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Blue Ridge Nature Retreats 2024
Chasing Spring
April 26-29 (Wildflower Edition, 3 days)
Summer Headwaters
TBD (Fungi Foray, 3 days)
View from one ofthe highest spots on the Blue Ridge.

Appalachian Wildflowers ~ Cloud Forests ~ Old Growth ~ Abundant Mushrooms ~ Fireflies and Foxfire

Join a small group of fellow nature-lovers -- led by a renowned local naturalist --

for a weekend exploring the magical summertime forests of the Blue Ridge.

Up in the headwaters of the east, outside of Asheville, NC, we will spend each day tromping through cloud forests, old growth, and rich coves of wildflowers.

The summer retreats are timed to coincide with the peak emergence of Appalachian mushrooms. 

These are small events and registration will be handled over phone or email.  

Please call or email  for info about our Blue Ridge nature retreats.

Yellow patches.jpg
Walkig through a rich cove forest in spring.

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: Friday evening to Sunday or Monday afternoon

Meals: 2-3 Breakfasts (provided by Celo Inn), 2-3 lunches, 1-2 supper(s). Meals will be a delicious mix of locally raised meat, garden veggies, foraged forest foods, 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 every nook and cranny of the Black Mountains and was named one of ten "verifiably awesome mountain masters" by Outside Magazine.. His writing on Appalachian botany and nature can be found in Asheville's Mountain Xpress. Check out client reviews on Tripadvisor.  


The April weekend includes 8 meals, 3 nights of lodging, and 3 days of naturalist-led hikes:

$950 for a single, $1350-1600 for a couple/double (exact price depends on room choice/availability).

The Summer weekends include 8 meals, 3 nights of lodging and 3 days of hikes:

$950 for a single, $1350-1600 for a couple/double (exact price depends on room choice/availability). 

Sample itinerary (2-day weekend will be similar, but with one fewer day):

  • Friday: 7-8 p.m. arrive, meet your fellow-venturers​​.

  • Saturday:

    • 8-9 a.m. breakfast​ at the Inn

    • 9-12 orientation to Appalachian cove forests and fungi; explore acid forests with hidden orchids

    • 12-1 p.m. picnic lunch

    • 1-5 hike the headwaters to hidden waterfalls and pristine swimming holes or relax by the river or explore on your own

    • 6-8 delicious farm dinner

    • 8-10 night walk in search of foxfire and fireflies

  • Sunday:

    • 8-9 a.m. breakfast at the Inn​

    • 9-12 explore the finest So. Appalachian bog in the region (rare carnivorous plants)

    • 12-1 p.m. picnic lunch

    • 1-5 search for native blooming orchids

    • 6 farm dinner

  • Monday:

    • 8-9 a.m. breakfast at the Inn​

    • 10-3 explore NC's own cloud forest and its rare and endemic plants (picnic on a pinnacle)

    • 3-5 depart or explore the Blue Ridge Parkway or Mt Mitchell on your own

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