Posts

JCC at Craggy Gardens

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

Christmount Hike

Last Saturday, SAHC led our first guided hike of 2017 through the protected woods of our 400-acre conservation easement at Christmount. The weather was lovely, with a clear blue winter sky, allowing for beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Black Mountains. Hikers had a chance to learn about the connected landscape of protected lands in the region and to see other places SAHC has worked to protect, including the Montreat Wilderness and our Laurel Ridge preserve. Read more

“For Love of Beer & Mountains” Lost Cove Excursion

IMG_2628Late this summer, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and Highland Brewing Company were joined by The Aloft Hotel, Altamont Environmental, Traveling Chic Boutique and USA Raft to explore Lost Cove, where SAHC protected a 95-acre tract in 2012. We hiked into the gorge and rafted the Nolichucky River while learning about the historical significance of the area. Read more

Community Farm/Discovery Trail Hike

hike-line2.jpgIt was hot –  but not too hot – just the kind of bright summer sun you imagine plants loving to soak in.

On National Trails Day/Land Trust Day (June 7, 2014), we led a group of curious members, landowners, and local families on a two-hour tour of SAHC’s Community Farm in Alexander, NC. This first Saturday in June starts off Outdoor Month, and was given special designation to recognize the economic importance of trails across the nation as well as the land conservation work of local land trusts. It was a wonderful day to enjoy the 1.5-mile Discovery Trail and to showcase the many exciting programs going on at our Farm. Read more

Clear Skies for ‘Shroom Hunters!

group-getting-instructions-best.jpgIn the Southeast, we’ve been breaking all kinds of records for abundant rainfall through the summer – which you’d think would be great for growing mushrooms, right? Fun fact: There is such a thing as too much rain for ‘shrooms! Luckily, however, we were still able to collect a bountiful and varied assortment for our mushroom identification hike on August 14. And, we were fortunate enough to enjoy a beautiful sunny sky and clear views of the Black Mountains as a bonus.

Led by amateur mycologist Charlotte Caplan – who has spent the past 35 years learning about mushrooms – our group started out in a high mountain meadow with Mt. Mitchell and the stunning Black Mountains clearly visible in the background. Read more

Devil’s Britches and Bark, Buds, Nuts – A pint, a party, a presentation and hike for Tree ID.

chris-with-crew-at-beginning.jpgThe end of February was a great time to practice winter tree identification, and to enjoy a new Highland Brewing Company seasonal pint with friends. As part of our “For Love of Beer & Mountains” partnership with Highlands Brewing Company, we hosted an informative & engaging presentation at the Tasting Room on Thursday, February 21, followed that weekend by an on-the-ground field opportunity with SAHC Field Ecologist Chris Coxen. The presentation was short & sweet – an informative beginner’s guide to success in knowing more about the trees you may see in our area, given in six steps. Read more

Hiking in the Rough Creek Watershed: A respite from winter’s cabin fever.

sumac-on-ridge.jpgPersonal Perspective from SAHC AmeriCorps Stewardship Associate Margot Wallston

“After several weeks of desk time at the office, followed by several days experiencing the worst that this year’s flu season had to offer, cabin fever prompted this SAHC AmeriCorps steward to take advantage of a free Sunday to pay a visit to one of our protected properties in Haywood County, only 30 minutes west of Asheville: the Rough Creek Watershed.

Rough Creek Watershed is an 870-acre conservation easement held by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, co-managed with  the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, and owned by the Town of Canton. SAHC was instrumental in the protection of this Smoky Mountain jewel. The watershed, which drains into Beaverdam Creek, and then into the Pigeon River, used to serve as the primary water source for Canton, but now it primarily functions as a nature preserve and public pie slice of undisturbed open space.  One of the cool things about this particular conservation easement is that it is accessible to the public. The watershed contains approximately 10 miles of well-maintained trails open for conservation-conscious hikers and bikers to explore. Read more

