March

8 World’s Edge, Chimney Rock State Park Meet: Columbus, Food Lion parking area, east side, @ 8:30

4.4-miles, moderate; trail type-out and back

This hike offers wildflowers and spectacular views into Polk County, from its northern boundary.

Approximately 45-minute drive, one-way.

22 Panthertown Valley, Nantahala National Forest

Meet: Columbus, Food Lion parking area, east side, @ 8:30

5.6 miles, moderate; trail type-loop

The trek will lead hikers to Schoolhouse Falls, up Little Green Mountain, and down to Greenland Creek Falls offering wildflowers, water, and views! THERE MAY BE A WET CROSSING ON THIS TRAIL.

Approximately 1.5 hour drive, one-way.

April

5    Pilot Cove and Slate Rock Creek Trails, Pisgah NF

Meet: Columbus Food Lion parking area, east side, @ 8:30

6.8-miles, easy to moderate; trail type-loop These trails are located in the Mills River area of Pisgah National Forest. The hike crosses several streams and offers views of two waterfalls and several cascades on Slate Rock Creek. Should be a great time for wildflowers and birds!

Approximately 1 hour drive, one-way.

19    Trombatore Trail, near Bearwallow Mountain

Meet: Columbus Food Lion parking area, east side, @ 8:30

4.8-miles, moderate to difficult; trail type- out and back

This hike offers wildflowers, an ancient buckeye tree, and stunning views of Hickory Nut Gorge from a beautiful grassy bald.

Approximately 45-minute drive, one-way.

Conserving Carolina

Hiking Trails

Conserving Carolina is pleased to offer hiking trails, open to the public.

Bearwallow Mountain Trail, near Gerton, offers exceptional 360° views in just a 2-mile round trip hike!

Florence Nature Preserve offers a network of more than 5-miles of hiking trails on the slopes of Little Pisgah Mountain, in Gerton.

The Trombatore Trail is a total of 4.8- miles and leads to Blue Ridge Pastures, a grassy bald with spectacular views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Bearwallow Mountain; located near Gerton.

Weed Patch Mountain Trail offers exciting backcountry adventures for hikers, mountain bikers, and rock climbers. The 8.6 mile trail traverses rugged mountain terrain through a remote wilderness area in the Town of Lake Lure’s Buffalo Creek Park.

Wildcat Rock Trail, in Gerton, features a stunning waterfall, breathtaking view from a rock outcrop, and a picturesque ridgeline meadow. The 6-mile, round trip, trail is a great hike! The property also accommodates rock and ice climbers.

Norman Wilder Forest is located on NC Hwy 176 near the Town of Tryon offers 2-3 miles of trails located on the south- facing slope of Little Warrior Mountain.

General Information

Conserving Carolina is sponsoring a Friday hiking series this spring, free and open to the public. The hikes will meet at various locations (noted for each date) and will leave promptly at 8:45 a.m. Hikers should plan to return to the area in the late afternoon, time varying with group size, distance of hike, and drive time. Car- pooling will be organized at the meeting locations.

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For more information visit website: www.conservingcarolina.org/get-involved/hiking- challenge-4/