This Week’s Hikes

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We care about your health and that of our community. Therefore, we are suspending our hikes while COVID-19 is here.  The CDC discourages groups of more than three people.  We will get through this. Our prayers go out to the front-line healthcare workers who are putting their lives on the line for us. 

THURSDAY 03/26/2020: Martin Creek HIKE CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19

We will head to GA for this lovely 5 mile moderate hike.  It offers two nice falls, a bold stream with several bridges, and a rockery.  

DIRECTIONS: (GPS: 34.883044, -83.346147).   Meet and depart from KKEPA by 8:30AM, and/or Walhalla at 9AM.  For more details  click here.  

NO HIKES WILL BE SCHEDULED UNTIL COVID-19 IS GONE

BRR Library

Planning to do some hiking on your own?  You can borrow a book from our hiking library.  The library contains many different books about hiking and wildflowers in NC, SC, and GA.  From our home page click on “Resources”.  The bottom half of the page lists the different books available.  A big thanks to those who donated to the library:  Nancy Carkhuff, Michael Gauderer, Bill Ebeling, and others.  Contact the librarian to request a book at: brrhiker@gmail.com.

THURSDAY 5/19/2020:  Cane Break to Laurel Falls

On Tuesday, May 19, we’ll hike the Foothills Trail from Cane Break to Laurel Falls which includes a scenic boat ride across Lake Jocassee.   You must sign up in advance for this hike. The rain date is May 21.  The cost is $40 per hiker (fee includes tip).  This is one of our most interesting hikes and not to be missed.  We have limited room on the pontoon boat so reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis.

There is a chance that this hike will be cancelled due to Covid-19.  We will reassess the situation when we get closer to May 19.

To reserve your space, send Susan Hehir an email at: suehehir@icloud.com.  Include a phone number in your note.

We depart via pontoon boat from Devils Fork State Park at 9am for a scenic 30-45 minute boat ride to the  trailhead on the Toxaway River.  After hiking east across the peninsula we are picked up by boat on Laurel Fork near the base of Laurel Creek Falls.  Expect to return to DFSP between 3:30pm – 4:30pm.  

If you wish to carpool, meet at Keowee Key by 8:15am, as you will need time at Devils Fork State Park to pay the state park fee and extra time to load your gear on the boat.  The park fee is approximately $5 per adult, $2.25 per senior, or free with a SC Park Pass.

This 7 mile hike is rated strenuous by the Foothills Conference, however the most strenuous part is near the beginning where the trail ascends a steep set of natural and wooden stairs for .7 miles to “heartbreak ridge” (not to worry, we take our time).  The remainder of the hike is mostly moderate with a few strenuous sections.  It is a beautiful hike, which begins as we cross over the Toxaway River on a newly renovated 225′ suspension bridge, the longest on the Foothills Trail.  Plenty of views of Lake Jocassee abound throughout the hike.  We end up on Laurel Fork just below the falls.  

We are rewarded at the end of the hike with a refreshing dip in the lake and happy hour on the boat ride back.  So pack accordingly.  You can leave things on the boat.  Consider sharing a cooler with some beverages and snacks for the boat ride home.  

If you have any questions, call Susan at (917) 597-2281 or email suehehir@icloud.com

 

2020 Blue Ridge Ramblers Fall Outing

Our fall hiking outing will be held September 8 – 11, 2020 at the Fryemont Inn in Bryson City, NC.  Adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains, this is a BRR favorite.  The Fryemont Inn is a bit dated, but serves delicious breakfasts and dinners at a reasonable price.  From there we will hike the Smoky Mountain National Park.  All are welcome and encouraged to attend this popular event.  About forty people attended last year…including many non-hiking spouses.

This will SELL OUT.   Please book your room ASAP.  You can cancel up to a week before we arrive for a full refund.  If you want to go for just 1 or 2 nights, that’s OK.   You may have better luck booking directly online since they have limited hours that they answer the phone in the winter.

The Fryemont Inn , 245 Fryemont Street, Bryson City, NC 28713.

fryemont@dnet.net

Rates Room Description

  • $185 Queen – double occupancy
  • $195 King – double occupancy
  • $195 2 Queens – double occupancy
  • $235 Balcony Suites – double occupancy (pets allowed)
  • $235 – 255 Stone Cottage Suites

All rates include breakfast and dinner.  Although pets are allowed in the Balcony Suites, they are NOT allowed on the trails in the Smoky Mountain National Park.  The Balcony Suites have air conditioning, the other rooms don’t.  However, the temperature usually falls into the 50’s in the evening at this time of year.

For reservations, book online at:  Frymont Inn reservations

Reservations can also be made by calling 800-845-4879 between 1-4pm.  At other times, call Monica on her cell phone at (828) 488-2979.  Identify yourself as a member of the Blue Ridge Ramblers group.  Check-in after 3 pm; check-out is 11 am.  

We meet at 9am each morning and arrange car-pools for at least two hiking options (long and short).  Refer to the “Special Hikes” section of our web site for a description of some hikes under “Fryemont”. 

Happy Hour takes place on the large front porch each day.  Non-hiking spouses can enjoy the local bookstores, arts and craft galleries, a historical museum, a scenic train ride, rafting, a local brewery, and the casino in Cherokee.  For more about Bryson City: Bryson City info

The restaurant serves excellent breakfasts and dinners (included in room rate).  Hikers can order a box lunch by contacting the restaurant a day in  advance.  There are other restaurant options for lunch in Bryson City.

Solo female hikers seeking roommates may contact Nancy Carkhuff for assistance with room-sharing arrangements. (nbctiger@charter.net, 864 944-1940)

Questions? Contact Susan Hehir at 917 597-2281 or suehehir@icloud.com.