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Overnight Hike - Banner Elk,NC - Tues.& Wed., Aug.23 & 24, 2016

Overnight Hike Banner Elk, NC – Roan Mountain, TN
Tuesday - Wednesday, August 23-24, 2015 (Optional extra day Thursday, August 25)
Depart at 8:00 am from the Chota Center
We can arrange a place to meet those going from Kahite
Hotel --- Best Western Mountain Lodge at Banner Elk (828) 898-4571
  Rate $76.49 per day + tax
              Make reservations for either one or two nights
  Mention Tellico Village Hiking Club when making reservation
  Please notify Bob Kutschera by phone or email after making a reservation
For Additional Information  --- Curt Sheldon 865-458-8510 (H)  865-850-1951 (C)
Bob Kutschera  865-408-3092 (H)  865-356-1086 (C)

Itinerary ---
Tuesday, August 23 --- Drive to Banner Elk with a 5 mile moderate hike along the way.  The hike will is called the Three Balds Hike and is along the Appalachian Trail plus a side trail along the top ridge of Roan Mountain.  It is reputedly one of the most beautiful hikes on the Appalachian Trail.   We will plan to have lunch on the trail shortly after beginning the hike.  Following the hike we will continue to Banner Elk and check into the Best Western between 4:00 and 5:00.
We can also provide directions to a short Easy Hike to Elk River Falls as an alternative.
Social hour that evening will be in the Beech Room at the hotel from 5:30 to 6:30, followed by dinner in a restaurant of your choice in Banner Elk.  Bring the beverage of your choice and a light snack to share.  Remember we are going to dinner afterwards.  There are good restaurant choices in Banner Elk.   
Wednesday, August 24 --- Leave the hotel at 9:00 for the hikes.  We have 2 moderate short hikes planned for the day.  The two are within a miles of each other.  Hikers can choose to do 1 and/or 2.    Descriptions of each are shown below.   Leave the hotel at 9:00 for the drive to trailhead.  Driving time is approximately 45 minutes.  

  1. Hike the Big Lost Cove Trail.  We will continue by car about 1 mile to the trailhead.  The hike is rated moderate and is about 3.5 miles in and out.  The elevation gain is about 800 feet.  The trail rises to the top of the ridge and then descends to cliffs overlooking Grandfather Mountain. These cliffs have a sheer 300 to 400 ft vertical drop.  There are Peregrine Falcons nesting locations along the cliffs as well.  The cliffs are over a 1,000 ft above the gorge below.


  1. Hike the Little Lost Cove Trail.  It is rated moderate and is approximately 2 miles in and out. The elevation gain is about 500 feet.  A nice trail leads to a rock outcrop from which a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains with Grandfather Mountain at the top unfolds. Most of the trail follows old road or road beds; it is moderately rocky in places but generally in good shape. The highest point on the trail has a few side paths over to the cliffs; be sure to explore them all.

Thursday, August 25 --- Optional Day  We will not plan a specific hike but here are numerous other hikes, activities and areas to explore  --- the Grandfather Mountain attraction, Boone, NC with its shops and restaurants, Blowing Rock, NC, The Linville Falls area in NC, Roan Mountain State Park in TN and driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Things to bring --- Hiking boots, hiking stick(s), hat, ample water, lunch for Tuesday and Wednesday, rain gear, sunscreen, sunglasses, light snacks for the social hour, trail snacks, beverages of your choice.  Consider long pants and/or a light jacket (it can be cool and windy at the upper elevations even in August).
Directions will be provided by email in advance and on paper on Tuesday the 24th.