For our upcoming January hike, the Hemlock Restoration Initiative is thrilled to invite you on an afternoon hike to a Carolina hemlock bluff on the trails of the Montreat Wilderness. Just 25 minutes east of Asheville, our route is a moderately strenuous 3.75-mile roundtrip hike with 1300 ft of elevation change.

We will meet at the Lookout Trail parking area at 1 p.m. and head up the Old Trestle Road before enjoying a ridge-top loop through Brushy Mountain, a beautiful Carolina hemlock conservation area. We can also expect to enjoy some wintertime views of the Appalachian Mountains. We plan to return to the parking lot by 5 p.m.

Two Hemlock Restoration Initiative staff will lead the hike and provide information about hemlock ecology, woolly adelgid biology, and how the public can help save this important tree. Participants will also learn about the various hemlock management strategies Montreat has employed in the town common space and wilderness area.

RSVP is required. Please register by January 25 by emailing Ally at or calling 828-252-4783. When registering, please include your name, phone number, and the number of people in your party.

On the day of the hike, be sure to bring water, necessary medications, weather-appropriate layers, and any snacks you may want. When scouting the trail, Ally also enjoyed using hiking poles on the steeper sections. More details will be provided upon registration.

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.

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