On Saturday, December 9th, staff from the Hemlock Restoration Initiative will guide an educational hike at Holmes Educational State Forest.

HRI and the NC Forest Service partnered together to chemically treat these hemlocks for hemlock woolly adelgid back in 2016 and are in the process of retreating them this year. The hike will take participants past a hemlock health monitoring plot to discuss methods of evaluating treatment success. Overall, participants can expect to learn about hemlock ecology, the threat of the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, and a variety of different control methods being used on both state and national forests in NC, as well as on other public and private lands across the range of eastern hemlock.

The hike will meet at 10:00 a.m., and participants can expect to return to their vehicles around 2:30 p.m., with a break for lunch that you will have brought. We will start from the south entrance to the forest, off of the Old CCC Rd. and hike a two-mile figure-8 loop through the upper portions of the forest’s hemlock conservation area. The route will be on moderate terrain with a fairly strenuous hike up a short, but steep slope at the end.

More information about the meeting location and what to bring will be provided after registering. Please include contact phone number, email address, and emergency contact when you sign up.

Special Note: In case of inclement weather, the back-up hike date is Saturday, December 16th, 2023.

For any questions or to register, contact Caroline Lord at outreach@savehemlocksnc.org or 828-252-4783. While the hike is free to attend, your RSVP is required. Please sign up by Monday, December 4th.

The Hemlock Restoration Initiative is grateful to be able to offer public events in this difficult time. Despite the lifting of restrictions, we acknowledge the risk that COVID-19 continues to pose to members of our community. To maintain the safety of our event participants and staff, we are requiring that all participants follow HRI’s COVID-19 safety guidelines. Anyone not following the guidelines on the day of the event will be asked to leave. Despite taking precautions, we cannot eliminate all risk of exposure and participants will be accepting some level of risk by choosing to attend. Please review the COVID-19 safety guidelines on our website to ensure that you are comfortable following these guidelines. Note: these guidelines may adjust depending on changing guidance from health authorities.