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About Mountain High Hikers

Mission:  The mission of the Mountain High Hikers is to promote and facilitate hiking activities in the Southern Appalachian area and encourage involvement in the maintenance of trails and conservation of forest environments.

Origination:  Mountain High Hikers originated from a course entitled “Hiking in the Blue Ridge” at the Institute for Continuing Learning, at Young Harris College in the winter of 1993. 28 folks attended the course, and that small group expanded throughout the years to over 185 members. Most members live in Towns, Union, and Fannin counties in Georgia, and Clay and Cherokee counties in North Carolina. Most are full time residents, but some only come up for a few weeks a year.

Hiking:   Mountain High Hikers sponsors several hikes every week to accommodate a variance in hiking skills. Prospective members and guests are invited to hike with us. Guidelines allow for 3 guest hikes before joining. Prospective members should attend a short hike first to determine which hiking level will work best. For further information, please review the Hiking Guidelines and Hike Calendar on this website.

Maintenance: Club members are very active in trail maintenance. Each month work trips are scheduled in both NC and GA. The club has been instrumental in the reopening of Chunky Gal Trail, open and blazing a new trail to Boteler Peak, and is working presently to get the entire Fires Creek trail system reopened. The club also maintains all of the trails leading to Brasstown Bald, Helton Creek Falls, High Shoals Falls, Cooper’s Creek Trails, and the Miller Trek at Brasstown Resort.

Special Events:  The club has quarterly combined business meetings and potluck dinners. Specialty events are also periodically planned. We are one of the largest hiking clubs attending Wilderness Wildlife Week in the Great Smoky Mountains each January, usually with over 40 members in attendance. The club has also organized hiking trips to Virginia, Mt. Mitchell, Yosemite, and the Swiss Alps.

In Summary:   Come play, hike, and trail maintain with us!

Hike Safely
You are responsible for yourself, so be prepared:

1. With knowledge and gear. Become self reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather, and your equipment before you start.

2. To leave your plans. Tell someone the trails you are hiking, the gear you are taking, when you will return, and your emergency plans.

3. To stay together. When you start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person.

4. To turn back. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your hike. Know your limitations and when to postpone your hike. The mountains will be there another day.

5. For emergencies, even if you are headed out for just an hour. An injury, severe weather, or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself.

6. To share the hiker code with others.

Hike Safely: It’s Your Responsibility.
The Hiker Responsibility Code was developed and is endorsed by the White Mountain National Forest and New Hampshire Fish and Game.


2013 Board (Officers & Committee Chairs)
President Michael O'Brien
Vice President Tom Shope
Secretary  BJ Foster
Treasurer Doug Yarns
Hike Planner Dave Werkheiser
Social  Candy Retter
Membership Frank Maloney
Publicity Pam Sullivan
Webmaster Richard Sullivan
Trail Maintenance Richard Sullivan
Conservation Judie Kean
Past Pres. Greg Lane


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Appalachian Heritage Day
Hiawassee Square
April 12, 2014

11:00 am to 3:00pm

 Come celebrate our unique mountain culture and outdoor recreational offerings with the inaugural Appalachian Heritage Day, to be held on Saturday, April 12th, 11:00-3:00.  Designed to build awareness and interest in the activities this region provides, the Appalachian Heritage Day will showcase exhibits on “Hiking the Appalachian Trail,” the “Byron Herbert Reece Society,” “Brasstown Bald and the Cradle of Civilization,” “The Young Harris Fishing Team,” and much more.

             There will be music provided by artist Wyatt Espalin, as he presents his debut album, “The Pardon.”   The McConnell Memorial Peru Mission Team will be grilling food as a fundraiser, along with games and activities for the little ones.  The Hike Inn, located in Dahlonega, will raffle the prize of a night’s stay – worth $200.  Other prizes are provided by the Buckhead House, Hiawassee.

            Located on the Hiawassee Square, this event is partnered with the “Plant Affair on the Square,” and promises fun and festivity for all ages.  For more information, please contact Donna Papazian, 706-970-9206.  Event will be held rain or shine.


April Fools Trail Days

March 29

April Fools Trail Days 2014 will be held on Saturday, March 29th from 10 to 4 in historic downtown Franklin, NC. This year we are changing the event up a little bit. There will be workshops in town hall and vendors will be in the parking lot there also. Everything will be condensed to this location.
We are inviting you to apply to participate in this year’s event. AFTD is sponsored by the Town of Franklin, Franklin Main Street Program, and the Nantahala Hiking Club. There is no charge again this year.
For more info check on line at www.aprilfoolstraildays.com



Louise & W. Reynolds Allen
Scott & Pat Barker
Sharon Brewer
Pat & Tom Carden
Kristi DuBose
Camille Nicolini



See Hike Planners page for Hike Leader Checklist,

Waiver & Release Form, and Personal First Aid Kit suggestions.



Please shred or completely destroy old membership lists.



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