Aug
3
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Thursday, August 3

No Half Day hike today
Full Day – Pinnacle
Moderate with some strenuous sections; 16.4 miles total; 3300’gain.
The second-longest hike of the summer takes us to Pinnacle Mountain, just south of the Blue Ridge Parkway near the entrance to Mount Mitchell State Park. We’ll take the Graybeard Trail to the foot of Graybeard Mountain, walk along the Mitchell Toll Road all the way to the Parkway, and then double back along the ridge line to Pinnacle. We’ll have a leisurely lunch at the top with plenty of time to take in the excellent view (and a nap), and then return via the Toll Road to Buck Gap, Lookout Trail and home. Be sure to bring rain gear and plenty of water. 

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Aug
1
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Tuesday, August 1
Half Day -- Lookout Loop
Moderate. Pace: Moderate
Full Day -- The “Top o’ the Valley” Hike
Strenuous with some moderate sections; 9.3 miles total; 3000’ gain.
From the Nature Center we’ll walk up to the family campground and then up the Rocky Head Trail to the top of Rocky Head. After a quick rest we’ll head North to Potts Cove Gap, follow the Trestle switchbacks to Walker’s Knob, and then on to the top of Graybeard. After lunch, we’ll travel down the West Ridge to Big Piney and then return to Montreat on the Big Piney Ridge Trail.

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Jul
27
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Thursday, July 27
Half Day – Lower Piney
Easy. Pace: Leisurely
Full Day – Trestle Railroad Tour
Moderate; 8.8 miles total; 2000’ gain.
This hike will trace the entire route of the Dickey and Campbell Railroad within the Montreat valley. Begun in late 1912 and completed just 364 days later (with the help of several hundred workers and 700 tons of dynamite) the 22-mile-long railroad supplied the sawmill in Black Mountain with logs from the virgin spruce/fir forests on the flanks of Mount Mitchell. Beautiful fitted stone walls, slag piles of “clinkers” from the steam engines, and the remains of several old bridges are just some of the historic details featured on this hike.

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Jul
25
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Tuesday, July 25

Half-Day – Rainbow Mountain Strenuous. Pace: Moderate
Full Day – Walker’s Knob
Moderate with a few strenuous sections; 10.3 miles total; 2500’ gain.
We’ll ascend via the Graybeard Trail to Walker’s Knob which offers a superlative view of Montreat and Black Mountain. After lunch, we’ll return via the same route. 

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Jul
20
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Thursday, July 20
Half Day -- Lookout Traverse Loop (Lookout Trail to Trestle; Trestle to Buck Gap; Toll Road back to Lookout and down) Easy with Moderate Sections. Pace: Moderate
Full Day – Pinnacle
Moderate with some strenuous sections; 16.4 miles total; 3300’gain.
The second-longest hike of the summer takes us to Pinnacle Mountain, just south of the Blue Ridge Parkway near the entrance to Mount Mitchell State Park. We’ll take the Graybeard Trail to the foot of Graybeard Mountain, walk along the Mitchell Toll Road all the way to the Parkway, and then double back along the ridge line to Pinnacle. We’ll have a leisurely lunch at the top with plenty of time to take in the excellent view (and a nap), and then return via the Toll Road to Buck Gap, Lookout Trail and home. Be sure to bring rain gear and plenty of water.

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Jul
18
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Tuesday, July 18
Half Day – Brushy Mountain
Moderate with Strenuous sections. Pace: Fast
Full Day -- Graybeard Mountain
Moderate; 11.9 miles total; 3000’ gain.
We’ll take the Graybeard Trail to the Walker’s Knob hiking shelter. After a snack and a quick side trip to enjoy the view from Walker’s Knob we’ll continue climbing the Graybeard Trail to the top of Graybeard Mountain, the highest point in Montreat. Excellent views (north toward Mount Mitchell) and wild country make this a truly memorable hike. After lunch at the summit we’ll backtrack to Montreat.

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Jul
15
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Saturday, July15

Full Day – Mount Mitchell
Moderate but very long; 18 miles total; 4000’ gain.
This is the longest day hike we offer during the season, and one not to be missed if you are up to the challenge! We will try a new transportation scheme this year: one group of hikers (with Ranger guides) will drive up to the summit of Mount Mitchell and hike down to Montreat while the other Ranger-led group will hike from the Nature Center to the summit of Mitchell. The “downhill” group will pass their car keys to the “uphill” group when they meet on the trail. This means that we need half as many cars as usual to make the 100-mile round-trip from Montreat to Mount Mitchell via the Parkway. It also means that hikers can choose either a downhill or an uphill route.


