Protected watershed offers rare public hike

A guided hike to the usually off-limits Waynesville watershed will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27.

During the three- to five-mile hike, naturalist Don Hendershot will talk about the surrounding flora and fauna, and Peter Bates of Western Carolina University will answer questions about forest ecology on the watershed property and the forest management plan.

The preserved 8,600-acre Waynesville watershed flanks the southern end of Waynesville, spanning the mountainside from the Blue Ridge Parkway down to the head of Allens Creek. It feeds a 50-acre reservoir and provides water to the residents of Waynesville and some surrounding communities. Guided hikes in the town watershed are held twice a year; at all other times this property is off-limits to public access.

Must call ahead to reserve a spot. 828.452.2491.

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