News & Events: Hikes And Outings

Hike with CMLC this Sunday afternoon, October 20th, on a guided hike to scenic Cedar Rock in DuPont State Recreational Forest. The summit of Cedar Rock features exposed rockfaces that enable dramatic, long-range vistas of fall foliage and the surrounding mountains, including several other CMLC-conserved locales.

DuPont State Forest is a woodland wonderland filled with spectacular waterfalls, scenic granite domes, and wild backcountry. DuPont has long represented a landmark achievement for land conservation in the region. Beginning in the 1990s, local environmental groups, including CMLC, helped acquire its nearly 10,500 acres of natural lands for public ownership. Much of it, including its plethora of waterfalls, was nearly lost to development when it was sold for the construction of a private housing community. Now preserved, the Forest is now a mecca for hikers, cyclists, hunters, and waterfall lovers.

Today, much of CMLC’s land conservation efforts focus on conserving lands that buffer DuPont Forest, as well as working with government agencies and funders to add more protected lands to the Forest. Last summer, CMLC facilitated an addition of 65 acres of public lands to DuPont.

Total hiking distance is 3.0 miles. This hike is rated as moderate difficulty with a total elevation gain of 600 feet. Attendance is free and open to the public. This hike is also part of CMLC’s White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 2.0, a program that challenges hikers to take eight hikes on lands conserved by CMLC. Completers of the Challenge earn the famous White Squirrel Patch and free hiking gear from Mast General Store.

This is a Sunday afternoon hike that will begin at 12:00pm. The hike will take approximately 2 to 3 hours to complete. Meeting locations and further details will be sent upon making a hike reservation (see below).

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a five mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike.

This hike is open to the public as well as CMLC members. Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot.

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Trails & Outreach Associate Matt Kirk at matt@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 24,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains.


CMLC on Saturday, September 14th for a guided hike at CMLC-conserved The Cabin Ridge. Get a sneak peak at the location of our 13th annual Conservation Celebration—to be held Saturday, September 28th—at one of CMLC's most picturesque conservation projects. 

Hikers will trek an out-and-back route from The Cabin Ridge on the shoulder of Sugarloaf Mountain to reach scenic landmarks including Little Sunset Rock, Sunset Rock, and Cloven Cliffs.

The hike also includes a historic cave known locally as “The Devils Chimney.” The cave is the location where British loyalist Major William Mills hid in exile following the Revolutionary War. Following his emergence from the cave, Mills became one of Henderson County’s first permanent white settlers.

CMLC protected 60 acres at The Cabin Ridge through a donated conservation easement in 2011. “I have a vision that my sons, my grandson, and maybe my great grandsons and granddaughters will be able to come and walk on this land,” said landowner Andrea Owensby. Owensby’s grandfather purchased land on the side of Sugarloaf Mountain by working for five cents an hour constructing rock stairs during the early days of Chimney Rock State Park. The Cabin Ridge, as he called it, is where he raised his children and where Owensby spent much of her own childhood.

In addition to its close proximity to Chimney Rock State Park, nearly all of Owensby's Cabin Ridge property falls within the Cloven Cliffs Significant Natural Heritage Area. The scenic property is highly visible from eastern parts of Henderson County.

This hike is rated as very strenuous due to steep sections of trail. Round trip distance is 3.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,000 feet. This trail and its destinations are on private property and not otherwise accessible to the public.

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a four mile hike over uneven, steep forested terrain. We cannot accommodate dogs on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, and pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike. Trekking poles or a walking stick are strongly recommended on this hike due to steep, slippery sections of trail.

Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot. This hike can accomodate 20 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Trails & Outreach Coordinator Peter Barr at peter@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 24,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains.


Bring your dog along for a hike this August as we explore trails in CMLC-conserved DuPont State Recreational Forest (DRSF). CMLC hikes typically cannot accommodate our four-legged friends, so take this opportunity to get your pup outside on our protected lands!

This 3.5 mile loop hike features 350 feet of elevation gain. It is rated as moderate in difficulty. The route incorporates several of DRSF's trails to form a loop beginning and ending at Guion Farm off of Sky Valley Road.

DuPont State Recreational Forest is a 10,400 acre woodland wonderland bursting at its seams with spectacular waterfalls, scenic granite domes, and wild backcountry. An outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, it offers nearly 90 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails to explore its charming beauty. Rolling hills tucked between high mountains peaks host the headwaters of the Little River and six of western North Carolina’s most visually stunning waterfalls.

CMLC's protection of DuPont began with its involvement in a local grassroots effort that led to the conservation and facilitation of public-ownership of the land that became the state recreational forest in the 1990s. Since then, CMLC has buffered the Forest and expanded its conservation corridor with thousands of acres of private conservation easements directly adjacent to its boundaries, as well as facilitated the addition of several hundred acres to DuPont SRF itself.

Hiking participants (and dogs) are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a four mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Fortunately, we CAN accommodate dogs on this hike! Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers (and dogs) who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike. 

