The WENOCA Group is pleased to offer the outings listed below. Our outings are open to both members and non-members. Come join us for a nice hike in the woods.

Note: All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver. Prospective participants under the age of 18 will require a signature from a parent or guardian. If you would like to read the waiver before you choose to participate in an outing, refer to the national Sierra Club website.

There are 2 hikes this weekend (the Devils Courthouse hike was postponed til this Sunday), plus more hikes for June & July. Also, don’t miss the chance for the River Clean up May 28 (either canoeing or on foot) & our fun July Picnic. Hope to see all at one or more of these events, listed below. … Lisa

SATURDAY MAY 21st – COMMISSARY HILL/CAMP ALICE TRAIL. This is as flat as it gets in the Black Mountains. Easy to Moderate hike along old railroad bed at high elevation. Length is 3.6 miles round trip. We will learn about the recommendations to preserve a large area of the Blacks as wilderness, history of Camp Alice, and look for wildflowers in bloom. Sturdy shoes are recommended. Dress in layers as high elevation hiking can range in temperature, and be cool even in late May. Meet in Asheville at 9:30am and return around 3:00pm. RSVP to hike leader, David Reid, atdaviddbreid@charter.net or 828-713-1607.

SUNDAY, MAY 22 – DEVIL’S COURTHOUSE HIKE via Mountains-to-Sea Trail. We’ll take a beautiful stretch of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to DEVIL’S COURTHOUSE. Meet in Asheville at 10:00 (location TBA) and return around 5:45. Distance is approx 6 miles round trip, rated as mostly Moderate with some Easy, and we hike a moderate (not fast) pace. This hike is mostly shaded with evergreens, offering refuge from the sun. Also offers a few nice vistas along the trail. When we reach our high point, Devil’s Courthouse, we’ll view mountains in 3 other states if we have a clear day. Also, there will be opportunity to learn about the birds in the area, some of which are easily identified by their calls. We’ll have some wildflower i.d. as well. There is somewhere around 500ft elevation change, and the trail is rather rugged, with intermittent tree roots and an occasional 10” step/rock. Makes good footwear essential, and maybe hiking poles as well. Experienced hikers only. Please contact hike leader to sign up, or for any questions/concerns;Lisa McWherter at lisamcw2@gmail.com or 828-713-4994.

RIVER CLEAN UP, MAY 28: Every spring, the French Broad River needs our help getting spruced up for the summer paddling season. This year we’ll be walking and paddling for trash on May 28, from 10 am to 2 pm. The clean-up is in conjunction with Asheville GreenWorks “Clean Streams Day,” when hundreds of volunteers work to clean up creeks and rivers in the area. GreenWorks will supply all we need in terms of supplies – we just need your valuable volunteer time and energy! Once again, there will be the usual after-party with free beer from 2 to 4 pm. So mark your calendars! This event is always a lot of fun and a great way to get to know other Sierra Club members in a more personal way as we work together. A reminder email will be sent in late April with additional details. For more info, email Mark Threlkeld at focusmdt@gmail.com.

SATURDAY JUNE 4th – DOUGLAS FALLS. This hike is in the Craggy Mountains Wilderness Study Area. Hike. Hike is 7.4 miles rounds trip. Rated strenuous for steep descent to Douglas Falls from the Blue Ridge Parkway, then hike back up. We will learn about the Craggy Mountains WSA and recommendations for protection. Sturdy hiking shoes are required. Hiking poles are encouraged due to steepness. Elevation loss/gain is 1876 feet. Experienced hikers used to mountainous terrain only. Leave Asheville at 9:30am, return around 3:30pm. RSVP to hike leader, David Reid, atdaviddbreid@charter.net or 828-713-1607.

SATURDAY, JUNE 11 – CRAGGY GARDENS. A 2-mile long round trip hike through a heavily wooded area, north of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trail is easy to moderate with ups and downs and some rock steps and great views of the mountains. We will visit the bald at the high point and learn about the theories on why it is there. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, and bring water and a snack or lunch. Meet in Asheville at 10:00 am and return about 2:30 pm. RSVP to hike leader, Jane, at janelaping@sbcglobal.net or 828-772-0379.

SATURDAY, JUNE 25 – Rocky Fork State Park Hike, includes a Splash in the Creek (not swimming) opportunity to cool off. Moderate level w/ short areas that are a bit steep, distance 4-5 miles (more details to come). Meet in Asheville at 10 a.m. (location TBA), return by 5:30. Ranger Tim Pharis will lead us on a guided hike. Learn about this new Tennessee State Park that is in Unicoi Co, not far from Asheville. Opportunities for wildflower ID, and possibly water wildlife ID. NOTE: Hikers must be fit sufficiently for hiking in hot weather. Please RSVP to hike leader Lisa McWherter at lisamcw2@gmail.comor 828-713-4994.

PICNIC ANNOUNCEMENT, JULY 16: Join us for the 7th Annual Summer Picnic – July 16

On Saturday, July 16, the Sierra Club will enjoy its 7th Annual Summer Picnic from noon to 4 pm at the Blue Ridge Parkway sheltered picnic grounds located on Bull Mt. Rd. near the VA Hospital on Riceville Rd.

Directions: Exit 7 on I-240; go east on Tunnel Rd for 2 miles; turn north on Riceville Rd; go past VA Hospital turn left on Bull Mt. Rd. The fenced-in, sheltered picnic area is on the left about 1⁄2 mile up the road. Please bring a pot luck dish to share and your own settings. Drinks will be provided. Badminton, horseshoes and music will add to the festivities. We hope to see you there!

SATURDAY, JULY 23 – – EAST FORK OF PIGEON RIVER Trail. Meet in Asheville at 10:00 (location TBA) and return around 5:45. This hike is Easy/Moderate, with a distance approx 5-1/2 miles round trip. The hike follows the beautiful, rushing Pigeon River, but most it offers the cover of some beautiful & quiet woods. Be prepared for a few muddy places, wearing good footwear & considering hiking poles. Learn about how the river changes over time, as it changes its path, widens & creates sandy areas. Learn about areas that are designated “Wilderness”, too. Speaking of which, this trail goes into the Shining Rock Wilderness, which means only 10 folks are allowed in a group. Hence, please cancel ahead if your plans change to make room for others. Sorry no doggies on this hike. Please RSVP to hike leader Lisa McWherter at lisamcw2@gmail.com or 828-713-4994.

SATURDAY, JULY 30 – RATTLESNAKE LODGE. A mostly easy 2.6 mile hike with several moderate switchbacks at the beginning to gain most of the 500 feet rise in elevation to an old wagon road. We will learn about the fate of Rattlesnake Lodge and the natural history of the area. Wear sturdy footwear, dress in layers, and bring water and a lunch or snack. Meet in Asheville at 10 AM, return around 2:30 PM. RSVP to hike leader Jane atjanelaping@sbcglobal.net or 828-772-0379.