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 consistently 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.  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 former BiLo Grocery Store parking lot in Pisgah Forest, Catheys Creek Road at US64 and the Cedar Mountain Community Center parking lot.  Details for each location are given in the Assembly Areas tab. NOTE: during the Pandemic we are typically meeting at the trailheads or at a caravan location identified in the hike descriptions or the Update.

Photos: Pictures taken during some of the hikes can be found here.

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

Friday Hoofer Spring 2021 Schedule

COVID UPDATE: We will start this quarter continuing to meet at the appropriate trailhead parking areas. These will be identified in the Updates if not in the text below. We are hoping to start car pooling again starting somewhere around mid May to early June, depending on the progress against COVID and CDC guidance.

April 2 Black Balsam/Devil’s Courthouse (P400)
10 mi, 2000’cl, R8

From NC215 we take the MST, Little Sam, Flat Laurel Creek to Sam Knob parking, then the Black Balsam Spur, Art Loeb and MST to Black Balsam and hike the parkway and NC215 down to our cars.

April 9 Rim of the Gap
11 mi, 2300’cl, R10

From the Caesars Head visitor center on US276 we hike the Frank Coggins trail to the Rim of the Gap trail in Jones Gap State Park. After trekking the Rim of the Gap, we hike the Pinnacle Pass trail to Oil Camp Creek to the Naturaland Trust Trail back to our cars.

April 16 Big East Fork Loop (P400)
10 mi, 2900’cl, R10

Starting from the Big East Fork trailhead off 276 we go up river on the Big East Fork trail to the MST near the Skinny Dip trail, the return along the MST to Green Knob. From Green Knob we take user trails down the ridge to our cars.

April 23 Hospital Rock Loop Clockwise
9 mi, 2700’cl, R10

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.

April 30 Funnel Top
12.7 mi, 1900’cl, R10+

Early Start (to Yellow Gap Rd) – 8:30 AM
This starts at the campsite parking area on Wolf Ford Road (off Yellow Gap Rd) across from FSR 5018. We follow unmarked trails and a bushwhack over the four peaks of Funnel Top and return via FSR 5018, the Horse Cove, Squirrel Gap and S. Mills River trails.

May 7 Shining Rock (Easy way)
8 mi, 1500’cl, R8

We’ll head over to Shining Rock from Big Sam Parking via the Art Loeb and/or Ivestor Gap trails.

May 14 Buckeye Gap/Haywood Gap (P400)
9 mi, 1600’cl, R9

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.

May 21 Little East Fork (P400)
13.1 mi, 3000’cl, R10+

From the Boy Scout Camp in Canton we hike the Little East Fork trail up to the Art Loeb trail, over to Cold Mountain and back down to our cars.

May 28 Panthertown Valley Loop
13 mi, 2800’cl, R10+
Early Start: 8:00 AM

From the Cold Mountain Road parking lot we hike to Schoolhouse Falls, Little Green Mountain, Big Green Mountain, Salt Rock, and Blackrock Mountain before returning to our cars.

June 4 Graveyard Fields Ramble
9 mi, 600’cl, R8

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 third Graveyard Fields exit and visit the Second Falls on our way back to our cars.

June 11 North Mills River/Big Creek (P400)
11 mi, 1100’cl, R9

From the North Mills River trailhead in the North Mills River Recreational Area we’ll hike the Trace Ridge trail and the North Mills River trail crossing the North Mills River 10 times. Then we’ll hike the Big Creek trail and cross it 12 times or until we get tired of getting our feet wet before returning to our cars via the North Mills River trail and a campsite trail. Wear old hiking shoes and socks that you don’t mind getting wet. We won’t be changing shoes at each crossing.

June 18 23 Feature Hike (P400)
11.4 mi, 2300’cl, R10

Starting on NC215 at the MST TH, we walk down to and on the Flat Laurel Creek Trail, then up Sam Knob, then to Sam Knob parking lot and up Art Loeb Spur to lower view from Black Balsam; Art Loeb and then MST takes us to Devil’s Courthouse and then MST to where we started.

June 25 Bradley Creek (P400)
9 mi., 1600’cl, R9

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.