Here’s the info via the the Swannanoa Valley Museum email newsletter:
Now in its fifth year, the Swannanoa Valley Museum will again offer its Swannanoa Rim Explorer hiking series, eleven hikes that will take place the third Saturday (except on holiday weekends) of each month of 2014 beginning in February.
Each hike covers a portion of the approximately 31 miles of the Swannanoa Rim, which runs from Jesse’s High Top, across Lakey Gap, over Ridgecrest and Montreat, up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and down to Cedar Cliff above Camp Rockmont. These hikes will be led by experienced hikers who are also extremely knowledgeable about the history, topography, and ownership of the land.
Hikers will be issued a “Passport to the Swannanoa Rim” on their first hike, which will be validated at the completion of each segment. Special awards will go to those completing the full course. The program runs annually for those who wish to complete the course but who are unable to make every hike during the 2014 calendar year.
Recommended for experienced hikers, several of the hikes in this series will be strenuous. Each hike will begin at 8:00am the third Saturday of each month (except when the third Saturday falls on a holiday weekend) at the Swannanoa Valley Museum, 223 West State Street in Black Mountain. Hikers should come prepared for a full day of strenuous activity and bring lunch, snacks and water, and wear sturdy hiking gear appropriate for the weather. Hikers may be asked to assist with car shuttles.
Interest Meeting: An orientation meeting for hikers interested in participating in the Swannanoa Rim Explorer hiking series will be held on Thursday, January 23 at 7 pm in the Conference Room at the Black Mountain Savings Bank, 200 E. State St., Black Mountain. The first hike will be February 15, 2014. Register for your free space at the meeting today!
This year we will also be doing a presentation on the series at REI Asheville on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 7:00pm. Register for this free event to reserve your space http://www.rei.com/event/55570/session/85769
Reservations will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost for each hike is $25 for Museum members, $45 for non-members. Those wishing to secure reservations on all 11 hikes may do so by paying in advance. Those who reserve the full year will receive a 10% discount – equivalent to one free hike. Please call the Museum, 828-669-9566, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
New This Year – Two Rim Hike Scholarships Available
New this year, the Museum will offer two full scholarships for the full Rim Hike Explorer series, valued at $300 a piece.
Museum hikes, along with the memberships that they bring in, account for about half of the Museum’s budget. So while we cannot offer their hikes for free, we do want to make sure that they can be accessible to all who would like to do them.
That’s why, this year, we will be offering two full Rim Hike Explorer Series Scholarships funded by generous donations from past finishers. The scholarships, valued at $300, will provide recipients a family membership to the Museum for 2014 and the $250 fee for all 11 hikes in the series.
How to Apply: To apply for a scholarship, applicants should email the Museum their contact information along with a 500-word essay explaining why they want to do the Rim Hike program, their hiking experience and ability to complete the series, and how the scholarship would help them participate. Anyone is invited to apply for the scholarships, but should keep in mind that many of these hikes are strenuous and all require a significant time commitment. Those interested in apply are encouraged to come to the Rim Hike Interest Meeting at the Black Mountain Savings Bank on Thursday, January 23 at 7:00pm.