Join the Hemlock Restoration Initiative for an educational hike at 10 a.m. on May 21st at one of North Carolina’s hidden gems: Gorges State Park. This rugged park features waterfalls, sheer rock walls, many miles of trails, and a diverse collection of flora and fauna.

Our 2.8 mile (total) out and back hike will explore only a small section of the park, but includes a dense patch of hemlocks crowded around a tranquil stream before climbing to a ridge that exhibits an entirely different environment than the trail’s streamside beginnings. There are a few steep sections, but this hike is only of moderate difficulty as it follows old logging roads and has less than 500 feet of total elevation gain.

We will start out the hike at the Frozen Creek Park Entrance by exploring the streamside area and its many hemlocks, diving into details on hemlocks and their conservation. We will then head up the Auger Hole and Heath Pine Ridge trails where special guest and botanist with the NC Natural Heritage Program, David Siripoonsup, will impart knowledge on the variety of flora that make up the ecosystems within the park.

Gorges State Park is located about 5 miles southwest of Rosman, NC and is near the NC-SC border.

RSVP is required. Please register by May 19 by emailing or calling 828-252-4783. Be sure to bring water, a lunch, and any snacks you may want. A sturdy pair of hiking shoes or boots is recommended. 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.