Hiking Challenge 5 Patch

The popular White Squirrel Hiking Challenge is back! Take the challenge and go on 8 hikes, all on lands that Conserving Carolina helped protect. You’ll get to see new trails, dramatic views, famous waterfalls, and probably some places you’ve never seen before.

The Hiking Challenge is free and open to all, but you must be a Conserving Carolina member to become a Hiking Challenge 5 Champion. If you are a member and you complete all 8 hikes, you will earn an awards package, including your white squirrel patch, and a certificate of completion. Most importantly, you get to experience 8 great places and deepen your personal connection to land conservation. 

Hiking Challenge 5 is brought to you by Witherspoon Platt + Associates (WPA)—a full service, conservation-focused real estate firm that connects people to the beauty, history, and culture of Western North Carolina through both the built environment and land protection.

WPA logo

The Hikes

You can do the hikes in any order and at your own pace. As you complete them, log your hikes here. That’s how you move closer to becoming a Hiking Challenge 5 Champion!


Conserving Carolina played a role in protecting all of these awe inspiring places, with the support of our members. We’re excited to share them with you through Hiking Challenge 5.

1. Bearwallow Mountain

Take in panoramic views in almost every direction from this mountaintop pasture. Bearwallow is a great place to enjoy a picnic or a sunset. See more.

2. DuPont State Recreational Forest—Waterfall Trifecta

Hike to three of the most famous (with good reason) waterfalls in North Carolina—Hooker Falls, High Falls, and Triple Falls. See more.

3. Florence Nature Preserve—Rattlesnake Knob

Enjoy lovely creeks and woods as you make your way to an outcrop with views at this nature preserve in the Hickory Nut Gorge. See more. 

4. Headwaters State Forest—Sassafrass Mountain

Visit the highest point in South Carolina, with views across the new Headwaters State Forest and Table Rock. See more. 

5. Norman Wilder Forest—Drip Falls

Enjoy majestic tall trees and look for wildflowers and birds as you make your way to the drip falls. See more.

6. Oklawaha Greenway

You can walk or bike this popular greenway along a creek near Hendersonville. See more. 

7. Weed Patch Mountain Trail—Eagle Rock and Tunnel

Experience two of the highlights on this award winning new trail—a passage through a natural rock tunnel and breathtaking views from Eagle Rock. Enjoy this hike on its own or combine it with the Grey Rock hike as a “two-for-one.” See more.

8.Weed Patch Mountain Trail—Grey Rock

The longest hike in the Hiking Challenge is well worth it for the backcountry experience and incredible view. Plus, you have the option to check off Eagle Rock and Tunnel on your way. If you’re up for a challenging mountain bike ride, you can do this one on your bike. See more. 

Keep Us in the Loop!

We’d love to hear about your hikes. Please share pics on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, tag Conserving Carolina, and use the hashtag #hikingchallenge5. We’re excited to see where this takes you.

See the Hikes

  • dupont7 (edited-Pixlr)
  • sassafrass mountain overlook
  • Grey Rock - Photo by Clint Calhoun
  • View from Eagle Rock
  • Drip Falls at Norman Wilder Forest (2)
  • Oklawaha Greenway
  • Bearwallow vista
  • View from Rattlesnake Knob in Florence Nature Preserve – photo by CMLC

How to Take the Challenge

It’s simple. Here’s how it works.

  • You don’t need to do anything to sign up. Just use this link to log your first hike.
  • Log each hike as you complete it. You can check your progress in this roster.
  • You can do the hikes at your own pace. You can take weeks, months, or over a year—whatever works for you.
  • Only hikes that you’ve done after Oct. 1, 2019 count toward Hiking Challenge 5.
  • You can complete the hikes on your own or as a group.
  • If you’ve completed all 8 hikes and you are a Conserving Carolina member, congratulations! You are a Hiking Challenge 5 champion. You will receive an award package, including your white squirrel patch and a certificate of completion.

See FAQs below for more detailed information.

Thank You, Witherspoon, Platt, and Associates!

WPA logoHiking Challenge 5 is brought to you with generous support from Witherspoon Platt + Associates. John Witherspoon, broker-in-charge, says, “At WPA, we are avid supporters of Conserving Carolina and their mission to protect our environment and facilitate experiences with the natural world. We are excited to be an active part of this year’s Hiking Challenge because it will provide people with an incredible opportunity to be outside and to enjoy the beautiful place we are lucky enough to call home.”

White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 4 Archives

Hiking Challenge 4 is now closed. Congratulations to the 250+ people who participated, including 71 who successfully completed this challenge! If you wish to access information about the hikes featured in Hiking Challenge 4, you can find it here.