This hike requires reservations! Please contact the Nature Center staff as soon as possible to add your name to the list. Despite the new transportation plan some hikers will still need to drive to Mitchell and be willing for someone else to drive their car back to Montreat. All hikers will be expected to contribute to the gas fund for our drivers!


Please talk to the Ranger staff or one of the Nature Center volunteers for more details about this tough but very rewarding hike. The uphill route will definitely add Mount Mitchell to your “South Beyond 6,000” list.

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Jul
13
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature

Thursday, July 13
Half Day – Sanctuary Loop
Easy Pace: Leisurely
Full Day -- West Ridge
Strenuous and remote; strong hikers only; 11.1 miles total; 3000’ gain.
After warming up on the Stomping Knob trail we’ll head north along the West Ridge all the way to Graybeard. After eating lunch we’ll return to Montreat via the Graybeard Trail. Long pants and stout boots are recommended

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Jul
11
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Tuesday, July 11
Half Day – Rattlesnake Rock (Big Piney Trail)
Moderate with short strenuous sections. Bring plenty of water. Pace: Moderate
Full Day – Walker’s Knob
Moderate; 10.3 miles total; 2500’ gain.
We’ll ascend via the Graybeard Trail to Walker’s Knob which offers a superlative view of Montreat and Black Mountain. After lunch, we’ll return via the same route.

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Jul
6
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Thursday, July 6
No half-day hike today.
Full Day -- The Annual Perimeter Hike

Long and strenuous with some moderate sections; 16.0 miles total; expect to return after 5 PM. Bring plenty of water, snacks, lunch, and rain gear. Rangers will provide one water drop near the half-way point.
A 4th of July week tradition. We’ll ascend Stomping Knob to the West Ridge, then up to Graybeard Mountain for lunch. Return along the East Ridge to Rainbow Mountain. A very challenging hike topping nearly every peak in the Montreat valley; this is a trip for strong hikers only.

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Jul
1
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Saturday, July 1

Full Day Rocky Knob
Moderate; 13.1 miles total; 2900’ gain.
Rocky Knob was purchased by the Montreat Cottagers Association to protect this precious resource from possible future development. It is a wild and remote destination, and this hike has always been a Ranger favorite. We’ll ascend the Graybeard Trail and then pop over to the Mitchell Toll Road just above Dickey’s Loop. We’ll walk the Toll Road north to Rocky Knob, eat lunch at the knob, and then take a long rest and enjoy the excellent views of the North Fork watershed before returning to Montreat. 

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Jun
29
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Thursday, June 29
Half Day – Walden’s Rock Out-and-Back Moderate Pace: Fast
Full Day -- East Ridge Ramble
Moderate with a few strenuous sections; 6 miles total; 1700’ gain.
From the Nature Center we’ll ascend the Lookout Trail and then travel along the East Ridge all the way to Long Gap. In the process, we’ll cross Lookout, Boggs’ Bunion, Brushy, and Rocky Head. We will take the Trestle to Potts Cove gap, and then return to Montreat via the Graybeard Trail.

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Jun
27
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Tuesday, June 27
No half-day hike today.
Full Day – Mount Mitchell
Moderate but very long; 18 miles total; 4000’ gain.
This is the longest day hike we offer during the season, and one not to be missed if you are up to the challenge! We will try a new transportation scheme this year: one group of hikers (with Ranger guides) will drive up to the summit of Mount Mitchell and hike down to Montreat while the other Ranger-led group will hike from the Nature Center to the summit of Mitchell. The “downhill” group will pass their car keys to the “uphill” group when they meet on the trail. This means that we need half as many cars as usual to make the 100-mile round-trip from Montreat to Mount Mitchell via the Parkway. It also means that hikers can choose either a downhill or an uphill route.


This hike requires reservations! Please contact the Nature Center staff as soon as possible to add your name to the list. Despite the new transportation plan some hikers will still need to drive to Mitchell and be willing for someone else to drive their car back to Montreat. All hikers will be expected to contribute to the gas fund for our drivers!


Please talk to the Ranger staff or one of the Nature Center volunteers for more details about this tough but very rewarding hike. The uphill route will definitely add Mount Mitchell to your “South Beyond 6,000” list.

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Jun
22
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Thursday, June 22
Half Day- Toll Road Tour
Easy Pace: Moderate
Full Day- Hydroelectric Tour
Moderate with several very steep sections; 4.8 miles total; 1800’ gain.
We will ascend Graybeard Trail to the site of the old Montreat reservoir which provided water for the hydroelectric plant which served Montreat until the early 1930’s. We’ll continue on to Potts Cove, then head south along the Trestle Road to Long Gap, where we will take the East Ridge Trail south to the summit of Rocky Head. We will descend on the Rocky Head trail, passing the old holding ponds, descend to the Montreat Campgrounds, then back to the Nature Center.

