The Monthly Dirt | Fall 2019

The Monthly Dirt | Fall 2019



Solo Support:

If you are looking to do a solo hike but would feel safer having a support team then we are your crew. We help you with the planning and logistics as well as offer recommendations for gear. We will carry your extra clothing, food, and gear that can be picked up at any road crossing. There’s no greater reward than a cold drink from the cooler or a hot drink when it’s cold. We will track you and be there along the way.

Group Support:

Don’t need a trail guide but would like to have a support team then we are what you need. We will travel along and see you at each road crossing where we will have cold and warm drinks for you. We can also carry your extra gear and food. Experience the wilderness with the security of a support team that can address any first aid issues or give guidance.

Group Trail Guide:

Whether its a family trip or a girls weekend away let us guide you . We can help you plan a trip that meets your groups physical abilities and skills. Your personal guide will be there to lead the way, address any first aid issues, provide guidance and support.

The Monthly Dirt | August 2019

The  Monthly Dirt | August 2019

What is your definition of a strong woman? For me it’s many layers. She is able to fight against others expectations, she knows who she is, she is independent but knows when to ask for help, she follows her own path, she is a fighter and perseveres, she doesn’t let others define her, she is balanced, she respects herself, she is humble, she loves, she understand how defeat makes her stronger, she supports and empowers others and most of all she is always learning and growing. Be your strongest self!

The Monthly Dirt | July 2019

The Monthly Dirt | July 2019

The Dirt On The Benton MacKaye Trail

It’s a footpath of nearly 300 miles through the Appalachian mountains of the southeastern United States and is blazed by a white diamond. The trail runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Davenport Gap on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the BMT passes through some of the most remote backcountry in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, including eight federally designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas. Benton McKaye was a Massachusetts forester and regional planner who first had the idea for the Appalachian Trail in 1921. The two trails, the AT and the BMT are the same for the first few miles before splitting apart to go their separate ways.

Ticks - Don't Fall For The Myths

Ticks - Don't Fall For The Myths

Don’t fall for the myths

There are several remedies for removing ticks by making them back out such as touching it with a match, covering it with petroleum jelly, nail polish and so on. This often causes the opposite reaction and if the tick does back out it could possibly deposit more of its disease carrying secretions into you, which increases the risk of infection. Basically, the tick could vomit before backing out. Yuck!

We Welcome Our New Wilderness Trail Guide

We Welcome Our New Wilderness Trail Guide

We would like to introduce our new trail guide, Karen Leonard. She will be on our Appalachian Trail team and we are so excited to have her. Her passion and drive are contagious and an inspiration. Thanks to Karen we will be able to open up our Appalachian Trail Experiences to more women.

Her skills and knowledge will make you feel comfortable exploring the backcountry. Karen has many miles and adventures worth of experience to guide you safely. She will be getting her Wilderness First Aid Certification this month. Your safety is very important to us and that’s why we are so excited to have Karen to lead you.

Welcome aboard Karen! We are so honored and excited to have you on our team.

Just Past The Impossible

Just Past The Impossible

Just Past The Impossible

Two years ago I drove to Maryland by myself to complete the Kennedy 50 Walk. I arrived to meet a bunch of strangers and walk fifty miles in one day. We began at 4:30 in the morning with temperatures in the teens. I was so cold that I was numb and my water bottle was frozen, but I kept walking ignoring that inner voice saying “why are you doing this?”. When the sun began to rise, I stopped to enjoy the beginning of a new day and I dug deep to find the strength to just keep walking.

The Monthly Dirt | February 2019

The Monthly Dirt | February 2019

The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone who loves the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Traditionally people celebrate with their special valentine by giving cards, flowers, candy, or a special dinner. It’s not known for a day that single people, like myself, celebrate. But through the years for me, it has been a day that I celebrate the love I have for myself and those in my life. So whether you have that special someone or you are single, celebrate!

American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women. The good news is heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.

To help prevent heart disease, you can:

  • Eat healthy.

  • Get active.

  • Stay at a healthy weight.

  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.

  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.

  • Manage stress.

Getting outdoors with us can help get you active, stay at a healthy weight, and manage your stress. We have the following events in February to get you moving.



