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Saturday No. A1701-555                  Mar. 25       (canceled)
MST: NC 80 to Woods Mountain                
8:30 AM
Hike 10, Drive 90, 2600 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA
Brenda Worley, 828-684-8656, cell: 828-606-7297, bjdworley@gmail.com
AT-MST Form carpools at River Ridge Shopping Center off Exit 53B of I-40 and meet leader(s) at Ingles parking lot off Exit 64 of I-40 at 8:45 AM. Hike on a little-traveled section of the eastbound MST north of NC 80 to Woods Mountain, with seldom-seen views of the Blacks and Mount Mitchell. Topo(s): Celo, Little Switzerland

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Sunday No. A1701-226                  Mar. 26       (canceled)
Chasteen Creek – Becks Bald                
8:00 AM
Hike 12.1, Drive 120, 3000 ft. ascent, Rated AA-AA
Mike Knies, 828-628-6712, knies06@att.net
900M First meeting place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. This hike starts in the Smokemont Campground of GSMNP and goes up along scenic Chasteen Creek to the crest of Hughes Ridge. From that point, it follows a fairly level course with great views through the late winter trees. Although the mileage is long, the park trails are well-graded. Second meeting place: Maggie Valley Post Office at 8:30 AM, but contact leader first. Topo(s): Smokemont; also NatGeo map #317

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  Scout Report:  Please check with Mike Knies hike leader at Knies06@att.net as to your interest in this hike so that he can inform you of the hike status.
Current forecast is 70-90% rain or thunderstorms through out the day.
But the forecast has been changing frequently.    Mike Knies

Half-Day No. H1701-591                  Mar. 26
Bent Creek Loop #13                
12:00 PM
Hike 5, Drive 6, 1200 ft. ascent, Rated C-B
Stuart English, 828-384-1759, stuengo@comporium.net
P400 Only meeting place: Toys-R-Us on NC 191 across from Asheville Outlets. A pleasant early spring walk along lesser-hiked trails and roads in Bent Creek, including Sidehill Connector, Lower Sidehill Trail, South Ridge Road, Chestnut Cove and Explorer Loop Trail. Topo(s): Skyland; also NatGeo map #780; also USFS Bent Creek Trail Map

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Wednesday No. W1701-142                  Mar. 29
Jerry Miller Trail to A.T. to Fork Ridge Trail                
8:30 AM
Hike 10.5, Drive 92, 3300 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA+
Tish Desjardins, cell: 828-380-1452, desraylet@aol.com
AT-MST Form carpools at 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot), off Exit 25 of I-26 and meet leader(s) at US 25/NC 208 intersection at 9:15 AM. We’ll hike up the Jerry Miller Trail to Bearwallow Gap, then right on the A.T. to Big Firescald Knob for lunch and exceptional views. Afterwards, we'll turn right onto the Fork Ridge Trail down to FS 111 and a short walk to the cars. Topo(s): Greystone: also NatGeo map #782

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  Hike Report:  Another lucky day for my turn to lead a hike -- it was simply a sunny, breezy, gorgeous day!!! This is a wonderful trek up and down through the enchanting woods. The "Spring Beauties" were starting to show along the trails and the birds were trilling their songs. We all enjoyed the views and our lunch high up on top of Big Firescald next to Howard's memorial plaque. Thanks, Brenda, for sweeping us along.

And, a huge thank you to John Whitehouse and his trail crew and Shawn for eliminating countless numbers of blow downs and re-painting the yellow blazes on the JM trail this past Monday. These spur trails in the area are in great shape now!    Tish

Sunday No. A1702-066                  Apr. 2
Garenflo Gap – Bluff Mountain                
8:00 AM
Hike 8.5, Drive 80, 2200 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA
Jim Reel, 828-738-0751, cell: 828-443-2532, jimr57@yahoo.com
AT-MST Only meeting place: 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot) off Exit 25 of I-26. We’ll do a loop hike in hardwood forests from Garenflo Gap to the summit of 4686 ft. Bluff Mountain. We will enjoy the many wildflowers that carpet the forest floor while the leader shows off the A.T. section that he maintained for several years. After lunch on the summit, we will do a short bushwhack and then hike parts of the old A.T. on our way back to the trailhead. Topo(s): Lemon Gap; also ATC TN-NC map #4

