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MONTREAT, NORTH CAROLINA

Mountain Wildflowers and Forest Ecology: An Appalachian Spring

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Road Scholar
Program #8999RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Hiking @ elevations 3,500 feet, but may hike (on their own) in areas which peak elev exceeds 5,400.

Itinerary for Apr 27 — May 2, 2014

Expand all
Type: Conference Center

Description: Originally completed in 1929, the 101 room Assembly Inn is undergoing a major renovation. New windows have been installed throughout the building, as well as an upgraded heating and air-conditioning system. By May 2014, all guest rooms and public areas will be refurbished with new furniture, carpet, paint, art, lighting and bedding. This stately hotel is a beautiful stone building, overlooking a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace and comfortable furniture for fellowship, puzzles and games, or just relaxing. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica. The dining room is in the same building as our housing and meeting facilities, and an elevator serves all floors (except for 7 steps going into one main meeting area). Of Montreat's 4,000 acres, 2,500 acres are dedicated to wilderness and are entered in the NC Registry of National Heritage Areas, and we have more than a dozen maintained hiking trails. Tennis courts also available. We will have board and card games in the lobby for your enjoyment, but if you have a favorite, please feel free to bring it along. An outdoor pool is located on the grounds, but it not open during our Road Scholar programs (only open June 1 - first week in August). However, a lovely fitness center (Cheshire Fitness) is located just a few miles away, and they offer daily or weekly rates for visitors. There are no TVs or phones in the individual housing rooms, but there is a TV in the main lobby, and guests can be reached by leaving a message at the front desk (staffed 24 hours a day). If it is urgent, the front desk staff will contact the coordinator who will deliver the message in person, otherwise a note will be left on the guest's housing door. A quiet reading room is also available, located near the main lobby of the Assembly Inn.

Ship Information: 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x0
web: www.montreat.org/plan/hotel

Facility amenities: All housing accommodations will be in the Assembly Inn. All rooms have private baths. The bathrooms have a tub/shower unit. Double occupancy rooms have either two twin beds, a queen-size bed or a king-size bed. Single occupancy rooms have one queen or king-size bed. The bedrooms also have a clock, radio, Kleenex, closets and lamps, as well as a sink and counter and a large mirror. It would be helpful to bring an umbrella, a flashlight, and individual make-up mirror, if desired. Blankets, sheets, pillows, (beds are made), bath mat and a towel set will be provided (rooms are served by our housekeeping staff and clean towels are available daily). Each housing and meeting area has an individual heating and air-conditioning unit. Snack and cold drink vending machines are located on the ground floor, and ice machines are on the second and third floors. Wireless Internet access (with personal laptop) in all areas of the Assembly Inn. Computer in main lobby for access to email and Internet. Courtesy phones are located on each floor.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: call for price/availability.
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, April 27 - Arrival/Orientation
Afternoon: Arrival at the Assembly Inn, check in between 3 - 5:30 p.m. Registration for our program will be in the lower lobby from 4 - 5:30 p.m. Pull up to the Assemby Inn porch to unload, then park your vehicle in any designated spot close to the Inn or by the lake.

Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Galax Dining Room, on the first floor of the Assembly Inn. A relaxing break after your day of travel. All our meals are served buffet style, so grab your plate and utensils and settle in for some comfort food. A choice of two entrées (or have both), good-for-you vegetables, a complete salad bar, bread and, of course, some yummy desserts. Tea (sweet and unsweetened), coffee, milk, and water available.

Evening: Our opening program/orientation will be at 7 p.m. (usually in Convocation, also on the first floor of the Inn). We will spend some time learning a little about Montreat, meeting your instructors, going over the schedule, and answering questions. We know you're tired from your travels, so we'll wrap up around 8 p.m. with some "getting to know you" activities. Refreshments and fellowship follow in the lobby, or retire to your room to rest.

