The Transylvania Times -

Conserving Carolina's Fall Hiking Series Begins On Friday, Sept. 27


September 16, 2019

Hikers enjoy a trail on Black Balsam. (Courtesy photo)

Conserving Carolina invites the community to enjoy the work that conservation organizations have done over the years to preserve the area's natural resources and to take in the beauty of the fall season.

Starting on Friday, Sept. 27, five free guided hikes will be offered every other Friday through Nov. 22, with one additional free guided hike offered on Saturday, Nov. 16.

On Sept. 27, the first hike will head to Sam's Knob and Flat Laurel Creek for a 5-mile, moderate, lollipop hike in Pisgah National Forest. This hike offers 360-degree panoramic views of the Shining Rock Wilderness, stream crossings and perhaps some wildlife sightings.

On Oct. 11, the next hike will take place at World's Edge at Chimney Rock State Park. This 4.4 mile, moderate, out and back hike will offer hikers spectacular views into Polk County from its northern boundary.

On Oct. 25, the group will head to Bursted Rock in Headwaters State Park. The 5.2-mile, strenuous, out and back hike will lead the group to a geodetic benchmark inscribed "Bursting Rock" and set in a granitic dome. The destination offers dramatic views of the sheer cliffs of Table Rock and the piedmont to the south.

On Nov. 8, Conserving Carolina will partner with Polk County Recreation for a 10-mile, strenuous, one-way hike with a shuttle on the award-winning Weed Patch Mountain trail. Starting at Eagle Rock in Chimney Rock State Park, the trail will traverse along rock outcrops, pristine mountain streams, and an old growth forest in addition to offering spectacular long-range views before ending at Buffalo Creek Park.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, hikers will have the opportunity to visit Walnut Creek Preserve for an approximately 6-mile, moderate, loop hike. Walnut Creek Preserve is a 2,100-acre private equestrian conservation community located near Lake Lure. Participants will enjoy traversing the maturing forest with numerous streams, as well as open, grassy knolls that offer beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

Finally, on Nov. 22, hikers will venture to the new observation deck on Sassafras Mountain then follow a portion of the Foothills Trail before Hiking a new section of the Palmetto Trail, the Roundtop Mountain Passages, to Rock Mountain overlook. The 6-mile, moderately strenuous, out and back hike will offer scenic views from South Carolina's highest point!

If you are interested in attending Conserving Carolina's fall hikes and would like more information, contact Pam Torlina at (828) 697-5777, ext. 300, or email You can also find more details and information on Conserving Carolina's website,, and on Conserving Carolina's Facebook page.


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