Every Wednesday Night Walk and Dinner


New Location!  Piedmont Environmental Center


The Wednesday walkers will meet in the parking lot of The Piedmont Environmental Center at 6:30 PM for a brisk walk before dinner. Rain or shine. The group will go to dinner after the walk.




March 1             Laurel Bluff / Reed Fork Trails

Sunday               Greensboro Watershed Area


Let’s meet at 1:00 PM and hike the Laurel Bluff and Reedy Fork watershed trails.  Proceed north on Lake Brandt Road, go past the Lake Brandt marina on the left, cross over the bridge at the dam, and park in the gravel parking lot on the right.  No need to call, but please do if you have questions.  [7 miles, R8].



March 3             Mellow Mushroom Dinner

Tuesday             Greensboro


Greensboro now has a Mellow Mushroom Pizza/Pasta Restaurant at 609 South Elm Street in the downtown area.  PHOC groups have enjoyed this lively eating establishment in other cities.  Let's meet at 7:00 PM and check this one out, for the pizza, sandwich or pasta, and beverage of your choice.  Call or email Jon by noon, Monday, March 2.  If you find out at the last minute you can make the outing but have not called, just come on anyway!



March 4             Wednesday Night Walk and Dinner

See top of page for details



March 7             Stone Mountain Trails

Saturday             Stone Mountain State Park


We’ll hike a section of the park that’s not visited very often.  We’ll have several stream crossings and pass by three waterfalls.  You may want to bring a change of clothing.  Also bring plenty of water, food, and rain gear.  Meet at Shoney’s and be ready to leave at 7:30 AM.  There is no need to call Hubert to go on this hike.  [10 miles, 1450 feet, R25]



March 7             Profile Trail to Swinging Bridge

Saturday             Grandfather Mountain


We will ascend the very strenuous Profile Trail to the Grandfather Trail and hike to the swinging bridge.  The Grandfather Trail is not intended for the faint of heart, as there are several ladders, chutes, and ropes; but we will enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view.  The outing is limited to 12 people.  [9 miles, +/-3500 feet, R46]



March 8             Lake Higgins Trail

Sunday               Greensboro Watershed Area


Let’s go for an easy hike with lots of views of Lake Higgins.  Bring water and a snack.  Meet at 1:30 PM in the Lake Higgins trail parking lot approximately 100 yards from the marina entrance.  The marina address is 4235 Hamburg Mill Road.  No need to call to go on hike.  [7 miles, 200 feet, R9]



March 9             March Meeting

Monday               Piedmont Environmental Center


Meet for refreshments and fellowship at 7:00 PM at the Piedmont Environmental Center on Penny Road in Jamestown.  The business portion and program will begin at 7:30.  A map to the PEC is on page 15.


Ken Bridle, Stewardship Director of the Piedmont Land Conservancy (www.piedmontland.org), will present a program on PLC's history, vision, successes, and plans.  This is a good opportunity for PHOC members to get more familiar with the organization that is "saving the places we love."



March 11           Wednesday Night Walk and Dinner

See top of page for details



March 14           Indian Creek / Hanging Rock Trails

Saturday             Hanging Rock State Park


We will start at the Dan River and hike beside Indian Creek up to the visitor center at Hanging Rock State Park.  This is a scenic trek with many easy stream crossings and two lovely waterfalls.  Once at the parking lot, those who still have "gas in their tank" will continue on up to the Hanging Rock.  We will then retrace our steps downhill and reunite with any who chose to wait at the visitor center.  Leave Shoney's at 8AM or be at the Dan River access trailhead at 8:45AM.  Estimated total time on trail including lunch is 5 1/2 hours.  Estimated time back at Shoney's is 4PM.  Dogs and chickens welcome; no cats please.  Bring adequate water and a lunch.  Please call or email if planning to hike.  [10 miles, R26]



March 14           McAfee Knob and Tinkers Cliff Trails

Saturday             Jefferson National Forest  near Roanoke


Today we are offering two versions for a day hike.  Join Anna for a leisurely 7-mile round trip up to McAfee Knob that overlooks the beautiful Catawba and Roanoke valleys.  The views are not to be missed.  Or you can join Jill to do a longer and steeper hike, climbing up Tinker Mountain to the cliff for another gorgeous view.  We will proceed along the ridge line to start another climb up to meet the short-hike group at the top of McAfee Knob.  Then we will all end the day with our favorite part……..DINNER!  The long-hike group will leave Greensboro about three hours before the others.  Please email or call for meeting times and place.  [7 miles, R20; or 12 miles, R36]



