A committed naturalist since early childhood, Tal Galton has been introducing people to wild places for over 20 years. He has led students on trips through Yosemite, Cumberland Island, the Everglades, and all over his beloved mountains of Western NC. Much of his recent experience has been as a trip leader, teacher, farm manager, and administrator at Arthur Morgan School. A modern-day homesteader and educator, Tal is owner and lead guide of Snakeroot Ecotours and Labor Coordinator for The Arete Project. He lives with his family in the timber-frame home that he and his wife designed and built out of local trees. Tal likes to pick mushrooms, catch snakes, run the local trails, and find and photograph interesting plants.

Snakeroot Ecotours is founded on the premise articulated by Rachel Carson: The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.


We are based in Celo, NC in the shadow of the Black Mountains, the tallest range in the eastern U.S. Here in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, our forests are among the most diverse temperate forests in the world. The hills are carpeted with over 1500 native flowering plant species. The pristine mountain creeks and leaflitter are home to more species of salamanders than any location on Earth. Join us for a premium guided tour of life in the Appalachian woods.  


The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.


This quote is often attributed to WB Yeats, but it is actually a slight rephrasing of a sentence written by the British naturalist, Eden Phillpotts. In any case, it summarizes what we try to do at Snakeroot Ecotours: sharpen our senses in order to better see the magical world we live in.