It's the first Tuesday of the month--that means FREE parking at the Arboretum!
We will meet at the UPPER PARKING LOT by the Visitors' Center and depart for the trails at 6:10 pm. Come into the Arboretum Main Entrance off of Hwy 191 and go up the hill to the main parking area. I will be somewhere in the middle.
NOTE: If the number of people who show up is very large, we may split the group into two, with another Organizer leading half the group one way, and me leading the other half the other way.
Dogs: Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome, and there are a couple of streams we will cross (on bridges) or walk near so our furry friends can drink and play in the water a bit. Your dog must be on a leash--people have gotten ticketed at the Arboretum because their dogs weren't on leashes!
Length: The entire hike will be about 3 miles, with an option for a shorter hike, and we should be back in the parking lot between 7:15 and 7:30 pm.
Difficulty: I would rate this hike as an "easy" hike, with a couple of places going up hills being more "moderate," but not too strenuous. It's really more of a pleasant evening walk than a hike. We will go at a leisurely moderate pace, about 2-2.5 miles per hour, or about 1 mile every 24 - 30 minutes. Please try to stay with the group when hiking!
The Route: Go across the parking lot to the Visitor Center and down the Carolina Mountain Trail (1.3 miles), then along the entire length of Bent Creek Road (1.3 miles), perhaps taking the scenic route for an up-close view of how far up Bent Creek is. Then up the Wesley Branch Trail (0.4 miles) and back on the Nature Garden Trail (0.1 miles) to the parking lot. We will stop at all trail intersections.
What to bring: Appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather. The trails are well maintained, so you can get by with sneakers if it's dry. Also some water, a hat, and maybe some bug repellent. Finally, a camera and/or smart phone.
What if it rains? If it rains, you will probably get wet. Bring appropriate clothing, including rain gear.
Hope to see you there,