Christmas weekend hikes planned

Enjoy the outdoors this Christmas by participating in a series of guided hikes scheduled to take place during the holiday season in the Pisgah National Forest.

Roger Skillman, a former naturalist with the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association, is leading the three hikes, planned for two different days.

• Friday, Dec. 23: John Rock Hike from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Located above the N.C. Fish Hatchery, John Rock offers scenic views, waterfalls, trees and a variety of forest types. Might not be suitable for very young children, because this is a five mile walk of moderate difficulty.

• Friday, Dec. 23: Winter Solstice night hike from 7-8:30 p.m. Walk the Andy Cove Nature Trail at night. Experience the winter forest during a new moon on one of the longest nights of the year. Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather. Suitable for the entire family, because this walk is just 0.7 of a mile on easy terrain.

• Saturday, Dec. 24: Daniel Ridge Loop from 9:30 a.m. until noon. Walk a beautiful trail through an open hardwoods forest. Bring peanut butter and birdseed and make edible ornaments to leave for the creatures of the forest: 2.2 miles moderate to easy walk.

The hikes are all in Transylvania County. Meet at the Pisgah Ranger Station on U.S. 276 to carpool to the trailhead. Hikes are free, but tips appreciated.


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