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, Cathey’s 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:
Jay Hinze–828-553-6533;
Vince Castello–828-458-4489;

Friday Hoofer Spring 2018 Schedule

April 6   Caesars Head–Naturland Trust Trail
10 mi, 2300’cl, R8, $1.00
Meet at Cedar Mountain
From its crossing on US276 we hike the Naturland Trust trail down to Matthews Creek and over the swinging bridge. Then we hike to the Ravencliff Falls overlook and back to our shuttle on US276.

April 13     Mount Cammerer  (Weather Permitting)
Early Start 7:30 AM
12 mi, 3300cl, R10+, $13.00
Meet at BiLo
From the Big Creek trailhead off of I40 (Exit 451), we hike the Chestnut Branch trail to the AT.  Then we  hike the AT to a side trail to the historic forest lookout atop Mt. Cammerer.  It’s a long walk back to our cars.

April 20  F51C  Thompson Creek/Pilot Rock
8mi, 2200 R9 $4.00
Meet at BiLo
From the Pilot Rock trailhead on Yellow Gap Road we walk the road to the Thompson Creek trailhead.  We hike the Thompson Creek trail past the Pisgah Inn and on to the Buck Spring overlook for lunch.  From there we hike the Buck Spring trail to the Laurel Mountain trail.  We hike Connector trail to the Pilot Rock trail to our cars on Yellow Gap Road.

April 27   Flat Creek Falls Panthertown
8 mi, 1440’cl, R5, $5.00
Meet at Catheys Creek Road
From the trailhead at the end of Rock Bridge road in Panthertown we hike an unmaintained trestle path and old logging roads before scrambling over boulders to the base of the Flat Creek Falls–one of the most outstanding waterfalls in western North Carolina. We’ll retrace our steps back to our cars.  You’ll wear old hiking shoes for the wet stream crossings on this hike.

May 4   Bennett Cove/Big East Fork
8 mi, 1800’ cl, R8, $3.00
Meet at BiLo
This hike starts with an easy bushwhack down Bennett Cove from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Big East Fork. From there we hike up the Big East Fork to the Bridges Camp trail and the MTS trail back to our cars on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Please note: Summer meeting time is 8:30 starting with the next hike.

May 11    Buckeye Gap – Haywood Gap
8 mi, 1600’ cl, R8, $5.50
Meet at Catheys Creek Road
From the Rough Butt Overlook on the Parkway we hike down, down, down the Buckeye Gap trail to the Middle Prong for lunch. Then we hike up, up, up the Haywood Gap trail to the Parkway. We walk the Parkway back to our cars enjoying the pink shell azaleas and service berry blooms along the way.

May 18   Avery Creek – Buckhorn Gap Loop
10mi, 2000’, R9, $1.00
Meet at BiLo
From its trailhead on Avery Creek Road we hike the Avery Creek trail to Club Gap.  Then we hike the Black Mountain, Buckhorn Gap, Twin Falls, Buckhorn Gap and Avery Creek trails back to our cars.

May 25  Buck Spring – Pisgah Inn
12 mi, 1500’ cl, R7, $2.50
Meet at BiLo
From the Buck Spring trailhead on US276 we hike to the Pisgah Inn for our bag lunch on the Adirondack chairs.  We return to our cars by the reverse route.

June 1    Panthertown Valley Loop
10 mi, 2000’cl, R10, $4.00
Early Start:  8:00AM
Meet at Cathey’s Creek Road
From the Cold Mountain Gap parking lot we hike to Warden Falls , Blackrock Mountain, Salt Rock, Little Green Mountain, Schoolhouse Falls and the falls on Greenland Creek.

June 8    MST – Beaver Dam Gap
8mi, 1500’cl, R5, $4.00
Meet at BiLo
From the Pisgah Inn we hike the Buck Spring/MST to the Buck Spring Overlook.  We continue downhill on the MST to Beaver Dam Gap where our shuttle awaits.

June 15   Pisgah Ranger Station – Straus Park (Fortune Cove)
8+mi, 1200’cl, R5, $0
Meet at BiLo
The hike starts at the Ranger Station on 276  then picks up the Art Loeb trail.  We follow the Art Loeb trail to the Joel Branch Road intersection.  We take a left onto Joel Branch Rd for a couple of miles and then a left onto a user trail, across a ridge, then on to Hawk’s Trail and down to our awaiting shuttle in Straus Park. We will have lunch on some benches with a nice mountain view.

June 22   Bradley Creek
9mi., 1157’, R7, $1.00
Meet at BiLo
Starting at Turkey Pen parking, we hike the Mullinax, Squirrel Gap, Laurel Creek and Bradley Creek trails, crossing several streams before climbing back up to our car. Wear old hiking shoes and socks that you don’t mind getting wet. We won’t be changing shoes at each crossing.

June 29   Graveyard Fields Ramble
9mi, 600’cl, R8, $4.50
Meet at BiLo
The hike starts across the BRP from Graveyard Fields parking. We head up the Pisgah Ridge trail crossing the BRP to the MST. We hike the MST to the Graveyard Ridge trail back to our cars.