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Wednesday, 20 July 2016 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Catch a love for whitewater

Newbie and national-level youth paddlers alike will find challenge and fun at the 2016 Whitewater Junior Olympics on the Nantahala River July 29-31. 

The event, hosted by the Nantahala Racing Club, features slalom, downriver and freestyle competitions as well as just-for-fun events such as duckie-cross, yard games and free paddling on stand up paddleboards. A packed schedule includes races, games, music and classes throughout the three days. 

$45 and open to ages 18 and under. Register by July 27 at or from 10-11 a.m. on any of the event days, when a $20 late fee will apply.


Whitewater to roar from Glenville

A whitewater release at Glenville Dam in Jackson County will make for roaring water at High Falls — located along N.C. 107 — on Saturday, July 30. 

Experienced kayakers will launch at the base for a wild ride down the West Fork of the Tuckasegee River, making for a good show. But hikers and anglers should take the release into account when planning outings that day. 

The upper reaches of the Tuck don’t usually have enough water for whitewater runs except following major rains, but Duke Energy’s agreement for the federal permits required to run its hydropower dams dictates that it periodically release water from dams on the upper Tuck and upper Nantahala for paddlers to enjoy. 


Become a nature detective

Meet live animals and learn how to uncover the clues wildlife leaves behind with a program from the N.C. Museum of Natural Science, “Animal Tracks and Signs,” offered at three different locations next week. 

The program, geared to suit people of all ages, will be held: 

11 a.m. Wednesday, July 27, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City.

11 a.m. Thursday, July 28, at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva. 

7 p.m. Thursday, July 28, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin.

Museum educator Karen Polk will give the presentation, explaining how to use your senses like a true nature detective to interpret the clues various animal species leave behind.  

Free. Attendance at the Jackson County event is limited to 150 people, with tickets available when the library opens on the morning of the event. 


Become a nature photographer

From the antics of squirrels to the delicate patterns of butterfly wings, a backyard nature photography class at the Balsam Community Center will cover the techniques and skills needed to capture the full spectrum of natural beauty, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30. 

Larry Thompson, a former regional president for the National Audubon Society with 30 years of experience teaching nature courses, will lead the class. Suitable for beginning to intermediate photographers, the course will cover macro photography, ISO settings, creating a photo blind, using props and flash settings. 

$40, with pre-registration required. Space limited. Mail checks to Larry Thompson, P.O. Box 390, Balsam, N.C. 28707.

828.452.5414 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Go on a virtual safari in Highlands

Take a virtual tour of equatorial animals with a photography presentation at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, at the Hudson Library in Highlands. 

Husband-and-wife team Ed Boos, a noted still photographer, and Cindy Boos, who specializes in video photography, will share their experiences documenting wildlife in Ecuador and Kenya. Photos include the Andean cock-of-the-rock, blue-footed boobies, wildebeest migration, lions, hyenas and much more. 

Free. A program of the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society.


Take note

• Engraved bricks are available to honor much-loved pets at the Waynesville Dog Park. Bricks are $50 or $75 for two and may also be purchased for the Waynesville Skate Park or Donnie Pankiw Tennis Center. Order forms are available from Rhett Langston, 828.456.2030 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

• A 2016 seedling catalogue offering more than 50 species of conifer and hardwood trees is now available from the N.C. Forest Service. Catalogues are available at all N.C. Forest Service offices and online at

• An initiative from Duke Energy will provide $1 million to help cities and towns in North Carolina add public charging stations for electric vehicles. The project is expected to increase the state’s inventory of charging stations by 30 percent. 

n Volunteers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were awarded for their service, with the Cove Bike Patrol team earning the Southeast Regional Group Volunteer Service Award as well as the national George and Helen Hartzog Outstanding Group Volunteer Service Award. Volunteer Bob Lochbaum was given the Southeast Regional Enduring Service Award for his 23 years and 15,930 hours of volunteer service to the park to help with mapping efforts. 

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