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Half-Day No. H1702-855                  Apr. 2
Bluff Mountain Loop (Betty Place)                
12:00 PM
Hike 6, Drive 85, 850 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Jack Dalton, 828-622-3704, jckdalton9@gmail.com
Form carpools at 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot), off Exit 25 of I-26 and meet leader(s) at Hot Springs Medical Center parking lot in Hot Springs, 66 NW US 25-70 at 12:45 PM. This is a joint hike with the Hot Springs Mountain Club. The group will drive to the trailhead from the Hot Springs Medical Center parking lot. We will begin on the Betty Place Trail (FS #285A) in the Upper Shut-In community to the new upper loop trail, passing old home sites at the base of Bluff Mountain. The grade is moderate, and the trail passes through mixed hardwood forest along old roads and streams. We hope to have an ecologist join us in this very rich area. Topo(s): Hot Springs; also NatGeo map #782

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  Hike Report:      Jack Dalton
  
Wednesday No. W1702-519                  Apr. 5
Raven Cliff Falls, Cathedral Rock, Dismal Trail Loop                
8:30 AM
Hike 9, Drive 95, 2300 ft. ascent, Rated B-AA
Gregory Bechtel, 864-607-2645, cell: 864-607-2645, gabechtel@yahoo.com
WC100 Form carpools at Toys-R-Us on NC 191 across from Asheville Outlets and meet leader(s) at Pisgah Forest Bi-Lo parking lot at 9:00 AM. This scenic loop hike features a waterfall and spectacular stone cliffs. From the Raven Cliff parking lot, we take the #13 Gum Gap Trail, then #14 Naturaland Trust Trail descending down to the #12 Dismal Trail where we will cross the rushing waters of Matthews Creek, ascend the dramatic Cathedral Cliff alongside and over Raven Cliff Falls and back to cars. $2 per person State Park fee. Topo(s): Table Rock; also Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area trail map

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  Scout Report:  Brenda Worley & Gregory Bechtel scouted this hike on 03/28/2017 via a MeetUp with 7 fellow hikers under clear skies. The trail was well marked and we completed the 8+-mile loop CLOCKWISE without incident in approximately 5 hours. That being said, this is a difficult and taxing hike with a significant ~1200 foot decline on Dismal Trail before reaching Matthews Creek. The ascent is treacherous but certainly doable, no one had to stop for oxygen breaks. We had lunch at the scenic bridge over Raven Cliff Falls.

Somehow I missed the Falls Trail back to the parking lot and continued on along a gravel road than ended on US-276. A quick right and a hike along the highway led us back to the cars.    Gregory Bechtel
     
Sunday No. A1702-880                  Apr. 9
Garenflo Gap to Tanyard Gap                
8:30 AM
Hike 12.5, Drive 90, 2000 ft. ascent, Rated AA-A
Tish Desjardins, cell: 828-380-1452, desraylet@aol.com
AT-MST Form carpools at 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot), off Exit 25 of I-26 and meet leader(s) at intersection of US 25/70 and NC 208 at 9:10 AM. We'll hike the A.T. from Garenflo Gap to Tanyard Gap, including walking through downtown Hot Springs and a possible stop for ice cream. Car shuttle. Topo(s): Spring Creek, Hot Springs; also ATC TN-NC map #4

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  Hike Report:  Wonderful sunny, breezy, day for hiking -- lots of wild irises, bluets, and spring beauties showing -- the trilliums are still in the early growth stage -- encountered a deer on the drive up Garenflo Gap road to the AT trailhead beginning. Thoroughly enjoyed our YUMMY ice cream break in downtown Hot Springs at the "Artisans Galleria" before continuing the AT trek to the end at Tanyard Gap.    Tish

