Here’s your chance to get inside some usually restricted-access fire lookout towers in Western North Carolina: the Forest Fire Lookout Association’s annual summer conference in Asheville, July 25 and 26. The event will be hosted on Saturday, July 25, at the REI-Asheville community room (31 Schenck Parkway, located off Long Shoals Road at I-26) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be series of presentations and discussions on lookout towers in western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and throughout the U.S., then a late-afternoon trip to the tower on Fryingpan Mountain, which provides a view of the Shining Rock Wilderness.
On Sunday, there will be more field trips and hikes to several N.C. lookout towers: the Little Snowball lookout in Barnardsville, the Mount Mitchell and Green Knob lookouts on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Chambers Mountain lookout in Clyde, and the Mount Noble lookout tower near Cherokee, as well as more presentations and demonstration by current and former tower operators. Topics include hiking and recreation opportunities, tower history, and the need for their preservation. Speakers include U.S. Forest Service personnel, former lookout tower operators, authors and tower enthusiasts.
The event is open to the public. Attendance at all of the conference is not required. Feel free to join the presentations and/or tower trips that interest you most.
For more information, contact Peter Barr, author of Hiking North Carolina’s Lookout Towers, at firstname.lastname@example.org.