This hike currently has a waitlist. Hikers registering for the waitlist (below) will receive an update on their status a week prior to the hike. Join the Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) for a sneak peek of the first phase of the new Little Bearwallow Trail segment, a recently completed section of the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail loop.
Participants will hike on a new trail being built by CMLC with the help of the North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps (NCYCC) in Upper Hickory Nut Gorge near Chimney Rock State Park. The trail connects the public trailhead at US Highway 74A in Gerton to Little Bearwallow Falls, a cascade that plunges over a 100-foot cliff.
Phase 1 of the Little Bearwallow Trail climbs one mile from the floor of the Upper Gorge to the waterfall. Work is underway to extend the Little Bearwallow Trail to Wildcat Rock, a scenic rock outcropping that offers dramatic views of the southern Appalachians, and ultimately to the ridgeline of Little Bearwallow and Bearwallow Mountains.
NCYCC young adults—currently on-site working to extend this trail—will show off their trail construction work and help introduce participants to the stunning natural features, rich biodiversity, and cultural history of the landscape around the trail. The new segment of the Little Bearwallow Trail opens August 27th.
In addition to conserving natural heritage in the Hickory Nut Gorge, CMLC, CTNC, and partners are working to facilitate public access for outdoor recreation via the creation of a new hiking trail network. The Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail will one day extend 15 miles, circumnavigating the ridges of the Gorge to connect public and private protected lands including Florence Nature Preserve, Bearwallow Mountain, Wildcat Rock, Blue Ridge Pastures, & Hickory Nut Gap.
Hike distance is 3 miles roundtrip and is rated as strenuous with 700 feet of elevation gain. The hike will start at 10:00 am.
Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a three mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate pets on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike.
Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations, times, and additional details will be sent through email upon confirmation of your spot on the hike. This hike can accomodate 30 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:
For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Matt Kirk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 27,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains.