Hikerpalooza 2020


Hikerpalooza 2020 will mark the fourth year since Roan Mountain was awarded the official AT Community designation in 2016. Since that time, we have experienced, really teriffic publicity here in the district. Achieving trail community status is an event worth celebrating! Roan Mountain became an officially designated Appalachian Trail Community in 2016, and the festival is part of our ongoing commitment to promote awareness, interaction and conservation of our National Treasure. The AT also provides economic development and visitorship to the Roan Mountain Community, with some estimates showing over 10,000 people interacting with the AT annually, and many right here in District 2. Last year, we saw Bob’s Dairyland voted best food on the AT, and our Carver’s Gap section of trail voted as most scenic in The Trek magazine. Thanks to the Trail Community Committee’s efforts, High Country Magazine, Carolina Mountain Life and other regional publications ran feature articles about Roan Mountain and Carter County outdoor attractions this year. We even experienced an uptick in sales tax collections here, in comparison to the rest of the county at a time where sales were comparatively flat. 

Podcasts and blogs by thru-hikers continue to feature Roan Mountain people and attractions as our positive reputation continues to grow within the hiker community...and we will need your help again this year in order to keep that momentum going. 

Hikerpalooza will take place May 9-11 this year. In partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Roan Mountain Recreation Foundation,  Eastman Hiking and Canoing Club and the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership, we have already begun to schedule some great outdoor symposiums, bands, community potlucks, campouts in the park and more. New this year, our sister trail communities in Hot Springs, Erwin and damascus have reached out to cross-promote with us. At this time, we are in search of business and community sponsors for the event to help us defray the cost for promotion, entertainment, games, contests, events and symposiums in this family-friendly event of significant regional interest. There are gold, silver and bronze level partnerships to fit every budget, plus opportunities to set up as a vendor or presenter during the festival. I would also direct you to VisitRoanMountain.com, an off-season project developed by the trail team that offers even more ways to participate in promoting our town. Other promotional opportunities include co-op placement on our Visit Roan Mountain daycation card program that will be distributed to 28,000 households this year, and our series of advertisements scheduled for the High Country Visitor’s Guide with an annual reach of over 150,000 impressions. A promotional drink coaster is alsobeing developed for distribution to restaurants and pubs in the trail towns up and down the trail ahead of Hikerpalooza 2020 with one advertising space available for $300.

All donations to this event are completely tax deductible, and should be made payable to the Roan Mountain Recreation Foundation, a 501c3 organization. with 

“Hikerpalooza” in the memo. Mail to PO Box 328, Roan Mountain Tennessee 37687.

Thanks for your consideration, and please don't hesitate to call with any questions.

Mike Hill

Proudly serving Appalachian Trail Community #41

for the Roan Mountain AT Community Committee



The Roan Mountain Appalachian Trail Community #41 committee is pleased to announce the dates for Hikerpalooza 2020, the annual celebration of our Appalachian Trail community and all things outdoors. Mark your calendars for May 8,9,10 to join us in tenting, hiking excursions, trail maintenance, bands and family fun. New for 2020, we are extremely excited to announce our collaboration with sister AT Communities of Hot Springs NC,  Erwin TN and Damascus VA in hosting a four week four town trail endurance competition to be held

April 25 - Hot Springs • May 2 - Erwin • May 9 - Roan Mountain  • May 16 - Damascus

Thru and Section hikers will have the opportunity to participate in a four week endurance contest to see who is tough enough to make it to all four festivals. Games, prizes and giveaways will be available to participants along the way…stay tuned for more information as this exciting event develops!

“Nestled in the Appalachian (“Appa-latch-an”) Mountains of East Tennessee (below the mountain it is named for) there exists the small vibrant community of Roan Mountain. The population expands and contracts seasonally. One of the seasonal expansions starts when “Thru-Hiker Season begins…. With seven eateries, four hostels, two bed and breakfasts, a post office, a veterinarian, a pharmacy, three grocers, and the most beautiful vistas on the AT; the community of Roan Mountain has a lot to offer. Whether you’re a weary thru hiker, seasoned section hiker, day hikers looking for natures glory or just anyone seeking to slow down and find themselves again after being lost in the bustle and stressful business of living.


