Join HRI for a hike in North Carolina’s newest state forest, Headwaters State Forest, on May 3! Opened to the public only a few years ago in 2018, Headwaters boasts an enticing array of streams, waterfalls, and of course hemlocks, that will make for a great day out on the trail. 

Our planned route is a roughly 3.2 mile out and back that will feature two distinct hemlock conservation areas and the picturesque Reece Place Falls. The first half mile is the steepest section of trail and heads down to the river through a hobbit tunnel of mountain laurel, which means the last half mile we’ll be ascending, but the tread is good and the rest of the trek will be fairly flat. Total elevation gain will be less than 500 feet. There are a few shallow, easy stream crossings along the trail, but feet may get wet.

As an added bonus, an HRI team will be actively treating hemlocks along the trail so hikers will get an up close view of the hemlock treatment process. These treatments are a follow up to initial treatments undertaken by HRI and the NC Forest Service in 2017 before the forest opened to the public. 

Headwaters State Forest is located on the NC-SC state line about 30 minutes south of Brevard, NC.

RSVP is required. Please register by April 29 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.