Friday, January 10, 2014

Partners of Joyce Kilmer Plan Monthly Hikes

The Partners of Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest have planned and scheduled sixteen group hikes for 2014. These hikes will happen in and around the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness area in Graham County. For the most part they will take place in areas designated as wilderness or study areas, meaning these forests are as close to virginal as you can find. I can speak from first-hand experience that they are some of the most beautiful places in the country.

Some of these hikes are planned to visit some local waterfalls, the Hangover and Haoe rock formations in the Slickrock Wilderness, Snowbird Creek and to Huckleberry Knob to watch a lunar eclipse!

Members of the Partners of Joyce Kilmer will lead these hikes. These members include former Forest Service staff, local outdoorsmen and avid hikers. Their knowledge of the area and stories and tales will be certainly spice things up. I love spending time with these folks and picking up anything I can. The hikes will be open to anyone but to keep the impact low, groups will be limited in size.

The first two hikes will January 20th in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and February 27 on the Appalachian Trail from Stecoah Gap to Sweetwater Gap and back. Full descriptions are below and I will be posting more from the Partners of Joyce Kilmer as the year goes on.

January and February Hikes:

JANUARY 20, 2014: Joyce Kilmer Loop Trail. 2 miles easy to moderate difficulty, led by Dick
Evans, Joe Bonnette & Kim Hainge. Learn tips to identifying dormant trees by bark patterns. Meet at Cheoah Ranger Station parking lot @ 1:00 pm. on Monday, January 20 to car pool to JK. Max. group size limit of ten. Call Joe @ 479-3855.
 
FEBRUARY 17, 2014: Washington's Birthday Hike. AT Hike to Sweetwater Gap & return by Stecoah Rd. from Stecoah Gap, 6.5 strenuous miles. Led by Dick Evans & Joe Bonnette. Meet at Stecoah Gap @12:30 pm. Bad weather alternative hike TBA. Contact Joe @ 479-3855 or Dick @ 479-2503 for info.

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