Tag Archives: Carolina Mountain Club

CMC new hiking schedule

It’s a new year of hiking and discovery in the Southern Appalachian mountains.

Carolina Mountain Club just released its 2018 First Quarter hiking schedule.

The club celebrates the new year with a First Day hike in the Green River Game Lands.

For the first three months of 2018, the schedule offers nineteen all-day weekend hikes, thirteen Wednesday hikes and twelve half-day Sunday hikes. Volunteer leaders check out their hikes to understand current trail conditions just before leading the hike.

“CMC offers a variety of hikes, suitable for the season”, said Gregory Bechtel, the incoming chair of the hiking committee. “We hike Sundays, Wednesdays and most Saturdays year-round.”

From an easy seven-mile walk on Asheville Greenways to a challenging climb to Newton Bald in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the club has hikes for every level. In addition, two Youth Partner Challenge hikes introduce children to fun and educational experiences.

Prospective members are encouraged to start with a Sunday half-day hike. Go to the CMC website, look at the hiking offerings under Hiking and contact the leader.

PS Still several good hikes offered this year.

Happy Hiking Year!

Asheville Greenways – present and future

Sulphur Springs

Today’s Carolina Mountain Club hike was billed as an almost flat, almost seven-mile hike. It barely seemed worthwhile to put on your hiking boots. But it promised a walk through current and future greenways. I was curious, so I put on my boots – low boots.

Marcia Bromberg, former CMC president, is very active in Friends of Connect Buncombe, the Buncombe County Greenway movement. Unlike hiking trails, greenways connect people to places they might want to walk or bike to. In Buncombe County, at least, the goal is to pave greenways, allowing more people to use them. They have a long way to go.

We started our walk in front of the remains of Sulphur Springs. What was a tourist attraction in the 19th century is now just a concrete pavilion around the well. The pictures may look unexciting and brown but we’re in the January thaw.

Opposite there’s a right-of-way through a private tract owned by the Myrtle Vrabel Estate. Vrabel, who died in 2007, owned a tract of land which is still laying dormant through Canie Creek ten years later.

Brother Hug and Marcia

I learned all of this from Doug Barlow, known as Brother Hug, a community organizer in the Canie Creek area.

He and other activists are working to get Riverlink, a conservancy, to buy the land from the estate, so it can be preserved and saved from development. To my untrained eyes, the land in a floodplain can’t be worth very much.

We walked through the Hominy Creek Greenway, which is an official greenway with maps and plans. It even has a beach – see the photo above dubbed the West Asheville beach.

Then to Carrier park and the French Broad River Park. The Asheville Camino used some of the same route, though of course, the Camino hike is over sixteen miles.

But honestly, it was difficult to figure out where one greenway or proposed greenway started and another ended. Buncombe County has approved a master plan for greenways, so this is a big, big important step in the future of greenways in our area.

In the meantime, we can study the greenway map, support the Friends group and most importantly walk or bike the greenway.

Thanks to Marcia and Brother Hug for leading the hike and making the Buncombe Greenways come alive.

Mountains-to-Sea Trail book is back

Look what I just received in my inbox from Amazon –

MST guide front coverBased on your recent activity, we thought you might be interested in this.
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Mountains-To-Sea Trail: Profiles and Maps from the Great Smokies to Mount Mitchell and Beyond
by Walt Weber

Price: $14.95

This is the second edition, now in color, of the popular guide to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) in Western North Carolina. It includes topographical maps and trail elevation profiles, making it easy to … Read More

And they’re right. I am interested in this book and already have a copy.

The book details the 140 miles of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail from Fork Ridge Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Black Mountain Campground. Carolina Mountain Club has maintained these 140 miles for a long time. Now our maintenance responsibilities have been extended to Heintooga Rd.

Mileage to Folk Art Center
Mileage to Folk Art Center

The book has been the standard for MST guides.  It has detailed color maps and Walt Weber’s lively discussion of the history along the trail. Hikers have credited finding the book as their way into hiking in the Western North Carolina Mountains and Carolina Mountain Club.

Trail runners use the book to discover MST sections that they might want to run. Altitude gain and losses are more important to runners than to hikers.

This copy is new in several ways.

All trail distances and elevations have been rechecked since the first edition using a combination of GPS technology, a measuring wheel, and altimeter readings.

Just as important, CMC has retrieved control over the book. After a stint with a local publisher who couldn’t keep the book in print, CMC is again the publisher. Lenny Bernstein spent countless hours with Doug Gibson, a local book designer. He then dealt with all the stuff needed to get the book printed and also online. Thank you, Lenny.

So you can get this new version locally at Diamond Brand Outdoors, Jus’ Running, and in the Blue Ridge Parkway stores. Les Love, a CMC member, is our informal distributor. Thanks to Les for getting the book in stores.

And yes, it’s available on Amazon. And wherever you bought the book, please put a review on Amazon. Thank you!