What we're about

This group is for anyone interested in backpacking. ALL skills levels are WELCOME. This group is primarily overnight/multi-day backpacking adventures... with possibly some social gathering for members throughout the year \


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. We want everyone who attends our Meetup trips to have a great time! Of course, being sore will inevitably be part of it sometimes ;). So, to help ensure this, there are a couple “ground rules” to follow. \

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. - No drugs permitted on group trips. If anyone is found using these, they will be removed from the group. \

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  • Act responsibly/Safety first. Do not put yourself, or others in danger while on group outings. \

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  • Be respectful/Courteous. Everyone has different skill levels and/or methods. We all have lots to learn from, and teach others. We can do this in a polite, respectful manner. Acting in a belligerent way towards others will not be tolerated. \

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  • Know your capability. Please do not sign up to attend trips that are outside your capability. While we only truly grow when we push ourselves past our “comfort zone”, you should understand which trips you can confidently push yourself to handle, and which ones you should pass on until another time...
    - Use and keep your RSVP current. Some trips have a size limit. If you sign up for a trip and for whatever reason cannot make it, please update your RSVP so people on the waitlist can join/attend. No shows on trips may not affect you, but they affect the group, so please keep your RSVP’s current.
    There will be trips through out the year of various intensities for different skill levels.  The host will give a brief description of each trip and the level of intensity.
    ADVANCED/STRENUOUS Trips: These more advanced trips will typically require the host speaking with each of you about the demands of the route.
    Let's Have Fun !  So grab your gear, sign up, and let’s hit the trail !!

Upcoming events (1)

AT – Winter Backpack to a Hot Springs AND a Hiker Hostel – Fundraising Hike

What better way to end a day of winter hiking than setting up “camp” in a comfy hiker hostel and “rehydrating dinner” at a fun restaurant? Join us for a segment of the Appalachian Trail that winds through forest, passes by a quaint pond and ends with dramatic views of the French Broad River. We’ll hike from Tanyard Gap along the AT down to Hot Springs, NC – an historic and charming mountain town cuddled along the banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River.

This is an intermediate level hike. Hikers should be able to maintain a pace of around 2 miles per hour with a full pack on. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are permitted but you’ll need to follow up with the hostel owner about taking a dog there. Sorry, no kids on this trip.

Saturday, Jan 19, 9:30 am meet at Tanyard Gap parking area [AT Northbound mile 280.8] Carpools required as parking is VERY limited. Please arrange carpools in the Comments below about a week before the hike.

On Saturday, we’ll first knock out a challenging day hike. Carrying daypacks only, we’ll take the AT north to the Rich Mountain Lookout Tower and then turn around and come back down to our cars to pick up our packs. 1,690’AEGain & 385’ AELoss over the 2.6 miles going up and then reverse those numbers to come back down.

Second, we’ll hike into town taking the AT southbound 5.9 miles. Total mileage for the day 12 miles, 2,500’ AEGain, 3,000’ AELoss.

Once in town we’ll stay at the Laughing Heart Lodge and Hostel. Mike and I plan to stay in the bunk room for $30/night/bed, but there are other options. You’ll need to bring a sleeping bag, but no sleeping mat or tent. Then dinner and some adult beverages in town!

Each hiker needs to reserve her/his own bed or room by contacting the Hostel herself. Laughing Heart Hiker Hostel[masked] [masked] https://www.laughingheartlodge.com/hostel/

Sunday, January 20: After grabbing breakfast and coffee in town, we’ll hike north on the AT returning back to our cars. 5.5 miles, 2,225’ AEG & 1,250’AEL

This is a fundraiser hike. Meet-up charges us $199/year to post our group there, and Mike ends up paying that himself most of the time. So this is a fund-raising hike to help with that fee. The cost to come along is $10. If you’d like to come, please jump on the Waitlist. We're taking 12 folks total. I'll write you giving you instructions on how to send me the $10, once you've registered as one of the first 8 folks on the waitlist. This $10 is non-refundable if you should cancel for any reason. Any forfeited monies will be applied to the $199 annual Meet-Up fee. But hopefully, none of us will need to cancel.

Directions to Tanyard Gap Trailhead:
Using Google Maps – Navigate to Tanyard Gap, N.C.

Written directions: From I-26, Take Exit 19B for US25/70. Take US 25/70 west for 21 miles. Turn left, staying on US 25/70 and proceed 1.8 miles more. Take a right turn onto an unsigned road then take the first left. The AT intersects in 0.2 miles. If you reach an overpass on US25/70 with an AT sign, you have gone too far.

You can find .gpx track and map of the NC TN segment of the A.T. including our brief segment here

We hope you’ll want to join us for this fun winter hike!


Photos (2,947)