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Chasing Spring

Blue Ridge nature retreats
April 23-25 & May 21-23, 2021
View from one ofthe highest spots on the Blue Ridge.

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. The April retreat is timed to coincide with the peak of the spring wildflower bloom. The May retreat marks the heart of the spring firefly displays. 

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

Please call or email  for info about Chasing Spring.

Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum)
Walkig through a rich cove forest in spring.
Pink Lady Slipper ochid

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, 4/23 or 5/21; Depart 5 p.m. Sunday, 4/25 or 5/23.


Meals: 2 breakfasts (provided by Celo Inn), 2 lunches, 1 supper. 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 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.  


Each weekend includes 5 meals listed above, 2 nights of lodging, and 2 full days of naturalist-led hikes: 

$680/person for a single, $980/couple.​

Sample itinerary:

  • 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: 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 carnivorous plants)

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

    • 6-8 delicious farm dinner

    • 8-10 night walk in search of blue ghost fireflies or other nighttime critters

  • 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)

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