Fourth-graders conquer Appalachian trails on hiking trip

More than 70 fourth-graders and parents trekked across the Appalachians in Macon County as part of an annual student trip to Siler Bald. Eight hike leaders from the Nantahala Hiking Club — which is the Franklin-based Appalachian Trail Club — guided the children on the hike from Wayah Crest to Siler Bald, returning on the AT.

The field trip introduced hiking to students as a health living activity. On the hike, students learned about various plants and trees and the work required to maintain the AT as a primitive hiking trail.

Prior to the hike, the NHC gave a presentation to the students on the history of the AT, the preparations needed for a day hike and the principles of Leave No Trace outdoors ethics.

The outreach to the local school, provided by the NHC, is part of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Trail to Every Classroom program. The program’s key tenants are place-based education, service learning and volunteerism. To learn more about local hiking and volunteer opportunities to care for America’s first National Scenic Trail, visit

The Naturalist's Corner

  • Fingers still crossed
    Fingers still crossed Status of the Lake Junaluska eagles remains a mystery, but I still have my fingers crossed for a successful nesting venture. There was some disturbance near the nest a week or so ago — tree trimming on adjacent property — and for a day or…

Back Then with George Ellison

  • The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic
    The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic While walking stream banks or low-lying wetlands, you have perhaps had the memorable experience of flushing a woodcock — that secretive, rotund, popeyed, little bird with an exceedingly long down-pointing bill that explodes from underfoot and zigzags away on whistling wings and just barely managing…
Go to top