Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Calendar of Outdoor Events in Smokies Region

Below are a few outdoor events occurring over the next couple of weeks in the Smoky Mountains region that I thought you might be interested in:

Cades Cove, Dec. 3-4. Park officials recently announced on the park website that the Cades Cove Loop Road is tentatively scheduled to be closed on December 3-4 for hemlock woolly adelgid spraying. Closure dates may be adjusted due to weather. Tomorrow’s weather looks good, but rain and snow are moving in Wednesday night and Thursday. So, this may be postponed.

All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory Conference, Dec. 3-5. Anyone interested in the discovery of new plant and animal life in the on-going species survey in the Smokies is welcome to attend. So far 890 species new to science have been discovered, along with 6,129 species not previously known to dwell in the park. For a more detailed schedule or to register, go to http://www.dlia.org/ or call 865.430.4756 or email at heather@dlia.org.

Wilderness First Responder Recertification, Dec. 3-5. This three day scenario-based course is designed as review and practice of evacuation and decision making guidelines and may be used to recertify Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness EMT (wilderness portion only) certifications. Landmark Learning, an outdoor training base-camp in Cullowhee. 828.293.5384 or main@landmarklearning.org.

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Dec. 6. Hike from the picnic area up to Stratton Bald for views of the Slickrock Wilderness Area, Dec. 6. Strenuous, 12.5 miles.

Lake James State Park: Call office in Nebo, McDowell County, at 652-5047 or visit www.ncparks.gov.

* Wings over the water: Interpretive talk about area's migratory waterfowl, 2 p.m. Dec. 6. Meet at park office.

* Winter greens: Guided hike in search of plants that stay green through the winter, 11 a.m. Dec. 6. Meet at park office.

Blue Ridge Naturalist Center, Dec. 3 and 10. At UNC Asheville. Geology/meteorology of the Blue Ridge: Discover the interaction between weather and topography, 6:30-9 p.m. Wednesdays, through Dec. 10. $105. Advance register. Call 251-6198 for more information or to register for programs.

The public is invited on Carolina Mountain Club, Fontana Hiking Club, Nantahala Hiking Club and Mountain High Hikers outings. However, non-members must call for more information if planing to attend any of the following hikes:

Appalachian Trail, Dec. 6. 6-mile moderate hike with a gradual ascent up to the Appalachian Trail from Yellow Patch to Bear Pen to Betty Creek. NHC. 828.524.5298.

Cliffside Vista Trail, Dec. 7. 3-mile hike with an elevation change of 200 feet. NHC. 828.369.6820.

Appalachian Trail, Dec. 13. Moderate to strenuous 9.5 mile hike with elevation change of 300 feet from Deep Gap to Raven Rock on the Appalachian Trail. NHC. 828.586.5723.

Bartram Trail, Dec. 21. 2.5 Easy-to-moderate hike from Wallace Branch and return loop. NHC. 828.369.6820.

Chimney Top Mountain, Dec. 27. Strenuous two-mile hike, elevation gain of 1200 feet in Sapphire. NHC. 828.743.6977.

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