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Originally completed in 1929, the 101 room Assembly Inn is undergoing a major renovation. New windows have been installed throughout the building, as well as an upgraded heating and air-conditioning system. By May 2014, all guest rooms and public areas will be refurbished with new furniture, carpet, paint, art, lighting and bedding. This stately hotel is a beautiful stone building, overlooking a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace and comfortable furniture for fellowship, puzzles and games, or just relaxing. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica. The dining room is in the same building as our housing and meeting facilities, and an elevator serves all floors (except for 7 steps going into one main meeting area). Of Montreat's 4,000 acres, 2,500 acres are dedicated to wilderness and are entered in the NC Registry of National Heritage Areas, and we have more than a dozen maintained hiking trails. Tennis courts also available. We will have board and card games in the lobby for your enjoyment, but if you have a favorite, please feel free to bring it along. An outdoor pool is located on the grounds, but it not open during our Road Scholar programs (only open June 1 - first week in August). However, a lovely fitness center (Cheshire Fitness) is located just a few miles away, and they offer daily or weekly rates for visitors. There are no TVs or phones in the individual housing rooms, but there is a TV in the main lobby, and guests can be reached by leaving a message at the front desk (staffed 24 hours a day). If it is urgent, the front desk staff will contact the coordinator who will deliver the message in person, otherwise a note will be left on the guest's housing door. A quiet reading room is also available, located near the main lobby of the Assembly Inn.

Ship Information: 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x0
web: www.montreat.org/plan/hotel

Facility amenities: All housing accommodations will be in the Assembly Inn. All rooms have private baths. The bathrooms have a tub/shower unit. Double occupancy rooms have either two twin beds, a queen-size bed or a king-size bed. Single occupancy rooms have one queen or king-size bed. The bedrooms also have a clock, radio, Kleenex, closets and lamps, as well as a sink and counter and a large mirror. It would be helpful to bring an umbrella, a flashlight, and individual make-up mirror, if desired. Blankets, sheets, pillows, (beds are made), bath mat and a towel set will be provided (rooms are served by our housekeeping staff and clean towels are available daily). Each housing and meeting area has an individual heating and air-conditioning unit. Snack and cold drink vending machines are located on the ground floor, and ice machines are on the second and third floors. Wireless Internet access (with personal laptop) in all areas of the Assembly Inn. Computer in main lobby for access to email and Internet. Courtesy phones are located on each floor.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: call for price/availability.
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, April 28 - Climate and the Weather, The Wild Gardener, walk ...
Climate and the Weather, The Wild Gardener, walk in the afternoon at Warren Wilson College

Breakfast: Our breakfast buffet is served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Galax Dining Room. Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day? Then you're in for a treat this week! Breakfast options change each day, but will incorporate lots of your favorites. Biscuits and gravy, French toast, pancakes or waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, hash browns, oatmeal (and not the packaged kind either), and lots of others. Standard offerings include fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, granola, baked pastries, orange juice (and another juice option). Fresh coffee or hot tea will start your morning off right!

Morning: Our early morning class will focus on the weather with Tom Ross. We will discuss how the weather works and why the sun starts the whole process in motion. We will talk about winds, storms and rain. Then we will move on and talk about climate and weather extremes including - floods, droughts, thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes, and how to be weather savvy- when these events occur. The class will move on to "Reading the Sky"- what do clouds, rainbows, halos and contrails mean. How to predict the weather for your town and where you live and a bit about the climate in Western North Carolina. We will finish up on a technical note and discuss how meteorologists measure weather and climate, - advances in technology from kites to weather radar and satellites. Lastly, we will cover how to find weather and climate information in the electronic age, the "greenhouse" effect, El Nino, La Nina, and climate variability. After a mid-morning break for refreshments and fellowship, we'll return to our classroom for a presentation from Peter Loewer, "The Wild Gardener." Using his own photography and his knowledge of native plants, Peter Loewer's talk entitled "The Wild Gardener" illustrates the many garden uses of wildflowers that are originally collected and grown in Western North Carolina. His book, "The Wild Gardener" was named by the American Horticultural Society, as one of the top 75 garden books of the Twentieth Century.

Lunch: lunch 12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

Afternoon: Our afternoon field trip is to the Warren Wilson College River Trail. This trail runs along the Swannanoa River and is totally flat and very easy. The river is picturesque and lovely and very peaceful. We will also be hiking through the Warren Wilson College campus which is an agricultural college with a lot of farm fields surrounding it. This is a one way hike of a less than two miles. There is a very nice area of large rocks where we can listen to the burbling sounds of the river. Don't forget your camera! Both Joe and Peter are expert photographers and can give you tips on capturing the beautiful sights of an Appalachian Spring!