Events

Brother Wolf Hike at Laurel Ridge 2018

Date: Friday, Nov 16th
Time: Starting at 10:00 am
Where: Laurel Ridge
Difficulty: Moderate (5)— 4.5-mile hike with some steep terrain
Cost: FREE

Join the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and Brother Wolf for a chance to walk a shelter dog on our beautiful, conserved property in Laurel Ridge.  Through this collaboration between Brother Wolf’s Outward Hound program and SAHC’s Outings program hikers will be matched up with a canine hiking companion. We will stroll through our serene 87-acre Laurel Ridge expanse in dense forest along old, healed logging roads. Along with experiencing the natural beauty of this conserved land you will be providing these dogs with an opportunity to build their social skills, relax in a calm natural setting, and some partake in some exercise! Join SAHC and Brother Wolf to give these animals a day full of the love and attention they deserve!

Hike difficulty ratings are based on this formula: (0.002 x elevation gain (ft.)) + round trip distance (mi.) = difficulty rating (1 – 10+)

REGISTRATION IS FULL – IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITLIST EMAIL ISRAEL@APPALACHIAN.ORG

2018 Roan Highlands Birding Hike

Join us for a Spring Birding hike in the Roan Highlands! With its unique habitats, this area is known to be the nesting site of some rare migratory birds. SAHC works to maintain ideal habitats for these birds and we hope to observe a few on this hike!

The hike will be approximately 2 miles and it will travel through different habitats including open meadows, streams, and forested areas. There are a few gradual uphill sections on the trail, but overall it is a leisurely walk.  Along with observing the birds, we will be making an initial checklist of species seen for future outings on the property.

We will be hiking on our protected Elk Hollow property which is located approximately 1.5 hours from Asheville.  A carpool from Asheville will be organized to leave at 7:30 am and will arrive at the site around 9:00 am.

Please contact Michelle Durr at michelled@appalachian.org with any questions

  • By providing your phone number, you ensure that we have a way to contact you in the rare event of any last-minute changes to the hike.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

2018 March Wildflower Wednesday

Date:  Wednesday, March 28

Time:   11:00-3:00pm

Location:  Laurel Ridge, Black Mountain, NC

Cost:  This hike is free for SAHC members and $10 for non-members

This Wednesday’s hike will take place on Laurel Ridge where SAHC has protected over 500 acres of land. This hike will be about 4 miles with some steep sections of trail.  March is early in the spring season, so the amount of flowers is dependent on the weather.  We will ascend through Southern and Central Appalachian Oak Forests and Cove Forests, crossing by some lovely streams, and rock formations. We will also see a few small waterfalls!

This hike is part of  the Wildflower Wednesday Hike Series, showcasing the incredible biodiversity in our region. The hikes will be on the last Wednesday of the month in March, April, May, and June.  The Wildflower Wednesday Hikes will have representative from the Western North Carolina Botanical Club with us to help identify and learn about the flowers!

Registration for this hike is now full. To be placed on the waitlist, or if you plans have changed and you can no longer join us, please contact emily@appalachian.org. Thank you!

“For Love of Beer & Mountains” Clawhammer Mountain Hike

Date:  Saturday, October 14
Time:  Starting at 10:00 am
Where:  Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC
Difficulty:  Very Strenuous (10+)
Cost: FREE for all participants

This hike to Clawhammer Mountain, namesake of Highland Brewing Company’s seasonal Clawhammer Oktoberfest Lager, will be a long and strenuous 10+ mile trip along multi-use trails that traverse mountain bike, equestrian, and hiking trails as well as forest service roads. We will follow the trails up a steep climb along a creek, through wildflower patches and rich cove forest. From Clawhammer Cove to the summit, we will climb close to 1,500 feet to finish at 4,072 ft elevation. The summit offers scenic views of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Looking Glass in Pisgah National Forest.

Please Note: There are a couple single log bridges, muddy areas, rocky and steep inclines and a chance of yellow jackets; SAHC wants to provide a fun and safe trip so please be aware of these conditions.

