Field trips accommodate two different sorts of post-conference travel plans:
If you would like to spend more time in the Cherokee/Great Smoky Mountain National Park area, choose one of the two trips that depart and return to Harrah’s casino.
Or enjoy a field trip along the way to the Asheville Regional Airport and still make a flight connection on Thursday afternoon or evening, OR plan to stay overnight in Asheville and spend some time experiencing its many opportunities or exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Note also the optional tour to AIMS you can arrange for Thursday or Friday if you have your own transportation in the Asheville area.
NOTE ABOUT HOTEL RESERVATIONS: Make refundable hotel reservations NOW for Thursday or Friday nights if you wish to spend the night in Cherokee, in Asheville, or near the Asheville Regional Airport in Fletcher, NC. Overnight rates at Harrah’s casino Resort rise to their normal May level (about $169/night) for Thursday night, and no rooms are available at the casino on Friday or Saturday nights. If you plan on staying, you should make reservations at another hotel for those nights beyond Wednesday night. Rooms are filling quickly in the area.
NOTE ABOUT CATCHING YOUR PLANE: We will make every effort to deposit you at the airport by the time stated. However, please remember to schedule your flight so that you have ample time to pass through security procedures and walk to your gate. Plan to arrive at the airport at least 70-90 minutes before your flight is scheduled to leave.
Trips Staying in Cherokee
CH1: Cherokee Cosmography Tour
Location: Cherokee, NC
Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (ending at Harrah’s) Thursday, May 15
Cost: $56 (12 person minimum, 20 person maximum)
Includes: transportation, tour, lunch
Description: This tour through Cherokee will visit sites of historical interest and locations of cosmographical significance to the Eastern Band of Cherokee. Please bring water and hiking shoes. Must be able to walk over rough terrain. Boxed lunches will be provided.
Leader & Contact: T.J. Holland – Cultural Resources Supervisor for Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (email@example.com)
CH2: Appalachian Ethnobotany Tour
Location: starting and returning to Harrah’s casino, going to Great Smoky Mountains
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (ending at Harrah’s) Thursday, May 15
Cost: $62 (12 person minimum, 20 person maximum)
Includes: transportation, tour, lunch
Description: We will head first up to Clingmans Dome to view plants in the area, and catch the view from the tower. Next we will hike to Andrews Bald. This is about 3.5 miles round trip and is one of the finest views in the Smokies. The afternoon portion will move back toward Cherokee. We will head to Smokemont Campground and hike on the Bradley Fork Trail. This is a gentle walk and the plant diversity here is greater than on Andrews Bald. The walk is approximately 1.5 miles round trip. Some of the spring ephemerals will be in bloom and many of the wild edibles will still be in season. Please bring water and hiking shoes. Boxed lunches will be provided. Must be able to walk over rough, hilly terrain.
Contact & Leader: David Cozzo – Project Director, Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Trips ending at Asheville
ASH3: Blue Ridge Mountain Ecology Tour
Location: leaves from Cherokee casino and travels along the Blue Ridge Parkway, between Cherokee and Asheville, NC
Time: 7:00 am -1:00 pm (ending at Asheville Regional Airport), Thursday, May 15
Cost: $40 per person (20 person minimum, 28 person maximum)
Includes: transportation, tour (lunch not included)
Description: Field trip participants will enjoy the scenic route as they travel along the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) from Harrah’s Casino to the Asheville Airport. As we make our way along high-elevation ridges and mountain tops via the BRP, we will make numerous stops for short hikes where we can explore the region’s fascinating diversity and discuss forest ecology. Since May is wildflower season, we’ll have the opportunity to see native Appalachian flora in bloom. Bring hiking shoes, a light jacket, water, and snacks. Lunch is not provided. Participants must be physically fit and able to hike relatively swiftly on rooty, rocky and potentially muddy terrain.