March 15           Lake Brandt Loop

Sunday               Bur-Mil Park, Greensboro


Ever walk all the way around Lake Brandt?  Here's your chance.  Meet at 1:30 PM at the parking area at the end of the road down near the lake and the Wildlife Education Center in Bur-Mil Park off of Battleground Avenue.  We will walk out the greenway, through the woods over to the marina, across the dam, down Piedmont Trail, and back to the parking lot.  This is a great but not difficult walk.  Bathroom/water break after 5 miles.  Suitable for all ages.  Call Jon if you have any questions; otherwise, he'll see you there.  [8.5 miles, R13]



March 18           Wednesday Night Walk and Dinner

See top of page for details.



March 21           Pilot Mountain Loop

Saturday             Pilot Mountain State Park


We will start at the visitor center near the entrance of the park and follow the Grassy Ridge Trail to Pinnacle Hotel Road.  Here we will pick up Mountain Trail, which takes us up the base of the mountain to Ledge Spring Trail.  Ledge Spring is somewhat strenuous but is doable even for some Wednesday night and Sunday walkers.  From Ledge Spring, we will continue on the Jomeokee Trail around the knob.  After a brief stop at the top of the mountain, we will finish the hike down the Grindstone Trail and back to the visitor center.  We will meet at Shoney's at 9:00 AM or at the visitor center parking lot at 9:45.  No need to call but do if you have questions.  [9 miles, R27]



March 21           Cedar Ridge / Flat Rock Ridge Trails  

Saturday             Doughton Park


This is the full loop around the outer edge of Doughton Park, which gives hikers the distant vistas from the Bluff Mountain Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as impressive views down into the park’s Basin Cove.  Bring plenty of water and lunch.  We will depart from Shoney’s at 7:30 AM.  [17 miles, 3000 feet, R47]



March 22           Country / Guilford Courthouse 

Sunday               Greensboro Military/Country Park


We will walk trails in Country Park and Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.  Meet at 1:00 PM at the end of the parking lot in Country Park, which is reached from Battleground Avenue by way of Pisgah Church Road and Forest Lawn Drive.  Call or email if you need further details.



March 25           Wednesday Night Walk and  Dinner

See top of page for details.



March 28           Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Saturday             Blue Ridge Parkway


We will begin the hike at Brinegar Cabin in Doughton Park and head north to the old tram site on the edge of Stone Mountain State Park.  From there we will hike back down to the Blue Ridge Parkway to our cars.  The pace on this hike will be leisurely with many views from overlooks—great for hikers with limited trail experience.  Meet at Shoney’s and be ready to leave at 8:30 AM.  Bring lunch and water.  [6 miles, +/- 850 feet, R15]



March 28           Indian Creek / Cook’s Wall Trails

Saturday             Hanging Rock State Park


The slope of these trails is relatively gentle, and the few stream crossings are easy.  The stream is usually low, but it has been known to swell after a big rain, making hiking poles helpful.  We will meet at Shoney's at 8:00 AM.  Folks driving directly can meet us at 9:00 AM at the Dan River parking lot on Flinchum Road off NC 8/89.  Contact Nicole and let her know you are coming.  [13 miles, +/- 1600 feet, R29].



March 28           Heartbreak Ridge / Pinnacle Trails

Saturday             Pisgah National Forest near Old Fort


This hike will take us up Heartbreak Ridge, with beautiful views of the valley beyond Montreat, and along a portion of the old Toll Road to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  If the weather permits, we will ascend Blue Ridge Pinnacle for 360-degree views including Mount Mitchell and other peaks of the Black Mountains, the Craggy Gardens area, and even Table Rock above Linville Gorge.  Although the climb to the base of Pinnacle is long, it is not steep.  Come prepared for the possibility of chilly winds on Pinnacle.  [14 miles, 3600 or 4000 feet, R50 or 54]



March 29           Owl’s Roost Loop

Sunday               Bur-Mil Park, Greensboro


We’ll meet at 1:00 PM at the Wildlife Education Center in Bur-Mil Park and hike the Owl’s Roost Trail to the greenway and back to the park by way of the fire-lane shortcut, for a total of 7 miles.  Proceed north on US220, turn right at the traffic light at Owl’s Roost Road, and then make a left into Bur-Mil Park.  Bear right at the clubhouse and park in the circular driveway at the bottom of the hill.  No need to call, but please do if you have questions.  [R9].



April 1                Wednesday Night Walk and Dinner


See top of page for details.



