|Following are a variety of links to other websites about wildflowers, hiking trails, birding and wildflower groups and guided tours, Asheville attractions and sources of information on visiting Asheville, outdoor outfitters, naturalist supplies, maps and trail guides, the Mountains to Sea Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and forestry, and efforts to preserve our natural forest heritage.|
General Asheville Info: There are several local and regional websites that cover everything about Asheville:
www.AshevilleNow.com is a great directory for getting information about Asheville, from dining and arts to real estate to visitor information and news & events. It's well organized, easy to navigate and not cluttered up with ads.
The Asheville Chamber of Commerce at ashevillechamber.org (or call 828-258-6101) is very helpful for those interested in visiting Asheville, moving to the mountains, or starting a business.
Also try the online version of the Asheville Citizen-Times at www.citizen-times.com, or the Mountain Express at www.mountainx.com (a much better paper "in my opinion"), or Mountain Area Information Network at www.main.nc.us.
Birding and Wildflower Tours - If you're interested in a group hike or guided tour for birding and wildflowers - botany in the western NC mountains (and beyond), Check out Ventures Birding Tours at www.birdventures.com. They also do wildlfower walking tours in various locations around the mountains.
Outdoor Activity & Exercise Resources: I was recently tipped off to this webpage/article listing a lot of excellent resources & sites covering just about every kind of outdoor activity and sports, provided by www.jamesbootcamp.com , a workout center located in Minneapolis.
Activism: For a great site containing lots of information about the Black Mountains and Craggy Mountains, visit www.blackmountains.org. This is also a good site for staying informed about government regulations and plans for changes - and how you can help preserve our great old forests in the southern Blue Ridge / Appalachians.
The Botanical Gardens at Asheville: Located next to UNCA just on the edge of Asheville, this is a wonderful place to take an easy walk and see just about every possible native wildflower of our region. They have an excellent website at www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org, a well-stocked little visitor center with quality books, plants, t-shirts, notecards, and very knowledgeable and helpful staff. Call 828-252-5190 for information. Here are some directions: Take 19/23 north out of downtown Asheville, go a couple of miles to the exit for UNCA (Univ of NC at Asheville). At the end of the ramp turn right.Go to the second light and turn left onto WT Weaver Blvd. In 1/4 mile you'll see the Gardens on your left.
Other Naturalists: Mr. Zen Sutherland's WNC Nature Notebook - it's a great collection of thought, experiences, pictures and information about the WNC great outdoors.Another excellent site covering all of North Carolina is ncnatural.com . Blue Shoe Nasheville is an online travel guide, with some nice pages covering wildflowers. www.blueshoenasheville.com/wildflowers.html. The Friends of Roan Mountain host Naturalist's Rallies in the spring and fall - plus their website contains some excellent information about the Roan Mountain area, home to many rare & unusual flora and fauna. If you've never hiked Roan Mountain, go there!
Botany & Gardening:
Georgia Botanical Society : http://www.gabosoc.org.
The Georgia Botsoc website has an excellent links page of their own, especially
if you're looking for "serious" botanical information.
The Parkway, Forestry & Government: Blue Ridge Parkway road, weather, camping, lodging, general info, or to have literature mailed to you : 828-298-0398. Or go to the National Park Service at www.nps.gov/blr . A really nice site, check out the following for lots of information about the National Forests (yours and mine) accessible from Asheville: www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc . They've also got a really good list of additional links!For USGS topographical maps, call 1-800-help-map or try usgs.gov . You can order maps online now! The USGS has vastly improved their website and they have all sorts of valuable information and links, particularly the map resources.
The North Carolina Arboretum: Call the Arboretum for information about hours, directions,educational and special programs, and trails, at 828-665-2492, or check out their website at ncarboretum.org .
The Folk Art Center: Call for information about hours, crafts, special exhibits, and nearby trails, at 828-298-7928, or visit their site at www.southernhighlandguild.org/folkart.html
Outfitters: The Nantahala Outdoor Center is one of the oldest and largest outfitters in our area - their website is www.noc.com, or you can call their headquarters at 828-488-2175 or 800-232-7238.
Mountains-To-Sea Trail: All the way from the Smokies to Cape Hatteras.... Check out the official website at www.ncmst.org. They've got all the information you need to find books and maps, or volunteer for a trail construction crew!
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