Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
Protecting the World's Oldest Mountains

Upcoming Events and Guided Group Hikes

Hikes are FREE to SAHC Members; $10.00 non-members, unless otherwise noted. (Hikes on public lands are free for all participants; see individual hike descriptions.) Registration is required. For directions, additional information, or registration, please contact Haley Smith at or call 828.253.0095 ext. 205.

beebranch"For Love of Beer & Mountains" Partnership Early’s Mountain Hike
Bee Branch Farm, Sandy Mush, NC
Date: Saturday, May 28

Time: 10 am
Difficulty: Moderate (4-5)
Cost: Free. Pre-registration is required

Join SAHC and Highland Brewing Company at Bee Branch Farm for the first "For Love of Beer & Mountains" Early’s Mountain Partnership Hike, celebrating Highland's newest seasonal brew, Early’s Hoppy Wheat.

This hike is a 3+ mile loop on a 500-acre working farm that SAHC protected with a conservation easement in 2009. Hikers will get to learn about conservation easements as a tool for protecting farmland, Bee Branch Farm family history and Sandy Mush lore. The hike is moderate throughout the working farm, with a couple of stream crossings.  We will make a small climb at the halfway point to gain panoramic views of the valley and enjoy our picnic lunch.

This will be a day of education and fellowship, and hikers will have a chance to learn about SAHC’s work, particularly our farmland conservation work, and the amazing partnership we have with Highland Brewing Company.

SAHC members may register for this hike now; registration opens to the public beginning Monday, May 9th.

For more info or to register, contact Haley Smith at 828.253.0095 ext. 205 or Directions and additional details will be provided after registration.

Sundays Live @Aloft
Aloft Hotel, Asheville, NC
Date: Sunday, May 29
(Memorial Day Weekend)
Time: 4 - 8 pm

Enjoy live music, signature sips, and snacks while taking in spectacular Asheville mountain views on the Air Level at the Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville. Enjoy music from a local performer and a stunning setting for just a $5 donation at the door, which will go directly to SAHC for local conservation! This public event is pet-friendly.

Rooftop dinner"For Love of Beer & Mountains" Farm to Rooftop Beer Dinner
Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, NC
Date: Thursday, June 2

Time: 6 to 8 pm

Join us in savoring the benefits of conservation! Enjoy a distinguished 5-course meal prepared by local chef Peter Affatato, former owner & executive chef of Nona Mia Italian Kitchen, artfully paired with Highland beer and served in the new rooftop space at Highland Brewing Company. This is a limited seating event with 60 seats available. $85 per ticket or $630 per table (seats 8). To purchase tickets now, click here.

LTDlogoLand Trust Day/National Trails Day
Shop and Dine to Support Conservation!
Date: Saturday, June 4

Time: All Day

Join us in celebrating SAHC’s economic impact! Land Trust Day is held each year in conjunction with National Trails Day, the first Saturday in June. Recognizing that their customers deeply value the natural resources and scenic places we preserve, our Land Trust Day business partners donate a percentage of the day’s sales to support SAHC’s land and water conservation efforts.
Your purchase on June 4 will help our work!

These local business have already committed to participate in Land Trust Day 2016:


Do you know of a local business who might be interested in sponsoring conservation for a day? We are looking for more sponsor participants for Land Trust Day. Contact Cheryl Fowler at 828.253.0095 ext 209 or for details.

LTDhikeLand Trust Day Outing
SAHC Community Farm, Alexander, NC
Date: Saturday, June 4

Time: 10 am
Difficulty: Easy (2)
Cost: Free for SAHC members; $10 for non-members. Pre-registration is required

Join us for a moderately easy, family-friendly guided tour along the Discovery Trail at the SAHC Community Farm in Alexander. Along the way, you will learn about the various projects under way at the farm, including our Farmer Incubator Program. We will walk through active farming areas, see the successfully restored streams flowing through the property, discuss our shortleaf pine restoration project, and give you a preview of our newly renovated education facility. We will accomplish all of this in plenty of time for you to return to town to shop and enjoy lunch at one of the businesses participating in Land Trust Day.

Optional: You may bring a lunch and blanket or camp chairs and enjoy a picnic on the farm following the hike.

For more info or to register, contact Haley Smith at 828.253.0095 ext. 205 or Directions and additional details will be provided after registration.

VolunteerSpring Cleaning at Hampton Creek Cove/National Trails Day Volunteer Opportunity
Hampton Creek Cove, TN
Date: Saturday, June 4

Time: 10 am to 3 pm

Seven miles of public trails cross the Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area, including a certified section of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail — and these trails need some love! As part of National Trails Day, we are calling for volunteers to help finish some infrastructure trail improvements — including trimming around the new hiker stiles and installing signage — as well as general trail maintenance in the Cove.

