Celebrate the Outdoors on June 6 National Land Trust Day + National Trails Day

Take a moment and travel back in time. Way back. Remember riding your first bike? Or the time spent at your grandparent’s farm? Maybe it was a camping trip with your parents. Crickets chirping, fireflies glittering in the night sky. Back when you spent more time in nature than in your office chair. There are special places in nature that are permanently protected thanks to organizations like Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, your local land trust. Places for your children, your grandchildren and your great grandchildren to experience and enjoy. Places that will evoke the same memories for them that you have, of time spent outdoors away from iPhones and computer screens.

Join us in celebration of National Land Trust Day, which is also National Trails Day, on Saturday, June 6!  All three of the North Carolina State Parks in the region that Foothills Conservancy serves are hosting events in honor of this special day.

SOUTH MOUNTAINS STATE PARK: Hike, Bike and Ride Challenge

Visit South Mountains State Park on Saturday, June 6, and participate in the Hike, Bike and Ride challenge. Hike, bike or ride the designated trails of your choice to a backcountry check-in station. Participants must complete the return trip to get a prize. Route loops are moderate to strenuous and range from 3 to 18 miles. This event is free and open to the public. Event registration is from 8:00-10:00 am. For more information contact the park office at 828-433-4772.

LAKE JAMES STATE PARK: Discover the Salamander!

June 6 is National Trails Day and no better day to hit the trails in search of these little amphibious treasures. The wonderful world of salamanders will be revealed as Park Ranger Kevin Bischof leads a hike along different types of salamander habitat in search of these small elusive amphibians. Meet at the Holly Discovery Trail parking area and come prepared to journey through woodlands, seeps, streams, and pools. Bring appropriate footwear and keep in mind some of these areas may be a little muddy, so keep the new sneakers at home. The hike will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m.


What better way to celebrate National Trails Day and Land Trust Day than to take a hike? Join a park naturalist for adventurous guided hikes at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on the beautiful Hickory Nut Falls trail to learn about the flora and fauna that live there. Meet at Cliff Dwellers Gifts. No sign up is needed for these hikes. Also, join the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park for a special volunteer event in honor of National Trails Day. The Friends and State Parks will be brushing the portion of the Skyline trail that leads to views of the top of Hickory Nut Falls. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Ticket Plaza. Wear long pants, close-toed shoes and bring plenty of water. Space is limited; call the state park office at 828-625-1823 to sign up. This volunteer event is part of a Friends of Chimney Rock State Park-sponsored volunteer program where volunteers assist rangers with some of their most rewarding job duties. These opportunities include marking uncharted territories, bush whacking new trails, battling invasive plants, renewing recreational opportunities and socializing at local events.