New outdoors group! Fresh Air. Fellowship. Hike with Covenant.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the body and soul.” ~John Muir

Join Covenant friends and families for one or all of the quarterly hikes planned for 2019. Led by Rev. Grady Moseley and Lauren Sawyers, the hikes are accessible for all ages and skill levels. Below are dates, locations, what to expect and what to bring. Questions? Contact Lauren at lauren.y.sawyers@gmail.com. In case of bad weather, check the Covenant website for status updates. 

Landsford Canal State Park

“The earth laughs in flowers.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

When: Saturday, June 1 at 9 a.m.

Where to meet: Landsford Canal State Park main entrance (Address: 2051 Park Dr., Catawba, SC 29704). Here, you’ll find a restroom, playground and picnic pavilion. It’s also where you’ll pay park admission. ($5/adult 16 years and older; $3/child ages 6-15; free/age 5 and under).

What to expect: This flat 3-mile hike will hug the banks of the Catawba River, following the Landsford Canal, a relic of the 19th century built to bypass the river’s rocky rapids. Remnants of the canal, which at one point served as an important trading route between the foothills and coastal plain, can be seen along the route. Landsford Canal State Park is also home to the world’s largest population of Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies, which are in full bloom this time of year. They can be viewed from an overlook mid-way through the hike. We’ll end with a picnic lunch at the park entrance.

What to bring:

  • Cash for admission ($5/adult 16 years and older; $3/child ages 6-15; free/age 5 and under)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Water and snacks
  • Hats, sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Bug spray
  • A picnic lunch

Lake Norman State Park

“The earth has music for those who listen.” ~Shakespeare

When: Saturday, August 3 at 9 a.m.

Where to meet: Lake Norman State Park Visitor Center parking lot (Address: 759 State Park Road, Troutman, NC 28166). Here, you’ll find restrooms and educational exhibits.

What to expect: The Hawk Loop trail is 3.0 moderate miles of the 30-mile Itusi Trail. This gently rolling natural-surface footpath winds through wooded areas adjacent to Hick’s Creek. Following the hike, we have the option to rent pedal boats, kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes from the Visitor Center ($5/hour; all equipment, including life jackets, included.)  We’ll end with a picnic lunch at the Visitor Center picnic area.

What to bring:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Water and snacks
  • Hats, sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Bug spray
  • Cash for boat rentals ($5/hour)
  • Bathing suit, towels and/or a change of clothes in case you want to get wet
  • A picnic lunch

Crowders Mountain State Park

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.” ~John Muir

When: Saturday, November 2 at 9 a.m.

Where to meet: Crowders Mountain State Park office parking lot (Sparrow Springs Rd. Access/Address: 522 Park Office Ln., Kings Mountain, NC 28086). Here, you’ll find restrooms.

What to expect: This challenging 4-mile hike will follow the Pinnacle Trail to an impressive panoramic view of fall foliage and the surrounding area. The Pinnacle Trail includes some boulder outcrops to climb over and steep terrain on the final stretch leading to the summit. It is a strenuous, but highly rewarding hike. We’ll break for snacks at the pinnacle and end with a picnic lunch at the picnic area next to the parking area.

What to bring:

  • Comfortable and supportive walking shoes or boots
  • Water and snacks
  • Hats, sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Bug spray
  • Hiking stick (optional)
  • A picnic lunch