2018 Rocky Fork Hike

Date: Saturday, May 26

Time: 2:00 pm

Location: Rocky Fork State Park

Difficulty: 6-7 Moderately Strenuous

Cost: Free!

Come join SAHC and the Rocky Fork State Park for a wonderful afternoon of hiking and learning as Rocky Fork Ranger, Tim Pharis, will share his knowledge of the cultural and natural history of the area.  Rocky Fork is located along the East Tennessee/North Carolina border in the counties of Unicoi and Greene.  The 2,508 acre park was officially opened in 2015 and has been called a “Southern Appalachian gem” because of its tremendous environmental and economic value.  Protection of this property was made possible by the partnering efforts of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the US Forest Service. The hike will be 4-5 miles roundtrip.


2018 Rocky Fork Hike Registration

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Focus Area Feature Hike: Appalachian Trail Countryside

Location: Rocky Fork State Park, TN

Date: Sunday, May 7

Start Time: 10 AM; Carpool info TBA

Difficulty: Strenuous (8-9)

Leader: John Beaudet, local naturalist and AT thru-hiker

Cost: FREE for all participants

Registration: Pre-registration is REQUIRED.

In this conservation focus area, we will learn about SAHC’s work in the landscape surrounding the Appalachian Trail (AT) between Hot Springs, NC and Watauga Lake in TN.

We will hike along the Flint Creek Trail past a battle site and old fish hatchery to meet up with the AT. The trail is beautiful with the creek running beside it most of the way. We will be joined by John Beaudet, a local who is familiar with the Rocky Fork area and will recount the story of the “Battle of Flint Creek,” the 1789 militia attack led by John Sevier against the Cherokee.

May is also a great time for wildflowers, and John, a self-described naturalist, will help us identify wildflowers and other plants along the way for those who are interested. Once on the AT, we will continue on the trail for about 2.5 miles to Devil Fork Gap, where we will carpool back to the start.

Presented as part of our Focus Area Feature Hike Series. Have you ever wanted to learn more about SAHC’s land protection work, particularly our conservation focus area priorities? This year we are offering a series of six Focus Area Feature Hikes, each highlighting one of the six distinctive greographic regions where we work. Over the past 43 years, our members and donors have protected over 70,000 acres across ten counties in NC and TN. Join us in learning about these successful projects and find out what makes each of our six Focus Areas unique.

This hike registration is now FULL. For questions, or to be added to the waitlist, contact hike coordinator Haley Smith at or 828.253.0095 ext 205.

Not a current SAHC member? Click Here to join SAHC. Members hike for free all year! If you have questions about your membership status, please contact Membership Director Cheryl Fowler at or 828.253.0095 ext 209.

SAHC helps Rocky Fork State Park acquire tract for public access

RockyFork_triplefallsToday we celebrate Earth Day with the closing of an exciting new project which will enable more people to learn about and enjoy the incredible Rocky Fork region!

We worked with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to purchase a 1-acre tract to facilitate public access for Rocky Fork State Park.

“This 1-acre tract is a critical acquisition because it contains the only public access into Rocky Fork State Park,” said SAHC Executive Director Carl Silverstein. “We are proud to have been able to work with the State of Tennessee and other partners over the past decade to conserve the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork watershed. This recent acquisition is an integral part of these efforts, as it will afford public access for visitors to enjoy trails and trout streams in this stunning area.” Read more


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