Dinner: dinner at the Assembly Inn. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Evening: 7:00 to 8:00, "Fun in the Mountains," Glenn & Evelyn Bannerman games/cards and tv available in the lobby for fellowship movie on a big screen

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Originally completed in 1929, the 101 room Assembly Inn is undergoing a major renovation. New windows have been installed throughout the building, as well as an upgraded heating and air-conditioning system. By May 2014, all guest rooms and public areas will be refurbished with new furniture, carpet, paint, art, lighting and bedding. This stately hotel is a beautiful stone building, overlooking a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace and comfortable furniture for fellowship, puzzles and games, or just relaxing. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica. The dining room is in the same building as our housing and meeting facilities, and an elevator serves all floors (except for 7 steps going into one main meeting area). Of Montreat's 4,000 acres, 2,500 acres are dedicated to wilderness and are entered in the NC Registry of National Heritage Areas, and we have more than a dozen maintained hiking trails. Tennis courts also available. We will have board and card games in the lobby for your enjoyment, but if you have a favorite, please feel free to bring it along. An outdoor pool is located on the grounds, but it not open during our Road Scholar programs (only open June 1 - first week in August). However, a lovely fitness center (Cheshire Fitness) is located just a few miles away, and they offer daily or weekly rates for visitors. There are no TVs or phones in the individual housing rooms, but there is a TV in the main lobby, and guests can be reached by leaving a message at the front desk (staffed 24 hours a day). If it is urgent, the front desk staff will contact the coordinator who will deliver the message in person, otherwise a note will be left on the guest's housing door. A quiet reading room is also available, located near the main lobby of the Assembly Inn.

Ship Information: 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x0
web: www.montreat.org/plan/hotel

Facility amenities: All housing accommodations will be in the Assembly Inn. All rooms have private baths. The bathrooms have a tub/shower unit. Double occupancy rooms have either two twin beds, a queen-size bed or a king-size bed. Single occupancy rooms have one queen or king-size bed. The bedrooms also have a clock, radio, Kleenex, closets and lamps, as well as a sink and counter and a large mirror. It would be helpful to bring an umbrella, a flashlight, and individual make-up mirror, if desired. Blankets, sheets, pillows, (beds are made), bath mat and a towel set will be provided (rooms are served by our housekeeping staff and clean towels are available daily). Each housing and meeting area has an individual heating and air-conditioning unit. Snack and cold drink vending machines are located on the ground floor, and ice machines are on the second and third floors. Wireless Internet access (with personal laptop) in all areas of the Assembly Inn. Computer in main lobby for access to email and Internet. Courtesy phones are located on each floor.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: call for price/availability.
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, April 29 - Trip to the NC Arboretum
Breakfast: Another yummy buffet breakfast is served 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Get your morning off to a good start! It's the most important meal of the day...

Morning: 8:45 departure for the NC Arboretum. Peter Loewer will guide us on our visit (the bonsai display is always a favorite). Cultivating Connections Between People and Plants for 25 Years... ...amid a 434-acre public garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Surrounded by lush folds of the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum is adjacent to the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, at Milepost 393, and is nestled in one of the most beautiful natural settings in America. The North Carolina Arboretum is located on land within the Pisgah National Forest, and is operated under a special use permit issued by the National Forests in North Carolina. Established in 1986 by the General Assembly as an affiliate of the University of North Carolina, the Arboretum was founded nearly a century after Frederick Law Olmsted, the 'Father of American Landscape Architecture,' first envisioned such an institution near Asheville as part of his legacy to the Biltmore Estate. Learn more at http://www.ncarboretum.org.

Lunch: box lunches at the Arboretum. The Assembly Inn will prepare a fresh lunch for us to take along on our trip. A sandwich with meat and cheese (with mayo and mustard in packets), lettuce and tomato, some chips, a piece of fruit, and a cookie will nourish us as wel continue our explorations of nature.

