Embark on an invigorating 8.2-mile hike, presenting a moderate to challenging terrain with an elevation gain of 1,973 feet. This adventure explores the childhood haunts of John Buckner in Big Ivy, situated on the “frontside of the Craggies” near Barnardsville. Uncover the historical significance of this area, where settlers once herded their cattle and sheep from Big Ivy to the Craggies for grazing.

Commencing from the Mountain Light Sanctuary, our journey begins with the Walker Creek Trail, leading us to the Laurel Gap Trail beneath the imposing presence of the Big Butt Trail and the Craggies, just below the Blue Ridge Parkway. As we traverse this picturesque landscape, we’ll witness the convergence point known as the Flats of Craggy, where youths from Barnardsville and the North Fork once gathered for baseball games and campouts.

Our return path follows the enchanting Staire Branch, navigating the Bear Pen and Stair Creek Trails. Along this route, be captivated by the scenic cascading sections of the Staire Branch and encounter a striking camp rock, adding a touch of natural wonder to this unforgettable hiking experience.

This is a small-group hike with a limit of 20 participants. This is a difficult hike, and all hikers must be pre-approved. Click on the button below to register and you will be contacted by the hike leader to be approved. Please note that on these hikes we do not charge your card the full amount until shortly before the hike. A $10 nonrefundable deposit is required. We will take your card information when you register, and you will be charged the remaining amount approximately two days before the hike.

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2024

Time: 8:00am – 4:30pm

Rating: Difficult/Strenuous

Cost: $50 for SVM Members, $65 for Non-Members. Some fees apply.