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.

Note: Do NOT reply to the Update emails. Only use the RSVP link to reply.

Assembly:  Three different Assembly Area locations are generally 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 Walmart 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: the assembly area may be different from these three areas so always check the Update for the hike.

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

Friday Hoofer Hike Leaders :
David Yeager–
Vic Zona–

March 31 Toxaway River/Lake Jocassee (Pisgah Hiker Members only)
8mi. 2100’cl, R10+
Meet at Catheys Creek

With permission, we hike down to the swinging bridge over the Toxaway River at Lake Jocassee. We return by visiting several waterfalls. This hike involves a tough climb out from Falls #4 using a rope.


April 7 Bearwallow-Strawberry Gap
10 mi, 2572’cl, R10+
Meet at Walmart or Ingles Mills River

We begin at the Hickory Nut Gorge parking area and hike Wildcat Rock Trail to Bearwallow Mt. where we pick up the Bearwallow Mt. Trail to Trombatore Trail. With any luck we will see blooming trilliums along Trombatore as we climb to Blue Ridge Pastures. From there we take Strawberry Gap to our shuttle.

April 14 Big Bald
12.7 mi, 2625’cl, R10+
Meet at Walmart or Ingles Mills River

This hike from the first quarter was rained out, so we will try again. From Sam’s Gap off I-26 we hike the Appalachian Trail to Big Bald as an out-and-back.

April 21 Palmetto-Foothills Trail
11 mi, 2000’cl, R10+
Meet at Sassafras Mt. Parking

From Sassafras Mt. we will take the Foothills Trail to the Palmetto Trail, go over Roundtop Mt., make a side trip to Mountain Cat Falls, and continue on to Emory Gap (several stream crossings) where we pick up the Foothills Trail again and back to our cars.

April 28 Ellicott Rock-Fork Mt.
12 mi, 2400’cl, R10+
Meet at Catheys Creek

This is a shuttle variation of an out-and-back hike we have done previously. From Burrells Ford Road we will take the Chattooga River Trail to Ellicott Rock Trail and then to Fork Mt. Trail. We will continue on Fork Mt. Trail to Sloan Bridge Picnic area and our awaiting shuttle.

May 5 Brushy Mt. Loop (P400)
11 mi, 2260’cl, R10+
Meet at Walmart or Ingles Mills River

This is a new hike and if you like going up Pilot Mt., you will love this hike. We begin at Bear Branch Trail and follow it to Brushy Ridge Trail, over Brushy Ridge to Pine Mt., and the Pine Mt. Trail to Bent Creek Gap. From there we connect to Spencer Gap, on to Trace Ridge, and back to our cars.

May 12 Rim of the Gap
11 mi, 2785’cl, R10+
Meet at Cedar Mt. Community Center

You really didn’t think you would have a season with the Rim of the Gap, did you? You know the drill on this one—slow-going and narrow crevices.

May 19 Yellow Mt
12.3 mi, 2929’cl, R10+
Meet at Cathey’s Creek

From Buck Creek Road in the Highlands we will take the Yellow Gap Mt. Trail to the fire tower as an out-and-back.

May 26 Buckeye-Haywood Gap (P400)
9.7 mi, 1886’cl, R10
Meet at Cathy’s Creek

For many of the Hoofers this is a top 10 favorite. From the Rough Butt Bald parking area on the BRP we hike the MST to Buckeye Trail and return via Haywood Gap.

June 2 Eagle Rock-Grey Rock
10 mi, 2000’cl, R10
Meet at Walmart or Ingles Mills River

We begin at the parking area near Eagle Rock and hike to Grey Rock and back.

June 9 Lane Pinnacle-Craggy Dome (SB6000)
11.6 mi, 2969’cl, R10+
Meet at Walmart or Ingles Mills River

This is a hike we scheduled last year, but was unable to do because of BRP closures. We begin at Craggy Gardens and do an out-and-back in two different directions. First to Lane Pinnacle and then back and over to Craggy Dome.

June 16 Long Branch-Cat Gap Loop (P400)
13 mi, 2299’cl, R10+
Meet at Pisgah Fish Hatchery

This hike is an extended version of an older hoofer hike. From the fish hatchery we take Cat Gap Loop to Long Branch, Long Branch to Gloucester Gap where we pick up the Art Loeb. We remain on the Art Loeb back to Cat Gap and back to our cars.

June 23 Slate Rock Loop (P400)
9.5 mi, 2431’cl, R10+
Meet at Pisgah Ranger Station

From Wolf Ford Horse Camp on Yellow Gap Road we will hike the Pilot Rock Trail to Pilot Connector. That takes us to the Pilot Cove-Slate Rock Trail and our lunch spot on Slate Rock. We then take the Slate Rock Loop trail back to our lollipop stick.

June 30 Wolf Ford Loop (P400)
12.7 mi, 1306’cl, R10+
Meet at the Pisgah Ranger Station

We begin on Funnel top Mt. Trail to Horse Cove Trail. We take Horse Cove to Squirrel Gap and down to South Mills River. Here we do a wet crossing (if the bridge has not been rebuilt) and take the South Mills River Trail back to our cars.