Bus Tour: Wildflowers and History

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Saturday July 20

10:00 AM  –  3:00 PM

With Janet Rock and Steve Kemp

Meeting location: Oconaluftee Visitor Center - 1194 Newfound Gap Road Cherokee, North Carolina 28719. Please be prepared to meet and greet promptly at 10 A.M.

Event description: You can have it all with this program! Admire and identify high elevation wildflowers with Janet Rock, once the Smokies’ sole botanist prior to her recent retirement; and engage in conversation with Steve Kemp, author and expert on Appalachian culture and Great Smoky Mountains National Park history.

This easy going and educational bus tour will take us along the scenic mountaintops of North Carolina. Our first stop will be at Waterock Knob for a short, interpretive hike to admire our view from the top. Our trip will continue along the Blue Ridge Parkway stopping at various points of interest until we arrive at Heintooga Ridge Road where we'll check out the Masonic marker and enjoy our picnic lunches (Bring your own sack lunch and beverage) at the Heintooga picnic tables. After our lunch break, we will take a one-way stroll down Balsam Mountain Road for more high-elevation wildflower viewing and identification. Then, back on the bus, we'll continue along the remote one-way Balsam Mountain Road and f time allows, we'll make more stops before returning to our vehicles at Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

Activity rating: Easy active - moderate. Great for people who want to participate in a low-impact outdoor program. Distances: 2 - 5 miles maximum. Settings: Walks that ramble along uneven trails and waterways with exposed roots and rocks. Potential for slight elevation gain and loss. Participants could encounter hazards such as exposed roots and rocks, insects and snakes. Read more about GSMA's Activity Rating Scale HERE.

What to bring: In your day pack loaded with your field guide, a hand lens and a notebook, make sure you bring enough food and water for your comfort. Wear good shoes with soles made for hiking and bring all-weather gear (we go rain or shine).

Active/Lapsed Members: Please sign in or register (above) prior to completing this registration.

Non-Members: Please register above prior to completing this registration. When you choose the non-member fee below, you will automatically earn a Buckeye-Level membership good thru a year from today.

All Required: Please read our Waivers and Policy Agreements.

For more information, call Dana Murphy at 865.436.7318, Ext. 349