Skip to Main Content
North Carolina

Nature Hiking in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

Program No. 17288RJ
Hike the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains with a local expert and learn about the region’s abundant wildflowers, natural history and distinctly Appalachian folklore.

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Protecting the Environment

We offset a portion of the emissions created by your travel. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Filling Fast!
Aug 11 - Aug 16, 2024
Starting at
1,349
Filling Fast!
Sep 8 - Sep 13, 2024
Starting at
1,349
Oct 6 - Oct 11, 2024
Starting at
1,349
Oct 13 - Oct 18, 2024
Starting at
1,349
Filling Fast!
Oct 20 - Oct 25, 2024
Starting at
1,349
Apr 13 - Apr 18, 2025
Starting at
1,399
May 4 - May 9, 2025
Starting at
1,449
Aug 10 - Aug 15, 2025
Starting at
1,449
Sep 7 - Sep 12, 2025
Starting at
1,449
Oct 5 - Oct 10, 2025
Starting at
1,449
Oct 12 - Oct 17, 2025
Starting at
1,449
Oct 19 - Oct 24, 2025
Starting at
1,449
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Aug 11 - Aug 16, 2024
Starting at
1,489
Sep 8 - Sep 13, 2024
Starting at
1,489
Oct 6 - Oct 11, 2024
Starting at
1,489
Oct 13 - Oct 18, 2024
Starting at
1,489
Oct 20 - Oct 25, 2024
Starting at
1,489
Filling Fast!
Apr 13 - Apr 18, 2025
Starting at
1,539
May 4 - May 9, 2025
Starting at
1,589
Aug 10 - Aug 15, 2025
Starting at
1,589
Sep 7 - Sep 12, 2025
Starting at
1,589
Filling Fast!
Oct 5 - Oct 10, 2025
Starting at
1,589
Oct 12 - Oct 17, 2025
Starting at
1,589
Oct 19 - Oct 24, 2025
Starting at
1,589

At a Glance

Lace up your hiking boots and explore the scenic trails and natural wonders of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains in a small group with a hiking naturalist who reveals the wonders of wildflowers and mountain life. Walk through the Nantahala National Forest and spend your evenings immersed in tales of Appalachian folklore and natural history.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking 4-8 miles per day on varied terrain. The trails can be steep at times and consist of rocks and roots. Elevations up to 5,000 feet. There may be frequent stops to explore the flora and fauna of the Southern Appalachians.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Hike to spots above 5,000 feet like Siler Bald and take advantage of exquisite views.
  • Walk along beautiful ridges, like Pickens Nose, and experience awe-inspiring sites such as Big Laurel Falls.
  • On sections of the "Chunky Gal" Trail study the natural history of the area with a local trail and nature expert.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for light exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, evening entertainment on at least one night and a value-priced single room. This program is coordinated by the Hinton Rural Life Center and operates under special use permit on the Nantahala National Forest on a nondiscriminatory basis. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Elizabeth Domingue
Elizabeth (Liz) Domingue is a professional naturalist, educator, nature photographer, and guide with extensive experience hiking, backpacking, photographing, and studying the natural world. Her interest in and study of natural history has been her lifelong pursuit and passion. As the originator and operator of Just Get Outdoors, she leads interpretive hikes, photography workshops, and Naturalist Adventure Tours regionally and throughout the US. In all of her programs, Liz encourages awareness, understanding, enjoyment, and stewardship of our natural world.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Bev and Rod Richardson
Bev and Rod Richardson View biography
Bev and Rod have been visiting the Western NC mountains for over three decades. They travel regularly to see their children and extended family, and enjoy hosting friends and family at home in Florida. Bev is a retired PCUSA minister and serves as parish associate at First Presbyterian New Smyrna Beach; she has been a volunteer police chaplain for over 15 years. Rod is an elder and deacon in the PCUSA church and is retired from Northrup Grumman as a financial planner.
Profile Image of Elizabeth Domingue
Elizabeth Domingue View biography
Elizabeth (Liz) Domingue is a professional naturalist, educator, nature photographer, and guide with extensive experience hiking, backpacking, photographing, and studying the natural world. Her interest in and study of natural history has been her lifelong pursuit and passion. As the originator and operator of Just Get Outdoors, she leads interpretive hikes, photography workshops, and Naturalist Adventure Tours regionally and throughout the US. In all of her programs, Liz encourages awareness, understanding, enjoyment, and stewardship of our natural world.
Profile Image of Linda Flynn
Linda Flynn View biography
Linda Flynn retired in Asheville, North Carolina, after 25 years as a designer and 25 years as a therapist. Her current passion is walking international “caminos” — with more than 1,200 miles in the last eight years — and hiking in Western North Carolina. She does so love our own rhododendron and laurel, and appreciates finding wildflowers and secret gardens. Linda is also fond of rocks, mosses, ferns, and waterfalls.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.





Recommended For You

loading spinner