Youth Partnership No. Y1702-867                  Apr. 9
Triple, High and Hooker Falls                
9:15 AM
Hike 3.5, Drive 90, 300 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Jan Onan, cell: 828-606-5188, janonan59@gmail.com
YPC Form carpools at Toys-R-Us on NC 191 across from Asheville Outlets and meet leader(s) at DuPont Forest Hooker Falls parking lot at 10:00 AM. We'll hike to Triple Falls, then to the bottom of High Falls. Next will be a hike to see the top of High Falls, followed by hiking back to the trailhead and a short hike to Hooker Falls. Topo(s): Standingstone Mtn.; also DuPont State Recreational Forest Trails Map or NatGeo map #504

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  Hike Report:  We had an amazing hike with warm sunny skies. Six youth and 3 adults hiked to Triple Falls, lower and upper High Falls then Hooker Falls. Lunch was at the picnic shelter of High Falls and lots of finger dipping in the river at Hooker Falls. Thanks Beverly for bringing wonderful youth hikers!
We started at 10:23 and ended at 2:15.    Jan Onan
     
Half-Day No. H1702-451                  Apr. 9
MST from Beaverdam Overlook to Sleepy Gap                
12:00 PM
Hike 5.5, Drive 25, 960 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Dick Zimmerer, 828-989-0480, dd1zz@yahoo.com
AT-MST Only meeting place: Toys-R-Us on NC 191 across from Asheville Outlets. A moderate hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, with a steep climb to Ferrin Knob, site of a former fire tower. Easy hiking to Chestnut Cove, then over Truckwheel Mountain to Sleepy Gap. Short car shuttle. Hoping for wildflowers at this time of year at this relatively low elevation.

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  Hike Report:  17 people showed up to hike on a beautiful warm spring day. Didn't see as many wildflowers as hoped for but had some nice views through the trees that have not yet leafed out. Parts of this trail traverse quite beautiful woods. The trail from Beaverdam Gap to Bent Creek Gap is quite rocky and several people complained of sore feet from them. I GPS'd about 5.3 miles, 817' up and 1533' down, which makes this one of the harder 1/2 day hikes.    Dick Zimmerer

Wednesday No. W1702-882                  Apr. 12
Panthertown Valley Waterfalls                
8:00 AM
Hike 6.6, Drive 110, 400 ft. ascent, Rated B-C
Jack Fitzgerald, 828-685-2897, suejackfitz@bellsouth.net
WC100 Form carpools at Toys-R-Us on NC 191 across from Asheville Outlets and meet leader(s) at Pisgah Forest Bi-Lo at 8:30 AM. We will hike to three waterfalls in Panthertown Valley: Greenland Creek Falls (Holly Falls), Schoolhouse Falls and Jawbone Falls. Lunch on sandy beach in front of pool at Jawbone Falls. Topo(s): Big Ridge; also A Guide's Guide to Panthertown

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Saturday No. A1702-383                  Apr. 15
Fawn Lake P. L. #2 - Two Lakes and One Waterfall                
10:00 AM
Hike 8, Drive 25, 1400 ft. ascent, Rated B-B
Chris Kobelin and Kathy McAuley, cell: 518-372-4130, chriskoebelin@gmail.com
First meeting place: Toys-R-Us on NC 191 across from Asheville Outlets. Have you hiked the Reasonover Creek Trail recently? The trail is improved and wet creek crossings are no longer necessary. Here is an opportunity to hike to two lakes, Lake Julia and Fawn Lake, and beautiful Bridal Veil Falls. Second meeting place: Pisgah Forest Bi-Lo at 10:30 AM. Topo(s): Standingstone Mountain; also NatGeo map #504

