Hiking Challenge 3 FAQ

Q: Why should I take the CMLC Hiking Challenge?
A: If you like the outdoors and want to preserve the beauty of western North Carolina’s mountains, the CMLC Hiking Challenge is perfect for you. Simply by hiking and becoming a member of Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, you will be supporting our mission in saving western North Carolina's most spectacular places--the places you love. It is a fun way to explore our conserved lands on your own schedule, work toward an achievable goal, and earn a badge of honor (our white squirrel hiking patch) and free hiking gear for your efforts!

Q: Do I need to be a CMLC member to participate in the hiking challenge? Why?
A: Yes.  While most of the hikes within the Hiking Challenge are on publicly accessible lands, several of the Challenge hikes are on conservation easement properties that remain privately owned.  Their landowners are very generous to open their property to the public for hiking.  In return for the privilege, they ask that visitors support land conservation by being members of CMLC.

Q: Does my husband/wife/children need to have their own CMLC membership to participate in the Hiking Challenge and earn a patch?
A: Only one person may enroll in the Hiking Challenge with a "CMLC Individual Membership" ($35); multiple members of the same family or household (husband & wife, children, visiting family members, etc.) may enroll in the Hiking Challenge using a "Household Membership" ($60).

Q: Is there a time limit to complete the Hiking Challenge?
A: No! You may complete the list of hikes at whatever pace you choose.  Some hikers may be able to complete all of the hikes in only a few weeks or months, while others may collect them over several years.  The Hiking Challenge is designed to allow you to explore the outdoors and our conserved lands at any pace you choose!

Q: I've already hiked to several of the places on the hike list.  Can I count hikes that I've already taken towards the Hiking Challenge?
A: You may only count hikes that you have previously taken if they occurred in June 2014 or later. Hikes prior to June 2014 may not be counted toward the Hiking Challenge and need to be revisited.

Q: Does the hiking challenge cost anything?
A: The Hiking Challenge is free to CMLC members!

Q: Do I need to specifically sign up for the CMLC Hiking Challenge?
A: Yes.  Signing up for the CMLC Hiking Challenge will allow CMLC to track your progress toward your completion, periodically recognize your progress in our publications, and enable you to receive communications and updates specific to the Hiking Challenge.

Q: Do I need to attend guided or group hikes to complete the Hiking Challenge?
A: No! Hikers have widely varying interests, physical abilities, and availability to get outdoors.  Many people also prefer to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in a solitary manner as a time of personal reflection. The CMLC Hiking Challenge is designed to give outdoor enthusiasts the ability to enjoy and explore CMLC’s conserved lands at their own pace and on their own schedule.

Q: How can I track my progress while working towards completing the Hiking Challenge?
A: Keep track of your progress, and that of other Hiking Challengers, here!

Q: I completed all of the hikes in the Challenge.  How do I receive my patch, certificate, and free hiking gear?
A: After reporting your eighth and final hike using our Report Your Hike form, we will send your patch, certificate, and hiking gear by mail to your membership address.

Q: What kind of fitness level do I need to complete the Hiking Challenge?
A: The CMLC Hiking Challenge can be completed by people of most fitness levels or levels of outdoor experience.

Q: Can I just buy the patch?
A: No! The patch must be earned by completing the list of eight hikes. The White Squirrel Patch is one of the most prized hiking rewards in all of western North Carolina. 

Q: Can I take my dog?
A: You may take your dog hiking on any of the CMLC Hiking Challenge 3.0 hikes. At Bearwallow Mountain, please ensure your dog is on a leash from April through November due to grazing cattle. Unleashed dogs may disturb grazing cattle. The mountain is private property; your right to hike there is contigent upon following the mountain's few rules. Please respect the rule and wishes of the landowner by keeping your dog on a leash at Bearwallow Mountain. Failure to do so will result in strict revocation of your hiking access on the mountain.

Q: Will CMLC still lead guided hikes to these properties if I do not want to go alone?
A: Yes. CMLC will periodically lead guided hikes to many of these properties as well as other scenic lands. CMLC usually has one guided hike per month.

Q: Can kids participate in the challenge?
A: Of course!  The Hiking Challenge is perfect for adults and children alike.  The Hiking Challenge is a perfect family activity to pursue together; families or couples who complete the Challenge together will receive special recognition in CMLC publications.

Q: Do I need to sign up for each hike?
A: You do not need to sign up for every hike in the Hiking Challenge.

Q: How many miles will I need to hike to complete the Challenge?
A: You will need to cumulatively hike about 18 miles to complete the Hiking Challenge.  However, there is no time requirement to complete this distance and these miles may be accumulated over multiple hikes.

Q: If I have additional questions about the challenge or a specific hike, how can I receive more information?
A: Feel free to ask questions about CMLC's Hiking Challenge by sending an email to peter@carolinamountain.org or calling 828-697-5777 ext. 215.


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