Western North Carolina Hiking and Outdoors Clubs and Organizations
This guide contains information regarding various hiking, environmental and outdoors related clubs and support organizations around Western North Carolina. Thanks to these great folks for providing hiking information, group hikes, trail maintenance, and advocacy.
Carolina Mountain Club
The Carolina Mountain Club was formed in 1923 by a group of outdoor enthusiasts living in Asheville who wanted to foster people's enjoyment of the outdoors through hiking the area's wonderful trails. It is one of the most active clubs in the nation in group hiking and trail maintenance and construction. Its membership of nearly 550 individuals logs tens of thousands of hours of maintenance each year, and in addition the CMC has been instrumental in the planning and construction of the Mountains to Sea Trail. You can see their fine work on several sections of the MST around WNC.
Visit their web site at: http://www.carolinamountainclub.com.
Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy
Nonprofit organization promotes preservation and stewardship of land through land trusts and conservation easements.
Visit their web site at: http://www.carolinamountain.org/.
Friends of Dupont Forest
This organization was originally formed to help raise funds and provide lobbying power to convince the State to condemn and buy the center of Dupont State Forest and its spectacular waterfalls, which was slated to become an exclusive, gated residential community. They won the battle, and now are "working to enhance the public use and enjoyment of the DuPont State Forest while protecting its natural resources." They provide an excellent web site about Dupont State Forest and organize many trail workdays as well.
Visit their web site at: http://www.dupontforest.com/.
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park assists the National Park Service in its mission to preserve and protect Great Smoky Mountains National Park by raising funds and public awareness, and by providing volunteers for needed projects. Your support of Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park can help:
To preserve, restore and enhance the park's natural and cultural resources
To provide improved services and facilities for its visitors
To increase public awareness and support of the park
To enhance educational and interpretive activities
To improve trails and facilities
To repair backcountry shelters and campsites
To preserve historic structures
Visit their web site at: http://www.friendsofthesmokies.org/.
Friends of the Mountains To Sea Trail
The Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail (FMST) is a non-profit organization designed to make the vision of the Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) a reality. The Mountains to Sea Trail, when completed, will be a 900+ mile route from Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey's Ridge on the Outer Banks (more
info here). FMST provides aid and assistance on maintaining the MST across the state. FMST works through the efforts of volunteers to coordinate between many state, federal, and local agencies, as well as private landowners and local municipalities.
Visit their web site at: http://www.ncmst.org/.
Friends of North Carolina State Parks
Friends of State Parks is a citizen's group dedicated to the understanding, enjoyment, and protection of North Carolina's State Parks. FSP supports the mission of the NC Parks and Recreation Division: to protect and manage the unique biological, geological, archaeological, recreational, and scenic resources of the state. Friends of the State Parks promotes public awareness of the immense contributions of these natural areas to the quality of life for North Carolinians of present and future generations. As part of that mission FSP helps to promote programs like the Junior Rangers within the State Parks system.
Visit their web site: http://ncfsp.org/
Friends of Wilson Creek
The Friends of Wilson Creek are dedicated to helping with stewardship of the newly designated Wild and Scenic River, Wilson Creek.
Visit their web site: http://www.friendsofwilsoncreek.org.
Mid-Appalachian Highlands Club Inc.
Located in Elizabethton, TN. This club leads hikes on the Appalachian Trail as well as within Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina.
The Pisgah Hikers is a hiking group located in Brevard, North Carolina in the heart of the Pisgah National Forest. The group has over 100 members. Five hiking groups within the Pisgah Hikers meet at two locations in Brevard for hikes ranging from three miles to ten miles in length.
Visit their web site: http://pisgahhikers.org/
Sierra Club - North Carolina Chapter
This chapter of a Nationally recognized organization, the NC Chapter of the Sierra Club is active in conservation and preservation efforts for North Carolina's wild areas, including roadless areas of the National Forest which provide some of the best backcountry hiking in the southern Appalachians.
Visit the North Carolina Chapter's web site at: http://nc.sierraclub.org/.
Local Sierra Club Groups:
WENOCA: Western NOrth CArolina Sierra Club
Blue Ridge Group
Rt. 4, Box 398
Banner Elk, NC 28604
Contact: Chris Turner
South Mountains Group
Contact: Doug Veazey
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
We are a non-profit organization (a land trust) newly accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, joining three other conservancies as the only accredited land trusts in North Carolina. We are working to conserve the unique plant and animal habitat, farmland, clean water, and scenic beauty of the mountains of North Carolina and east Tennessee for the benefit of present and future generations. We achieve this by forging and maintaining conservation relationships with landowners and public agencies, owning and managing land, and working with communities to accomplish their conservation objectives.
To learn more about our organization, guided hikes we offer, or to become a member, visit www.appalachian.org.
Smoky Mountains Hiking Club
Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, this club maintains a long section of the Appalachian Trail, starting in North Carolina, then traveling through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the NC/TN border. The club hosts hikes in both Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee.
Visit their web site at: http://smhclub.org/
The Great Smoky Mountains 900 Miler Club
For those who have completed, or want to complete, all 900 miles of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, join the club!
Visit their web site at: http://members.aol.com/gs900miler/