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Wednesday, 24 May 2017 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Discover the beavers of the Pisgah

A day celebrating beavers and the changing habitats they create will be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 27, at the Cradle of Forestry in America. 

Bogs, Bugs and Beavers will consist of two guided walks along the Pink Beds Trail adjacent to the Cradle, starting at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Each walk will take about 90 minutes and include 1.75 miles of walking. Programs start at the Forest Discovery Center with a talk about beavers and their special adaptations. 

$5 for ages 16 and up; free for youth. America the Beautiful, Golden Age and Friends of the Cradle passes accepted. 

The Cradle of Forestry is located along U.S. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, about 35 miles south of Waynesville. 

828.877.3130 or


Blitz the Bluff

A bioblitz to inventory the biological diversity of Bluff Mountain near Hot Springs will spring to life at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 3, starting from the Hot Springs Community Center parking lot. 

Participants will spend the day finding as many species as possible, with results submitted to the U.S. Forest Service as part of a citizens’ proposal for protective management of the mountain. 

One of the little-known jewels of the Pisgah National Forest, Bluff Mountain rises more than 3,500 feet above the French Broad River to a height of more than 4,600 feet. The diversity of elevation and habitat promise an abundance of species, but few biological inventories have occurred. 

Organized by MountainTrue, with a $20 suggested donation. Register at 


Join the butterfly bonanza

The Butterfly Bonanza will take over the Cradle of Forestry in America, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, May 29, near Brevard. 

The daylong celebration of these fluttering pollinators will include butterfly-themed crafts and activities for children as well as a book signing and butterfly walk with butterfly expert Rita Venable, author of Butterflies of Tennessee.

The walk will pass through gardens and meadows, focusing on what butterflies need to survive and what gardeners need to know when planting a butterfly garden. 

$5 for ages 16 and up; free for youth, with America the Beautiful, Golden Age Passport and Every Kid in a Park passes honored. 

The Cradle of Forestry is located along U.S. 276, about 35 miles south of Waynesville. 828.877.3130.


Raft for a good cause

Free rafting and the chance to help people in poverty will come to the Tuckasegee River 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 4.

Smoky Mountain River Adventures in Whittier and Dillsboro River Company will both give free trips to anyone bringing 10 cans of food for donation to United Christian Ministries of Jackson County. 

United Christian Ministries is a locally supported nonprofit that provides food, household goods, financial assistance, furniture, cleaning supplies and personal care items to Jackson County residents in need. 

Smoky Mountain River Adventures, 828.586.5285, or Dillsboro River Company, 828.586.3797.


Forage the Smokies

An all-day discovery of the plants and trees that Native Americans and early settlers used to live their daily lives will be offered Saturday, June 24, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Bryson City-based wildcrafter Ila Hatter will teach the course Foraging for Food & Farmacy, sharing herb-lore from mountain medicine men and granny women while the group searches the woods and fields for hidden treasures. Students will explore the original route between Gatlinburg and Cherokee and a portion of the Appalachian Trail. 

$79. Part of the Smoky Mountain Field School, a partnership of the park and the University of Tennessee that is now in its 40th year. 

Register at


Adventure dash ahead

The Merrell Adventure Dash will take off at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 27, at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, offering a series of obstacles for participants to wrangle in a family-friendly adventure. 

With a route along the Nantahala River, the race includes a 5K Dash and 1K Fun Run featuring climbs, nets, a river run and a mud pit. Afterward, live music from the Jon Stickley Trio will be on the Adventure Center Deck.

$20, and free for kids 12 and under. On-site registration will open at 1 p.m., with online registration available through May 24 at

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