1) June Programs at Elk Knob State Park
- Trail Work Days: Every Saturday beginning April 5 and running through the middle of November, staff and volunteers will meet at the Summit Trailhead at 9 a.m. and work until approximately 3:30 p.m., weather permitting. Tools are provided but volunteers should wear close-toed shoes and bring work gloves, lunch and water. Most of the time will be spent building the new one-mile loop trail, the Beech Tree Trail although work may be needed on the Summit Trail. If you would like to be involved in a fulfilling project that will fill you will a well-deserved sense of pride, then join us on Saturdays at Elk Knob State Park. For more information call 828-297-7261.
- Flowering Flora: Come check out the flowering plants at Elk Knob State Park. Guest Speaker Julie Mullis will not only show you the wildflowers but will also discuss the many beneficial plants and what they do for us. Meet at the Park Office on Sunday, June 8 at 2 p.m. Dress appropriately for the weather. The program will be held rain or shine.
- Spider Hunt: Bring the kids up the mountain for a nighttime spider hunt. Bring a flashlight, jacket and sturdy hiking shoes as kids and parents will experience a night hike. Stories, music, s’mores and hot chocolate will be provided. Participants will meet at the Summit Trail Parking Area on Friday, June 13 at 9 p.m.
- Tom Dooley Hike: Did Tom Dooley murder Laurie Foster in the shadow of the Blue Ridge? Join a ranger on Saturday, June 14 at 2 p.m. as he dispels myths and stereotypes associated with the legend. Participants will learn about the murder and music of Tom Dooley. Hiking attire to include boots is recommended. Program is weather dependent.
- Butterflies, Bees and other Pollinators: Come learn about the insect population that we depend on more than most realize. Meet at the park office on Sunday, June 15 at 2 p.m.
- Wildflower Hike: Come see our array of summer wildflowers on a leisurely paced hike in the NC mountains. Enjoy the crisp, clean air, beautiful vistas and your good health. Meet at the Summit Trail Parking Lot on Sunday, June 22 at 2 p.m.
- Great American Backyard Campout: Novice campers are invited to join the rangers at Elk Knob State Park for an enjoyable night of camping on Saturday, June 28 beginning no earlier than 3 p.m. This is the sixth year that Elk Knob has participated in the campout which introduces families to the joy of camping without the expense of buying equipment. It is a great event for two main reasons: it allows participants a night of supervised camping at Elk Knob State Park, and we provide the tents, dinner, s’mores and interesting programs to fill the night with entertainment. Participants should bring their own snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, breakfast for Sunday morning, and their own sleeping bags or blankets. The campout is free but REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED by June 23. You may register by calling 828-297-7261. Space is limited to the first 7 families who have never camped before. Adults must accompany children. Children must be 6 years and older. Pets are not allowed. Don’t miss a great opportunity to try camping without the expense involved. It may be the start of a new hobby for the family. Planned activities include a demonstration of cool camping equipment by Footsloggers, an informative “Leave No Trace” presentation by Mast General Store, a live owl program and night hike by staff from Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation and viewing of the night skies through two 8″ telescopes. Activities begin at 4 p.m. so arrive early enough to get set up and be ready to enjoy the activities. Activities are subject to change.
2) 4th Annual Taste of Avery Returns June 5
“Every great community has a great food event and Avery County is no exception,” said Susan Freeman, Avery County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. This year, enjoy sampling from more than 20 restaurants featuring a wide array of tasting to satisfy every palate. Enjoy wine and beer from our local wineries and breweries and live music by Steve Fearey. Tickets are on sale at the Avery County Chamber office located at the intersection of N.C. 184 and 105 (in the Shoppes at Tynecastle) or call the Chamber at 828-898-5605 to purchase tickets. Among the many restaurants participating this year are Bella’s Gadabout’s, Loaves and Fishes, Carolina Barbeque, Cam Ranh Bay, Sorrento’s, Avery County High School Culinary Arts Program and many more. For more information visit www.AveryCounty.com.
3) LMC Cycling Sets Dates for ID Camps
Lees-McRae Director of Cycling Tim Hall is pleased to announce the dates for a Mountain Bike ID and Road ID Camp. The Mountain Bike camp will take place from June 23-29 in Banner Elk. It is open for both men and women ages 14-22 and will focus on improving rider skills, knowledge, development and strength as well as identify future collegiate riders. Riders are required to pre-register online at www.USACycling.org and no day-of registration will be permitted. The road camp will take place from July 22-27 in Banner Elk. The camp will be open to men and women from the ages of 14-22. Riders are required to pre-register online and no day-of registration will be permitted.
4) Quilt Guild Meeting June 5
The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, June 5 at 11:30 a.m. The spring meeting will take place at the Grace Lutheran Church on King Street. The guest speaker will come from The Cotton Quilt Shop in Granite Falls and will present some new ideas for making and quilting place mats. The guild will have a salad luncheon and install new officers. Call Dolores at 828-265-6148 if you have any questions.