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.  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. NOTE: during the Pandemic we are typically meeting at the trailheads or at a caravan location identified in the hike descriptions.

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 Winter 2021 Schedule

With the pandemic still raging we are continuing with our no group carpooling approach – we will meet at the appropriate trailhead parking areas. These will be identified in the Updates if not in the text below. We know you all are tired of the driving but we feel it is safer this way. Hopefully we might be able to go back to a more ‘normal’ situation by next quarter or so with the vaccine starting to be distributed.

January 8 Black Balsam/Devil’s Courthouse (P400)
10 mi, 2000’cl, R10

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.

January 15 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 Naturland Trust Trail back to our cars.

January 22 Case Camp/Seniard Ridge (P400)
10 mi, 2700’cl , R10

From the Case Camp trailhead on 475B we hike up to the BRP and bushwhack up to the MTS trail. We continue on the MTS trail to the Pisgah Ridge trail, cross the BRP and hike to Graveyard Fields. We walk the BRP to the Seniard Ridge trail and hike back to our cars.

January 29 Straus Park-Art Loeb-Joel Branch Loop (P400)
8 mi, 1600’cl, R9

From Straus Park we take the Hawk Trail over Pine Mountain to Stony Knob where we pick up the Art Loeb Trail. We follow Art Loeb to Joel Branch Road and take Joel Branch back to our lollipop stick and back to our cars.

February 5 Jones Gap—El Lieutenant
7 mi, 1700’cl, R9

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.

February 12 Big East Fork Loop (P400)
10 mi, 2900’cl, R10

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

February 19 Black Mountain (P400)
10 mi, 3000’cl, R10

From the stables on Avery Creek road we hike the Avery Creek trail and the Buckhorn Gap trail (including Twin Falls) to Buckhorn Gap. Then we’ll hike the Black Mountain trail over Black Mountain to the Pressley Cove trail and on Avery Creek road to our cars.

February 26 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.

March 5 Searcy Road – Art Loeb – Butter Gap (P400)
10 mi, 1800′cl, R10

From the Fish Hatchery we hike the Cat Gap Loop, Butter Gap and Long Branch trails to FS5095 (Searcy Creek Road). After turning left we hike FS5095 to a user trail up to the Art Loeb trail. We hike over Chestnut Mountain to Butter Gap and hike back to our cars.

March 12 Raven Cliff to Dismal to Raven Cliff loop
8.5 mi, 2300’cl, R10+, parking fee

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.

March 19 Bad Fork/Trace Ridge (Contains parts of the P400)
8.5 mi, 1850’cl, R10

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.

March 26 Toxaway River – Lake Jocassee
7 mi. 1900’cl, R9

We hike down to the swinging bridge over the Toxaway River at Lake Jocassee. We return by visiting all of the waterfalls along the way back including a side trip to Turtle Rock. This hike involves a tough climb out from Falls #4 using a rope.