PAC kicks off its spring hiking series Feb. 17

Published 10:00 pm Friday, February 3, 2017

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) for five Friday hikes offered to the public, free of charge, this spring. 

Starting Feb. 17, PAC’s first trek will be to DuPont State Forest for an approximately seven-mile, easy, loop hike. The trail will lead hikers along old roadbeds, through a managed pine forest and past Thomas Cemetery, named for the family that lived near the site in the 19th century. Hikers will take a short jaunt to view Wintergreen Falls, and then return to the main loop, making their way back to the parking area.

On March 3, the hike will take place in Pisgah National Forest, along the Coontree Loop and Bennett Gap trails. On this moderate, 6.6-mile hike in the shape of a lollipop, participants will enjoy terrific views of the surrounding mountains along Bennett Gap before descending and completing the journey with a walk along Coontree Creek. 

PAC hikers Estell Osten, Bill Coleman, and Tammy Coleman on a PAC hike in the spring of 2015. (photo submitted by Pam Torlina)

PAC hikers Estell Osten, Bill Coleman, and Tammy Coleman on a PAC hike in the spring of 2015. (photo submitted by Pam Torlina)

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On March 17, the group will head to the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area for a 5.6-mile, moderate, out and back hike along the Pinnacle Pass and Naturaland Trust trails to Moonshine Falls.

On March 31, hikers head back to Pisgah National Forest for a moderate eight-mile, loop hike starting from the Davidson River Campground. The hike will follow the Davidson River to the North Slope Trail through a dense deciduous forest, and then veer onto the Connector Trail to the Art Loeb Trail which follows Shut-in Ridge before heading back down to the campground and parking area.

Finally, on April 14, the group heads to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a 6.8-mile, moderate hike along Asbury Trail which straddles the boundary between the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Appalachian Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.

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

PAC invites the public to participate in a hiking challenge. Complete all five of the hikes this spring and receive a custom bumper sticker acknowledging your accomplishment.

– article submitted by Pam Torlina