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Wednesday, 24 June 2015 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Program to revive Kephart in Sylva 

A program illuminating the life of Horace Kephart, adopted son of the Smokies who chronicled the disappearing mountain culture of the early 20th century and championed the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. 

Bryson City naturalist and historian George Ellison, also a columnist for The Smoky Mountain News, will start off with his program, “A Room of One’s Own,” looking at the places in WNC most closely associated with Kephart, while Kephart’s great-granddaughter Libby Kephart Hargrave will present “Horace Kephart: His Way Back,” taking an intimate look into the life of Kephart, discussing his wife Laura, his parents and his children. 

Free. 828.586.9499.


Zahner lecture series kicks off the summer with Robert Frost talk

Highlands Biological Foundation’s series of free natural history- and conservation-themed lectures is starting up again for the summer with a talk titled “Turning the Poet Out of Doors: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Poetry of Robert Frost” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 2.

Peter White, biology professor at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, will outline Frost’s status not only as a poet but as an accurate and detailed scientific observer. White will elucidate the science behind Frost’s poems in this presentation.

The Zahner Conservation Lecture Series — named for the contributions of Highlands residents Robert and Glenda Zahner to land conservation on the Highlands Plateau — features free lectures every Thursday through Sept. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Highlands Nature Center on  Horse Cove Road in Highlands. Check The Smoky Mountain News outdoors calendar for listings of future lectures. or 828.526.2221.


A chat with a black bear expert 

An open dialogue about bears will come to Cashiers at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, at the Village Green Commons. 

Bill Lea, a nationally recognized nature photographer and author from Franklin known for his work with black bears, will lead the discussion in the program titled “The Bear Necessities.” Lea, who has also authored multiple books, has had more than 7,000 photos published in venues including National Geographic books, Audubon calendars and three consecutive front covers of Field & Stream — a first in the magazine’s more than 100-year history.

The Village Nature Series is a free speaker series at The Village Green Commons, bringing experts in one evening a month during the summer to talk about issues of natural or cultural heritage in a one-hour program. Co-hosted by Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and The Village Green.


Outer space coming to Bryson City 

A family-friendly program explaining the solar system we call home with hands-on activity will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City.

“Our Solar System,” presented by the University of North Carolina Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, will answer questions such as how big the solar system is and how we know while also allowing participants to create a solar system model, hold a space rock and look through a telescope. 

Suitable for all ages. 828.488.3030.


Multisport festival coming to Lake Logan

Registration is open for the Lake Logan Multisport Festival, an annual event with an array of challenging races that last year drew more than 1,000 athletes to Haywood County.

The event, set for Aug. 8-9, will include a half-ironman, international triathlon, sprint triathlon and aquabike races. The half-iron, which made its debut at the event last year, is hands-down the most grueling event, featuring a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run.

Register at through Aug. 5. 


Snorkel the Pigeon River

A snorkeling trip on the West Fork of the Pigeon River in Haywood County will offer a first-hand glimpse of the diversity of fish and aquatic ecosystems living in the river during the Saturday, July 11, excursion. 

The outing, held from 2 to 5 p.m., will be led by Eric Romaniszyn, executive director of Haywood Waterways Association, and Shannon Rabby, natural resource instructor at Haywood Community College. 

The snorkeling trip is part of Haywood Waterways’ “Get to Know Your Watershed” series of outdoor hikes and paddle tours. The organization works to maintain and improve Haywood County’s waterways through education, public events and partnerships.

Free, with masks, snorkeling equipment and refreshments provided. Wetsuits and wool clothing recommended. Space is limited, so RSVP by Wednesday, July 8, to Christine O’Brien at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.476.4667.

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