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 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.

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/Summer 2020 Schedule

In light of Governor Cooper transition phases to ease the Stay at Home directive and the phase opening of the parks and Pisgah Forest, David and I have decided to start up Friday Hoofers again in June, starting with the 5 June hike. We wish everyone continued good health and safety.  The new schedule going from June through September is posted below.  There will continue to be no group carpooling – we will meet at the appropriate trailhead parking areas.

June 5 Graveyard Fields Ramble (P400)
9mi, 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 12 Big Ben Falls
About 8.3mi, 600’cl, R8,
Starting at Burrell’s Falls Campground off of Burrell’s Ford Road (off of SC 107) in SC, this out and back takes us to the Chattooga River with trips to Spoonauger Falls, King Falls and Big Ben Falls.

June 19 Mt Mitchell Peak Experience (SB6K)
~8.5mi, 2600’ cl, R10,
Meet at the top parking lot at Mt Mitchell by 9:15 AM.
We start at the top parking lot at Mt Mitchell and hike the Black Mountain Crest trail to Winter Star Mountain, rocking and rolling over several 6000+ peaks in between (Mt. Craig, Big Tom, Balsam Cone, Cattail Peak and Winter Star). At Winter Star and turn around and ride the coaster back to our cars.

June 26 Panthertown Valley Loop From Cold Mountain Gap
8:00AM Start 13 mi, 2800’ cl, R10+,
We will take a big loop hike starting at the Cold Mountain Gap parking lot. From there we will hike to Schoolhouse Falls , Little Green Mountain, Big Green Mountain , Salt Rock, and Blackrock Mountain.

July 3 Mt. Pisgah and Frying Pan (P400)
9mi±, 1900’cl±, R10,
Meet at the Pisgah Inn parking lot. From the Pisgah Inn parking lot we hike to Buck Springs overlook then to Mt. Pisgah and Frying Pan Tower. We’ll walk the BRP back to make a loop hike.

July 10 Mt. Hardy Ramble Wilderness Hike (P400)
10 mi., ??’cl, R10,
From the Courthouse Valley Overlook on the BRP we hike a user trail around Tanasee Bald. After crossing the BRP we hike another user trail to the vista rock on Mt. Hardy. Following lunch on Wolf Bald, we’ll continue on the MTS trail to NC215 where we’ll walk back to our cars on the overlook.

July 17 Shining Rock, The Hard Way (P400, SB6K) (Previous hike postponed due to continued closure of Yellow Gap Rd.)
9.5mi, 3000’ cl, R10,  Early Start:  8:30                                                                                   From Big East Fork parking on US 276 we take the Shining Creek and Old Butt trails for lunch atop Shining Rock, returning to our cars via the Shining Creek trail.

July 24 Cove Creek-Daniel Creek Loop (P400)
9 mi, 1300’cl, R10,
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 5048 by the Hamilton Neill 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.

July 31 Bad Creek/Thompson Riv.
8mi, 1600’, R9,
We meet at the Bad Creek trailhead on the Duke Power property off of 281 just after the SC border. A roundtripper from the Bad Creek Visitor’s Parking Lot to Thompson River, plus a side trail or two to accumulate a decent distance, like the lookout at Lower Whitewater falls.

August 7 Sam Knob (P400)
9mi, 1000’ cl, R9,
We park our cars at Sam Knob Parking, hike up the road to the MTS crossing and take the MTS, Little Sam Knob, Flat Laurel Creek and Sam Knob trails to Sam Knob summit. We return across the meadow to our cars.

August 14 Pink Beds/Barnett Branch/Black Mtn/S. Mills River Loop (P400)
13 mi., 1500’cl, R10,
This long hike takes us on a loop from the Pink Beds to the Barnett Branch trail. From there we hike up to the Black Mountain trail to Buckhorn Gap. Then it’s down to the South Mills River where we eventually find our way back to the Pink Beds.

August 21 Panthertown Waterfalls
9 mi, 1600’cl, R8,
From the Cold Mountain parking lot we hike to the waterfalls on the Tuckasegee River including Red Butt, Elbow, Riding Ford, Jawbone and Warden Falls. Then on the way back we stop at Schoolhouse Falls, Mac’s Falls, Pothole Falls and Greenland Creek Falls on Greenland Creek before heading back to our cars. Wear old hiking shoes you don’t mind getting wet. Plan to wade or a swim in the pools below the falls.

August 28 Shining Rock the Easy Way (P400)
A Wilderness Hike 9mi, 900’, R8,
We’ll head over to Shining Rock from Big Sam Parking via the Art Loeb and/or Ivestor Gap trails.

September 4 Green Knob – The Easy Way (P400)
9.5 mi, 1950’cl, R10,
A round tripper from Bubbling Springs (MTS at NC215) to Green Knob on the Green Mtn Trail.

September 11 Wintergreen Falls and more
9mi, 500’cl,R8,
We hike into Dupont State Park on the Ridgeline Trail to Wintergreen Falls, then looping around to Table Rock and passing Grassy Creek Falls and back to our cars.

September 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. This hike has at least 23 features (not including Devil’s Courthouse), including 4 waterfalls, a cascade and at least 15 great views.

September 25 Tennent – Black Balsam – Graveyard Fields Upper Falls (P400)
10 mi, 1800’cl, R10,
From Graveyard Fields parking we hike the Graveyard Ridge trail to Ivestor Gap. Then we hike the Art Loeb to Tennent and Black Balsam to FS816 and a user trail to Upper Falls. After that we return to Graveyard Fields parking.