Description of two hikes:

Carver’s Gap to 19E: At 14.2 miles it is a great day (Light pack) or overnight with a sleep over at “the Barn”. While it starts out as a downhill hike it is moderately strenuous over all with a ¾ mile climb up Grassy Knob and another ¾ mile stretch of rock hopping between Grassy Knob and Doll Flats. The trail is well maintained regularly and the views (On clear days) is phenomenal. One of the best vistas on the AT.

Walnut Road to 19E: At about 10 miles this is a wonderful day hike that is moderate to easy. While there is a shelter and ample campsites to do an overnight it is easily finished in a day. With two water falls, a cemetery, and gorgeous views along the Elk River; it’s a great beginner or advanced hiker trek. 


Local Club/Community Partners:

Robert Byrd, SHAC. rrbyrd48@gmail.com

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. https://appalachian.org/


Michael Hill Carter County Commissioner. https://www.facebook.com/workinhardindistrict2/


David Magee Owner/Operator of The Station at 19 E. https://thestationat19e.com/


Leonard (Crazy Wolf) Siebert Writer, activist, hiker and Spiritual Naturalist with Animistic tendencies and delusions of humanity.  https://www.facebook.com/LeonardnudawayaSiebert


Five featured activities:

The annual AT trail festival AKA “Hikerpalooza” is held the first weekend in May. The third annual trail festival will be Sat May 4th and Sunday May 5th in 2019. The festival celebrates the AT, the hikers, the volunteers that maintain the trail, and Roan Mountain becoming the 41st Appalachian Trail Community. Hikerpalooza features local crafts, music, food, a disc golf tournament and fun for everyone.


The Roan Mountain Rhododendron Festival Saturday-Sunday June 22 & 23, 2019 10am-5pm. “June 1947 saw the first of the Rhododendron Festivals, conceived and carried out by the Roan Mountain Citizens Club as a two-day celebration to memorialize and perpetuate the most gorgeous display of natural beauty on the North American continent. This festival has continued uninterrupted for over sixty years.”


Stepping-Out Cloudland Community Coffeehouse is a once monthly gathering of local musicians, singers, story-tellers, and artist, in a family friendly display, of talent and fun. Held once a month at the Roan Mountain State Park Conference Center, Stepping out is a wonderful time to be had by all. 


During the months of May through October, every Saturday (At around 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM), there is a Farmers Market. With produce, crafts, and music from the Roan Mountain residents; the Farmers Market is a great place to get a feel for our community and even a unique gift of this special Appalachian Town.  


April 13th this year the First Annual Ramp Festival will be held at The Station at 19e Roan Mountain Tennessee! Live music from the Roan Crows 3p & Mountain Rose at 8pm. Tons of Ramp Recipe Food, Crafts, Cornhole prizes, Swag and more!




There is a host of outdoor activities in the area that are family friendly such climbing from Caver’s Gap to the top of Roan Mountain or just a short hike, the other direction, to the “Balds” and spectacular views. The more adventurous can hike to the remains of Cloudland Hotel: “The views from the mountain which rises nearly 6,300 feet above sea level are amazing. Although the Cloudland Hotel was dismantled nearly a century ago, the mountain remains a thriving haven for hikers and campers.”

Hiking down from Carver’s Gap to “the Barn” is always a great weekend hike or overnight. It links the A.T. to the historic Overmountain Victory Trail. “Stretching 330 miles through four states (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina) the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail traces the route used by patriot militia during the pivotal Kings Mountain campaign of 1780. Follow the campaign by utilizing a Commemorative Motor Route which uses existing state highways marked with the distinctive trail logo, or 87 miles of walkable pathways.”