We will meet at the Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area parking area at 10 am and will spend the day cutting brush and weeds and putting up new trail signs and markers. We plan to work for approximately 4 hours, with a break for lunch. Come for all day, or just a part!

Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes and bring rain gear, sunscreen, lunch, and water. We will provide hand tools, work gloves, and any other safety equipment.

To sign up to volunteer, please contact Marquette Crockett at by May 31st.

tractorCommunity Farm Workshop: Protecting Your Biggest Asset on the Farm, Your Body
SAHC Community Farm, Alexander, NC
Date: Sunday, June 5
Time: 2 - 4 pm
Cost: Sliding scale $10 - $20 at the door

Presented by SAHC in partnership with Jamie Davis of A Way of Life Farm. During this workshop you will learn the most beneficial & efficient ways to move while performing various tasks on and off the farm to prevent injury and keep your body pain-free. We will cover manual task and machine task movement while thinking about how we use different body parts like the neck, shoulders, knees, back and wrists. All are welcome; this information is relevant to anyone who gets out of bed in the morning!

To register to attend, email Chris Link at

About the co-presenter: Jamie and Sara Jane Davis started A Way of Life Farm in January 2009 in Bostic, NC where they grow 2 acres of organic vegetables and raise organically fed non-gmo pork. Due to an injury earlier in his life Jamie found that attention to body movement and a daily practice of yoga on the farm was the way to sustain his work.

Learn more at http:// A_Way_of_Life_Farm/ Home.html

pastureCommunity Farm Workshop: Pasture Walk - Invasive Plant ID, Control and Removal
SAHC Community Farm, Alexander, NC
Date: Thursday, June 9
Time: 5 - 6:30 pm
Cost: Free

Presented by SAHC in partnership with NC Cooperative Extension . During this workshop we will take a walk through the SAHC Community Farm pastures.  We will identify invasive species and discuss control methods, desirable and undesirable forages, soil testing and overall pasture health.  This will be a Q & A walk-about so everyone is welcome to bring their questions!  If you own and or manage land this will be a worthwhile and informative workshop.

To register to attend, email Chris Link at

hikersJune Jamboree
Free Guided Outings in the Highlands of Roan
Date: Saturday, June 11

Time: All Day

Please join us for our annual day of free, guided adventures and social fellowship in the beautiful Highlands of Roan. We offer five group outings with choices for all age and ability levels. Descriptions, details and start times for each are provided below. Hikes are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most difficult. Upon registration, you will receive additional information, including directions to the departure location.

Be sure to bring: sturdy hiking shoes, camera, water, lunch, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing for your hike. The weather may be sunny, rainy, windy or cool.

We hope you can join us in the Highlands!

Hike #1 Carvers Gap to Grassy Ridge
Location: Carvers Gap
Start Time: 9 am
Est. End Time: 2 - 3 pm

Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous (7-8)
Leaders: Marquette Crockett and Chris Coxen

Join Roan Stewardship Director Marquette Crockett and former SAHC Field Ecologist Chris Coxen for this classic and rewarding hike atop the highest elevation balds in the Highland of Roan, widely considered among the most spectacular scenery along the Appalachian Trail. Grassy Ridge is the highest point near the AT, reaching 6,189 feet in elevation. Enjoy a natural, unobstructed 360-degree view, blooming rhododendron, flame azalea, and so much more. Easier Hike Option: hike out to Round Bald or Jane Bald, to enjoy the flowers and expansive views.

rhododendronHike #2 Roll n' Stroll
Location: Rhododendron Gardens
Start Time: 11 am
Est. End Time: 1 pm

Difficulty: Easy (2)
Leader: Carl Silverstein

The Rhododendron Gardens on top of the Roan will be blazing with color this time of year. Executive Director Carl Silverstein will lead hikers across gentle terrain with stunning views of the Roan landscape. On this leisurely stroll, hikers will learn about a number of SAHC’s land protection projects that can be viewed from the gardens as we walk along. This family-friendly hike is designed to provide people of all hiking abilities with an opportunity to get outside and enjoy some of the property that SAHC has diligently protected over the last four decades. *This trail is paved and wheelchair/stroller accessible.

