PAC’s first Fall Hike goes to Lake James State Park Sept. 12

Published 8:55 pm Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, Sept. 12, for a 4.9-mile, easy hike at Lake James State Park; the first hike of PAC’s Fall Hiking Series. PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the trek.

This hike combines two short hikes. The first trail begins east of the Lake James Visitor Center and proceeds 2.7-miles to the Sandy Cliff Overlook and the Lake Channel Overlook, both providing beautiful views of Lake James and the surrounding mountains in the Linville Gorge wilderness. Then, the second trail heads west from the Visitor Center, 2.2-miles along the Fox Den Loop Trail. This trail also offers views of Lake James and is named for the numerous dens of Gray and Red Fox often found in this area and along the trail; however, due to recent controlled burning in this part of the park, hikers may not see evidence of recent denning. This area will, however, allow hikers to see firsthand what happens to a forest after a controlled burn.

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In the 1920s, Duke Power created Lake James by damming the Catawba and Linville Rivers. It was named for the company’s founder James B. Duke and the 6,812-acre lake contains more than150-miles of shoreline. The lake is located at the base of Linville Gorge and offers beautiful views of the Linville Gorge wilderness, including Shortoff Mountain. In 1987, Lake James State Park began with 565-acres and in 2005, the State acquired an additional 2,949-acres; creating a 3,514-acre State Park offering loads of public recreation such as hiking, camping, fishing, boating, mountain biking, picnicking and swimming. Those interested in using this hike as an opportunity to camp and boat at the park can make a reservation by visiting or calling 1-877-722-6762.

Those who are interested in attending the PAC hike at Lake James State Park, contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail,

Hikers will be meeting at the Bi-Lo in Columbus at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately one-hour drive to the trailhead. Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water. Be sure to bring any personal medication that required. Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the afternoon. In case of inclement weather, contact the PAC office by 8:15 a.m. on the day of the hike, check the PAC website,, and/or the PAC Facebook page,, to see if the hike will take place.

Those who cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, visit PACs website, or go to PACs Facebook page for information on upcoming hikes. The next hike is scheduled for Sept. 26 to the Horsepasture River at Gorges State Park and Pisgah National Forest for a view of four area waterfalls.

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecological, and agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PAC’s mission). PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to continue ownership of their property, preserve precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits. PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and offers education programs emphasizing responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.


– article submitted
by Pam Torlina