25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Outdoors

Western Carolina University’s new trail system is officially open and ready for bikers, hikers and runners. About 100 people turned out Saturday, Feb. 23, for an outdoor campus celebration to mark the trail’s formal opening.

The trail features 6.7 miles of narrow, single- track trail that Nick Bragg, a senior from Abingdon, Va., says is full of “flowy terrain, short burst climbs and wide smiles.”

“Most would say they love the view from the switchbacks, but I love the climb that starts with a bang right out of the parking lot,” said Bragg, who is majoring in engineering technology...

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This May, the second annual “Critter Crawl” kicks off at Grandfather Mountain. The 5K race begins in MacRae Meadows and ends at the top of Grandfather Mountain. All proceeds directly benefit upcoming renovations to the Grandfather Mountain eagle habitats.

 existing eagle habitats are currently vacant after longtime resident and oldest animal in the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats, Morely the golden eagle, passed away of natural causes on January 1.

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Wednesday morning in Macon County saw snowfall of varying amounts, from just a dusting in some areas to up to four inches in the northern parts of the county and in the higher elevations.

Many are hoping this is the last hurrah for winter as spring is set to arrive in two weeks. Forecasters predict a warmup for the upcoming weekend.

Photos by Betsey Gooder and Teresa Tabor

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Duke Energy has completed all the major work at the new Barkers Creek and Locust Creek access areas on the Tuckasegee River in Jackson County. They are free to the public.

The Barkers Creek access area, located on Hwy. 74 at River Mile 26.8, near Whittier, N.C., includes a boat ramp suitable for launching canoes, kayaks and small drift boats.

Duke Energy incorporated vegetated rain gardens into the site, which filter storm water runoff prior to entering the river to help maintain water quality.

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