Plant Walk-A-Bouts: A series of hikes for each season. Several hikes feature food we have foraged as well as other products sourced from local farms, supporting local farming!!!
The Appalachian Mountains are among some of the oldest and most biodiverse mountains on the Earth and are home to a vast array of animal and plant species. In fact, no other mountain range in North America has more species of plants than the Blue Ridge. In this series of plant walks we will discover, smell, and even get to taste some of these native specimens. Guests will learn to use all of their senses in the identification of these species and a brief history of the plants and\or the area we are visiting will be provided. Some of the areas we will visit are ecologically sensitive areas so proper forest stewardship will also be highlighted
Who is this for: Anyone! Hike description includes difficulty and length information. Kids 8 and under are free! While kids are always welcome, please be mindful as we do not want children leaving these classes to forage on their own without supervision! It is important to note: some of the plants we learn about have look a-likes that can be deadly. This is why education is key!
Where and when: Meeting places vary. Several dates, trip options and details below.
Hike (1) Spring Ephemerals and Wildflowers + Foraged Dinner
This walkabout is focused on spring wildflowers, wild leeks (known as ramps by the locals), and morel mushroom hunting. At the end of this trip we will gather all of the plant material we have collected and cook it up over an open fire back at the outpost for a foraged dinner! The dinner will take place at Hidden Holler Camp Ground and the Thrifty Adventures Outpost consisting of local raised beef London Broil, Ramps, Morels, Tators, Eggs and salad!
Guests should be expected to encounter wildlife, be prepared for any type of weather (spring weather can be very unpredictable) dressing for predicted forecast and be prepared with any type of essentials the guest might need and water.
When: April 13th and 20th
Where: location TBD. All trips take place in WNC in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Trips meet at the Thrifty Adventures Office: 1173 Whitson Branch Rd. Bakersville, NC 28705
Cost includes dinner: $42
Hike (2) Early Summer Wildflowers, Rhododendron, Azaleas and Lilies
In early summer the Blue Ridge Mountains put on quite the show featuring the flame Azalea, Turkey Beard, Gray’s Lily and various colors of Rhododendron. Join us as we hike these beautiful areas armed with plant identification guides. This hike will not focus on edibles but the focus is beauty! We will begin the day discussing hiking essentials and preparation. The class is meant to give guests the foundation for hiking safely and independently!
May 11th Roan Mountain: This is a 6 mile out and back strenuous hike to Grassy Ridge involving over 2,000’ gain in elevation. This is a 6-hour hike.
Where: Meets at Hidden Holler Farm, Campground and Thrifty Adventures Outpost to arrange shuttle and/or carpool.
May 25th Craggy Gardens: This is a moderate hike 1 mile out and back with around 700’ gain in elevation.
Where: Meets at Thrifty Adventures Satellite office, Skyline Village Inn: 12255 Hwy 226, Spruce Pine NC 28777
Hike (3) Summer Berries followed by Deserts, Wine and Cheese:
We are berry heavy in WNC. While our berries might not be as large as the ones found in the grocery store the experience of hiking through wilderness trails to find them provides quite the treat. After the hike we will come back to Hidden Holler Campground and the Thrifty Adventures office to enjoy some common Appalachian Treats with homemade biscuits with various jams, camp fire cobbler, pie. The event will also sample local wine and cheese!
Locations: TBD. Hike will be an easy to moderate.
Where: trips meet at the Thrifty Adventures Office for carpool and shuttle arrangements
When: July 20th & August 10th