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Siler Bald NC Day-Hike

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Winding Stair Gap - 9 mi West of Franklin NC on US 64   Hike: Siler Bald NC Day-Hike   National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Jan 19 2020  8:30 am >> Sun, Jan 19 2020 7:30 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Jan 16 2020 8:30 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Jan 18 2020 8:00 pm
Event Duration:11 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Distance:9 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 9 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


There are many scenic vistas on the Appalachian Trail within a couple hours driving time of Atlanta, but perhaps none more so than Siler Bald, North Carolina. With a summit of 5,216 feet it offers a sweeping 360 degree view of the surrounding valleys. There is almost 1500 feet in elevation gain over four miles. The final ascent to the summit is steeper.  The total distance hiked will be around nine miles.

If you are fairly new to hiking, you should be in good physical condition and have at the least trail running shoes with good grips. Typical of the AT in this area, expect the terrain to be rocky and muddy. Remember that most of this is hike is at over 4000 ft elevation so bring appropriate clothing (hat, gloves, jacket).     

Total hiking pace will average 2.5 mph with stops to enjoy the scenery and photograph it, though actual hiking pace may be faster.  We will have a leisurely lunch at, or near the summit.  Will probably remain at the summit basking in the sun and enjoying our efforts to climb this, for about an hour, so please sign up for this hike only if you really enjoy hanging out in the wilderness for a bit.  If it's really windy, we can descend lower to the gap for lunch.  Dress for a cold windy day and you'll be fine.

Although the total driving distance is close to 240 miles round trip, all of it is over major highways. So driving time should be no more than 2-2 ½ hours each way. Total hiking time should be around 5 hours.   

If you bring a dog, expect to drive. There are some water sources.  Dogs should be friendly and in shape to hike long distances.   

The ending time of this event is an estimated time of being off the trail around 4:30pm.  Stopping for a food break in Franklin or Clayton is TBD; if we do stop for dinner, the arrival time back at the park-n-ride should be no later than around 8pm.

If your AOC record shows limited hiking events and the trip leader is not familar with you, expect an e-mail asking about your recent hiking experience.  

Bathroom-break in Clayton on the way up.

Thanks to other members for this description, I copied from it from a former event that I led, so I'm not sure of the original sources.  

Required Items to Bring:

Clothing appropriate for cold windy weather

hat, gloves, mittens, scarf, dress in layers

2 liters water

lunch and trail snacks

Hiking boots or trail running shoes with good grip

Clean shoes and bag for muddy boots, in the car; dry shirt, and or towel

Love of the wilderness

CASH to pay your driver the entire suggested amount; PLS DO NOT SHOW UP WITHOUT THIS

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Trekking poles


Micro-Spikes for snow and/or ice

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

North on I-85. Take I-985 near Mall of Georgia. Continue on I-985. After 26 miles this intersate will become US 23. Continue on US 23 through Clayton GA and into North Carolina. At Franklin NC take exit to US 64 West. Continue eight miles until Winding Stairs Gap parking lot.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):235Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:30 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $94.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.


If you have any questions e-mail the Event Coordinator and save phone calls for the day of the event.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

Late cancellations, particularly within 36 hours of the event make it difficult for those on the wait list to attend. Please be courteous to your fellow AOC members and cancel with as much notice as possible.