Join CMLC on a Special Members-Only Tour of Headwaters State Forest!

Date of this event: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - 10:00am
News and Events: Hikes And Outings

This hike is now full! Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you the next time we host a Headwaters State Forest Tour!

Join CMLC for a limited opportunity to explore the highlights of the new Headwaters State Forest on Wednesday, August 17, at 10:00AM. This tour is composed of four short hikes (cumulative distance totaling 3.0 miles) to Gravely Mill Falls, Reece Place Falls, East Fork Falls, and Sassafras Mountain**. Several of these locations are not yet accessible to the public. Participants will caravan by vehicle to several locations where they will take a short hike to reach each point of interest in the recently conserved East Fork Headwaters tract. 

Because of the complexity of travel to numerous remote locations and limitation of parking, group size is limited to 15 participants. Because this event will likely reach capacity quickly, future tours will be scheduled to accommodate additional interest. Hiking boots are required; trekking poles recommended.

Due to the hazards associated with hiking near waterfalls, dogs and children are not able to be accommodated on this outing.

This tour is rated as moderate, the total hiking distance is 3 miles, and there is an overall elevation gain of 350 feet. The total time to hike is 2.5 hours with a total of 2.5 hours drive-time.

**trails to waterfalls are steep and slippery

A SHORT HISTORY LESSON: The East Fork Headwaters tract has been managed as a working forest since the early 1900's. In 1910, Joseph Silverstein purchased the land surrounding the headwaters of the East Fork of the French Broad River to supply several lumber companies and owned the land until his death in 1967. Following the death of Silverstein, Champion International Paper Company owned and managed the property until former NC Congressman Charles Taylor purchased the land in the mid-1980s and maintained ownership until 2009.

In the summer of 2009, Congressman Taylor contacted the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy with an interest in conserving the 8,000-acre tract. In 2010, the partner organizations, which included CMLC, The Conservation Fund, NC Forest Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service, began to generate public, legislative, and agency support to fund the acquisition of the East Fork Headwaters property. Ultimately, the NC Forest Service will own and manage the property and plans to establish the Headwaters State Forest. The forest will be used to demonstrate good forest stewardship principles that promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of forest resources. As of 2015, the NC State Forest Service now owns approximately 5,000 acres of the future Headwaters State Forest!

For more in-depth information about the history and the progress of the Headwaters State Forest, visit

Participants are required to be in good physical condition and capable to hike over uneven, forested terrain. Hikers should wear sturdy walking/hiking shoes (no flip-flops). Also, bring several layers of clothing in preparation for cold temperatures and pack plenty of water and snacks. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire event. 

This hike is now full! Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you the next time we host a Headwaters State Forest Tour!

This hike is for CMLC Members Only and has limited space. Please reserve your spot by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent out to participants via email 1-2 days prior to the hike. Reservations for a spot on this hike are first come, first serve:


CMLC's Online Outing Sign-Up Form

For questions, please contact Sarah Harden at Please allow one full business day for a response to both sign-ups and inquiries. 

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