Afternoon: after lunch, we venture over to the greenhouse, where the vans will pick us up. From the Arboretum, we venture to Peter Gentling's Garden in Asheville. Up on Town Mountain Road and overlooking the city of Asheville below, Peter Gentling, a retired surgeon, has created a most beautiful garden only a few miles from Asheville's Town Hall. Mixing a bit of Japanese garden philosophy with a host of native plants and wildflowers, all originally at home in Western North Carolina, this garden is full of bloom from spring to fall and is a must for some great garden photography.

Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner

Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program Evening programs are typically a fun event -- a dance, a concert, or a storyteller games/cards/tv available in lobby for fellowship optional movie on big screen

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Originally completed in 1929, the 101 room Assembly Inn is undergoing a major renovation. New windows have been installed throughout the building, as well as an upgraded heating and air-conditioning system. By May 2014, all guest rooms and public areas will be refurbished with new furniture, carpet, paint, art, lighting and bedding. This stately hotel is a beautiful stone building, overlooking a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace and comfortable furniture for fellowship, puzzles and games, or just relaxing. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica. The dining room is in the same building as our housing and meeting facilities, and an elevator serves all floors (except for 7 steps going into one main meeting area). Of Montreat's 4,000 acres, 2,500 acres are dedicated to wilderness and are entered in the NC Registry of National Heritage Areas, and we have more than a dozen maintained hiking trails. Tennis courts also available. We will have board and card games in the lobby for your enjoyment, but if you have a favorite, please feel free to bring it along. An outdoor pool is located on the grounds, but it not open during our Road Scholar programs (only open June 1 - first week in August). However, a lovely fitness center (Cheshire Fitness) is located just a few miles away, and they offer daily or weekly rates for visitors. There are no TVs or phones in the individual housing rooms, but there is a TV in the main lobby, and guests can be reached by leaving a message at the front desk (staffed 24 hours a day). If it is urgent, the front desk staff will contact the coordinator who will deliver the message in person, otherwise a note will be left on the guest's housing door. A quiet reading room is also available, located near the main lobby of the Assembly Inn.

Ship Information: 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x0
web: www.montreat.org/plan/hotel

Facility amenities: All housing accommodations will be in the Assembly Inn. All rooms have private baths. The bathrooms have a tub/shower unit. Double occupancy rooms have either two twin beds, a queen-size bed or a king-size bed. Single occupancy rooms have one queen or king-size bed. The bedrooms also have a clock, radio, Kleenex, closets and lamps, as well as a sink and counter and a large mirror. It would be helpful to bring an umbrella, a flashlight, and individual make-up mirror, if desired. Blankets, sheets, pillows, (beds are made), bath mat and a towel set will be provided (rooms are served by our housekeeping staff and clean towels are available daily). Each housing and meeting area has an individual heating and air-conditioning unit. Snack and cold drink vending machines are located on the ground floor, and ice machines are on the second and third floors. Wireless Internet access (with personal laptop) in all areas of the Assembly Inn. Computer in main lobby for access to email and Internet. Courtesy phones are located on each floor.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: call for price/availability.
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, April 30 - Wildflower and Plant Communities, Guide to Field ...
Wildflower and Plant Communities, Guide to Field Guides, Elizabeth's Path (in Montreat), Afternoon Free Time (with 2 options), and Evening Class on the Story of the Montreat Wilderness

Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast

Morning: Our first morning class, "Wildflowers and Plant Communities" and "Guide to Field Guides," will be with Joe Standaert. "Wildflowers and Plant Communities" A description of the ecology and structure of plant communities with emphasis on the characteristics of various Southern Appalachian community types and their native wildflowers. A discussion of plant habitats, micro climates, community succession and influences of disturbances on community composition. Extensive photo examples will be presented of the wildflowers to be expected in each environment. "A Guide to the Field Guides" An overview will be presented on the various basic, intermediate, and advanced field guides available for use in wildflower identification. The pros and cons of each type of field guide will be discussed as well as examples of general identification methods used from the simple to advanced "keying" methods. Mid-morning, we'll have a break for refreshments and fellowship, and following the break, we will explore Elizabeth's Path. Elizabeth's Path is a glorious trail that runs along the creek by Assembly Drive. Winding through trees and rhododendron, the mainly flat path has some ups and downs and some stairs to climb. We will drive down to the Montreat Gate and walk about one mile back to Assembly Inn. We will see the Native Plant Garden, reclaimed from an area that used to have many invasive plants, as well as the native wildflower plantings in the Memorial Garden and on the nature trail.

Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch

Afternoon: free time to explore the area, OR an optional wildflower walk. Walk along Lookout Mountain in Montreat with Joe... two miles with some short strenuous or difficult sections, but we will be going slow to look at and identify wildflowers as we go. We will hike up the lower Lookout Mountain Trail, then do a section of the old, historic Mt Mitchell Railroad bed from the 1920's.

Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner

Evening: 7:00 - 8:30 "The Story of the Montreat Wilderness," with Joe. Celebrating the Story of the Montreat Wilderness: A 30 minute video will be shown documenting the history of the Montreat cove and the efforts by the residents and the Conference Center to preserve the wilderness in Montreat over the years. Emphasis will be on the role of passionate individuals, institutions, and concerned citizens in pursuing environmental protections for over 2,400 acres of the Montreat wilderness. A short discussion will follow the video.

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Originally completed in 1929, the 101 room Assembly Inn is undergoing a major renovation. New windows have been installed throughout the building, as well as an upgraded heating and air-conditioning system. By May 2014, all guest rooms and public areas will be refurbished with new furniture, carpet, paint, art, lighting and bedding. This stately hotel is a beautiful stone building, overlooking a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace and comfortable furniture for fellowship, puzzles and games, or just relaxing. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica. The dining room is in the same building as our housing and meeting facilities, and an elevator serves all floors (except for 7 steps going into one main meeting area). Of Montreat's 4,000 acres, 2,500 acres are dedicated to wilderness and are entered in the NC Registry of National Heritage Areas, and we have more than a dozen maintained hiking trails. Tennis courts also available. We will have board and card games in the lobby for your enjoyment, but if you have a favorite, please feel free to bring it along. An outdoor pool is located on the grounds, but it not open during our Road Scholar programs (only open June 1 - first week in August). However, a lovely fitness center (Cheshire Fitness) is located just a few miles away, and they offer daily or weekly rates for visitors. There are no TVs or phones in the individual housing rooms, but there is a TV in the main lobby, and guests can be reached by leaving a message at the front desk (staffed 24 hours a day). If it is urgent, the front desk staff will contact the coordinator who will deliver the message in person, otherwise a note will be left on the guest's housing door. A quiet reading room is also available, located near the main lobby of the Assembly Inn.

Ship Information: 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x0
web: www.montreat.org/plan/hotel

Facility amenities: All housing accommodations will be in the Assembly Inn. All rooms have private baths. The bathrooms have a tub/shower unit. Double occupancy rooms have either two twin beds, a queen-size bed or a king-size bed. Single occupancy rooms have one queen or king-size bed. The bedrooms also have a clock, radio, Kleenex, closets and lamps, as well as a sink and counter and a large mirror. It would be helpful to bring an umbrella, a flashlight, and individual make-up mirror, if desired. Blankets, sheets, pillows, (beds are made), bath mat and a towel set will be provided (rooms are served by our housekeeping staff and clean towels are available daily). Each housing and meeting area has an individual heating and air-conditioning unit. Snack and cold drink vending machines are located on the ground floor, and ice machines are on the second and third floors. Wireless Internet access (with personal laptop) in all areas of the Assembly Inn. Computer in main lobby for access to email and Internet. Courtesy phones are located on each floor.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: call for price/availability.
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, May 01 - Class on Forest Ecology, Class on Mountain Format...
Class on Forest Ecology, Class on Mountain Formations, and afternoon exploration of the Mountains to the Sea Trail.

Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast is served. Have you tried the grits or Ronnie's biscuits and gravy yet? Don't miss out!!!

Morning: Our early morning class focuses on "Mountain Formations" with Brian Joyce. After a mid-morning break for some refreshments and fellowship, we'll return to the classroom for our presentation on "Forest Ecology," also with Brian Joyce.

