“For Love of Beer & Mountains” Thunderstruck Hike

Date:  Saturday, November 11
Time:  Starting at 10:00 am
Where: Near Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Difficulty:  Moderately Strenuous (7)
Cost: FREE for all participants, but pre-registration is required

Join us for a moderately difficult hike to enjoy views of Thunderstruck Ridge, for which Highland Brewing Company’s seasonal Thunderstruck Coffee Porter is named.

Participants will hike 5 miles over rugged terrain, through red spruce and fraser firs, red oak forest, and other high elevation trees while occasionally stopping at rock outcroppings for views of Thunderstruck Ridge to the west.

We will hike through the 1,595-acre Plott Balsam Preserve, protected by The Nature Conservancy, and eventually reach Blackrock Mountain, which SAHC protected in 2013. The Blackrock summit reaches an impressive 5,600 ft elevation, and our conservation of the mountain protects over 1,700 feet of pristine stream corridors. This beautiful section of mountains can be seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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 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+)

This hike is offered as part of our “For Love of Beer & Mountains” Partnership. Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, NC partners with SAHC to support our conservation efforts and heighten awareness of the rare and threatened natural treasures of the Southern Appalachians. We are grateful for their support!

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 Thank you!

Thunder on the Mountain

2014_thunderstruck_hike_view_from_waterrock_knobDrew Stevenson from Highland Brewing Company  and Kana Miller (SAHC AmeriCorps PR and Outreach Associate) fearlessly led our group of hikers into the clouds for a strenuous but fun October hike — the Thunderstruck “For Love of Beer and Mountains” Partnership hike to  Blackrock Mountain. Drew recounts this trek through the Plott Balsams in Jackson County, our 2nd Partnership  hike of the fall season:

“The hike group met at the Waterrock Knob overlook (elevation 6,292 feet), which gets its name from a cool stream where hunters and farmers came to quench their thirst. About 1/4 mile down from the Waterrock Knob Visitor Center we started the trail, which covers approximately 2.2 miles of up-and-down terrain, becoming very skinny at times to hug the steep mountainside.

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