Conserving Carolina’s third hike heads to Rattlesnake Lodge Oct. 20

Published 5:16 pm Thursday, October 19, 2017

Join Conserving Carolina, formerly the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC), on Friday, October 20, for an approximately 3.8-mile, moderate, out and back hike on a portion of the Mountain to Sea Trail to the ruins of a 1900’s summer estate, Rattlesnake Lodge.

This section of the Mountains to Sea Trail ascends from Bull Gap, leading hikers along a series of switchbacks that wind through a beautiful hardwood forest.  The trail follows the original, narrow access road to the remains of the historic Rattlesnake Lodge, named for its infamous living room ceiling that was covered in rattlesnake skins.  Built in 1904 by Dr. Chase Ambler, the Lodge was built as a summer home that was enjoyed by Dr. Ambler and his family for many years.  Unfortunately, fire destroyed the Lodge in the 1920s, but the stacked-stone foundations of the lodge, barn, tool house, spring house, and swimming pool can still be seen and explored.  Along the trail, on a broad outcrop just above the Blue Ridge Parkway, hikers will also enjoy a lovely view of the Bull Creek valley and Swan Mountain, adorned with the colors of autumn. 

If you are interested in attending the hike, on October 20, you’re asked to meet in the parking area west of Home Trust Bank, 651 W Mills St, Columbus, NC 28722 at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately one-hour drive to Rattlesnake Lodge parking area, about 6-miles north of the Folk Art Center and off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the mid-afternoon. 

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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.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require. 

In case of inclement weather, please contact Conserving Carolina’s Southeast (Polk County) office by 8:15 a.m. on the day of the hike and/or check the Conserving Carolina Facebook page to see if the hike will take place.

If you are interested in attending other Conserving Carolina fall hikes and would like more information, please call the Southeast (Polk County) office at 828-859-5060 or e-mail Pam Torlina at,  You can also find information on Conserving Carolina’s website,, and on Conserving Carolina’s Facebook page.

submitted by Pam Torlina