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–
Vince Castello–

Friday Hoofer Winter 2019 Schedule

January 4    Buck Spring – BRP
11 mi, 1700’cl, R8, $2.50
Meet at BiLo
We park at the Cold Mountain Overlook on the BRP and hike the Mountain to Sea trail from US276 to the Buck Spring trail.  After 7 stream crossings and 8 switchbacks we reach the Pisgah Inn for a brown bag lunch on the porch.  Then we hike the Frying Pan trail over Big Bald to the BRP and back to our cars.

January 11  Dupont — Wintergreen Falls – Stone Mountain
9 mi, 2100’cl, R5, $1.00
Meet at Cedar Mountain or Sky Valley parking
From Sky Valley parking we hike a bunch of trails in Dupont State Forest that take us to Wintergreen Falls and Stone Mountain.

January 18   23 Feature Hike
11 mi, 2300’cl, R8, $4.00
Meet at Catheys Creek Road
Starting at the MST trailhead on NC215 we walk down to the Flat Laurel Creek trail.  We hike it to the Sam Knob trail to the summit for lunch.  Then we hike down to the Sam Knob parking lot, up the Art Loeb Spur trail, down the Art Loeb trail to the  MST and back to our cars.

January 25    Searcy Road – Art Loeb – Butter Gap
10 mi, 1800′cl, R6, $1.50
Meet at BiLo
From the Fish Hatchery we hike the Cat Gap Loop, Butter Gap and Long Branch trails to FS5095 (Searcy Road). After turning left we hike FS5095 to its end.  A user trail takes us up to the Art Loeb trail. We hike over Chestnut Mountain to Butter Gap and hike back to our cars.

February 1    Jones Gap – El Lieutenant
7 mi, 1600’cl, R5, $0.00
Meet at Cedar Mountain
From the Ravencliff 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 Ravencliff Falls parking lot.

February 8    Case Camp – Seniard Ridge
10 mi, 2700’cl , R10, $2.00
Meet at BiLo
From the closed gate on 475B we walk to the Case Camp trail and hike up to the Parkway.  From there we hike the MST, Pisgah Ridge and Parkway to the Graveyard Fields Second Falls overlook.  After viewing the ice wall, we return to our cars by hiking the Parkway and Seniard Ridge trails.

February 15   Caesars Head – Dismal – Natureland Trust Trail
8 mi, 2400’, R9, $0.00
Meet at Cedar Mountain
From the Ravencliff Falls trailhead on US276 we hike to the overlook before hiking the Dismal trail  down to the Naturland Trust trail. We cross Matthews Creek a couple times including the swinging bridge on our way to our shuttle on US276.

February 22   Neil Gap Loop
9 mi, 1500’cl, R5, $0.00
Meet at BiLo
From Lowes parking we walk the Eastatoe trail to the Art Loeb trail.  Then we hike up to Neil Gap to the North Slope Connector.  From there we hike the North Slope trail through the Davidson River campground to the Art Loeb trail and back to our cars.

March 1   Coontree/Bennett Gap/Pressley Cove/Perry Cove
10 mi, a bunch of cl, R10, $1.50
Meet at BiLo
From the Coontree trail parking lot we hike up the south side of the Coontree loop to Coontree Gap at the Bennett Gap trail.  We cross Avery Creek road and hike the Pressley Cove trail to Clawhammer road.  We come back via the Maxwell Cove, Perry Cove, Bennett Gap and Coontree trails to our cars.

March 8   Whitewater Falls
9 mi, 2000’cl, R6, $5.00
Meet at Catheys Creek Road
From the Bad Creek trailhead on the Foothills trail we hike to the Lower Whitewater Falls overlook.  We retrace our steps and hike the Foothills trail up the Whitewater River.  After lunch at the bridge we hike to the Upper Whitewater Falls and then continue upriver to our shuttle at the Whitewater River bridge.

March 15   Falls Creek Falls – Pretty Place – Rainbow Falls
10mi, 2800’cl, R10, $5.00
 Early Start:  8:00AM
Meet at Cedar Mountain
From the Falls Creek Falls trailhead in Jones Gap State Park we hike to Falls Creek Falls, Pretty Place and Rainbow Falls before hiking the Jones Gap trail back to our shuttle.

March 22    Little Pisgah – Big Creek – Pilot Rock Loop
8 mi, 1600’, R8, $4.00
Meet at BiLo
From the Pisgah Inn parking lot we hike the Buck Spring trail past the overlook to the MST to the Little Pisgah tunnel.   Then we hike the Big Creek trail and an unmarked trail up to the Laurel Mountain trail.  From there we hike the Laurel Mountain trail, Connector trail, Pilot Rock trail and Buck Spring trails back to our cars at the Pisgah Inn.

March 29    Toxaway River – Lake Jocassee
8 mi. 1940’cl , R7, $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.