Contact & Leader: Cissy Fowler – Assistant Professor of Sociology, Wofford College (email@example.com)
ASH4: Asheville Botanical Gardens Tour
Location: starting from the casino, ending at Asheville Regional Airport (or
you can arrange to be dropped off at a downtown Asheville hotel)
Time 7:30 am – 3:30 pm, Thursday, May 15th (airport by 3:30 pm; downtown around 4:00 pm)
Cost: $45 per person (30 person minimum, 55 person maximum)
Includes: Transportation, entrance fees, tours. Buy your own lunch at
award-winning Arboretum café (which features natural, local, organic food) for
Description: Spend the morning at the NC Arboretum, where you start by taking a special tour of the scientific facilities and lovely gardens of the NC Arboretum. The tour will start with the Germplasm Repository, herbarium, and laboratories, followed by the field plantings with controlled pollination regeneration cages and greenhouses. The 65 acres of public gardens include one of the finest and most unique bonsai collections in the country. Eat lunch at their café (not included in tour price). Following lunch, at 12:45 re-board the bus to ride 5 miles to visit the Woodland Botanicals Demonstration and Research Gardens at the North Carolina State University Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station. Dr. Jeanine Davis and her staff help farmers, herbalists, and forest landowners produce a wide variety of native woodland herbs. They also work to educate consumers and the industry about how cultivating these plants can help preserve wild populations while at the same time providing a new income stream for farmers and more consistent raw materials for manufacturing herbal products. Please bring water, wear closed-toed shoes, and dress for walking in the woods (which may be muddy). Must be able to walk over a mulched path at the Woodland Demonstration Garden, but the Arboretum is wheelchair friendly.
Contact: Jeanine Davis – Associate Prof & Extension Specialist at MHC Research and Extension Center (Jeanine_Davis@ncsu.edu)
Contact: Joe-Ann McCoy – NC Arboretum Germplasm Repository Director (firstname.lastname@example.org); (828) 665-5178, ext. 268
For Thursday, May 15 or Friday, May 16
Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies (AIMS)
Those staying in Asheville who have their own transportation may wish to take this opportunity to arrange to visit the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies (AIMS), located south of Burnsville, NC, to the northeast of Asheville. AIMS is situated at the foot of the Black Mountains, the highest mountain range between the Pyrenees in Europe and the Rockies. AIMS is located on one of the most biodiverse 25-acre tracts in North America and is dedicated to environmental anthropology research, applied sustainable living, and biocultural diversity conservation. It boasts a 100-variety heirloom apple orchard, a seedbank with over 1000 Appalachian heirloom seeds, and permaculture gardens in the most diverse foodshed in the US, Canada, and northern Mexico. You may also walk through an Appalachian Cove Forest, the second most diverse temperate forest type in the world; identifying useful and medicinal plants and enjoying creek sounds, salamanders and birdcalls up to an impressive rock outcropping. Please bring water and hiking shoes: must be able to walk over rough, hilly terrain. AIMS address: 120 Prairie Sky Lane, Burnsville, NC 28714 via Highway 19E, 59 miles from the Asheville Regional Airport. If you wish to visit, please individually contact Jim Veteto – Executive Director of Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies (James.Veteto@unt.edu) by April 7th.
SUGGESTIONS FOR DOWNTOWN ASHEVILLE
If you have your own transportation and are wondering what you might do in Asheville, we have a few suggestions. You can visit the Folk Art Center located nearby on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It has three exhibit galleries, a craft library, craft shop, National Park Service bookshop, and daily live craft demonstrations. Downtown Asheville is a charming place to visit. We recommend a visit to Mast General Store. Eat lunch at one of the many restaurants (we can recommend some). Save room for dessert, though, because then you can walk to the Chocolate Lounge at the French Broad Chocolate Factory. You may then want to catch the Stop and Go shuttle to Highland Brewery, to hear their story and learn about the brewing process from grain to glass. Free, 30-minute tours (first come, first served, closed-toe shoes required) are at 4:00 and 4:45 pm. Finish with a taste of fresh beer – a 7oz pour of Gaelic Ale, Highland’s flagship brew. Highland’s Tasting Room will be open after the tour for flights and pints. Please wear closed-toed shoes if you plan to tour. What to do/see the next day – of the many possibilities, we’ll mention spending the entire day at Biltmore Estate (check out their hotel and tour packages), or half a day at the Western North Carolina Nature Center.
Contact: Jillian De Gezelle (email@example.com) for more Asheville recommendations.