Celebrating 35 years of the Bartram Trail

out coweesignThe North Carolina Bartram Trail Society will celebrate its 35th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 29, in Franklin with a program on “The Natural History of the Southern Appalachians” and a guided hike to the Cowee Mound.

William Bartram was a naturalist, explorer and plant collector who explored the Southeast between 1773 and 1777. He chronicled his early journey through Western North Carolina in his famous diary, Bartram’s Travels, and a long-distance footpath in the region now traces his route.

As part of the annual Bartram Trail celebration, Dan Pittillo, Professor Emeritus in botany at Western Carolina University, will present an illustrated presentation on how the plants and animals of the mountains developed from the earliest ages of the continent to the present, at 10 a.m. Sept. 29 in the Macon County Library in Franklin. Pittillo has been involved in the planning, building, and maintenance of the trail since its beginning in 1977; he is the only remaining member of the original board and the only one surviving who participated in the creation of the trail.

After the program, the group will take a guided hike and tour of Cowee Mound, a thriving Cherokee township that William Bartram described in detail in his journals. Jim Kautz of Franklin, who has published Footprints Across the South: Bartram’s Trail Revisited, a book on Bartram’s journeys across the southern colonies, will provide a brief discussion of America’s first native-born naturalist and his visit to Cowee in 1775.

Box lunches may be reserved for $6 through the North Carolina Bartram Trail Society. Deadline for lunch reservations is Sept. 27. ncbartramtrail.org or 828.371.0633.

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