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Falling branches posing safety risk to hikers

The Wasilik Poplar, the second largest yellow poplar tree in the United States, started its decline over a decade ago. Falling branches from the now dead tree are a safety hazard to hikers. The tree is located off Forest Service road 415, Lee Creek Road, in the Ash Flats of the Nantahala Ranger District. Danger signs have been posted on the trail to warn the public to stay away from the tree. Visitors should view the tree from a distance of at least 50 feet to avoid falling branches.



The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is the primary fundraiser and trusted steward of the Blue Ridge Parkway. In this current economic climate with shrinking Federal budgets, the Foundation rises to the occasion and provides more support for the Parkway than ever before, providing $500,000 in funding for needed projects and programs.

“The staff of the Parkway and I are very grateful to the Foundation for their very generous contribution to fund a variety of important needs that we have this year. Without their support, we would not be able to fund projects and programs that help us serve Parkway visitors, educate young people, and protect the Parkway for future generations,” said Phil Francis, Superintendent of the Parkway.


Pensacola man vies for oldest AT thru-hiker record

Mike Caetano admits he’s always been competitive. Growing up in Rhode Island, he competed in cross-country and was eventually part of a cross-country team at Rhode Island University which won the national championship.

Many years later, he has found himself feeling that old competitive urge once again, this time to become the oldest to have ever completely hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) from end-to-end in one season. In hiker parlance, such a feat is called a “thru-hike,” a worthy accomplishment even for a young person. Caetano is 88.


Mention the Chattooga River to any southern paddler and you’ll probably get a knowing smile, along with some tales of harrowing whitewater runs through features with ominous names like “Eye-of- Needle” and “Deadman’s Pool.”

But the Chattooga is not just about hairy whitewater and Class V drops. The river has a milder side, one perfect for canoeing and camping. This April, Headwaters Outfitters in Rosman will lead a guided overnight trip in hopes of introducing paddlers to this kinder, gentler side of the Chattooga.

On April 13, Headwaters will launch up to 12 canoes at the Warwoman Bridge in Section I of the Chattooga and float roughly 11 miles over two days, camping in a forested site roughly halfway through Section II.



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