April 4                Yadkin River Wildflower Stroll

Saturday             Pilot Mountain State Park


Today we’ll walk along the banks of the Yadkin River looking for wildflowers.  There are many small ups and downs, but none very long.  We’ll have several stream crossings, and we’ll probably walk up a couple of streams to see more wild flowers.  This is not a hike; it’s a walk, and we will be stopping frequently.  [8 miles, +/- 800 feet, R16]



April 4                 Cedar Ridge / Mountains-to-Sea Trails

Saturday             Doughton and Stone Mountain Parks


We will first hike by way of Doughton Park’s Cedar Ridge Trail to Brinegar Cabin.  From there, we will follow the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway to the upper edge of Stone Mountain Park.  The route down to the parking lot close to the base of Stone Mountain will be the continuation of the MST.  Bring extra water and food because this is a long, demanding hike.  There is no need to call Hubert if you plan to participate in this outing.  Meet at Shoney’s at 7:30 AM.  [15 miles, +/-3000 feet, R45]



April 5                Hamilton Lakes Stroll

Sunday               Greensboro


Let’s celebrate Palm Sunday with a leisurely stroll through Hamilton Lakes Park.  It’s an easy and fairly level 3 miles from my house, around the south side of the lake, down the south trail to Lake Euphemia for a snack, then back on the paved trail that parallels Starmount Drive, around the north shore, and back home.  The dogwoods and azaleas should be in full bloom then.  At 2:30 PM, meet at my house at 618 Preys Street, just off Muir’s Chapel to the east between Tower and Ellenwood.  Pizzas can be ordered afterwards.  Well-behaved canines are welcome.



April 5                Salem Lake / Creek Bike Ride

Sunday               Winston-Salem


Before the first New River bike ride on April 26, let's get out and do 16 miles around Salem Lake and over to Market Place Mall and back.  We'll start at the fishing hut at Salem Lake at 1:00 PM and ride the 7 miles around the lake to the dam.  Then we'll follow Salem Creek Greenway to Market Place Mall and back for an additional 9 miles.  The route is primarily level, but some rocky sections of the Salem Lake trail make durable tires advisable.



April 7                1618 West Seafood Grill

Tuesday             Greensboro


Come join me for dinner at one of Greensboro's finer seafood restaurants.  It’s located at 1618 West Friendly Avenue.  Let's meet at 6:30 PM to take advantage of one of their early bird specials, which end at 7:00.  These specials include a salad, entrée, and dessert for $14.95.  Yes, it does include dessert!  The restaurant offers many seafood specialties, plus plenty of selections for land lovers.  Please RSVP by Saturday, April 4.



April 8                Wednesday Night Walk and Dinner


See top of page for details.



April 10              Nat Greene Trail at Night

Friday                 Greensboro Watershed Area


This 3.5-mile night hike will be along one side of Lake Brandt.  With a full moon that night, we will hope to see the trail without flashlights, but bring one in case.  Meet at 7:00 PM at the upper parking lot of the Lake Brandt marina.  For safety reasons, we will not hike if it’s raining.



April 11              Umstead State Park Trails

Saturday             Raleigh


This loop hike takes us from the US 70 side of this 5,500-acre park to the I-40 side and back.  The route offers creeks, wooded hillsides, an old mill site, and stone walls and foundations from earlier times.  The primarily rolling terrain will be decorated with the blooms of dogwood.  We will depart at 8:00 AM from the parking lot at the former NASCAR restaurant on the north side of Four Seasons Mall.  [11 miles, R20]



April 11              Flat Rock / Grassy Gap Trails

Saturday             Doughton Park


We will be hiking these beautifully wooded trails at a lovely time of year when the winter is (hopefully) behind us and we can enjoy the rhododendrons making ready for their later bloom and preening themselves gloriously before being overshadowed by the foliage of mighty poplars, oaks, and maples.  And if the weather is nice and the sun warm enough, we can go dip our toes in Basin creek for a spell before heading back to the Triad.  For those who want to eat a bite before completing the drive home, Elkin offers several exciting opportunities.  We will meet at Shoney's at 7:30 AM.  Please contact Nicole and let her know you're coming.  [13 miles, +/- 2000 feet, R33]



April 12              Gibson Park Trails

Sunday               Greensboro


We'll walk 5 miles in Gibson Park.  We’ll meet at 1:00 PM at the far end parking lot.  To get to Gibson Park, drive west on Wendover Avenue toward High Point, past the Bridford Parkway shopping madness.  When you see the Gibson Park brown sign on your right before you get to Penny Road, make a left.  Proceed to the park entrance and drive until you can go no further.



