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Siler Bald Hike

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Winding Stair Gap - 8 mi West of Franklin NC on US 64
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Feb 9 2013  11:15 am >> Sat, Feb 9 2013 7:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 9:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Wed, Feb 6 2013 10:11 am
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Feb 8 2013 9:00 pm
Event Duration:7 Hours 45 Minutes
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:14
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 7 / 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. And while there is almost 1500 feet in elevation gain, most of it is fairly gradual over four miles. The total distance hiked will be around nine miles.

If you have done some in town hikes and are looking for a little more challenge this could be a good hike for you. However please note February weather in the North Carolina mountains is very unpredictable so be prepared for a little adventure. It maybe 50 degrees with light winds or it could be 30 degree and 20 mph winds. And if we are lucky we may even snow and ice.   

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 rains earlier in the week in Atlanta will could be snow and ice up there. Hiking poles are highly recommended to help navigate possible icy patches. Also expect the conditions on the hike to be much colder and windier than in Atlanta.   We will have a leisurely lunch at, or near the summit.

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.   The trip leader will need to ride in another car, so we will need willing driver(s).

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.  

Required Items to Bring:

Clothing appropriate for weather - hat, gloves, mittens. dress in layers
2 liters water
lunch and trail snacks
Hiking boots or trail running shoes with excellent grips

Clean shoes and bag for muddy boots, in the car

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

Hiking poles


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: 9:00 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.