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Outdoors roundup

Celebrate spring at NOC

The Nantahala Outdoor Center will throw its annual Spring Fling event this year, running from 8 a.m. Saturday, April 24, to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 25. 

An Upper Cascades release will provide fun for boaters, and kayak demos from a variety of vendors will be available 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday. From 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, live music from the Log Noggins Band will be provided. All the while, the Outfitters Store will offer sales on paddling gear and apparel, and the Rivers End Restaurant will provide a place to grab a bite while watching the paddlers navigate the river. 

Due to COVID restrictions, private boaters shuttles to the Cascades release will not be available.


Clean up Forest Hills

A litter pickup beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 17, will aim to free the roads of Forest Hills of trash. 

Participants should meet outside of the Forest Hills Assembly Hall at 97 Market St, Unit 101, and the group will divvy up roads and areas. The cleanup should last until about 10:30 a.m. Bags, vests, gloves, pickup sticks, disposable masks and hand sanitizer will be provided. 

The event is part of the North Carolina Litter Sweep, taking place April 10-24 across the state. For more information or to find an event near you, visit


Sign up for seed trays

Signups to grow seed trays in Waynesville’s Old Armory greenhouse will be available 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting Monday, April 12, at the Old Armory. 

The Old Armory provides trays, dirt, water and the greenhouse, with growers supplying the seeds. The greenhouse is open anytime the center is open for growers to water and check on plants. 

$5 per tray with five-tray limit per person. 

828.456.9207 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


Join the FROG Fair

Franklin’s Friends of the Greenway will hold FROG Fair, a spring arts and crafts fair, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the town bridge. 

Area artists and crafters are encouraged to participate, and live music will be offered throughout the day, as well as a continental breakfast, lunch special and 50/50 drawing. Because the event is a fundraiser for FROG, the nonprofit will collect a vendor registration fee. 

Stop by FROG Quarters at 573 E. Main Street between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday to sign up as a vendor or buy 50/50 tickets. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


See space through a telescope

Check out the night sky with the Western Carolina University Department of Chemistry and Physics during a telescope viewing party 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 16, at the Jackson County Airport in Cullowhee. 

The viewing is part of the 2021 North Carolina Science Festival’s Statewide Star Party, and WCU astronomy faculty will have telescopes on hand to show the Moon, Mars, star clusters and galaxies. Viewers will learn how to identify spring contellations, and children will have the chance to participate in activities around the theme “Moon and Mars.” The event is supported by the N.C. Space Grant.

In case of bad weather or overcast skies, the viewing will be postponed to Saturday, April 17, at the same time and location. For more information, including COVID-19 protocols, visit or contact Enrique Gomez at 828.227.2719.


Pitch in at the Pisgah Center

Volunteers are wanted for various roles at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education near Brevard this spring, with many positions open to people of all ages and requiring little experience. 

Positions include:

  • Fishing mentors who help guide and instruct fishing program participants. 
  • Front desk greeters who answer phones, greet visitors and answer basic questions. 
  • Facilities maintainers who work on garden, building and lawn maintenance tasks. 
  • Gardeners who help with activities in the native plant, wildlife and pollinator gardens.
  • Raceway monitors who answer visitor questions about trout in hatchery raceways. 

Volunteer hours are flexible and fall between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sign up with Lee Sherrill at 828.877.4423 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


Explore Smokies wildflowers

Go on a virtual wildflower hike with Olympian Missy Kane during an upcoming series on Wednesdays in April. 

Each Wednesday, Missy and Friends of the Smokies will be out on the trail exercising, enjoying the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and learning about the history, wildlife and nature found there, with a special focus on wildflowers. 

Registration is full for the limited in-person attendance option, but the virtual option is still available. All participants will receive hike swag, including wildflower-themed items and the opportunity to meet Kane. 

Learn more at


Help replace old trail signs

Volunteers with Partners of Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness are raising money to replace mislabeled, missing and aging signs in the Snowbird area of the Nantahala National Forest, with a GoFundMe campaign now underway.

“Limited resources for unnecessary rescues and an increase in hikers seeking safe places to recreate mean that it’s past time to knock this chore off of our to-do list,” reads a summary of the need on the campaign page. 

The signs are expected to cost about $1,600. To donate, visit


Register for Discovery Camp

Discovery Camp at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville will look and feel a little different this year, but it will nevertheless be a good time with registration now open. 

Camps will be offered weekly from Jun 7 through July 2 and July 19 through Aug. 13. They’re open to rising second through seventh graders, who will spend the week exploring the great outdoors in the 434-acre Arboretum campus. 

Learn more or sign up at

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