Summer 2015: No closures or major road construction to report!
Summer 2015 Ranger Programs
A variety of ranger-led programs will be offered on a weekly basis, providing opportunities to get out and explore while learning more about the Parkway. The summer season program schedule for the Pisgah District surrounding Asheville is as follows:
• Hike of the Week: Every Friday at 10:00 AM there will be a guided hike at varying locations along the Parkway. Join us to climb a mountain, visit a scenic waterfall, search for what’s blooming, or learn more about the Parkway’s history. See details on upcoming hikes.
• After Hours Hike: Every other Thursday night, rangers host an easy hike somewhere on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail close to Asheville. Hikes start at 7 PM, location varies. First hike is Thursday, June 11. See details on upcoming hikes.
• Evening Campfire: Spend your Saturday nights with a classic campfire program at the Mount PisgahCampground. Join a ranger to learn about a Parkway topic and enjoy a relaxing evening around the campfire. Saturdays at 7:30 PM.
• Family Night: Join rangers every other Thursday night (opposite of the After Hours Hike) at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center in Asheville (MP 384) for activities, games, and crafts specifically designed for children and families. Programs start at 7 PM. First Family Night is Thursday, June 18.
• Visitor Center Programs: On Saturday mornings at 10 AM and Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, rangers host programs on a variety of Parkway topics in the classroom at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center in Asheville (MP 384). Come learn about the Parkway’s fascinating natural and cultural history! Programs start Saturday, June 13.
• Mini Event: Most Saturdays from 10 AM until 2 PM, rangers will be at a Parkway overlook talking to visitors about the special adaptations that animals and plants here have in order to survive. Come by this drop-in event to get up close and personal with some Parkway animals and plants and enjoy interactive activities for all ages. First Mini Event is Saturday, June 20.
All programs are led by National Park Service rangers and are free of charge and open to the general public. For more information about our summer programming, including program locations and confirmation of start times, check out our website at www.nps.gov/blri.
For emergencies on the Blue Ridge Parkway, call 1-800-PARKWATCH. See a real-time map of which sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway are open!
Spring 2015: Saving Hemlocks
This spring, work crews will suit up and go to the rescue of eastern and Carolina Hemlock trees infested by the woolly adelgid, a tiny invasive insect striking down these majestic trees. The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation received a grant from the Hemlock Restoration Initiative to collaborate with the National Park Service to help save these disappearing trees which are native to North Carolina. The funding will allow the chemical treatment of trees near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Avery, Haywood, Transylvania, and Watauga counties in North Carolina. Without intervention, woolly adelgid infestations can claim trees within a few years. While treatment crews work, Southwestern NC Resource Conservation & Development Council, based at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, is working to create a hybrid hemlock species that will be resistant to the aphid-like insect. The Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development Council also is expanding its program to release a natural predator, the Laricobius nigrinus beetle native to the Pacific Northwest, which can eat six or more adelgids per day. So far, the program has seen success in the Grandfather Mountain area.