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Sunday No. A1702-881                  Apr. 16
Clingmans Dome Ramble                
8:00 AM
Hike 10, Drive 150, 2500 ft. ascent, Rated A-AA
Mike Knies, 828-628-6712, knies06@att.net
900M First meeting place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. *Hike limited to ten hikers. Contact leader for reservation.. This exciting new hike will follow various trails in the Clingmans Dome area. We'll begin by hiking two miles west on the A.T. with great long-range views, then two miles down Loggy Ridge through open boreal forest to the site of a former logging camp. Next will be five miles on a fairly open old railroad grade to the site of a logging operation, and then the last mile on the Forney Ridge Trail back to Clingmans Dome. This hike will pass the old steam boiler and many other logging artifacts. Expect a long day of hiking with many very interesting sights!. Second meeting place: Maggie Valley Post Office at 8:30 AM, but contact leader first. Topo(s): Clingmans Dome; also NatGeo map #316

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Half-Day No. H1702-049                  Apr. 16
Big Creek Wildflower Hike                
11:00 AM
Hike 6, Drive 110, 500 ft. ascent, Rated C-C
Renate Rikkers, 828-298-9988, rerikkers@aol.com
900M First meeting place: Home Depot off Exit 44 of I-40. Big Creek, a spectacular mountain stream in the Smokies, offers hikers an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the wild beauty of this section of the park. A comfortable roadbed meanders along rushing rapids, Mouse Creek Falls, huge boulders, and deep swimming holes. A beautiful forest and early wildflower environment make for a special experience - so bring your camera! A moderate in-and-out hike. Second meeting place: Pilot Truck Stop off Exit 24 of I-40 at 11:30 AM. Topo(s): Luftee Knob, Cove Creek Gap; also NatGeo map #317

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Wednesday No. W1702-051                  Apr. 19       (canceled)
Hickey Fork Trail, Pounding Mill Trail, White Oak Trail                
8:30 AM
Hike 8, Drive 85, 1900 ft. ascent, Rated B-A
Tish Desjardins, cell: 828-380-1452, desraylet@aol.com
Form carpools at 160 Zillicoa St. (USFS parking lot), off Exit 25 of I-26 and meet leader(s) at corner of US 25/70 and NC 208 at 9:10 AM. Starting at the footbridge over Hickey Fork, we'll do a nice loop hike, using three different trails and finishing on the newly and heavily rebuilt Hickey Fork Rd. Topo(s): White Rock, Greystone; also NatGeo map #782

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Sunday No. A1702-337                  Apr. 23
Shining Rock from Black Balsam                
*9:00 AM
Hike 11, Drive 65, 1500 ft. ascent, Rated A-B
John Sanders, 828-707-6377, jmsinasheville@gmail.com and Felicia Hemans, 828-458-6017, hemansf@gmail.com
P400, SB6K Form carpools at Toys-R-Us on NC 191 across from Asheville Outlets and meet leader(s) at Cold Mountain Overlook at 9:40 AM. *Wilderness hike, limited to ten hikers—contact leader for reservation. We will take the ALT from FS 816 to Shining Rock (6040 ft.), climbing Black Balsam (6214 ft.), Tennent Mtn. (6040 ft.) and Grassy Cove Top (6040 ft.) along the way. This will be your chance to bag four SB6K peaks while enjoying beautiful views covering the area from Pilot Mtn. to Cold Mtn. We’ll return via the Ivestor Gap Trail to get a different perspective on the same area. Topo(s): Shining Rock, Sam Knob; also NatGeo map #780

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Half-Day No. H1702-325                  Apr. 23
Rich Mountain Fire Tower                
12:30 PM
Hike 5.2, Drive 52, 1350 ft. ascent, Rated C-B
Russ and Heather Cooper, 828-484-9562, cooper.hs@charter.net
AT-MST, LTC Only meeting place: Wells Fargo/Publix parking lot (opposite McDonald's) off Exit 19B of I-26 in Weaverville. This moderate in-and-out hike features great views from the Rich Mountain fire tower near Hot Springs. We follow the A.T. north from Tanyard Gap, then take a short side trail to the fire tower, and return via the A.T. Topo(s): Hot Springs; also ATC TN-NC map #4

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