Covid-19 might hinder some of these hikes in 2020 as we follow the stay at home order in NC. No need to worry though as we will be filming our hikes and posting them for free on our social media pages. This will be a free educational event and will give our guests a way to hike without leaving home!
Hike 1: Spider Lily Plant and Critter Walk-a-bout
Join our plant and “critter” guides on this 1.5 mile, flat, round trip hike via the canal trail at Landsford Canal State Park, South Carolina. The park was named after its canal systems that lined the Catawba river. The canal was used to transport things via very large flat bottom boats designed to float in 18 inches of water. The boats carried items like bales of cotton and other goods. This was a robust area until the railroad was completed a few years after the canal system was finished rendering its canals useless. The ruins of the canals are very impressive to see with a lot of the canal still intact.
In addition to some plant identification and of course some lily info at the viewing deck guests can also expect to see several critters that call this area home on their guided hike. Some of those critters include: Red Bellied Water Snakes, Green Snakes, eagles, turtles, Blue Heron, Osprey, Red Winged Black Birds and deer.
Note if you’d like to get up close and personal with the lilies, we recommend booking our guided Spider Lily Kayak Trips. These trips begin selling out in February so booking in advance is highly recommend. See details here: https://www.ncoutdooradventures.org/classes-and-trips/spider-lily-kayak-trips
When: 2 trips daily on the following weekends in 2020. Times are 12:30 and 5:30
May: 30, 31
June 13, 14
Where: Landsford Canal State Park, South Carolina
How much: Kids under 8 are free. Cost is $20 or $15 with the purchase of a spider lily paddle trip. To get the discounted price with a spider lily paddle trip guests can simply book it at the same time they are booking their lily trip, this option will be on the spider lily kayak booking form. Otherwise just click book now to book this hike!
More Plant Walk-a-bouts (Hikes 2-6): Blue Ridge Mountain guided hikes for every season followed by food tastings to support local farming.
The Appalachian Mountains are among some of the oldest and most bio-diverse mountains on the Earth and are home to a vast array of animal and plant species. In fact, no other mountain range in North America has more species of plants than the Blue Ridge. In this series of plant walks we will discover, smell, and even get to taste some of these native specimens. Guests will learn to use all of their senses in the identification of these species and a brief history of the plants and\or the area we are visiting will be provided. Some of the areas we will visit are ecologically sensitive areas so proper forest stewardship will also be highlighted
Who is this for: Anyone! Hike description includes difficulty and length information. Kids 8 and under are free! While kids are always welcome, please be mindful as we do not want children leaving these classes to forage on their own without supervision! It is important to note: some of the plants we learn about have look a-likes that can be deadly. This is why education is key!
Kids 8 and under are free but pay $8 for food tasting
Where: Trips meet at the NCOA outpost in Bakersville NC and take place at several locations locally.
Hike 2: Hunting for Spring Ephemerals + Wild Foods Dinner
This walkabout is focused on spring wildflowers, wild leeks (known as ramps by the locals), and morel mushroom hunting. At the end of this trip we will gather all of the plant material we have collected and cook it up over an open fire back at the outpost for a foraged dinner! The dinner will take place at Hidden Holler CampGround and the NC Outdoor Adventures Outpost consisting of local raised beef London Broil, Ramps, Morels, Tators, Eggs and salad!
When: April 11th 3hrs (Pigeon Roost)
Hike 3: Spring Tonics and Wild Greens + Wild Foods Dinner
Join us for the old time Appalachian tradition of harvesting wild foods known to wake the body up after winter. At the end of this trip we will gather all of the plant material we have collected and cook it up over an open fire back at the outpost for a foraged food tasting! The tasting will take place at Hidden Holler CampGround and the NC Outdoor Adventures Outpost consisting of wild greens cornbread, fresh local farm products and foraged tea!
When: May 23 3hrs (Pigeon Roost)
Hike 4: Early Summer Wildflowers and Weeds + Desserts, Breads and Cheese
June 28th hike is for people with mobility issues. This hike will be done via our shuttle van as we drive around to identify flowers. We will make a few stops that require little to no walking!!!!!
In early summer the Blue Ridge Mountains put on quite the show featuring the flame Azalea, Turkey Beard, Gray’s Lily and various colors of Rhododendron. Join us as we hike these beautiful areas armed with plant identification guides. This hike will not focus on edibles but the focus is beauty! After the hike join us at the farm for a dessert, bread and cheese tasting around the firepit along with a wild tea/mocktail made from something we saw on the hike. Bring your own relaxing beverage and fold out chair or blanket. Hike should last around 3 hours.
When: June 20th (Roan Mountain Rhododendron Hike) and June 28th (Pigeon Roost)
Hike 5: The Trees and Understory of the Appalachian Forest + Desserts, Breads and Cheesek
In summer the Blue Ridge Mountains provide a cool canopy of shade. Join us to meet the many amazing trees that provide food, medicine, home for animals and so much more! After the hike join us at the farm for a dessert, bread and cheese tasting around the firepit along with a wild tea/mocktail made from something on the hike. Bring your own relaxing beverage and fold out chair or blanket. Hike should last around 3 hours.
When: July 3, 4 and/or 5th (Pigeon Roost)
Hike 6: Summer Berries and Bounty + Desserts, Wine and Cheese
We are berry heavy in WNC. While our berries might not be as large as the ones found in the grocery store the experience of hiking through wilderness trails to find them provides quite the treat. After the hike we will come back to Hidden Holler Campground and the NC Outdoor Adventures office to enjoy some common Appalachian Treats with homemade biscuits with various jams, camp fire cobbler, pie. The event will also sample local wine and cheese!
When: July 25th 3hrs (Pigeon Roost) and August 15 3hrs (Roan Mountain)
Hike 7: Apples, Nuts and Mushrooms + Wild Foods Dinner
This walkabout is focused on the Appalachian Wild food harvest of autumn… apples, nuts and mushrooms! At the end of this trip we will gather all of the plant material we have collected and cook it up over an open fire back at the outpost for a foraged dinner! The dinner will take place at Hidden Holler Camp Ground and the NC Outdoor Adventures Outpost and will feature a wild mushroom dish with local farm ingredients. Please bring your own relaxing beverage to enjoy with the dinner.
When: September 5th 3hrs (Pigeon Roost)
Hike 8: Winter Wonderland: Step into the real life Narnia
Join NC Outdoor Adventures as we hike the Appalachian Trail through a Spruce Forest up onto one of NC's most beautiful balds, Roan Mountain. This is the highest point of the Unaka Mountain Range where weather and temps can change on a dime. There you will enjoy a 360 degree view of our majestic mountains followed by hot coco or cider along with smores around a campfire. Guests will be provided with yaktrax if snow and ice are to be encountered. Participants should expect a 5 mile moderate hike as we visit 3 of the mountains 5 peaks.
Important note: dress for cold weather, bring layers, wear good hiking shoes or tennis shoes with warm socks. We recommend folks that have knee issues or problems with walking please bring hiking poles or a walking stick.
Location: Roan Mountain
When: TBA in early Fall