Dogs: Well-behaved dogs are welcome, but must be kept on a leash.

Leader: Emily Adler, AmeriCorps Conservation Education & Volunteer Outreach Associate. For questions or more info, contact Emily at emily@appalachian.org or 828.253.0095 ext 205.

Hike difficulty ratings are based on this formula: (0.002 x elevation gain (ft.)) + round trip distance (mi.) = difficulty rating (1 – 10+)

 

“For Love of Beer and Mountains” Big Briar Family Outing

Location: Long Branch Environmental Education Center, Sandy Mush, NC

Date: Saturday, July 8th, 2017

Start Time: 10 AM

Difficulty: Easy (1-2)

Entry Cost: $10 suggested donation for entry into Long Branch (applies to SAHC members as well). Suggested donations go to support Long Branch EEC’s environmental education activities, conservation work, wildlife habitat restoration, and appropriate technology demonstrations.

Berry Picking: Blueberries, Blackberries, Wineberries, and Heritage Red Raspberries available. Please see below for prices per pint

Family Friendly! RSVP Required

 

Join us for a day of fun and learning for the whole family! To celebrate the most recent seasonal release in our “For Love of Beer and Mountains” Partnership with Highland Brewing Company, their Big Briar Tart Raspberry Ale, we are partnering with our Sandy Mush neighbors at Long Branch Environmental Education Center. We invite you to come enjoy berry picking and a picnic on wooden picnic tables in the shade by their Rainbow Trout Pond where the cool breezes flow downstream. Also available: solar demonstrations, waterfalls, and hiking trails up to Big Sandy Mush Bald at 5,152 feet in elevation!

The Center is surrounded by neighboring properties protected by SAHC, and is part of the conservation community of the greater Sandy Mush region where SAHC has helped protect a network of over 10,000 acres of conserved land, including the publicly accessible Sandy Mush Game Lands. We have even partnered with the folks at Long Branch in the past to protect other properties in the area, totaling over 1400 acres, for the purpose of conserving and protecting wildlife habitat and valuable water resources.

Find a map of Long Branch here: http://longbrancheec.org/home/portals/0/PDFS/mapfull.pdf

 

Berry Prices are as Follows:

Fresh Raspberries, Wineberries – $2.50 per ½ pint

Fresh Blueberries – $3.50/ pint/pound

If you are interested in berry picking, please bring containers if you have them – Long Branch encourages everyone to reduce, reuse and recycle — if not, no problem — they have plenty. Other goods produced at Long Branch, such as honey and jams, will also be available.

 

*Photos courtesy of http://longbrancheec.org/*

 

Hike Registration

  • First NameLast NameEmail 
  • By providing your phone number, you ensure that we have a way to contact you in the rare event of any last-minute changes to the hike.
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Winter Hike at Christmount with the Hemlock Restoration Initiative

Difficulty: Moderate (4-5)
Leaders: Haley Smith, SAHC AmeriCorps Outreach Member; Margot Wallston and Sara DeFosset of the Hemlock Restoration Initiative
Cost: Free for SAHC members;$10 for non-members
Dogs: Dogs are not allowed on this hike due to the steep terrain and the educational nature of the hike.

Come enjoy our first hike of 2017 through the beautiful 400-acre, permanently protected woods of Christmount, where we will hike 2 fairly steep miles along the Rocky Knob Trail. At the top of the ridge we will be rewarded with beautiful views of the town of Black Mountain, the Black Mountains range, and Montreat, where SAHC also holds a conservation easement.
​Staff from the Hemlock Restoration Initiative will talk about some of the previous treatments done at Christmount to mitigate the invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) and future plans for treatment in the area, and they will be available to answer any questions you might have. We may also take an optional short walk at the end to view a stand of Eastern Hemlocks.

Pre-registration is REQUIRED. Please email haley@appalachian.org or call 828.253.0095 ext 205 with questions or to register.