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Outdoors

Easter on the AT a Nantahala Hiking Club tradition

For many years the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC), Franklin’s Appalachian Trail (A.T.) maintaining club has brought a bit of trail magic to the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Trail magic, defined as an unexpected act of kindness, is a quintessential part of the Appalachian Trail experience for many long-distance hikers.

Annually, the Saturday before Easter, the NHC bags up candy, boiled eggs and fruit to distribute to hikers on the 60 miles of the A.T. that the NHC maintains.

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Lake Emory found to contain invasive species Hydrilla.

Duke Energy is partnering with the North Carolina Resource and Wildlife Commission to control the invasion of Hydrilla in Lake Emory.

According to Lisa Leatherman, spokesperson for Duke Energy, the company is responsible for managing 39 reservoirs in North and South Carolina, 11 of which are in what is considered the Nantahala Area. The reservoirs are surveyed annually for the presence of invasive aquatic species.

"The 2014 survey of Lake Emory found an approximate nine-acre stand of Hydrilla, mainly in the shallow water at Rabbit Creek delta, approximately .5 miles upstream of the Franklin Powerhouse and Dam," said Leatherman Monday night during the monthly town of Franklin Board of Aldermen meeting.

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Despite a slow start due to rain, the restoration project on the dam at Lake Sequoyah in Highlands is steadily continuing and on track for a May completion date.

"While it has taken longer than we had hoped to drain the lake due to a six- inch rain event and three, one-inch rain events and nine inches of snow melt off, we have moved forward," said Highlands Town Manager Bob Frye. "Every one inch of rain raises the lake by five feet. Even with all of that, we will meet our construction schedules."

Since early February, the bed at Lake Sequoyah has been exposed as water has been drained and pumped out of the lake in order to complete dam repairs and to install a new water intake valve. The new intake valve, which is being built upstream from the dam on town property, is expected to supply two million gallons of drinking water per day.

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The Franklin Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Community Council (FATCC) is announcing the implementation of an initiative to promote healthy living and a love and knowledge of the outdoors.

In the very near future, 10 day packs will be outfitted with the necessary supplies for day hikes in the areas surrounding Franklin. These day packs will be available for check out to the public at the Macon County Public Library with the hope of encouraging more people in Macon County to explore the Appalachian Trail and other hiking trails in the area by providing them with the necessary equipment. These day packs will give new and aspiring hikers the basic essentials to feel confident in the outdoors. The day packs will include items like maps, guides to native wildflowers and trees, and a first aid kit, among other items. Two other designated Appalachian Trail Communities have implemented similar programs with success and were encouraged to hear of the FATCC’s efforts to propagate the A.T. library day pack project. Franklin is one of 37 designated A.T. Communities. Franklin was the first formally designated on March 23, 2010.

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