Lunch: It's time to eat again! 12:15 - 1:15 lunch is served, buffet style in the Galax Dining Room.

Afternoon: 1:15 - 5:30 A field trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the Mountains to the Sea Trail. The group will divide into two, and a leader and sweep with be with each group as we walk along, (hopefully) discovering plant life. We will be walking for about two hours and about 2 miles along a single track, wooded hiking trail. The hike will be moderate, but will include some rocks and roots and uneven terrain. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a simple footpath stretching almost 1,000 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey's Ridge on the Outer Banks..

Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner

Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program games/cards/tv in lobby for fellowship (no movie tonight)

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, May 02 - Field Trip to Botanical Gardens and return to Ass...
Field Trip to Botanical Gardens and return to Assembly Inn for Lunch and Departures

Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast is served. It's your last chance to try Ronnie's biscuits and gravy.... you'll wish you had them all week.

Morning: 8:30 - 11:30 trip to Botanical Gardens in Asheville. It is located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, one of the most diverse temperate ecosystems in the world. Their mission is the preservation and promotion of the native plant species and habitats of these mountains. They hope to increase public awareness of this region’s unique botanical diversity by maintaining gardens for the enjoyment of the public and by providing educational programs and research resources for the community. The Cole Library of The Botanical Gardens at Asheville contains more than 1000 books relating to botany, horticulture, ecology, and ornithology. Visit their website: http://www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org 12:00 check out of Assembly Inn (if returning for lunch -- box lunches are available for those who choose to leave from the Botanical Gardens). 12:15 - 12:30 closing program

Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Free Time Opportunities


Montreat, NC
Asheville Area Chamber of CommerceThe Asheville Chamber has specific information on Asheville and the surrounding area. Plenty of shops and places to visit! Enjoy a trolley tour of the city...
For additional information, visit: www.ashevillechamber.org
Biltmore EstateGeorge Vanderbilt's 255-room mansion built at the end of the 19th Century, with a magnificent art collection and gardens covering 35 acres.
For additional information, visit: www.biltmore.com
Black Mountain / Swannanoa Chamber of CommerceChamber of Commerce located in downtown Black Mountain. Phone number 828 669-2300 Quaint small town with lots of unique shops to explore. Several of these shops are "art" based -- with items the owners make. Information on all area attractions!
For additional information, visit: www.exploreblackmountain.com
Black Mountain Golf CourseBoasts the world's longest fairway. Beautiful course with views of the mountains on all sides.
For additional information, visit: townofblackmountain.org
Blue Ridge MountainsThe Blue Ridge Mountains are part of the Appalachians -- and offer some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Hiking trails abound, both in Montreat and in the surrounding area with seasonal flora and fauna.
Carl Sandburg HomeA simple farmhouse and goat farm donated to the Park Service by Mrs. Sandburg after the famous author and poet's death. Video about the Sandburgs--his literary work--and hers in breeding goats. House kept as though they could come home any minute!
For additional information, visit: nps.gov/carl
Cherokee Indian VillageThe Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and Unto These Hills outdoor play (seasonal).
For additional information, visit: untothesehills.com
Chimney Rock ParkLocated in the Hickory Nut Gorge. Enjoy an elevator ride up 26 stores in a granite shaft to the chimney level. Gorgeous views from the top of the "chimney," and lots of hiking trails. Admission fee required.
For additional information, visit: chimneyrockpark.com
Folk Art CenterHome of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild (located on the Blue Ridge Parkway) in east Asheville
For additional information, visit: southernhighlandguild.org/folkart.html
Grandfather MountainLocated in Linvolle, NC; attractions include a mile-high swinging bridge, natural habitat area, and hiking trails
For additional information, visit: grandfather.com
Harrah's CasinoHarrah's Casino on the Cherokee Indian Reservation
For additional information, visit: www.harrahs.com/our_casinos/che/index.html
Linville CavernsA 35-minute walking tour through caverns deep under the Humpback Mountain.
For additional information, visit: linvillecaverns.com
Thomas Wolfe HomeThe childhood home of the famous author -- includes a video about him. House has been made into a museum.
For additional information, visit: www.wolfememorial.com

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
15 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips

Ratings

4.6
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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