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, 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, JUNE 30: HAIKU HIKE; PINK BEDS & WATERFALL. Connect with Nature, along a favorite Shady trail. 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 few short Haiku poems (which is optional). All in the spirit of Fun! Meet in Asheville at 10:00 a.m., and return around 5:00. …. This hike is approx 4 miles, mostly Easy, but with occasional rugged/uneven terrain, requiring good foot wear. Part of the hike will be on the Pink Beds Loop trail, but we will also take Barnett Branch to a nice little waterfall. There will be some wildflower & tree ID opportunities, and possibly some bird song ID. We might go over a board walk through a small wetland area, time permitting. All hikers please RSVP to hike leader Lisa McWherter at lisamcw2@gmail.com or 828-713-4994, or contact her if any questions.

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.

Saturday July 21, 12 to 4 p.m. JOIN US FOR OUR ANNUAL PICNIC – Saturday, July 21. from 12 to 4:00 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!