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Outdoors

Franklin is officially into the 2015 Franklin Trail Days Celebration and Hiker Bash. During this month-long celebration, Franklin welcomes Appalachian Trail thru-hikers to take advantage of the hospitality of Franklin as an official AT Community. The citizens and businesses of the town offer the hikers from the Appalachian Trail many special events, as well as being a place to rest, resupply, take a shower, spend the night and just plain celebrate hiking the Trail.

The events allow the hikers to acquaint themselves with our area, and allow the local town-folk to get to know the hikers and to share in the adventures of those who are using this season to hike the trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Katahdin, Maine.

Hikers can already be seen in Franklin on a daily basis. Backpacks and sleeping bags are a dead give-away that their owners are most likely headed north on the Trail this spring and summer. Be aware and show them the mountain hospitality for which Franklin is known.

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Adding buoys to the lake is a lengthy process.

Members of the Nantahala Community are once again reaching out to commissioners for help establishing a recreation area at Nantahala Lake.

Nantahala community member Daniel Loop spoke to the Macon County Board of Commissioners last week asking for help making a cove on the lake safer for residents for recreational use.

According to Loop, there is buoy located at Lakes End Pier that sits 50 yards off of the shore. The buoy is intended to signify to boaters that starting 50 yards from the end of the pier, the lake is a "no wake zone." The buoy stands as one of three legal buoys on the lake, and allows residents of the community to use the cove for recreational activity without having to worry about watercrafts zooming by. With tourists and visitors using Nantahala Lake throughout the year, Loop explained that not everyone knows the boating safety rules and the buoy is often ignored.

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The Macon County Public Library’s “Walking with Spring” series in partnership with the Nantahala Hiking Club and the Franklin Appalachian Trail Community corresponds with thru-hiker season in Franklin and highlights the A.T., hikers, and some of the other great outdoor activities and opportunities in the area.

Programs are scheduled in the library meeting room from the first day of Spring through Earth Day.

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Whether Spring’s “official arrival” this week is the real deal or just practice, the warmer weather spurs thoughts of gardening.

To jump-start the growing season, the Macon County Master Gardener Association offers a public workshop this Saturday, March 21, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Environmental Resource Center.

Guest presenter Ellen Averill, from Catalula, Ga., will share her knowledge and experience in the “Ready, Set, Plant” workshop, taking participants from testing the soil to finding and preparing the right site for the right plant.

The workshop offers a special opportunity for both seasoned gardeners and those new to the area to be successful with their plantings. Handouts will be provided and refreshments will be served.

Topics will include soil composition, pH, amendments, types of gardens, and site factors. Averill also will discuss varied garden requirements such as light, water, nutrients, drainage, tilling, compost, mulch, frost date and digging the right hole for vegetables, annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees.

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