Take Me to the River

281994_10150315519537107_175429_nAt the end of March, elite slalom paddlers and wild water racers will converge on the Nantahala River for this year’s Whitewater US Open hosted by the Nantahala Racing Club. The precision and speed with which these boaters maneuver within the falls is a sight to be seen. Spectators are welcome to enjoy the race from the paved walkway along Nantahala Falls just upriver from the NOC‘s River’s End Restaurant. This is a Forest Service path and offers great views for both races.

2015 Event Schedule

Slalom

Check-in & Late Registration 3-5pm Rivers End Restaurant
Open Practice 12:30 – 2:30 pm Nantahala Falls
Course Construction 2 – 5 pm Nantahala Falls
Demo Runs 5:30 pm Nantahala Falls
Saturday, March 28 Time Location
Late Check- In 7:45-8:15am Big Wesser BBQ
Volunteer Meeting 8:15 am Big Wesser BBQ
Competitors Meeting / Bib Pick-up 9:00 am Big Wesser BBQ
Foreruns 9:45 am Nantahala Falls
Slalom 1st Runs 10:00 am Nantahala Falls
Lunch Break 11:30 am N/A
Slalom 2nd Runs 12:30 pm Nantahala Falls
Demo Runs 5:00 pm Nantahala Falls
Banquet Dinner 6:00 pm TBA
Sunday, March 29 Time Location
Competitors Meeting 9:00 am Big Wesser BBQ
Foreruns 9:45 am Nanthala Falls
Slalom 1st Runs 10:00 am Nantahala Falls
Lunch Break 11:30 am N/A
Slalom 2nd Runs 12:30 pm Nantahala Falls
Awards Ceremony 3:30 pm Big Wesser BBQ

Wildwater

Saturday, March 28 Time Location
Registration 8 – 9 am River’s End
Competitors Meeting 10:00 am River’s End
Sprint Start 11:00 am Patton’s Run
Sunday, March 29 Time Location
Competitors Meeting 10:00 am Ferebee Park
Classic Start 11:45 am Ferebee Park
Awards Ceremony 1:00 pm River’s End

Celtic Music

painting by liz nanceThis Tuesday, March 17th, is St. Patrick’s Day. That means this is a holiday weekend! Tomorrow night, