The trail has educational signage on environmental and stream-related topics that explore how the ecosystem works. There are currently two trail segments located around the edge of Monteith Park. A third segment is still under-construction.
Billed as demonstration trails, the ultimate goal of the Discovery Trails is to teach and promote stewardship of the clear-water creeks.
“The trails are designed as a fun, unique and educational activity for kids, families, and tourists, with an underlying message that is important to all individuals who impact our land and creeks,” said Roger Clapp, WATR executive director.
The trail teaches the importance of everyone — from contractors building mountainside houses to the average homeowner — that what they do impacts the health of creeks.
“Residents and those moving to the area need to know that small environmental impacts, land parcel by land parcel, add up, adversely affecting the number and diversity of aquatic species,” Clapp said.
Buffers, essentially natural strips of vegetation along creeks, are the best defense to keep waterways clean of pollution and run-off.
There are actually three different trails, with two completed and the third still under construction. Several groups have pitched in with the trail effort, including Oconaluftee Job Corp CCC students, church groups, WCU Service Learning students and many WATR volunteers.
For a map, go to WATRnc.org.
Take the plunge and explore Scott’s Creek
Check out the new trail at Monteith Park in Dillsboro this Saturday, Aug. 25, with a guided one-hour program held at 9 a.m. and again at 11 a.m.
Adventure Hour offers the chance to explore the new Discovery Trail with an expert, wade in Scotts Creek and capture aquatic bugs, and learn basic lessons about responsible land stewardship along mountain streams.
Kids and parents will use nets in the stream to collect aquatic insects and explore stream life. Mandi Carringer, a senior at WCU and WATR tour guide, said kids come away with a very cool “Micro-Diploma in Stream Bugology.”
Make reservations by going to WATRnc.org or call 828.488.8418.