There are many falls in the area to view some a short hike and some a bit more remote that require a bit more strenuous hike. Two rivers grace our mountain home, The Doe and The Elk and both offer wonderful fishing and even kayaking opportunities.

The historic “Tweetsie Railroad” ran right through the town. “Talk about a legendary railroad, the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina was one unique narrow-gauge railway originating from Johnson City, Tennessee and eventually extending to Boone, North Carolina (a distance of 65 miles). Dubbed the "Railway with a Heart" - the railroad personnel were known to do shopping for mountain residents of Roan Mountain or Elk Park while in Johnson City and often to carry passengers for free during the Great Depression - "We are going that way; anyway, come along and ride...."  While little of the railroad remain other than the ‘bed’ some sections are being reclaimed for “Rails to Trails” with a short section ready for bike and foot traffic. Further efforts to extend the “Tweetsie Trail” are ongoing.  

Aside from hiking recently the Town of Roan Mountain has added a “Happy Trails” horse trailer parking along the Doe river so that equestrian riders can enjoy our numerous trails, woods, and mountains. Happy Trails Park. Locals often say, “All Trails lead to Roan Mountain” In addition to the Appalachian Trail there are several trails to be explored. The Back-Country Horsemen of East Tennessee and the Roan Mountain Community Park have recently established the Happy Trails Park located at the intersection of Highway 19-3 and Railroad Grade Road.  This park provides parking for horse trailers and easy access to over 40 miles of horseback trails. It also provides access to the Carter County’s Tweetsie extension. The Tweetsie extension is a bicycle/walking trail that follows the bed of the legendary Tweetsie Railroad. Form Happy Trails there is a 4-mile route that parallels the Doe river to a second parking lot at Bear Cage Road.  That same route follows the Over Mountain Victory trail and is a section amenable to hiking.

Roan Mountain Riding Company has a hundred-acre ranch for unlimited riding opportunities. With rentals and classes, they offer rides from one to two hours, but they are happy to accommodate longer rides through the highlands of our beautiful wilderness home. 


The Doe River is also a wonderful option as we have portages for kayak, canoe, or paddleboard for a day on the river. Doe River Trout Unlimited has been setting aside areas for the “Doe River Fishing Trail”. The river is stocked but many of the feeder streams along the river have native brook and rainbow trout offering a wide variety of options for the angler looking for a new and exciting adventure.


Doe River Farms has an expert and true Mountain Man Caleb Trivett offers guided foraging tours and classes for those wishing to increase their insight into wild dinning or just to have a wonderful day of insight and wisdom from a true Tennesee Mountain Man. 


Roan Mountain State Park offers camping, cabins, a swimming pool, tennis court, and a host of other activities for the family or soloists looking to escape the city.




Smoky Mountain Bakery is not just a bakery but a breakfast and pizza hot spot in Roan Mountain. With world-class sandwiches, wood oven baked pizza, and a host of baked breads and confections; there is something sure to delight the sweet-tooth of the hungry hiker, biker, or traveler. They also have a delightful granola that is priced competitively to those at the box and shop stores.


Highlander BBQ is a homey eatery with massive portions and reasonable prices. A wonderful menu of all sorts of delectable BBQ favorites and some wonderful originals. A local Thursday favorite is “Pig Wings”; savory pork short ribs cooked to perfection. 


Bob’s Dairyland offers burgers, salads, and a daily special menu sure to entice the hungry traveler.


Frank and Marty’s Pizza is a pizzeria and sandwich shop offering daily specials in a friendly casual atmosphere.


If you like ‘south of the border’ savory flavor Roan Mountain has a Mexican and Seafood restaurant.  They offer a taste of North and South Pacific Coast menus as well as wonderful Northern Mexican Regional fare. 


The Snack Wagon is a great lunch stop with a phenomenal Ruben Sandwich as well as many other sandwiches and meals.




