PAC kicks off spring hiking series Feb. 20

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, February 12, 2015

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) for six Friday hikes, and one Saturday hike, offered to the public, free of charge, this spring.

The community is invited to enjoy the beauty of our Carolinas with PAC.  Come see the work that many local conservation organizations, including PAC, have done for the preservation of area natural resources, and, take in the beauty of the emergence of spring!

Starting Feb. 20, PAC’s first trek will head to the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area for a six-mile, easy/moderate out and back hike. The trail follows an old CCC road along Oil Camp Creek in a seldom visited portion of the park. There are several waterfalls and streams that flow into the creek and they can be seen while hiking on the trail. In the winter, the trail also offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail

Hikers will be meeting at the Gowensville Spinx at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 30-minute drive to the trailhead. Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water. Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require. Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the early afternoon. In case of inclement weather, please check the PAC website,, or call the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike to see if the hike will take place.

The remaining dates of the spring hiking schedule are as follows:

On March 6, hikers will head to Paris Mountain State Park for a six-mile, moderate/strenuous loop highlighting beautiful views, streams, cascades, and waterfalls.

On March 20, the group will head to Bracken Preserve for a five-mile, moderate/strenuous loop along Southern Mountain and Brushy Creek.

On April 3, hikers head to Pisgah National Forest for a 5.3-mile, moderate/strenuous, out and back hike in Summey Cove. This hike crosses Courthouse Creek several times, leading to Courthouse Falls, a seldom visited, 45-foot cascade.

On April 17, the group will head to a PAC protected property along the Green River for an approximately four-mile, moderate hike along streams and to the Green River.

On April 18, celebrate Earth Day with a hike with your favorite pooch! PAC and Foothills Humane Society will co-host a four-mile, moderate, lollipop hike at Ashmore Heritage Preserve. Walk a shelter dog or bring your dog (on a leash) and enjoy a walk around Lake Wattacoo, at the base of Campbell Mountain/the Blue Wall escarpment. Contact Dana Mayer at 828-243-1852 for information about walking a shelter dog.

Finally, on May 1, hikers will head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a 6.5-mile, strenuous, loop hike along the Smokemont trail.

Also, PAC invites the public to participate in a “Hiking Challenge!”  Complete six of the seven hikes this spring and receive a custom bumper sticker acknowledging your accomplishment!

If you are interested in attending the PAC spring hikes and would like more information, please call the PAC office at 828-859-5060 or e-mail You can also find information on PAC’s website,, and on PAC’s Facebook page,

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.

-Submitted by Pam Torlina