Outdoor Journal

Walk off some of that turkey: For your post-Thanksgiving-weekend recovery, check out the Holiday Open House at the new Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center. For the free event, the facility will open its doors on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Take a free tour of the visitor center, which is LEEDS gold-certified (that is, built and designed to be very environmentally friendly). Browse Western North Carolina gift items (Christmas isn’t far off). Watch the movie Blue Ridge Parkway: America’s Favorite Journey, which will be shown on the half-hour each day.

And of course, walk off your Thanksgiving feast by strolling the Mountains-to-Sea trail, which meanders past the center. Hot cider and cookies will be served, and the whole family is welcome. The new visitor’s hotspot is located on the Parkway at milepost 384 (access it from nearby US 74-A, or drive two miles south from the Parkway’s Folk Art Center). For more information, call 298-5330.

Walking the winter woods: This December, get out of the house and enjoy a forest walk at the North Carolina Arboretum. On Tuesdays and Saturdays at 1 p.m., the arboretum will offer a guided tour on its trails. Forest-walk topics can include plants, trees, flowers, birds, insects and local history. Wear sturdy walking shoes, bring water, dress in layers and tote some rain protection. Note that there will be no walk on Tuesday, Dec. 23. Participants should meet at the Baker Exhibit Center Lobby at 1 p.m. on tour days. For more information, visit www.ncarboretum.org or call 665-2492.

Send your outdoors news to outdoors@mountainx.com.

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About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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