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Valley History Explorer Hike #6: Riceville (Rattlesnake Lodge)

August 14 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

Hikers will first stop at Bull Creek Valley Overlook, overlooking the Riceville valley, to learn about the history of the community, named after Joseph Marion Rice, who settled in the region in the 1780s. From the Tanbark Ridge Tunnel, hikers will travel up to the ruins of Rattlesnake Lodge. In 1903, Dr. Chase Ambler, realizing the health benefits of the mountains, commenced construction of a summer home for his growing family. Remembered as one of the most unique summer residences in Western North Carolina, Rattlesnake Lodge also boasted stables, tennis courts, and a pool.

Difficulty:  Moderate, 2 miles

Pack List: Bring water and a snack. Wear good hiking shoes and socks and long pants. You may also want sunscreen, a hat, hiking poles, rain gear, and any personal medications you may need. Please have all gear you are not wearing in a day pack to keep your hands free while hiking. Hiking poles will be especially important for this hike as there is a bit of a steep descent.

This event is sold out for 2021. The museum hikes committee is taking a waitlist for individual hikes and will attempt to add hikers as spots are available. Please direct any inquiries to svmhikes@gmail.com. 

Updated Coronavirus Protocol:

Due to the very high percentage of fully vaccinated people on our hikes and the relaxed COVID guidelines, we will be returning to our customary hike route and transportation plans. We will now be doing one-way hikes that will require a short carpool/driver shuttle system. People in the shuttle cars should mask up and leave some windows open. **If you are uncomfortable with these arrangements, please let the hike committee know at svmhikes@gmail.com and your credits will be reserved for future hikes.**

We will observe the following hiking procedures due to COVID:

  • Please bring a mask to the event to use during carpooling.
  • No one who is sick or running a fever should attend
  • If not vaccinated, masks should be worn in all group settings like sign-in and congregation
  • Social distancing while on the trails is recommended.


August 14
9:00 am - 12:30 pm


Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center


Black Mountain Savings Bank
200 E State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
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