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Join us for twice weekly hikes that alternate among four fairly standard routes. Typically, we take the same hike twice weekly, three of which are along the mountains-to-sea trail, running alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. Once a month, we go on a hike among the 25 miles of hiking trails within the campus of Warren Wilson College. We focus on weekday hikes, with occasional weekend jaunts.
Because we do the same hike twice each week and then repeat it every fifth week, the emphasis of this group is more on fitness than nature walking. We keep a fast pace. Usually, there's one set of members that hike very fast and one other group that walks almost as quickly. A person who hikes at least twice per week at a good clip for at least 4 miles at a time, or who has a regular aerobic fitness routine, will find this group to set a good pace for them.
All hikes are pretty easy in terms of the terrain, but a few have a more upward trajectory, though not steep really. The walk from the Folk Art Center to Craven Gap will find you mostly going up or down. There aren't a lot of relatively flat stretches, though none of the inclines are steep really. The hike from Bent Creek to US 25 has one pretty long incline. The Warren Wilson Wild Card trail can vary.
If you are interested in more leisurely hiking or a hike where you can stop and enjoy the sites and sounds of nature or take photographs, then this is probably not the best group for you. If you want to meet other hikers who enjoy a good conversation and good workout, or if you like to walk quietly at a fast clip, or with a dog who's on the move, then you'll probably enjoy this group. We limit our hikes to two hours because many of us work and have to be somewhere else by 11:15 or so. Thus, it's not possible to wait for slower hikers. We shuttle, so if someone is significantly slower (more than 5-10 minutes behind the rest of the group), the group would have to wait in order to give a ride back to the starting point. Thus, the need to be on the same page with regard to hiking pace.
Hikers who are new to hiking will likely be more comfortable on another meet up hike designed for people who are just beginning hiking or trying to get into shape for hiking. You might consider "WNC Easy Hikers Group," for instance.
If members are interested in longer weekend treks on the mountains-to-sea trail or the AT, including camping, or an extended weeklong trip once in a while, we can do that too. We'll see how interest grows. And once every month or so, we can sit around a bonfire, or share a drink, and be thankful.
We hope to see you zipping along a trail soon.