Friday Hoofers

Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Friday Hoofer hikes are the longest, have more climb, and are the most strenuous of the five groups.   Please consult with one of the hike leaders before hiking with this group.  We normally ask potential Friday Hoofers to first hike with the Wednesday Striders.

Here is a Friday Hoofer Video that describes some of the fun we experience during our hikes.

Time:  Unless noted in the hike description the regular start time is 9:00 am.  However sometime in May we switch to our 8:30 am summer start time.  Please arrive 10 minutes early for a prompt departure.

Updates:  Updates are posted on the Updates page every Thursday morning before the Friday hike, and sometimes at other times.  Because of the uncertain weather in Western North Carolina an update may be posted the morning of the hike changing or cancelling the hike.  Hikers are encouraged to check for updates before heading to the meeting place.  If you would like to receive updates sent directly to your email, press the “+Follow” button at the lower right hand corner of any web page and provide your email address.

Assembly:  Three different Assembly Area locations are used depending upon the location of the hike.  The schedule specifies a starting location for each hike, which differs from hike to hike.  The three starting locations are the BiLo Grocery Store parking lot, Catheys Creek Road at US64 and the Cedar Mountain Community Center parking lot.  Details for each location are given in the Assembly Areas tab.

Friday Hoofer Hike Leaders (as of 1/1/2020):
David Yeager–
Vince Castello–

Friday Hoofer Winter 2020 Schedule

January 3 Bad Fork/Trace Ridge (Contains parts of the P400)
8.5 mi, 1850’cl, R10
Meet at BiLo $3.00; or Meet at Ingles Mills River $1.00
A hike over the Bad Fork trail from its trailhead on Wash Creek Road to Bent Creek Gap, then on the MTS/Shut-In over Ferrin Knob to Beaverdam Gap and back down on the Trace Ridge trail. We then complete the loop to Bad Fork via user trails.

January 10 F22B Fish Hatchery, Chestnut Knob to Ranger Station (Contains parts of the P400)
9mi. 2200’cl, R10+, $1.00
Meet at BiLo (Shuttle)
From the Fish Hatchery we go up the left (or right) Cat Gap trail to Cat Gap where we turn left on the Loeb and head to the Ranger Station. The SHUTTLE will have been deposited on US 276 at the Art Loeb trail head parking area.

January 17 Raven Cliff to Dismal to Raven Cliff loop
8.5 mi, 2300’cl, R10+, $0.00, parking fee
Meet at Cedar Mountain
Starting at the Raven Cliff Parking area we hike to Raven Cliff falls overlook, then on to Raven Cliff Fall’s suspension bridge via Gum Gap trail then down Naturaland Trust to the Dismal trail and back to the Raven Cliff parking area.

January 24 Hospital Rock Loop Clockwise (Postponed)
7mi, 2600’cl, R10, $3.50
Meet at Cedar Mountain
From Jones Gap State Park in SC we take the Jones Gap trail to the Rainbow Falls trail, then up to Pretty Place and over to Hospital Rock trail to Hospital Rock back to our cars at Jones Gap State Park headquarters.

January 31 Negro Mountain Loop
8 mi, 1600’cl, R10, $1.00
Meet at Catheys Creek Road
With our trailhead just 3 miles up Cathy’s Creek Road, we start up Cycleham Gap Road and hike to the top of Negro Mountain and then take a loop to Cycleham Gap and finally Long Hollow Gap. There are two good winter views and some stream crossing.

February 7 F22B Cove Creek-Daniel Creek Loop (Contains parts of the P400)
9 mi, 1300’cl, R10, $2.00
Meet at BiLo
Starting from the Cove Creek Parking lot we hike towards Cove Creek, cut over to the Daniel Ridge trail via an unmarked trail and FR 5046 by the Toms Spring Falls, up past the top of the Daniel Ridge Loop trail then left on an unmarked trail to an old roadbed onto FR 225 then R on the Cove Creek and Caney Bottom trails to our cars.

February 14 Sharpy Mountain Loop (Contains parts of the P400)
6.5 mi, 1350’cl, R9, $1.00
Meet at BiLo
This is the only Turkey Pen Hike that starts out downhill and ends downhill (but a lot of climb in between). From Turkey Pen parking we go down the usual hill to the So. Mills River, then find ourselves a while later going up the Wagon Road trail to the Turkey Pen trail and then over Sharpy mountain and then down, down, down to the parking lot.

February 21 Sassafras Mountain to Table Rock or Vice Versa (Key Exchange)
9.7 mi, ~3200’cl from Table Rock, R10+, (Meet at Cedar Mountain for either start – Sassafras Start – $2.50, Table Rock start, $3.00)
One group starts out at Sassafras Mountain the other at Table Rock and using the Foothills Trail we swap keys around Pinnacle Mountain.

February 28 Toxaway River – Lake Jocassee
8 mi. 1940’cl , R10, $2.00
Meet at Catheys Creek Road
We hike the Cane Break trail down to the swinging bridge over the Toxaway River at Lake Jocassee. We return by visiting several waterfalls.

March 6 Cantrell Creek Loop (Contains parts of the P400)
11 mi, 800’cl, R10, $1.25
Meet at BiLo
We will follow the South Mills River and Cantrell Creek trails from Turkey Pen parking. It is then on to Laurel Gap for lunch, exiting via the Mullinax and South Mills River trails to our cars. An extra snack might come in handy due to length of this hike.

March 13 Jones Gap – El Lieutenant
8 mi, 1600’cl, R10, $0.00
Meet at Cedar Mountain
From the Raven Cliff Falls parking lot we hike the “Killer Miller” trail to the Jones Gap trail. We hike the Jones Gap trail to the Coldsprings Branch trail and cross the bridge over the Saluda River. After crossing the bridge we hike the Bill Kimball trail over “El Lieutenant” to the Raven Cliff Falls parking lot.

March 20 Big Ben Falls, Chattooga River
~10 mi, minimum cl, R8, $4.00
Meet at Catheys Creek
Starting at Burrells Ford Road in SC, this round tripper takes us to the Chattooga River, visiting King Falls and Big Ben Falls along the way.

March 27 Black Balsam Devils Courthouse (Contains parts of the P400)
~9 mi, 600’cl, R8, $5.00
Meet at BiLo
From NC215 we take the MTS, Little Sam, Flat Laurel Creek to Sam Knob parking, then the Black Balsam Spur, Art Loeb and MTS to Black Balsam and hike the parkway and NC215 down to our cars.