Outdoors Briefs

Haywood County recreation programs


  • Aug. 3 will be a continuation of the Mountains to Sea Trail series with an out-and-back 6.4-mile hike from Highway 215 to Silvermine Bald. Elevation gain is around 800 feet. This is considered a moderate hike. Hike will be led by Kathy Odvody and Steve Szczepanski.

  • Aug. 7 will be the Haywood Gap and Buckeye Gap loop. This is an 8-mile difficult hike and is recommended for experienced hikers only. This is a technical hike with a steep descent and water crossings. Guides will be Tara Scarborough and Steve Szczepanski.

  • Aug. 13 is the rescheduled Hemphill Bald hike. This is a challenging 9.8-mile hike with an elevation gain of 2000 feet. Hike goes from Hemphill Bald to Polls Gap and will be led by Lisa Cook and Phyllis Woollen.

  • Aug. 14 is an easy hike on the Oconoluftee Creek Trail. Elevation gain is minimal and distance is 3 miles. The guide on this hike is Kathy Odvody.

  • Aug. 17 is a moderate to strenuous 5-mile hike to Wildcat Rock in the Hickory Nut Gorge. There will be stair climbing, a waterfall and great views. Guides for this hike are Phyllis Woollen and Jamie Shackleford.

  • Aug. 20 will be a moderate to easy 5-mile hike at the Florence Nature Preserve in the Hickory Nut Gorge. Guides will be Phyllis Woollen and Lisa Cook.

  • Aug. 24 will be the Kephart Prong to the shelter and back. This is a moderate 4-mile hike with an elevation gain of 833 feet. Guides will be Vickey Watson and Phyllis Woollen.

  • Aug. 31 is yoga and a hike led by Tara Scarborough and Kathy Odvody. This is an easy to moderate 4.4-mile hike, elevation gain of 617 feet and an optional 45-minute gentle yoga class, appropriate for someone who has never done yoga. Please bring your own towel/mat. 


  • Aug. 3 will be a trip to Max Patch led by Howard Browers. The trip will involve traveling to Max Patch bald parking area, about 20 miles, stopping to bird at several places along the way. We will do a moderate hike to the top of Max Patch bald, 1.5 miles round trip. Total walking distance for the trip will be about 2 miles.


  • Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will be a navigation course led by Steve Kuni. This course provides instruction in the fundamentals of traditional map and compass land navigation and applies those fundamentals to modern cell phone navigation.

Please visit the Haywood County Recreation webpage to sign up for all listed activities secure.rec1.com/nc/haywood-county-nc/catalog.

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