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Jun
17
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Saturday June 17

Full Day -- East Ridge Ramble
Moderate with a few strenuous sections; 6 miles total; 1700’ gain.
From the Nature Center we’ll ascend the Lookout Trail and then travel along the East Ridge all the way to Long Gap. In the process, we’ll cross Lookout, Boggs’ Bunion, Brushy, and Rocky Head. We will take the Trestle to Potts Cove gap, and then return to Montreat via the Graybeard Trail.

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Jun
15
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center

Thursday, June 15
Half DayRainbow Road Easy  Pace: Moderate
Full Day Rocky Knob
Moderate; 13.1 miles total; 2900’ gain.
Rocky Knob was purchased by the Montreat Cottagers Association to protect this precious resource from possible future development. It is a wild and remote destination, and this hike has always been a Ranger favorite. We’ll ascend the Graybeard Trail and then pop over to the Mitchell Toll Road just above Dickey’s Loop. We’ll walk the Toll Road north to Rocky Knob, eat lunch at the knob, and then take a long rest and enjoy the excellent views of the North Fork watershed before returning to Montreat. 

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Jun
13
9:00 AM09:00

Public Hike

Meet at Nature Center at 9:00

Tuesday, June 13 Half Day – Rattlesnake Rock (Big Piney Trail) Moderate with short strenuous sections. Bring plenty of water. Pace: Moderate
Full Day – Walker’s Knob
Moderate; 10.3 miles total; 2500’ gain.
We’ll ascend via the Graybeard Trail to Walker’s Knob which offers a superlative view of Montreat and Black Mountain. After lunch, we’ll return via the same route. 

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Nov
7
9:30 AM09:30

Hike; Joyce Kilmer Forest

Join us for a hike through an old growth forest.  We will meet at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church for a carpool to the southern Smokies and Joyce Kilmer Forest.  It is approximately a 2 hour drive with an easy hike at the end.  Bring a lunch and a camera.

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Oct
2
to Oct 4

Work Weekend and Campout

The Trail Club has reserved camping sites in the Montreat Campgrounds for a social work weekend.  Friday night will be a dutch oven / outdoor cooking potluck.  Bring your favorite outdoor dish, followed by an evening by the fire.

Saturday we plan to head up to Lookout Trail for a full day of maintenance.  This will include planting native plants in barren areas of the newly re-routed trail, as well as installing cribs and erosions preventing structures and steps.  

Saturday night will be a dinner at the Trailhead restaurant.  Return to the campsite for another night of camping, or to your own home.  

Sunday will be another optional workday for any that still have it in them to work.  

Join us for any or all of the weekend.  

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Sep
27
2:00 PM14:00

Educational; Raptor Migration

We will be heading up the parkway to the Mill River Overlook with Bill Sanderson to view the migrating Raptors.  Bring a picnic dinner, binoculars, and whatever other birdy facts you want to research up before hand.  

We plan to meet at the Swannanoa Ingles at 2:00 to arrange a carpool.

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Jul
18
8:30 AM08:30

Trail Club Hike

Montreat Perimeter Hike. This hike will meet at the Montreat Gate parking lot. The hikers will ascend the steepest of the Montreat Trails, Stomping Knob, to access the West Ridge.  From here the hike steadily ascends to the top of the valley, summiting 5 of the Seven Sisters.  From Greybeard Mountain the hike will make its way down the switchbacks toward Pot Cove Gap.  At this point there will be an optional opt out, and the rest of the group will then get onto the East Ridge Trail, making its way around the perimeter, then down the Rainbow Mountain Trail. 

This hike is the most strenuous hike of the Montreat Valley and is over 16 miles in length, but worth the accomplishment. 

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Jun
20
9:00 AM09:00

Trail Club Hike

Catawba Falls: It is an easy hike for the first two miles to the first waterfall but is a strenuous half mile climb to the second waterfall. The climb is worth the effort! An option to stay at the first falls while the rest of the group goes to the second falls will be available. Carpooling can be arranged. Departure Time and carpool location TBA.

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May
16
9:00 AM09:00

Trail Club Hike

Top o’ the Valley: This hike will meet at the Greybeard Trailhead.  From there we will either follow the Greybeard trail to Walker's knob, or head straight up to Rattlesnake Rock.  The forecasted weather will dictate  The hike is a loop, following a good portion of the West Ridge with stunning views.  It is mostly a moderate hike with some strenuous sections. We are planning on returning to the parking lot by 3:00-4:00.  Optional social time follows at The Trailhead.  Bring water, rain gear, lunch, a sweater, and a flashlight (just in case).  

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