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WNCHA Outdoor Experiences: Hickory Nut Gap Hike

05/22/2021 @ 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Join us Saturday, May 22 as WNCHA leads a hike in the historic Hickory Nut Gap. In this exclusive hike, on a trail section not yet open to the public, we will explore the history of this area as a boundary and barrier, as well as a route connecting various people and places. Native Americans, settlers, livestock drovers, Civil War soldiers, and plenty of tourists have all shaped the history of this gorge through the Blue Ridge. At the highest point, we will enjoy lunch amid the panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Pastures. This hike is made possible by Conserving Carolina, who have graciously granted us special, one-time permission to use their not-yet-open Ferguson Peak and Strawberry Gap Trail to climb from the gorge floor to the top of the nearby peaks.


When: Sat, May 22, 10:00am – 2:30pm

Where: Hickory Nut Gap – Ferguson Peak Trail to Blue Ridge Pastures (Parking details will be emailed to registrants)

Distance: 6 miles total (2.9 miles one-way)

Difficulty: Strenuous – 1,600ft elevation gain

What to Bring: Sturdy hiking shoes/boots, Water (32oz min), snacks/bagged lunch, any needed medicines, backpack, hiking poles (optional), mask (mandatory)

Details: We will meet at the designated parking area prior to 10:00am and prepare to hike at that time. The most strenuous section of hiking will be at the start

Pets: We love pets, but cannot allow them on this hike.

Covid Precautions:

Safety is the highest priority of this event. No hike is guaranteed to be safe, and no outing during Covid is either. To minimize risks, we will require participants to abide by these guidelines. Failure to adhere may result in cancellation or a participant being asked to leave.

  • Participants must sign a waiver in advance virtually via Google Forms: https://forms.gle/RiyDnP7EispVx1F96
  • We are limited to 25 participants total.
  • Nobody with visible symptoms will be allowed. Those who feel unwell or feel they may have been exposed are asked not to attend. Refunds are available.
  • Hikers are required to bring masks and wear them any time participants are unable to maintain six feet of separation from others, including non-participants.
  • Social distancing is required while we hike.

Rain Date:

Unless the weather is heavily rainy or presents another severe challenge, the hike will proceed. If we have to reschedule, participants will be notified by phone/email by 8pm the evening prior, and a new date will be announced in short order.

Hike Leader

This hike is led by Trevor Freeman, public programs director for the Western North Carolina Historical Association. He has an MA in American History from East Carolina University and is also a certified interpretive guide. He has served as an intern at Chimney Rock State Park and a trail coordinator in the Hickory Nut Gorge, and considers this stretch of peaks, valleys, forests, and rivers one of his favorite places.


Tickets: $10 for WNCHA members/$20 for General Admission. We also have free, community-funded tickets available. We want our events to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you are able please consider making a donation along with your ticket purchase. These donations are placed in our Community Fund, which allows us to offer tickets at no cost to those who would not be able to attend otherwise.

Questions/concerns? Email Trevor Freeman at [email protected]




10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA)
View Organizer Website


Hickory Nut Gap
NC United States