Space is limited on this hike, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot. This hike can accommodate 20 hikers (and their dogs). Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Trails & Outreach Coordinator Peter Barr at peter@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 24,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains. 


THIS HIKE HAS REACHED CAPACITY; WE CAN NO LONGER ACCEPT RESERVATIONS.

Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) on Saturday, July 13, for a guided hike through CMLC-owned Florence Nature Preserve. Hikers will trek a lollipop-route, circumnavigating the Preserve to reach two of FNP's most scenic locales: Rattlesnake Knob and Little Pisgah Point. These rock outcroppings feature scenic views of the rugged Hickory Nut Gorge. This hike is open to CMLC members as well as non-members, so bring a friend!

Comprised of 600 acres on the southern slopes of Little Pisgah Mountain, Florence Nature Preserve was generously donated to CMLC by Dr. and Mrs. Florence in 1996. The Preserve boasts more than five miles of hiking trails that feature scenic rock outcroppings, pristine cascades, and old-growth forest. The entire Preserve is part of the state-designated Little Pisgah Slopes Significant Natural Heritage Area.

Total cumulative hiking distance is 4.5 miles. This hike is rated as moderate in difficulty, featuring a total elevation gain of 1100 feet. This is a public hike open to CMLC members and non-members alike. Current CMLC members are encouraged to bring a friend. The outing contains a hike from each of CMLC’s White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 1.0 (Little Pisgah Point) and CMLC’s White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 2.0 (Rattlesnake Knob), programs that challenge hikers to take hikes on lands conserved by CMLC.

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a four mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike.

Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot. This hike can accomodate 40 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Sarah Bromley at sarahb@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 23,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains. 


Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) on Saturday, June 8, for a guided hike through the private trail system of the Connestee Falls community in Transylvania County. This hike features five major waterfalls, including Connestee Falls, Silver Slip Falls, Upper-, Middle-, and Lower-Batson Creek Falls. 

Connestee Falls, Batson Creek Falls, and Silver Slip Falls were protected by CMLC through a conservation easement in 2003. Once privately-owned with restricted access, the falls are now the centerpiece of a new Transylvania County park.

Total cumulative hiking distance is 3.0 miles. This hike is rated as moderate in difficulty, featuring a total elevation gain of 600 feet

This CMLC hike is open to the public: members and non-members are invited, so please consider registering a friend to attend the hike. The Connestee Falls community trail system is not otherwise open to the public, so take advantage of this opportunity to hike new trails with CMLC.

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a two mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike. Hikers must be age 12 and up.

Photo courtesy of Rich Stevenson.

Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations, times, and additional details will be sent through email upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot. This hike can accomodate 30 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Sarah Bromley at sarahb@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 24,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains.


Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) on Saturday, May 11, for a guided hike through the scenic Johnson Branch conservation easement in Transylvania County. This hike has been one of CMLC's most popular hikes from previous years, featuring a picturesque 68-acre property conserved by the Jones family through CMLC in 2009. Hikers will enjoy a moderate hike that includes several waterfalls, beautiful rich cove forest, a plethora of spring wildflowers, and a scenic view high above the French Broad River valley.

The hike will be led by the landowners David and Betty Jones who will tour hikers on their protected property as well as share stories of the land and the close connection that they share with it. This property is not otherwise open to the public for hiking.

Total cumulative hiking distance is 2.0 miles. This hike is rated as moderate in difficulty, featuring a total elevation gain of 700 feet.

This CMLC hike is open to the public: members and non-members are invited, so please consider registering a friend to attend the hike!

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a two mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike.

Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations, times, and additional details will be sent through email upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot. This hike can accomodate 25 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Sarah Bromley at sarahb@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 23,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains.


Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) on Saturday, April 27, for a guided wildflower hike through Transylvania County's Sherwood Forest. Hikers will enjoy an easy walk through a rich cove forest to observe a beautiful display of spring wildflowers.

CMLC has protected a total of 3.7 acres among multiple projects within the Sherwood Forest community, including 2.2 acres recently placed in conservation easement in late 2012. While small in size compared to other conservation projects, lands within Sherwood Forest and its vicinity are of particular ecological significance, hosting an abundance of rare plant species. Sherwood Forest is adjacent to the Little River--near its headwaters, and upstream from DuPont State Recreational Forest. It is also proximate to Cedar Mountain Bog, another ecologically-significant CMLC conservation project. Altogether, CMLC has protected 7,600 acres in the Little River watershed.

Total cumulative hiking distance is 2.5 miles. This hike is rated as easy in difficulty, featuring a total elevation gain of 500 feet.

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a two and a half mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike.

Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot. This hike can accomodate 20 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Sarah Bromley at sarahb@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 23,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains.


Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) on Saturday, February 23rd, for a hike through Transylvania County's wild East Fork Headwaters. Hikers will trek an out-and-back route along the Foothills Spur Trail, incorporating the two of the highest mountains in South Carolina: Sassafras Mountain and Whiteoak Mountain. En route to the trailhead, make a short stop and brief walk to East Fork Falls (pictured right), one of the tract's scenic waterfalls. The falls is not typically accessible to the public.

