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Pisgah National Forest. Photo by Jeff Gunn, CC BY 2.0.

Hiking challenges



Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

It’s a new year, full of promise and opportunity. It’s the annual clean slate, when we look ahead, full of thoughts about how to enrich our minds and bodies, and generally become better people.

Fortunately the folks over at the Carolina Mountain Club present us with wonderful opportunities to exercise, experience all the goodness that comes from being in the great outdoors, and offers us a chance at a sense of accomplishment.

The Carolina Mountain Club offers four hiking challenges:

  • South Beyond 6000, which involves hiking 40 select southeastern 6,000-foot peaks;
  • the Lookout Tower Challenge, involving hiking to 24 western north Carolina fire towers;
  • the Pisgah 400, which is hiking all 400 miles of trails in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest;
  • and the Waterfall and Cascade 100, which involves hiking to 100 of western North Carolina’s waterfalls.

Each challenge has a set of rules that must be followed, though upon completion of the challenge you get a patch to mark your achievement. For more information, visit In the past, the club has also offered challenges on the Appalachian and Mountains-to-Sea Trails. There’s also a 900-miler challenge to hike the 900 miles of trails in Great Smoky Mountain National Park, though it isn’t administered by the Carolina Mountain Club.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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