News & Events: Hikes And Outings

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.


Alexanders Ford, a naturally and culturally significance property in Polk County, was forever protected by a CMLC conservation easement in 2011. It was purchased by Polk County and opened to the public as the Bradley Nature Preserve at Alexander's Ford, a park for visitors to enjoy its biological treasures and timeless history. The property hosts almost two miles of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, the route followed by a Patriot militia during the Revolutionary War en route to the Battle at Kings Mountain. The militia defeated the British a few days after marching through the property and camping on site at the banks of the Green River. Thomas Jefferson later referred to the battle as the "turning point of the American Revolution".

Join CMLC on Saturday, November 10th @ 10:00am for a hike through the Bradley Nature Preserve at Alexander's Ford along the original path marched by the Overmountain Men in 1780. During the hike, hear stories and history from local Alexander's Ford project manager and historian Ambrose Mills as we take a leisurely out-and-back hike to the Green River. Total hiking distance is 2.5 miles. Hiking time will be approximately three hours; this does not include travel time to the hike itself.

This hike is rated EASY to MODERATE as it has a total elevation gain and loss of 200 feet over its distance of 2.5 miles. Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a two and a half mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Children of all ages are welcome on this hike. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs at this time. 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 to eat during the hike. Note that this hike has no restroom facilities.

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.


On Saturday, July 21st, hike with CMLC at Tumbling Fun Falls in Sapphire. This protected property, owned by Patrick Horan and Noel Thurner, will be a special opportunity for the public to explore a private waterfall on the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

Adjoining the Nantahala National Forest, the property is home to several streams and waterfalls including the original Tumbling Fun Falls. We’ll hike mostly on logging roads and trails that the owners have worked to clear. The landowners will also offer a garden tour and discussion on incorporating native plants into landscape and food gardens.

 

This is a MODERATELY STRENUOUS 3 mile hike. Hikers must be capable of handling uneven ground and always be aware of their footing, as there are many small, sharp stumps covered by leaves on the trail that could result in injury.  Hikers should also come prepared with proper clothing, footwear, water and a snack or lunch. 

Space is limited for our hikes, so email chet@carolinamountain.org or call (828)697-5777x211 to reserve your spot today! Children 12 and over are welcome to join our hikes. We unfortunately cannot accomodate dogs at this time.


On Saturday June 9th, join CMLC for a hike to view the spectacular Connestee Falls waterfall from a vantage point not typically available to the public. In addition to Connestee Falls, hikers will have the opportunity to view four other waterfalls: Upper Batson Creek Falls, Middle Batson Creek Falls, Batson Creek Falls, and Silver Slip Falls. Our route will follow well-groomed trails constructed and maintained entirely by volunteer trail stewards of the Connestee Falls neighborhood residents.The hike will take about 3 hours, including time for viewing the falls and a lunch/snack break. At 3 miles in length with 500 feet of elevation change, this hike is rated moderately strenuous. Hikers should come prepared with proper clothing, footwear, sunscreen, water, and a snack.

Space on this hike is limited. Email chet@carolinamountain.org or call (828) 697-5777 x211 to reserve your spot today! Children 12 and over are welcome to join our hikes. We cannot accomodate dogs at this time.

Connestee Falls is one of the eight hike part of the CMLC Hiking Challenge.


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