April 13              April Meeting

Monday               Piedmont Environmental Center


Meet for refreshments and fellowship at 7:00 PM at the Piedmont Environmental Center on Penny Road in Jamestown.  The business portion and program will begin at 7:30.  A map to the PEC is on page 15.  Club member Jon Maxwell will make a 45-minute presentation on walking the famous and beautiful 195-mile Coast-to-Coast trail across England, which he did in September 2008.  The presentation will include a summary of the route, travel options, logistics, and some photos.



April 15              Wednesday Night Walk and Dinner


See top of page for details.



April 18              Moses Cone Carriage Trails

Saturday             Moses Cone Memorial Park


At this Blue Ridge Parkway facility near Blowing Rock, participants will have several hike options.  We’ll start at Bass Lake and hike two miles up to the Cone Manor House, where some hikers may choose to stop.  The next destination will be the graveyard, another mile and a half up the trail.  The total distance to the fire tower, with superb views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is five and a half miles.  The carriage trails, by their very nature, are easy for walking.  Contact Shari for meeting times and locations.  [11 miles maximum, R20 maximum]



April 18              Rock Castle Gorge Loop

Saturday             Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia


Mid-April is the best time to admire the deep burgundy blooms of trillium, as well as many of the other attractions of this popular trail for PHOC members.  After the first couple of miles, which include a rather steep uphill section, we’ll amble across open meadows next to the Blue Ridge Parkway before descending back into the gorge, lined with gigantic boulders.  The loop hike ends with several miles along a rushing mountain stream.  Please contact Ken if you are joining us.  A caravan will depart from Shoney’s at 7:30 AM and meet others at Hardee’s in Stuart, Virginia, at 8:30.  [11 miles, 2800 feet, R39]



April 18              Pine Gap to Conley Cove

Saturday             Linville Gorge Wilderness


Another great, demanding day in Linville Gorge.  We will go down the Pine Gap Trail to the Linville Gorge Trail.  We will then hike about eight miles along the river and up and over Babel Tower until we come out of the gorge on the Conley Cove Trail.  This is for experienced Saturday hikers only.  Please contact Ben for the meeting place and time.  [9 miles, +/- 2500 feet, R42]



April 19              Lake Townsend Trail

Sunday               Greensboro Watershed Area


Let’s meet at 1:00 PM for an easy, scenic hike along the wooded southern edge of Lake Townsend, at times right up close to the water.  From Battleground Avenue, proceed east on Pisgah Church, continue east on Lees Chapel, bear left at Brightwood School, turn left at the T at Rudd Station Road, cross over the railroad tracks, and keep straight on South Shore Road for about 1/3 of a mile.  Park in the gravel parking lot on your left.  No need to call, but please do if you have questions.  [8 miles, R8]



April 19              Greensboro Bike Ride

Sunday               Greensboro Park Trails & Greenway


This is a warm-up for the upcoming series of New River Trail rides.  It will be almost entirely on paved greenway, with a small stretch of dirt/gravel connecting Guilford Battleground National Military Park to the greenway leading to Jaycee Park and a short stretch of road through an apartment complex.  Any bike will be fine.  We’ll meet at 9:00 AM at the parking lot next to Old Battleground Road at GBNMP and start on the greenway toward Bur-Mil Park.  We’ll ride beyond the crossing at Strawberry Road for about one mile, then back to GBNMP and on to Jaycee and Country parks, where we’ll ride a lap around CP, then take the greenway back and finish with the road around GBNMP.  The route is 16 miles with gradual descents and climbs.  Please have a helmet, as anything can happen when you share the trail with other users.  Lunch option at Herbie’s afterward.



April 19              Belews Lake Paddle

Sunday               Northwest of Greensboro


Join me for an afternoon of lake paddling and picnic, weather permitting.  We’ll meet at Shoney’s at 1:00 PM for the caravan drive to the lake and should return to Shoney’s by 6:00 PM.  The boat launch site will be determined at the Shoney’s gathering.  Bring your boat, paddling gear, lunch, sunscreen, and a change of clothes in a dry bag.



April 22              Wednesday Night Walk and Dinner


See top of page for details.



