Registration Opens for Pisgah Hiking Challenge

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The community is invited to test themselves this spring in the Pisgah Challenge, a series of six free guided hikes of increasing difficulty in Pisgah National Forest. 

“The Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA) is launching the Pisgah Challenge to inspire our community, especially inexperienced hikers, to get outside, get fit and enjoy the wild areas at our own back door,” Director of Education Adam DeWitte said. 

Registration for the Challenge opens February 12 and runs through March 12.  Space is limited to 15. Inquiries or registrations must be made by calling DeWitte at 828-884-3443. 

“Our goal for the Challenge is to remove barriers that keep people from enjoying recreational opportunities on public lands in western NC,” DeWitte said.

On each hike, CFAIA guides will share instruction on trail safety, pre-hike planning, basic map reading, appropriate clothing, and trail etiquette.  

On April 11th, a 3-mile guided walk on the paved trails of the Cradle of Forestry will kick off the Pisgah Challenge. Staff will showcase the site and begin discussions on beginner outdoor safety. Other hikes during the Challenge will include, in order, Pink Beds Loop (May 16), North Slope Trail (June 13), Daniel Ridge Loop (July 11), Buck Spring Trail (August 15). The hike up Looking Glass Rock (September 12) offers the biggest challenge for the best view in Pisgah! Participants are strongly encouraged to register for all six hikes, which begin promptly at 9:00am.     

Upon completion of the entire Pisgah Challenge, participants will receive a specialized patch commemorating the event. A celebratory happy hour social will be held at Ecusta Brewing in Pisgah Forest. 

“Let us share with you the tools you need to become a stronger, fitter hiker and learn about our public lands at the same time. Join the Challenge,” DeWitte concluded.

About the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association

The Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA) is a 47-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit with headquarters in Pisgah Forest, NC, at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest. CFAIA’s mission promotes educational, recreational and interpretive opportunities about forest and water resources, natural history, and the Cradle of Forestry in America. CFAIA manages campgrounds and recreation areas in North Carolina, Georgia and Indiana; offers to the public environmental education programs and forest-related gifts, educational books and other resources; and provides support to the Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site. The Cradle is the birthplace of modern forestry in America.

To learn more about CFAIA, visit or follow us on Facebook.

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