News & Events: Hikes And Outings

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 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 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 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.

Join CMLC for a special public hike to the Johnson Branch property on Saturday, April 28th. Permanently protected in December 2009, Johnson Branch has over 8,600 feet of streams and is an integral part of the French Broad River watershed. On our hike, we will follow Morgan and Betty Jones' preexisting trail system along these tributaries to see cascading waterfalls and sprouting wildflowers. Further highlights include an awe-inspiring vista and a newly constructed trail that eases the severity of our route. Hike leader Betty Jones has catalogued hundreds of species on her land, and will make for an excellent guide. This is a strenuous 2.5-mile loop trail with an elevation change of 700 ft. Hikers must be in good physical condition. Proper hiking gear and poles are highly recommended. Join us for a special hiking opportunity otherwise inaccesible to the public. Email or call (828) 697-5777 x211 to reserve your spot today!

Explore the beautiful woods of Sylvan Habitat, a conservation-based development near Dupont State Forest. Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy invites you on a free, guided hike in a scenic forest near Brevard. Sylvan Habitat has striven to “create a community that minimizes impact while maximizing access to outdoor recreation.” We will traverse parts of the 200+ acres that CMLC has worked to protect since 2001. This 2-3 hour moderate hike will be about 3 miles in length. To sign up, email or call (828)697-5777x211 now!



Join CMLC for a member's-only hike led by CMLC trustee Diana Richards and CMLC Trails & Outreach Coordinator Peter Barr to Pool Creek Falls at Worlds Edge in Hickory Nut Gorge. This 2.25 mile hike on the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain is highlighted by Pool Creek Falls, where we will stop to eat lunch and enjoy the scenery. This hike is not on maintained trails and features two very difficult stream crossings. Hikers will also be forced to navigate several downed trees, so this hike is recommended for experienced hikers only. The group is limited to 15 attendees, so sign up now to experience this otherwise inaccesible portion of the Worlds Edge tract!

To sign up, please email or call (828)697-5777 ext. 211. We hope to see you out on the trail!

Enjoy the beautiful scenery of CMLC’s own Florence Nature Preserve, including rock outcrops, unusual plant communities, and a rushing stream that traverses the 600-acre property on the slopes of Little Pisgah Mountain. The Preserve was donated to CMLC by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Florence as a means of protecting its unique natural heritage qualities for future generations.

This will be a moderately strenuous 4-mile hike from our new entrance point on US-74, much of it along a beautiful mountain stream. There is a rather steep climb early and another steep climb just before our lunch spot at a rock formation with a good view of Hickory Nut Gorge. Areas of interest include an old foundation on a spur of the Buncombe Turnpike, rhododendron grove, Southern Appalachian forest, chestnut trees, and a rock overlook. Long pants, waterproof boots and a hiking stick are recommended, in addition to the usual water and snacks or lunch. Please, do not bring dogs on this hike. The hike will last about 3 hours.

To sign up, please email or call (828)697-5777x211


Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy for an extremely strenuous 3-mile hike on the East Fork Headwaters section of the Foothills Trail. This is a CMLC Hiking Challenge Hike. The hike is an out and back involving roughly 1,200 feet of elevation gain. This hike is recommended for experienced hikers only, and attendees are advised to wear proper hiking gear. CMLC began conservation efforts on the East Fork Headwaters in 2010, and the land we will be hiking on is the first section of conserved land in the area. CMLC Land Protection Director Tom Fanslow will be along to answer questions about this keystone property. If you’re up to the challenge, please join us!

Space is limited, so email 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.

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