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When starting the hike, it’s not immediately obvious why the Chimney Tops Trail should be appointed for long-term closure. The brook is babbling, the sun is shining and the trees are towering just as one would expect of a trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the results of a recent trail rehabilitation effort make for exceedingly pleasant walking. 

But as the trail nears its terminus at the twin peaks of the Chimney Tops, the reason becomes abundantly clear. Its harbingers are announced with a jumble of burned branches here, an area of blackened ground there, and the sudden realization that, even on a brisk winter day when it’s hard to smell much at all, there’s a faint odor of charcoal in the air.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 15:15

Explore Panthertown and donate for conservation

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A family-friendly hike exploring Panthertown Valley will leave at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, from the Salt Rock Gap entrance off Breedlove Road in Cashiers, returning by 2 p.m. The 2-3 mile route will visit several of Panthertown’s many waterfalls. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 15:14

Lunch and learn about the HCC arboretum

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The authors of a book and exhibit chronicling the history of Haywood Community College’s campus arboretum will speak during the kickoff program to the Lunch and Learn series, at noon Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Western Office Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in Asheville.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 17:10

Learn to start plants from seed

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Starting plants from seed is fun and easy — or at least that’s what Master Gardener Volunteer Jim Janke will demonstrate 1-2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Waynesville Library Auditorium.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 17:09

Get ready for summer camp

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An open house for the Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department’s upcoming summer camp season are planned for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Waynesville Recreation Center, with attendance at one session mandatory for parents whose kids want to attend camp.

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 16:14

Run toward spring

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It may be winter, but running season is just around the corner, with registration already open for some races.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 16:43

Smokies hike lineup announced for 2017

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A new lineup of hikes exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been announced for 2017, with Friends of the Smokies taking its annual Classic Hike Series into the seventh year.