The Hemlock Restoration Initiative has two fun and informative hikes planned for July that will showcase our region’s unique and beautiful hemlock resources. We hope you will join us!

On Saturday July 15th, 2017 we will have the special opportunity to visit the Big Creek Wildlife Preserve located off Hwy. 9 on the Rocky Broad River in Buncombe County.

Hike participants will meet at 10:00 am for a stunningly scenic stroll along the river and its four waterfalls (swimming optional). They will have the opportunity to learn about the eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) growing there. Discussion will focus on the important role these majestic trees play the ecosystem, what type of conservation efforts are happening in our region and how hikers can get involved.

Difficulty: Moderate (The hike is short in length, but the trail is narrow and uneven, and will require walking on the rocks in some places.)

On Tuesday July 18th, 2017 the HRI will be leading a sunset hike. This is a great opportunity to beat the day time heat and see some beautiful, rare Carolina hemlocks (Tsuga caroliniana) and scenic views of Black Mountain.

Participants will meet at 6:00 pm at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain.  We will hike 1.5 miles up to a Carolina hemlock bluff on High Top Mountain, where we will watch the sunset and discuss the hemlock conservation work being done there which includes the integration of biological and chemical controls.

Difficulty: Strenuous. The hike up is more gradual, but the way back down is steep and rocky. Sturdy boots and participant discretion are advised.