Hiking in the Black Mountains and Toe River Valley near Burnsville, North Carolina is a very rewarding experience. The area has a wide variety of terrain to explore ranging from lush river valleys to majestic mountain ridges. At 6,684 foot elevation, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi.
This late in November many bird species have found their way far to the south in the U.S., as well as Mexico, Central America, and South America, What will we find along the Cane River? We have an active population of year round birds that will take us through the winter, including several species of woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina, chick-a-dee, tufted titmouse, northern cardinal, yellow-rumped warbler, great blue heron, blue bird and many more. Last year we found a very late migrant, rose-breasted gross beak, just a mile away from the park.
We will meet at Cane River Park for an easy walk around the park and along the river. Some fall migrants will still be active as the birds find their way to southern parts of the U.S., Mexico, Central America and South America.
We will leave from the kiosk in the main parking lot promptly at 9am. Bring binoculars, and dress for the weather. We will go rain or shine if at all possible. All skill levels from beginner to expert are welcome. For more information call 828 682-3733.
The High Peaks Trail Association will lead one of its most challenging – and rewarding – hikes of the year when the club takes on the Black Mountain Crest Trail on Saturday, Oct. 17. The outing will be followed by a pot luck supper and party in the Cattail Community.
The 8-mile jaunt will begin at Mt. Mitchell, proceed down to Deep Gap and then descend steeply to the Cattail Community. Only seasoned hikers should consider joining because the 3,000-foot descent will be tough on the knees.
The High Peaks Birders monthly stroll will be held on Sunday, September 20, at 9 am. We will meet at Cane River Park for an easy walk around the park and along the river. This month we will focus our attention on fall migrants. What will we find in the Cane River Valley? We don’t know, although there are many possibilities. Please note the new starting time and join us as we discover what is coming through.
The N.C. High Peaks Trail Association invites members and the public to its annual meeting at 3 p.m. onSunday, Sept. 27 at the Education Center at Mt. Mitchell State Park. Transportation will be provided to and from Burnsville and light refreshments served as the club promotes its role as the official Friends of Mt. Mitchell State Park organization.
Join High Peaks on Saturday, Sept. 19 for some early fall color on the Big Butt Trail. This challenging, 5.6-mile trek descends about 1,500 feet from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Balsam Gap to Cane River Gap. The hike features a few significant climbs, including a long stairway up Little Butt, but offers a spectacular view of the Black Mountain chain.
Please join High Peaks for a work day in the Black Mountain Campground area on Saturday. We will finish weed-eating trails in the area and do some lopping. Meet the crew in Burnsville at 8:20 or across from the campground at the kiosk at 9 AM. Bring loppers if you have them. Please let me know if you can join the crew by e-mailing me at email@example.com.
Please join the High Peaks Board for our regular meeting this Thursday at 9 AM. We will be meeting upstairs at Appalachian Java on West Main Street in Burnsville. We will have two special guests from the Wilderness Society joining us.