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New Hiking Challenge Launched

Hiking Challenge 5 Patch

8 Hikes Featured in WPA & Conserving Carolina White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 5

The popular White Squirrel Hiking Challenge is back! Participants are invited to take on eight hikes, all on lands that Conserving Carolina has helped protect. The challenge will take hikers to new trails, dramatic views, famous waterfalls, the highest point in South Carolina, and more. The new challenge is sponsored by real estate firm Witherspoon Platt + Associates (WPA) and coordinated by Conserving Carolina. 

Participants who successfully complete the WPA and Conserving Carolina White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 5 will earn an awards package including a $10 gift card to Mast General Store in Hendersonville and a white squirrel patch as a badge of honor. Hikers also get to experience eight special places and deepen their personal connection to land conservation.

The Hiking Challenge features eight hikes, ranging from short strolls to challenging treks. Hikers can complete the hikes in any order and at their own pace. Where biking is allowed, biking the trail counts. The hikes are:

  • Bearwallow Mountain
  • DuPont State Recreational Forest—Waterfall Trifecta
  • Florence Nature Preserve—Rattlesnake Knob  
  • Headwaters State Forest—Sassafrass Mountain
  • Norman Wilder Forest—Drip Falls
  • Oklawaha Greenway
  • Weed Patch Mountain Trail—Eagle Rock and the Tunnel
  • Weed Patch Mountain Trail—Grey Rock Cliff
  • 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

Peter Barr, trails director at Conserving Carolina, says, “The White Squirrel Hiking Challenge is a fun way to experience the best of Conserving Carolina’s forever-protected lands up close and personal. In the four Hiking Challenges to date, participants have taken more than 5,000 hikes, with more than 400 individuals earning the coveted white squirrel patch. Those who take the challenge not only earn a badge of honor and fun prizes, but also learn the stories behind protecting these wonderful, natural places and get to experience first-hand why they’re so special and worthy of saving.”

Witherspoon Platt + Associates, the sponsor of the challenge, is a full service, conservation-minded real estate brokerage that connects people to the beauty, history, and culture of Western North Carolina through both the built environment and land protection.

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.”

There is no cost to enter the Hiking Challenge. However, to earn the award package, participants must be Conserving Carolina members. To learn more and start logging your hikes, go to conservingcarolina.org/hiking-challenge-5.  

Conserving Carolina is a local land trust that has helped protect over 45,000 acres, including 23 places where people can get outside—from vast wilderness areas to local greenways. Learn more and become a member at conservingcarolina.org.

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