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Wednesday, 25 May 2016 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Spigot turned on for paddling the upper Tuck

A whitewater release from Glenville Dam in Jackson County will turn the upper West Fork of the Tuckasegee River into a challenging paddling run on Saturday, June 4, as well as provide good viewing of High Falls at the base of the dam.

Experienced kayakers will launch from the base of High Falls 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 paddling except following major rains, but Duke Energy must provide public recreational benefits in exchange for harnessing the river for hydropower. Federal permits require Duke to periodically release water from dams on the upper Tuck and upper Nantahala for paddlers to enjoy. 

 

Help make Big Bear beautiful 

Big Bear Park in Franklin will get a facelift with a “spring cleaning day” 8 a.m. to noon Friday, June 3. 

Volunteers are wanted to help reclaim the landscaping along the park’s interface with Main Street, and all are invited to bring some gloves, tools and join in on the weed pulling and trimming. 

Organized by Friends of the Greenway. Meet at Big Bear Shelter. 828.369.8488.

 

Start summer under the stars

A family campout will kick off summer in Jackson County June 11-12 at the county-run Ralph J. Andrews Campground. 

The event will start up with check-in at 3 p.m. June 11, with an evening full of games, stargazing, a hike and campfire with s’mores — and perhaps some sleep — until check-out at 10 a.m. June 12. 

$10 per family, with $2 per person for groups larger than five. Fee includes campsite, dinner, breakfast, snacks and any equipment needed. Organized by Jackson County Parks and Recreation. 

RSVP required at Jackson’s county recreation centers, 828.293.3053 or 828.631.2020. 

 

Friend a fern

A series of adventures off the beaten path around Highlands will kick off with a walk exploring the area’s diversity of native ferns, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, June 3, leaving from the Highlands Biological Foundation. 

Tom Goforth, a fern expert, will lead the walk, covering identification, habitat requirements and propagation of various species. 

Other programs in the Friday Forays series will be a hike to Whiterock on the Bartram Trail June 10 and a float down the Little Tennessee River June 17.

The fern program is $15 for Foundation members and $35 for nonmembers. 828.526.2221 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.. www.highlandsbiological.org/forays.

 

Nantahala Gorge revs up for Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend will be abuzz with activity on water and land in the Nantahala Gorge west of Bryson City. Whether obstacle courses, whitewater or family time on the flatwater is your thing, the weekend will offer a chance to partake. 

• Dash through an array of obstacles toward the finish in the Merrell Adventure Dash along the Nantahala River Saturday, May 28, at Nantahala Outdoor Center.  The race, which includes a 5K with categories based on age and gender, as well as a single-category 1K fun run, will kick off at 4:30 p.m., with an awards ceremony and live music to follow lasting through 8 p.m. 

$20, or free for kids 12 and under with a participating adult. Register online at www.ultrasignup.com through May 25 or day-of starting at 1 p.m. 828.785.5082.

• Families and youth will gather in the Nantahala Gorge May 28-29 for a weekend of flat and whitewater activities, games and camaraderie, with encouragement to develop new skills and try their hand at all three competitive whitewater disciplines: slalom, freestyle and downriver. Participants should be confident with a wet exit, and whitewater roll skills are a plus but not required. 

$30, with $10 fee for races. Lodging and food not included. Equipment loans available. Organized by the Nantahala Racing Club. Register online at www.nantahalaracingclub.com. 

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

 

Fish away Memorial Day in Cherokee

Tagged trout worth $10,000 in prize money will swim Cherokee waters during the Cherokee Memorial Day Trout Tournament May 27 to 29, sponsored by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 

All ages and legal fishing methods are welcome to participate in the event, which requires an $11 entry fee and a Cherokee fishing permit for all anglers 12 and older. 

The Qualla Boundary is home to 30 miles of privately stocked, freestone streams overseen by Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management. Fishing is allowed daily from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Creek limit is 10 trout per day per permit holder. Each year, nearly 250,000 rainbow, brook and brown trout of various sizes are added to the existing fish population.

Contact 828.554.6110 or www.fishcherokee.com

 

Kickball league forming in Waynesville 

Kickball will kick off in Waynesville with an organizational meeting for a new summer adult co-ed kickball league, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at the Waynesville Recreation Center. 

Players 18 and older as of July 1 are welcome to participate, with games to be played Tuesdays and Thursdays in June, July and August. Entry fee will depend on the number of teams showing interest at the organizational meeting. 

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

 

Summer day camp looking for adventurers 

A day camp for Jackson County middle schoolers with a hankering to try outdoor activities ranging from hiking to snorkeling is looking for participants July 11-14. 

Camp WILD — Wilderness, Investigating, Learning, Discovery — is open to students entering seventh or eighth grade and is organized by Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District. It’s designed to connect kids to nature while instilling a lifelong love of the outdoors. The emphasis will be on environmental learning as well as hands-on fun, with an overnight camping trip included in the itinerary. 

$25, with spaces limited. Registration open through June 3. Jane Fitzgerald, 828.586.5465 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.. 

 

Bogs, Bugs and Beavers — oh my!

Guided walks will showcase the natural history of beavers, their wetland-creating activities and the changing habitats they make during the Bogs, Bugs and Beavers program Saturday, May 28, at the Cradle of Forestry in America. 

Two walks of 1.75 miles will be offered along the Pink Beds Trail, one at 10:30 a.m. and one at 2 p.m., with each program lasting 90 minutes. Each excursion will begin at the Forest Discovery Center for a talk about beavers before heading out. 

$5 for ages 16 and up; free for youth, with full access to exhibits and trails included along with event admission. Located along U.S. 276 about 25 miles south of Waynesville.

828.877.3130.

 

Adult soccer is back in Haywood

A co-ed adult soccer league is returning to Haywood County for the summer, with a maximum of 10 teams of up to 13 players. 

Games will be played Monday and Wednesday evenings June 6 to July 31 at Allens Creek Park in Waynesville, with 7-on-7 play in two 25-minute halves. 

Registration deadline is 5 p.m. May 19. $390 per team with a minimum age of 18. Players must be out of high school. Organized by Haywood County Recreation and Parks. 828.452.6789 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.. 

 

Barrel up rain for better gardening and conservation 

Rain barrels are on sale this spring at the Haywood Cooperative Extension office in Waynesville, part of an effort to raise awareness about water conservation. 

Haywood Waterways Association sells the rain barrels every spring, hoping to conserve water while also helping homeowners with gardening and landscaping. Barrels can be purchased anytime during normal business hours. 

$90. Go to the Extension office at 589 Raccoon Road or contact Haywood Waterways at 828.476.4667 or 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.. 

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