The Nature Conservancy is offering guided hikes this summer of Bluff Mountain Preserve in Ashe County. Hikes are set for May 29, June 24, July 3, September 3 and October 14. This is a rare opportunity to visit the preserve, which is usually closed to the public because of its sensitive ecosystem.
Bluff is one of the most ecologically significant natural areas in the Southeast. Hiking on Bluff, in just a few dozen steps you can walk from an old-growth Carolina hemlock forest to a dwarf red oak/white oak forest to a rare flat-rock plant community. A broad, high plateau containing a-one-of-a-kind wetland, a southern Appalachian fen, adds to Bluff's unique character. A fertile home for over 400 species of plants, including Indian paintbrush, Gray's lily, fringed gentian, spreading avens, and sundew, Bluff Mountain is known for a changing floral show from April through October that includes 25 endangered, rare, or threatened flowering plant species. The high-elevation hardwood forests of Bluff provide ideal nesting habitat for many neotropical migratory bird species.
Bluff Hikes will be led by Kim Hadley, who is the preserve’s volunteer steward and has an intimate knowledge of the mountain. The cost is $10 per person. To make reservations, or if you have questions, please contact Hadley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 497-1972.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.