Chasing Spring

A Blue Ridge nature retreat
May 17-19, 2019

Appalachian Spring Wildflowers ~ Cloud Forests ~ Old Growth ~ Migrating Warblers ~ Blue Ghost Fireflies

Join a small group of fellow nature-lovers -- led by a renowned local naturalist -- for a weekend exploring the magical springtime forests of the Blue Ridge. Deep in the mountains outside of Asheville, NC, we will spend each day tromping through cloud forests, old growth, and rich coves of wildflowers. In the evening, under the full moon, we'll seek out elusive blue ghost fireflies. 

This is a small event and registration will be handled over phone or email.  

Chasing Spring 2019 is sold out,

but please call or email  for info about other current and future offerings.

Location: Celo, NC - we'll be based at the Celo Inn, a charming B&B on the banks of the South Toe River near Burnsville, NC. 

Timing: Arrive 7-8 p.m. Friday, 5/17; Depart 5 p.m. Sunday, 5/19 (or stay an extra night at the Inn).


Meals: Breakfasts (Sat & Sun, provided by Celo Inn), lunches (Sat & Sun), supper (Sat). Meals will be a delicious mix of locally raised meat, garden veggies, and fresh-baked bread. Vegetarians will be accommodated; vegan, gluten-free, or other specialty diets are possible, but please ask first.

The Guide: Tal Galton is a regionally respected naturalist who knows the Black Mountains and the South Toe River like the back of his hand. His writing on Appalachian botany and nature can be found in Asheville's Mountain Xpress. Check out client reviews on Tripadvisor.  

Cost includes 5 meals listed above, 2 nights of lodging, and 2 full days of naturalist-led walks: 

$380/person for a shared room, $490/person for a single, $750/couple.​

Sample itinerary:

  • Friday: 7-8 p.m. arrive, meet your fellow-venturers, followed by short moonlit walk or slideshow​​.

  • Saturday:

    • 8-9 a.m. breakfast​ at the Inn

    • 9-12 orientation to Appalachian cove forests: visit rich coves full of spring wildflowers, and explore acid forests with hidden orchids

    • 12-1 p.m. picnic lunch

    • 1-4 explore the finest So. Appalachian bog in the region (rare plants, blooming pitcher plants)

    • 4-6 time to relax by the river or explore on your own

    • 6-8 delicious farm dinner

    • 8-10 Full moon walk in search of blue ghost fireflies

  • Sunday:

    • 8-9 a.m. breakfast at the Inn​

    • 9-12 creek hike to a hidden waterfall

    • 12-1 p.m. picnic lunch

    • 1-5 explore high elevation cloud forests, full of rare endemic species

    • 5-6 departure (or stay for an optional extra night at the Inn - not included in price)