The Station at 19 E bridges the gaps between food, hostel, and pub. With twelve, frosty cold, craft beers, on tap, a host of bottled and canned favorites, made to order burgers and a 27-bunk hostel upstairs; the Station at 19 E offers a one stop comfort zone for the trail-worn hiker. Fast becoming the center of entertainment in Roan Mountain, The Station at 19 E, has live music every Friday and Saturday plus Karaoke, Open Mike, singer/song writer circles, and a host of local events. Boasting a hiker resupply, shuttles, overnight (or longer) parking options, and slack-packing options (To include a “slack-dog” as a guide) the Station is an AT phenomenon. The Station offers the “best pour in Roan Mountain; heck it’s the only pour.”


Mountain Harbor Bed and Breakfast and Hostel. Located just west of the AT trailhead, Mountain Harbor, has a long reputation as a wonderful hostel and the ‘best breakfast on the AT’. With a bunkhouse, tenting, a homey B and B main house, resupply, parking, and daily shuttles; Mountain Harbor has been a part of Roan Mountain since 2001.


Roan Mountain Bed and Breakfast is the third option for those seeking shelter from the trail or road. Roan Mountain Bed and Breakfast is a rambling, converted log home on 121 acres of rugged mountainside. A beautiful and comfortable home away from home. 



Roan Mountain may be a small Tennessee community, we have a world of activities and fun to offer the travelers of the world.


Liberty! Outdoor Drama-  

The Official Outdoor Drama of the State of Tennessee, Liberty! is the story of the Watauga Settlement at Sycamore Shoals. Originally called "The Wataugans”, the drama is performed each summer at the Sycamore Shoals state park by a cast of volunteer actors against the backdrop of the Sycamore Shoals' historic Fort Watauga. Opening in July each year, the re-enactment is performed Thursday through Saturday on the last three weekends of the month.  


Roan Mountain Farmers’ Market

Held every Saturday morning in the Roan Mountain Community Park, this was the first farmers’ market to establish in Carter County in over a decade. There is live music sporadically, along with craft vendors and locally grown produce…Come have a conversation with locals and visitors.


AMY Public Library (Newland)

The Avery County Public Library is home to a very special collection of books. Mr. Robert Morrison, the Avery Library's benefactor, was a world traveler and avid collector of many books. The Avery County Morrison Public Library houses a sampling of his private library's holdings which reflects his wide range of reading interests and travels. The public is invited to view these holdings which are not available for individual check-out privileges. In addition, due to the generosity of funds left to the Avery County Morrison Public Library by Mr. Robert Morrison's will, the Avery Library has an excellent reference collection which is available for all patrons in the Tri-County area to use and enjoy. Some of these holdings are available for check-out although the majority of the holdings are for reference, in-house use at the Avery County Morrison Public Library.


Mountain Glen Golf Course

In the early spring of 1961, the idea of an affordable golf course for the citizens of Avery County was born. Shortly thereafter on  June 23, 1961 Avery Development Corporation was formed. Several tracts of land including a 400 acre dairy farm were secured and golf course architect George W Cobb was hired to draw up plans for an 18 hole layout. Cobb was a notable and prolific golf course designer who created over 100 golf courses in the southeast including The Par 3 Course at the Augusta National Golf Club and Quail Hollow Golf Course in Charlotte, NC. Cobb fell in love with the area and described it as one of the most beautiful natural locations for a course he had ever seen.  The first 9 holes were completed and opened for play on July 4, 1964, and the second 9 holes on May 29, 1965. George Cobb got it right the first time, the course has never had to be changed in over 50 years.  He strove to create attractive layouts that the average golfer would find enjoyable, not punishing. The front nine is more of a links style course with small bent grass greens and relatively flat open fairways.  The back nine works it way up to what was once referred to as “Cranberry Draw”.  The 11th hole uphill dog-leg left was rated as one of the best par 4’s in Western North Carolina. Holes 14 thru 18 work their way back down “Cranberry Draw” and return  to the clubhouse.

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