At more than 8,000 acres, the East Fork Headwaters (EFH) tract is the one largest privately-owned, undeveloped tracts in the southern Appalachians. Acquiring the tract may represent one of the last opportunities available to conserve such sizable and significant land in western North Carolina for public ownership ever again. The EFH contains the upper headwaters of the East Fork of the French Broad River, including 50 miles of high quality trout streams and 25 scenic waterfalls.  EFH also hosts nine miles of the Foothills Spur Trail, a branch of the esteemed 77-mile long distance Foothills Trail.

In 2009, CMLC and The Conservation Fund (TCF) acquired 786 acres of the tract buffering the nine mile Foothills Spur Trail along the NC/SC state line. In 2013, the NC Forest Service, TCF, and CMLC expect to acquire 1,500 additional acres of the EFF tract for public ownership.

Total cumulative hiking distance is 4 miles. This hike is rated as strenuous in difficulty, featuring steep trails with a total elevation gain of 1300 feet. This is a CMLC members-only hike. The outing contains a hike from each of  CMLC’s White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 1.0 (Foothills Trail) and CMLC’s White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 2.0, a program that challenges hikers to take complete hikes on lands conserved by CMLC.

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a four mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hikes.

This hike is a CMLC members-only hike. To join CMLC or find out more information, visit www.carolinamountain.org. Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot. This hike can accomodate 25 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Sarah Bromley at sarahb@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 23,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains. 


Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) on Saturday, January 26th, for a hike to picturesque Bridal Veil Falls in DuPont State Recreational Forest. Bridal Veil Falls and DuPont were prominent filming locations featured in the blockbuster movie, The Hunger Games. The hike will also incorporate three of DuPont’s scenic lakes: Lake Julia, Lake Dense, and little known Lake Alford.

DuPont State Forest is a woodland wonderland filled with spectacular waterfalls, scenic granite domes, and wild backcountry. DuPont has long represented a landmark achievement for land conservation in the region. Beginning in the 1990s, local environmental groups, including CMLC, helped acquire its nearly 10,500 acres of natural lands for public ownership. Much of it, including its plethora of waterfalls, was nearly lost to development when it was sold for the construction of a private housing community. Now preserved, the Forest is now a mecca for hikers, cyclists, hunters, and waterfall lovers.

Today, much of CMLC’s land conservation efforts focus on conserving lands that buffer DuPont Forest, as well as working with government agencies and funders to add more protected lands to the Forest. Last summer, CMLC facilitated an addition of 65 acres of public lands to DuPont.

Total hiking distance is 6 miles. This hike is rated as moderate difficulty with a total elevation gain of 800 feet. Attendance is free and open to the public. This hike is also part of CMLC’s White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 2.0 , a program that challenges hikers to take eight hikes on lands conserved by CMLC.

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a five mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike.

This hike is open to the public as well as CMLC members. Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot. This hike can accomodate 40 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Sarah Bromley at sarahb@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 23,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains. To reserve a spot on the hike, visit CMLC’s website at www.carolinamountain.org.

*photo credit above: Kevin Adams


Green River Preserve (GRP) is CMLC's largest conservation easement and one of the largest in all of western NC. It contains a plethora of natural treasures and abundance of unspoiled mountain slopes making it one of the biggest and most biologically-diverse private wildlife preserves in western North Carolina.  More than 2,600 acres of GRP were conserved with CMLC in 2006. GRP hosts headwaters of the Green River watershed, including 22 miles of its tributaries and 8 miles of the river itself.  The Preserve abuts the 10,300 acre DuPont State Forest; its  seven mile boundary with DuPont serves as an ecological buffer and expands an exceptionally significant wildlife corridor. 

Also steeped in southern Appalachian cultural heritage, evidence of Native American habitation is routinely found in its many caves and secluded coves.  Remnants from the earliest mountain settlers of the Green River Valley are abundant throughout the Preserve, too. 

Join CMLC on Saturday, December 15th for a hike through the lush forests of Green River Preserve to reach Pretty Place, a scenic overlook at the edge of the dramatic Blue Ridge Escarpment. The out-and-back hike will ascend to the Eastern Continental Divide on woods road and exit GRP property to reach Camp Greenville on the North Carolina-South Carolina state line. The view from the Camp's Symmes Chapel, positioned at the edge of a cliff overlooking the South Carolina piedmont, is aptly named "Pretty Place". Total hiking distance is 4.5 miles. Hiking time will be approximately five hours including a stop of lunch while enjoying the view at Pretty Place; this does not include travel time to the hike itself.

This hike is rated MODERATE as it has a total elevation gain of 750 feet over its distance of 4.5 miles. Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a five mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike.

This is a CMLC members-only hike. If you wish to attend this hike but are not yet a CMLC member, sign-up for CMLC membership. Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-2 days business days after requesting a spot. This hike can accomodate 25 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Sarah Bromley at sarahb@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day (or more around holidays) for a response to Hike Sign-Ups and hike inquiries.


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