Trails to Mountain Roads | February 2nd

We will have a 5k and 10K run that will take you on part of the beautiful Pine Mountain Trail and along the scenic mountain road.


Free Hike Fit Series | February 9th

Build your endurance and strength to improve your hiking and help prevent injuries. It will involve a one-mile hike, short distance walking, and exercise stations.


Free Group Hike | February 16th

We will hike 4 miles round trip to the Falls and back. Meet us at the WJSP TV Tower parking area a little before 11:00 to sign in.


Loop Hopping | February 23rd

We will hike three loops along the Pine Mountain Trail. After each loop we will shuttle you to the next loop. You will hike a total of 8.2 miles.

Iron Braid Tribe Spotlight

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What They Are Saying About Us

If you are on the fence about joining us, please check out what others are saying about us. Hop on over that fence and join us! We promise you won’t regret it. It doesn’t matter what your age or fitness level is, we have an event for you. We provide encouragement, support, training, and most of all a great experience.


I was one of the participants of this awesome journey with Iron Braid Adventures. Michele is a wonderful mentor, coach, and cheerleader. Get out there ladies and test your limits. It is worth it!


Great weekend! Thanks, Michele! You’re amazing!


Love Iron Braid Adventures- Michele Eisenzopf is a fantastic teacher of the trail focusing on preparation, safety, and fun. If you are interested in hiking/backpacking sign up for one their events!!

Free Monthly events

We have monthly group hikes and our Hike Fit Series. Our group hikes vary in mileage and the trails are rated as easy to moderate. Our Hike Fit Series is a great way to train to become a stronger hiker. We hike 1-mile, walk around the lake, and have exercise stations. What’s great about this is regardless of your fitness level we all work out together. You decide how much you want to do. You can complete one round at each station or complete as many as you can in the allotted time. 


Valentine Group Hike February 16th - We will hike 4 miles round trip to the Falls and back. Meet us at the WJSP TV Tower parking area a little before 11:00 to sign in. We will begin our hike promptly at 11:00. 

Wolfden Loop Group Hike March 9th - We will hike the 6.7 mile Wolf Den Loop which is considered one of the most beautiful stretches of trail. Meet us at the WJSP TV Tower trailhead parking area a little before 11:00 to sign in. We will begin our hike promptly at 11:00. 

Overlook Loop Group Hike April 27th - We will explore the Overlook Loops 3.4 miles. We will meet in the parking lot across from Callaway Country Store. Please arrive a few minutes early to sign in. The hike will begin promptly at 10:00.

Mother’s Day Celebration Group Hike May 11th - We will hike the 3.2 mile Mountain Creek Nature Trail. Meet us at the Trading Post inside the campground a little before 11:00 to sign in. We will begin our hike promptly at 11:00. 


We will meet at the Trading Post store in the campground. You will need to purchase a parking pass.



Fools Hike 23-Miler | March 30th

Join us as we tackle the whole 23 miles of the Pine Mountain Trail in one day. We will have support staff, water and snack stations, and shuttles available at road crossings. We want everyone to complete the whole trail but you are in charge of how far you hike. We have a proven process that makes it easier to cross that mile 23 marker.

Our journey will start at 7:00 in the morning where you will begin exploring the beautiful Pine Mountain Trail. We will stop for a lunch break at mile 14 where you will relax on the grass and enjoy the view. All you need to carry is water. We will have a vehicle that follows along with you that will carry any extra gear and transport your lunch.

Commit by registering, start training, and get ready to test your limits, See how far you can go!

My 1200 Mile Journey In 2019

My 1200 Mile Journey In 2019

My 1200 Mile Journey In 2019

I’m going to take you along on my journey. My personal goal is 1200 outdoor miles on my feet hiking, walking, or running. I don’t know if I will reach my goal but I will enjoy the journey and the benefits I will receive moving towards it. I’ve chosen to take you along with me because I have found that if you write something down and share it, your chance of accomplishing it increases.

Appalachian Trail Adventures

Appalachian Trail Adventures

Appalachian Trail Adventures

Join us for one of our Appalachian Trail adventures and receive the gifts that the trail has waiting for you. You will see amazing views but we would be missing the mark if we also didn’t promote the difficult parts. It is during these moments when we receive the greatest gifts. The views can’t be reached without making it through the difficulties of getting there. We want you to learn that in the beauty and in the struggles you will be greatly rewarded.

