Thursday, January 17, 2013

For Love of Beer and Mountains: Devil's Britches Hike

"Lordy, that's as red as the devil's britches," exclaimed a local rancher, awed by the vibrant canopy ablaze on what is now known as the Devil's Britches Trail.

The Highland Brewing Company will be commemorating the history of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Devil's Britches Trail with the release of a new rich, red IPA. On Friday, February 1st, the Asheville brewery will be throwing a release party for their new seasonal, Devil's Britches IPA.

Like their other seasonal brews, Devil's Britches is named for a feature of the Southern Appalachian landscape. In addition to the release party, Highland Brewing will be teaming up with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and the US Fish & Wildlife for a guided hike.

Devil's Britches, at beautiful Cataloochee Ranch, is an easy to moderate hike and covers about four miles of up and down trail. Hikers will enjoy fine vistas of the Plott Balsam Range, Hemphill Bald and Soco Gap. The group will start out on the Ski Lodge Road then turn down on the Bunchberry Trail until it junctions with the Devil’s Britches Trail. Along the way you'll learn about winter tree identification from SAHC Field Ecologist, Chris Coxen. Devil's Britches wanders through hemlock, rhododendron, cove hardwood and lovely patches of Galax, wintergreen and Christmas ferns. Lunch will be at Todd’s Folly rest area and the return is downhill on Pine Tree Gap Rd.

Organizers ask that you bring water, camera, warm clothing, good hiking shoes, and lunch. The hike is FREE for everyone, but please RSVP to Rich at or by calling 828-253-0095 ext. 205.


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