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Wednesday, 17 September 2014 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Fair time in Macon County

The 61st annual Macon County Fair will occur Sept. 17-20 at the Macon County Fairgrounds in Franklin, and it’s time for county residents to start gathering their best handiwork to enter the sundry contests.

Garden vegetables, flowers, canned and baked goods, photography, sewing, visual arts and other projects are wanted, with both youth and adult categories available. The fair’s theme is “Legacy of Yesterday … Promise of Tomorrow.” Drop off of entries at the fairgrounds between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16.

828.349.2050 or


Climate change, the Appalachians and a native perspective

The theme of climate change will headline the annual symposium “Rooted in the Mountains: Valuing Our Common Ground,” held Thursday and Friday, Sept. 25-26, at Western Carolina University.

The symposium focuses on the stewardship of resources in Appalachia and how it relates to health, language, environment and indigenous issues. Presentations will highlight climate change through the lens of Cherokee and native peoples — such as the importance of native languages in understanding the environment and climate change presentations by Cherokee elementary students — and what is being done locally to prepare for environmental changes.

Keynote speakers are:

n A talk on climate change, how it has been recorded and understood by the Cherokee for many years, and how individuals can adapt to a changing climate by Pat Moss, a Cherokee traditionalist from Oklahoma, at 2 p.m. on Sept. 25,

n A talk on the recently released “National Climate Assessment” and the impact of climate change in the mountains by Amy Adams, a representative of the environmental advocacy group Appalachian Voices, at 9 a.m. Sept. 26. or 828.227.7397.


Big Sweep sweeps Haywood

Haywood Waterways Association is looking for volunteers to help with the Big Sweep on Sept. 20, a statewide annual event intended to get people into the streams to clean them up.

Volunteers should RSVP by Sept. 18 to pitch in for one hour at one of Waynesville’s streams beginning at 10:45 a.m.

Gloves, bags, trash grabbers and light snacks will be provided, though volunteers should have an old pair of jeans and close-toed shoes.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.476.4667. 


Families connect with outdoors activities at Pisgah Center

A celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.

One of several events across the state, hands-on activities are designed to connect with nature while improving outdoor skills. Explore archery, BB gun shooting range, tree stand safety, fly tying and casting, tracking, outdoor cooking, and much more. 

Sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Located on U.S. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County. 828.877.4423.


Waynesville offers trip to Fontana

The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer a kayaking trip to Lake Fontana leaving 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, from the Waynesville Recreation Center.

Kayaks will be provided, though participants should bring a snack to enjoy on the water for a light picnic on one of the islands. 

$20 Waynesville Recreation Center members; $25 non-members; Register at 828.456.2030 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Web app aids leaf peepers

A new web application from the U.S. Forest Service will help national forest visitors plan their fall adventures around the best autumn color shows in the region. offers details on three popular trail systems in Western North Carolina — the Tsali Recreation Area near Bryson City, Jackrabbit Recreation Area in Clay County and the Appalachian Trail through Nantahala National Forest. 


Waynesville Rec to explore Whiteside Mountain

A short loop hike to the top of Whiteside Mountain will give Waynesvillians a chance to check out the mountains near Highlands with a Sept. 30 trip offered through the Waynesville Recreation Center. 

With spectacular 700-foot cliff walls and impressive views, the 2.5-mile hike gains 600 feet and is considered moderately difficult. 

$3 Recreation Center members; $5 non-members. Space is limited. Register by calling 828.456.2030.


Monarch migration explained

 An upcoming Cradle of Forestry program will cover the magic of monarch migrations — and the threats to it — at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, in the Forest Discovery Center.   

Ina Warren, a noted naturalist and educator, will present a multimedia program with master gardener Joyce Pearsall. The presentation will cover basic monarch biology and life cycle, the importance of their larvae’s sole food, which is milkweed, as well as the threats butterflies face while wintering in central Mexico and during summer breeding in the United States.

Discussions about monarch tagging, ideas for raising the insects at home and how to grow native milkweeds to serve as Monarch Waystations will also be part of the event, and participants will have a chance to tour the Cradle’s Monarch Waystation after the program. 

$5 adult Cradle of Forestry admission; free for children under 16; free for America the Beautiful and Golden Age passholders. Located on U.S. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, four miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 828.877.3130 or  


Weeds be gone

A volunteer takes a weedwacker to Burnington Gap in Nantahala National Forest to keep trail signs visible to hikers. Nantahala Hiking Club sent four members out Aug. 30 to maintain 2 miles of the Appalachian Trail, with tasks including painting Cold Spring Shelter, clearing water bars and blown-down trees, clearing overgrown trail and installing a new sign directing campers to a designated campsite.

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