This Elderhostel program is hosted by The Mountain Learning and Retreat Center, just outside Highlands, North Carolina, atop a 4200 foot high granite cliff in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is one of the best organized programs I have attended, and their mountaintop facility is also first-rate. After each of the 4 days' activities, we congregated on the deck for "social time" with beverages and popcorn, just prior to supper.
The first day, we hiked 8 miles or so over Chinquapin Mountain, with elevation gain/loss of 1200 feet, to view Glen Falls, a series of 3 tall waterfalls and cascades.
The second hike began at the Wayah Crest trailhead and we hiked another 8 miles with 1400 feet elevation gain on the Appalachian Trail, including an incredible overlook at Siler Bald.
We rafted two days, first about 8 miles on the Nantahala River, which is shallow and swift and cold with mostly class I and II rapids and one class III rapid, and always surrounded by magnificent scenery as seen below.
We also body-surfed the rapid below this big drop. We used the Nantahala Outdoor Center for both raft trips, and their guides, equipment, and safety record were all outstanding.
Left to right:
Middle row: Claudia, Jim, Gloria, Harry, and Murray
Back row: Joyce H., Dick, Susan, Jerry, Chuck, Marcia, Marilyn, and Bill.
(Not pictured: Nancy, Kathy, Judy, and Sharon)