PAC’s second spring hike heads to Pisgah National Forest, March 3

Published 10:00 pm Friday, February 24, 2017

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, March 3, for an approximately 6.5-mile, moderate/strenuous, lollipop hike at Pisgah National Forest. PAC’s director of stewardship and land protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.   

Hikers will venture to the Coontree Picnic Area in Pisgah National Forest to begin the hike on Coontree Loop Trail. The trail will lead hikers along Coontree Creek for part of the ascent of Coontree Mountain. Near the top of the mountain, the group will veer onto the Bennet Gap Trail to hike along the ridgeline and just below the peak of Coontree Mountain.

Passing the peak of the mountain, participants will enjoy beautiful winter views of the surrounding mountains. After stopping to enjoy a nice lunch, the group will back track, rejoin Coontree Loop Trail, and complete the loop, heading down Coontree Gap, and returning to the picnic/parking area. This is a moderate hike with some strenuous sections.

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If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at Pisgah National Forest, contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail

Hikers are asked to meet at the BI-LO in Columbus at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately one-hour drive to Pisgah National Forest. Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the mid-afternoon.    

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience. 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 you may require. 

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.

If you 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 takes place on March 17 at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, a 5.6-mile, moderate, out and back hike to Moonshine Falls.

– article submitted by Pam Torlina