The Dirt | Winter Edition

The Dirt  

Winter Edition | December 21st - March 20th

Winter is a great time to get outdoors and explore. It's a time to explore frozen waterfalls and frosty mountaintops, a chance to see more animals and enjoy the peace of less crowded trails. Winter hiking, especially in the snow, burns more calories. For this reason, as well as you may get cold faster, you need to carry lots of high energy snacks. Layer up and get out there!

  • Base layer - wicks moisture away from your body and is worn under your clothes

  • Middle layer - a jacket that will retain your body heat

  • Outer layer - protects you from wind and rain

  • Also have a hat, gloves, extra socks, and a scarf

Staying Hydrated

We tend to only think about the importance of staying hydrated during the hot summer months. It's just as important during the winter months. Dehydration can actually accelerate hypothermia and frostbite. On a very cold day, water bottles can freeze. You can help prevent this by storing your water bottles in some type of insulation such as wool socks. We also recommend storing bottles upside down to prevent water from freezing at the neck of the bottle. If you plan to be out for several hours or in especially cold temperatures, carry a thermos bottle with a hot drink or soup. 

Is snow safe to drink/eat? If it's freshly fallen snow it's generally okay to drink it.  You can eat it but we recommend that you melt it first. The reason is by eating the snow you are lowering your core body temperature. We don't recommend drinking large amounts but in a pinch drink up.

Cabin Fever / Seasonal Depression

We've all experienced that cabin fever feeling during the cold winter days but we live in the south and our winters, although sometimes cold, are doable. It's important to still get outside as we can suffer from seasonal depression as well. This occurs as a result of decreased exposure to sunlight and low levels of vitamin D. Make it a habit to take at least a short walk every day. On weekends grab your friends and a thermos full of hot cocoa or coffee and head out for a hike. Another plus is, enduring the elements cause you to burn more calories in the winter months. Bundle up and head outside instead of hibernating. 

Upcoming Events



Winter Pine Mountain Trail Slackpacking Thru-Hike

January 19-20

Join us for our winter PMT slackpacking thru-hike where we will spend two days completing the 23-miles. When you are finished hiking for the day we will shuttle you back to the campground where you can take a hot shower and crawl into your cozy tent after dinner. After a good nights sleep and breakfast, we will begin our second day of hiking to finish up. We handle all the logistics and will provide you a recommended packing list.


Group Hike - Dowdell Knob Loop

January 26th @ 11:00

We will hike the 4.3 mile Dowdell Knob Loop. Meet us at the Dowdell Knob trailhead parking area a little before 11:00 to sign in. Our group hikes are FREE but please let us know if you plan to attend.


Trails to Mountain Roads

February 2nd @ 10:00

We will have a 5k and 10K run that will take you on part of the beautiful Pine Mountain Trail and along the scenic mountain road.


Valentine Group Hike

February 16th @ 11:00

Join us for our group hike! We will hike 4 miles round trip to the Falls and back. Meet us at the WJSP TV Tower parking area a little before 11:00 to sign in. We will begin our hike promptly at 11:00.


PMT 23-Mile Relay Hike

February 23rd @ 8:00

Get your team together and lace up those boots! You can have up to six team members and you decide who hikes how many miles. We take care of all the logistics and a support team will be set up at each road crossing with water and snacks as you hand off your band to your team member. We will have a table set up with special treats and drinks at the finish line. After group pictures at the finish line, your team will be shuttle back to your vehicles.


Pot O’ Gold Irish Pub Night

March 16 - 17

Join us for a wee bit o fun! We will have Irish food, music, and drinks. The evening will be spent relaxing, laughing, eating, and celebrating at our Pot O’ Gold Camp Pub.

Hike Fit Series

Our Hike Fit Series involves hiking, running/walking, and exercise stations. It’s a great way to get exercise in the great outdoors with a group which makes exercise fun. The following Hike Fits will be held at FDR State Park Campground. We will meet at the Trading Post parking lot. This event is free but you will need to purchase a parking pass from the Park Office.


January 5th @ 12:30

February 9th @ 12:30