protected preserve to Elk Hollow Falls. Everett J. Bowman, for whom the trail was named and dedicated, made a generous gift to SAHC that helps support our land protection efforts in this region.
*Hike Key Note: Hikes are 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 putting the hike elevation change and mileage into this formula: (0.002 x elevation gain (ft.)) + Round trip distance (miles) = Difficulty rating (1-10).
What to Bring: Water bottle, sturdy footwear, gear/clothing relevant for your specific outing, and a bag to carry personal items. Weather in the Roan can change quickly, so you may want to bring sunscreen, a rain jacket, and multiple layers. Most hikes will have an opportunity to stop for lunch along the way — please plan to bring your own lunch.
Hike #1 – Cloudland Hotel to Elk Hollow Preserve
**This Hike is Full – to inquire about the waitlist, please email email@example.com.**
Location: Cloudland Hotel | Start Time: 9 am | Est. End Time: 2:30 pm
Leader: Gary Kauffman, USFS Botanist | Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous 8.5/10 *
A fresh take on our annual Carvers Gap to Grassy Ridge hike, this option offers some of the most spectacular scenery along the Appalachian Trail, as well as a chance to summit two Southern Sixers — Roan High Knob and Grassy Ridge. This 7.5-mile hike will begin near the Rhododendron Gardens at the site of the old Cloudland Hotel and descend along the AT through high-elevation spruce-fir forests to Carvers Gap. From the Gap, the hike will climb up through forests and open balds to Grassy Ridge, the highest point near the AT at 6,189 feet elevation. From here, hikers can enjoy a natural, unobstructed 360-degree view of the Roan Highlands, blooming rhododendron, flame azalea, and so much more. The hike will finish downhill at Roaring Creek Road, from which participants can continue on to the June Jamboree Social at our Elk Hollow Preserve.
This hike is also part of our 2017 Southern Sixer Challenge!
Please Note: We will meet at 8:00 am to shuttle hikers from our Elk Hollow Preserve (near hike end) to the trailhead.
Hike #2 – Roll ‘n’ Stroll in the Rhododendron Gardens
Location: Rhododendron Gardens
Start Time: 11 am | Est. End Time: 1 pm
Leader: TBA | Difficulty: Easy (2/10)*
The Rhododendron Gardens on top of the Roan will be blazing with color this time of year. Participants will stroll approx. 1 mile across gentle terrain with stunning views of the Roan landscape. On this leisurely walk, participants will learn about a number of SAHC’s land protection projects that can be viewed from the gardens. This family-friendly offering is designed to provide people of all abilities with an opportunity to get outside and enjoy some of the properties that SAHC has diligently worked to protect over the last four decades.
This trail is paved and wheelchair/stroller accessible.
Hike #3 – Birding at the Bird House
Location: SAHC Grassy Ridge Cabin
Start Time: 8 am | Est. End Time: TBA
Leader: Chris Coxen | Difficulty: Easy (2.5/10)*
Join former SAHC Field Ecologist Chris Coxen for an early morning birding experience beginning at SAHC’s Grassy Ridge Cabin, AKA “The Bird House.” This property features excellent forest edge habitat for Golden Winged Warblers and other neo-tropical migratory bird species. Birders will then make their way up toward the ridgeline at Grassy Gap, all the way observing birds in a variety of habitats. Round trip hike distance will be approx. 1.5 miles.
Hike #4 – Yoga on the Mountain
Location: Elk Hollow Preserve
Start Time: 11 am | Est. End Time: 2 pm
Leader: Chelsey Bishop from Breathe Yoga in Johnson City
Difficulty: Yoga beginners welcome; Hike Difficulty: Easy (2.5/10)*
Join Chelsey Bishop of Breathe Yoga Center for a calming, stress-relieving yoga class surrounded by nature on SAHC-protected land. She will lead the group as we gradually stretch and strengthen with an emphasis on building awareness of the breath and the body. Students of all levels will enjoy a soothing, relaxing, and restorative experience. After yoga, hikers will have the option of doing a short hike to a nearby waterfall on the property (for a round-trip of 1.5 miles), or may join our social gathering at the newly completed Elk Hollow Camping Platform for light refreshments and festivities.
Hike #5 – Yellow Mountain State Natural Area – Visit to Cutler Falls
**This Hike is Full – to inquire about the waitlist, please email firstname.lastname@example.org**
Location: Yellow Mountain State Natural Area
Start Time: 10 am | Est. End Time: 1 pm
Leader: TBA | Difficulty: Moderate (4.5/10)*
Join SAHC for a special visit to Cutler Falls in the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area.
This 2.5-mile hike will traverse somewhat rough and steep terrain along an old Christmas tree field and beautifully forested trails along Justice Creek. Includes stream crossings – prepare to get your feet wet! The hike will arrive at a stunning 80 ft. waterfall where participants will have time to enjoy a packed lunch while splashing in the water. Space is very limited due to the fragile ecological status of this area.
Hike #6 – Challenge Hike
Location: Big Horse Creek to Elk Hollow Preserve
Start Time: 9 am | Est. End Time: 3 pm
Leader: Tom Gatti and Haley Smith | Difficulty: Very Strenuous (11+)*
This year’s 7.5-mile Challenge Hike will begin around Big Horse Creek, climbing over 1500 feet in the first few miles, as hikers wind through shaded terrain along a forest service road and ultimately emerge onto the open bald below the summit of Hump Mountain. Hikers will lunch near Hump Mountain, taking in the spectacular views of the Roaring Creek Valley and much of SAHC’s land protection work in the Roan. The hike will then continue across open terrain to Little Hump before descending down to the Overmountain Victory Trail, which we will follow to Roaring Creek Road and on to the festivities at the June Jamboree Social!