April 25              Holden Mill / Cox Mountain

Saturday             Eno River State Park, Durham


This outing only an hour east of Greensboro will include a morning hike of the Buckwater Creek and Holden Mill trails, with close views of the picturesque Eno River.  Following lunch and a visit to the river’s popular swinging bridge, those who wish to get more exercise and take in vistas from the park’s highest “peak” will hike the Cox Mountain trail.  Sections of the trails can be slick from mud following a rain.  A short portion of the Buckwater Creek trail requires negotiating boulders.  Greensboro-area participants will depart at 8:45 AM from the parking lot at the former NASCAR restaurant on the north side of Four Seasons Mall.  Those who wish to drive directly to the park should be at the visitor center by 9:45 AM.  Folks in the Winston-Salem area can contact David regarding carpooling to Greensboro.  [4 miles, R10 during the morning; 8 miles, R17 during the full outing]



April 25              Tory’s Den to Moore’s Knob

Saturday             Hanging Rock State Park


Starting at Tory's Den parking lot, we’ll hike the Sauratown Loop Trail and connect with the Mountains-to-Sea Trail up to the fire tower on Moore's Knob.  We will then retrace our steps to the parking lot.  We will leave Shoney's at 8:00 AM.  Folks driving directly to Tory's Den parking lot should be there by 8:45 AM.  Bring ample water and lunch.  Estimated time on trail is 5 1/2 to 6 hours.  Estimated arrival back at Shoney's is 4:00 PM.  This is the first hike I did with the club a couple years ago, and it motivated me to get in better shape to enjoy all the hikes.  Please call or email if planning to hike.  [12 miles, R30]



April 25              Daniel Boone Trail to Swinging Bridge

Saturday             Grandfather Mountain


This is a very strenuous hike from the Daniel Boone Scout Trail to the swinging bridge and back. We’ll cross Calloway and McRae peaks—twice.  The Grandfather Trail includes one chute, many ladders, and some of the roughest terrain in the east.  Bring plenty of water and plan on a long day.  Call or email for meeting time and place.  Limit of 12 hikers.  [10.5 miles, +/- 3750 feet, R50+]



April 26              Greenway and Big Loop Trail

Sunday               Bur-Mil Park, Greensboro


Join me at 11:00 AM for a pre-Spring-Fling hike.  We'll walk approximately 5 miles on the Big Loop Trail and the Lake Brandt greenway.  Meet at Shelter #4 beyond the driving range parking lot.  Email me if you have questions.



April 26              Spring Fling

Sunday               Bur-Mil Park, Greensboro


Join us for our annual celebration of spring!  The club will provide hamburgers and hot dogs, plastic ware, plates, cups, and soft drinks.  Bring your favorite side dish, appetizer, or dessert and serving utensil for sharing.  Feel free to bring your camp chair and adult beverage.  Enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, volleyball, or just plain visiting.  Festivities begin at 1:00 PM at Bur-Mil Park, off Owl's Roost Road.  We'll meet at Shelter #7 by the Wildlife Education Center.  We’ll start grilling around 2:00 and will need a couple of cooks.  Please RSVP to Anne by Wednesday the 22nd.  Current 2009 members participate for free.  Non-members and guests are welcome for a fee of $5.



April 26              Foster Falls to Fries Junction Bike Ride

Sunday               New River Trail State Park


This will be a 32-mile, out-and-back ride at Virginia’s New River Trail State Park—one of the southeast’s best rails-to-trails conversions.  The relatively flat and car-traffic-free ride begins at Foster Falls, a village that dates from the mid-1800s.  Our trip will take us through the 135-foot New River train tunnel and over the 670-foot Ivanhoe Trestle, which is a great place to stop for water and enjoy the panorama of the river valley.  Shortly after passing two dams built in 1913 for the Appalachian Power Company, we will arrive at our turnaround point and shady lunch spot where the Chestnut Creek spur of the trail from Galax meets the main trail from Fries.  There is a nominal parking fee at Foster Falls.  The trail requires a mountain or hybrid bike.  While on our bicycles, riders will maintain a 10- or 11-mile-per-hour pace.



April 29              Wednesday Night Walk and Dinner


See top of page for details.




May 1-3              Merchants Millpond Paddling / Camping

Friday-Sunday    Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville


Join us for a canoe camping trip to Merchants Millpond—NC's most unique state park.  The 760-acre lake has ancient moss-draped cypress trees and areas covered in sunburst water lilies.  Yes, we hope to see some water snakes and alligators in very comfortable, non-intimidating encounters.  In early May, the serious bugs have not emerged, but to see a tick would not be unexpected.  We will leave Friday morning for the 4.5-hour drive to the northeast corner of NC and then boat a mile to a beautiful hardwood island campground.  On Saturday we will explore the lake and creeks by boat.  Joel will fill the boat needs for the first 16 who pay the $2 campsite fee.  Additional participants will need to provide their own canoe or kayak or rent one.  Call or email for more details.