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Wednesday, 20 May 2015 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Western Carolina takes workshops to Mountain Sports Festival

Western Carolina University will offer educational demonstrations and workshops covering everything from knot-tying and orienteering to campfire cooking at Asheville’s 15th annual Mountain Sports Festival, which will be held Friday, May 22, through Sunday, May 24, in the city’s Carrier Park. 

WCU is a sponsor for the festival, which typically attracts 15,000 outdoor recreation enthusiasts to Asheville each spring to participate in a variety of events and enjoy gear demonstrations, music, food and craft beer. 

WCU was recently named the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic’s “Top Adventure College” for the second year in a row by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine as a result of academic programming that incorporates the great outdoors. That includes off-campus adventures organized by WCU’s Base Camp Cullowhee, which will offer family friendly rock climbing trips in conjunction with Mountain Sports Festival.

Registration is ongoing for Saturday and Sunday rock climbing excursions to Rumbling Bald at Chimney Rock State Park. The group will depart from the festival site at 10 a.m. and return at 4 p.m. Participants must be at least 14 years old, and the charge of $30 per person, includes transportation, equipment and instruction, and permits for Chimney Rock State Park. Registration and more information is available by visiting and clicking on “Events and Registration.”

Representatives from WCU’s Base Camp and the Parks and Recreation Management Program will be on hand to offer a series of mini-workshops at the university’s festival booth, and WCU’s nursing students and faculty will lend support at the first-aid tent.

Admission to the Mountain Sports Festival is free. More festival information is available at


Up-close photo workshop is May 30

A workshop on “Close-up Outdoor Photography” will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 30 at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. The workshop is hosted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Learn the settings and techniques for getting the closest, sharpest images of the fascinating world of tiny plants and animals. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a camera.

The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is located on U.S. 276 south of the Parkway in Transylvania County.

Free, but pre-registration required. 828.877.4423 or


Learn about beavers at Cradle of Forestry

Two programs on beavers and how they alter the landscape will be held at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 23 at the Cradle of Forestry.

Participants will take a guided walk along the Pink Beds Trail to learn about the natural history of beavers, their wetland-creating activities and the changing habitats they create. 

The programs begin in the forest Discovery Center with a talk about beavers. $5 for adults, 15 and younger free. or 828.877.3130.


Waynesville hosts senior tennis program

Waynesville Parks and Recreation will offer Monday-Wednesday-Friday Senior Tennis for ages 55 and older from 8:30-11:30 a.m. beginning May 4 and lasting until Oct. 30. 

The three-time-a-week program is for intermediate and above players and costs $1 per week. 

The tennis courts are located at the Donnie Pankiw Tennis Center at 128 W. Marshall Street in Waynesville.

828.456.2030 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Learn how to handle backcountry emergencies

Waynesville Parks and Recreation will offer a pair of outdoor safety courses this summer, providing training in wilderness first aid and river safety. Both courses will be taught by Cullowhee-based Landmark Learning. 

• A Wilderness First Aid certification course June 1-2 will cover the basics of how to think through an emergency in the backcountry and how to react. Classes run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at the Waynesville Recreation Center. Lunch is provided. $170 with no prerequisites needed.

• A river safety and rescue course 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, will give participants some basic knowledge of how to handle emergencies on the water. Classes will be held at Waynesville Recreation Center and Dillsboro. $150, including lunch and transportation to Dillsboro and back.   

 Register with Tim Petrea, 828.456.2030 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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