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.

Below are the upcoming hikes for the next few months. Please sign up with hike leader to join in on the hike.

SATURDAY, MARCH 31 – GREEN RIVER Gamelands Hike, Mostlly Pullium Creek Trail. Meet at 10:00 in Asheville. Back around 5:00 or 5:30. Moderate with some easy level of difficulty. Approx 6 miles R.T. on this there & back trail with elevation gain of 900 ft. It’s a beautiful trail that ends at the Green River just below the narrows, with rapids moving through large boulders. On the way there, there’s a tedious creek crossing with wiggly step-stones, so wear good footwear & consider a hiking pole. Plan to learn about the beautiful early-blooming wildflowers there as well. NOTE: Sorry, no doggies this trip due to Pullium Creek crossing. This hike is for experienced hikers, or one can contact the hike leader with questions/concerns. All hikers please RSVP to hike leader Lisa McWherter at lisamcw2@gmail.com or 828-713-4994.

SATURDAY, April 14 – GREENLAND CREEK TRAIL. There are at least 3 waterfalls planned on this trip, with an option by unanimous consent to hike a little further for an additional waterfall. There may be some early wildflowers. Meet in Asheville at 8:30am, return by 5:00pm. We will learn about unique features, and how the tract was acquired by the US Forest Service. Again, plan for an all-day trip for the estimated 5 mile hike and 3 hours round trip driving time. Experienced hikers only. Good hiking shoes/boots required. Hiking poles encouraged. Call trip leader for details. Leader – David Reid, 828-713-1607. daviddbreid@charter.net.

SATURDAY, APRIL 21stCOONTREE LOOP. This moderate 3.7 mile loop trail begins and ends at the Coontree Picnic area on Hwy 276 near Brevard. A perfect spring outing along Coontree Creek. We’ll pool our knowledge to learn some common tree and wildflower identifications. RSVP to hike leader, David Reid, at daviddbreid@charter.net or 828-713-1607.

SATURDAY, MAY 5: Devil’s-Courthouse-to-Black-Balsam-Rd Hike. One of my VERY FAVORITE Hikes. 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. This hike offers an unusually beautiful section of firs & spruce, as well as some SPECTACULAR Views of surrounding mountains. When we reach our high point on Devil’s Courthouse, we’ll view mountains in 3 other states if we have a clear day. Along the way, there will be opportunities for wildflower & tree I.D.; also, to learn about the well being of the evergreens there. There is around a 500ft elevation change, and the trail is rather rugged, with intermittent tree roots & an occasional 10” step/rock. 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.

SATURDAY, JUNE 2: HAIKU HIKE, Connect with Nature, along a favorite stream. Friend Patty Minx, lover of poetry, will be our poetry guide & Lisa McWherter our hike guide; Nature will be our muse! Patty will provide some brief guidelines on Haiku, and we will have a trail break with an opportunity to sit and write a couple of short Haiku poems (optional). In the spirit of Fun! Meet in Asheville at 10:00 and return around 5:30. The trail is mostly Easy with some Moderate, approx 4 miles Round trip. Two Options for Locations: 1) Most Probable Choice –Warren Wilson College Trails –Anthony Rd to Bull Creek Trail, then to the Old Dam site. Also, a Side trail or two. 2) Other Possible Location: If there are 10 or less who sign up, we will go into the Wilderness area along East Fork of Pigeon River, same trail distance & time frame. ———- BOTH Trails offer ample shade, and stretches along a lovely stream. There will be some tree roots & rocks in places, so good footwear is required. There are level parts but also some up/down hill, though it is not considered strenuous. There will be an opportunity to dip our feet in the water. There will also be some wildflower or tree ID, and perhaps some bird song ID as well. Please contact Hike Leader to sign up or if there are questions. Hike Leader: Lisa McWherter atlisamcw2@gmail.com, or call 828-713-4994.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16thBLACKSTOCK KNOB. Blackstock Knob is one of our “sixers” coming in at 6,266 ft. We will car shuttle for a one-way hike starting at NC 128 and hiking back to Balsam Gap Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The hike is approximately 5 miles along a section of the Mountains to the Sea Trail, and passes through high elevation balsam forests. The NE side of Blackstock Knob is actually part of the Mt. Mitchell State Park, although not contingous with the main Park. We will learn about efforts to conservation the Black Mountain and Craggy ranges, and discuss unique high elevation habitats. RSVP to hike leader, David Reid, at daviddbreid@charter.net or 828-713-1607.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20thMIDWEEK IN MONTREAT: WALKER’S KNOB The Montreat Conference Center manages a protected network of hiking trails in its land in the coves abutting the Asheville Watershed on the West, the Blue Ridge Parkway on the North, and the Pisgah National Forest on the East. We will take the Greybeard Trail to Walker’s Knob for a view of the Swanannoa Valley. Six mile round trip. Moderately Strenous due to elevation change. Learn about the Conference Center’s conservation philosophy, and how this land fits into the larger protected lands puzzle in the region. RSVP to hike leader, David Reid, at daviddbreid@charter.net or 828-713-1607.

SATURDAY, JULY 14: SPLASHING WATERFALL Hike! (Splashing is optional!). John Rock area. Meet in Asheville at 10:00 and return around 4:45. We take Cat Gap Trail to Butter Gap Trail (following Grogan Creek). Moderate/Easy, approx 4 miles R.T. on this there & back hike. Offers 2 nice waterfalls. There will be a splashing opportunity (self-splashing) on Butter Gap trail’s waterfall. We’ll have opportunities to learn some wildflowers, and also to gain understanding of protection of fragile stream side habitat. Kids that do hiking are welcome w/accompanying parent/guardian (with signed liability waiver). Check w/ hike leader if you wish to bring a well-behaved doggie (on leash at all times). NOTE: There are optional trails (very short) to reach the base of the falls, but they are steep and possibly muddy. Makes good footwear essential, and maybe hiking poles as well. Please RSVP to hike leader Lisa McWherter at lisamcw2@gmail.com or 828-713-4994.

SATURDAY, JULY 18thBIG CREEK TRAIL (Pisgah National Forest) – Not to be confused with Big Creek in the Smokies, this hike will originate from the Little Pisgah Ridge Tunnel on the Blue Ridge Parkway and descend to the North Mills River area using a car shuttle. Mostly wooded hike estimated to be 3 miles through the Laurel Mountain backcountry area. Contact leader for details closer to the date. We will learn about Laurel Mountain’s roadless status and what protections that offers. RSVP to hike leader, David Reid, at daviddbreid@charter.net or 828-713-1607

ALSO OF NOTE —- Our Local Sierra Club Picnic/Pot Luck, Saturday July 21, 12 to 4 p.m. Location is near the Folk Art Center. (More details to come! Or you can Email a hike leader.)