Take a walk in the woods
Spring is here, bringing with it ample opportunity to get outside, stretch your legs and enjoy the abundance of wildflowers and other plant life in the Southern Appalachians.
Take an easy stroll through the Botanical Garden at the Highlands Nature Center in Highlands 4-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout April. Participants will see which spring ephemerals are blooming while learning identification tips and the flowers’ unique characteristics. Programs are free, with no registration necessary. Highlandsbiological.org.
Volunteer-led trail walks will explore the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays. Topics and trails will vary based on weather, trail conditions and guide expertise. Walks are first-come, first-served, with signup sheets at Baker Visitor Center.
The Haywood County Recreation Department is offering five hikes this month featuring wildflowers and warmer temperatures, starting with a moderately challenging 5.3-mile hike on the Chestnut Branch Loop in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Wednesday, April 5. Other hikes include a challenging 9.75 miles on the Art Loeb Trail Saturday, April 1; a 3.8-mile hike to Ferguson Cabin Tuesday, April 18; a 5-mile wildflower hike on the Mountains-to-Sea-Trail from Balsam Gap Ranger Station to Standing Rock Overlook Sunday, April 23; and the 6.3-mile Black Balsam Tennet Mountain Loop Wednesday, April 26. Register for hikes at haywoodcountync.gov/recreation.