Outing #3 Ride the Roan: Scenic 37-mile Road Bike Loop
Location: Big Rock Creek
Start Time: 9:30 am
Est. End Time: 2 pm

Difficulty: Strenuous (10+); Experience Required
Leader: Michelle Pugliese

Join Land Protection Director, Michelle Pugliese on this 37 mile ride through scenic mountain terrain. The ride will begin and end at our Big Rock Creek property. In the first 5 miles tackle a strenuous climb along SR226, crossing the AT followed by a rewarding decent through Cherokee NF. Riders will enjoy the rolling TN countryside, including a pedal along the scenic Doe River and through Roan Mt. State Park. One more climb up to the AT at Hughes Gap and then down to the Social for cold beverages and fellowship. Ride will include a lunch break and one other brief stop along the way. Elevation gain: ~4,700 ft. • Unsupported ride • Experienced bikers only

Hike #4 Yoga in the Roan with Kris Moon
Location: Little Cove Creek
Start Time: 11 am
Est. End Time: 1 pm

Difficulty: Easy (1-2)
Leader: Kris Moon

Join yogi Kris Moon for an uplifting breath-and alignment-based yoga class in a beautiful meadow by a stream at our Little Cove Creek property in the Roan. We’ll start with warm up poses, and include a comprehensive sequence of postures, breath work, and meditation. This session is open to all levels. Afterward, enjoy lunch and admire the seasonal wildflowers. No prior yoga experience is required, but please bring a blanket, yoga mat, and wear comfortable, stretchy clothes.

Hike #5 Challenge Hike: Cloudland Hotel Site to Big Rock Creek
Location: Cloudland Hotel Site
Start Time: 9 am
Est. End Time: 3 pm

Difficulty: Very Strenuous (10+)
Leaders: Hanni Muerdter and Haley Smith

This 9 mile hike will begin on the AT at the site of the Historical Cloudland Hotel near the Rhododendron Gardens. We will follow the AT steeply downhill for over 3 miles, descending to an elevation of 4,140 feet at Hughes Gap. We will then climb about 2 miles to the top of the ridge and see views of the Tennessee side of Roan. After hiking on the ridgeline, we will travel off-trail through National Forest land down to our Big Rock Creek property, where we will finish the day descending a mile along steeply graded trails before finding ourselves in the midst of the afternoon’s festivities. Hikers should expect some very steep sections and a chance to see a variety of wildflowers, rhododendron, and other blooms.

June Jamboree Social Gathering:

Location: Big Rock Creek at 114 Abby Rd, Bakersville, NC
Time: Drop by between 1 - 4 pm

Join us on our recently protected property at Big Rock Creek (formerly TrailRidge Mountain Camp and Camp Pleiades) to enjoy fellowship with friends and family and learn about our recent conservation initiatives. Light refreshments and beverages provided.

junejamboreeDirections from Johnson City, TN:
Follow I-26 E/US-23 S; Take Exit 32 for TN 173 toward Unicoi Rd.; Turn left on State Hwy 173; Turn right onto Unicoi Dr; Turn left onto TN-107 E (10 mi); Continue onto NC-226 S; Turn left onto Hughes Gap Rd (2.4 mi); Turn left at 114 Abby Road and you’ve arrived.

Directions from Asheville, NC:
Take US-19N/US-23N/I-26 West to exit 9 Burnsville/Spruce Pine (36.7 mi); Turn right onto 19E headed north (17.7 mi); Turn left onto 197N (11.1mi); Turn right onto NC -226 (6.9 mi); Go past elementary school and turn right onto Hughes Gap Rd (2.4 mi); Turn left at 114 Abby Road and you’ve arrived.

Gray's Lily Leadership Circle Event
SAHC Community Farm, Alexander, NC
Date: Sunday, October 2
Time: 2 - 6 pm

Details TBA

For questions, directions and registration for hikes or events, contact
Haley Smith, or 828-253-0095 ex. 205.

Hike Key Note: Hikes are rated 1-10 (greater than 10 for extremely difficult hikes). A rating of 5 is considered moderate, 10 difficult, and 1 extremely easy. We come up with this number by putting the hike elevation change and mileage to this formula: (0.002 x elevation gain (ft.)) + Round trip distance (miles) = Difficulty rating (1-10).

Upcoming events

"For Love of Beer & Mountains" Partnership Early's Mtn Hike
Bee Branch Farm, NC
Saturday, May 28

Sundays Live@Aloft!
Aloft Hotel, Asheville, NC
Sunday, May 29

"For Love of Beer & Mountains" Partnership Farm-to-Rooftop
Beer Dinner

Highland Brewing Company
Thursday, June 2

Land Trust Day/
National Trails Day

Saturday, June 4

June Jamboree
Highlands of Roan
Saturday, June 11

Gray's Lily Leadership Circle Reception
SAHC Community Farm
Sunday, October 2

Click here for our full calendar.

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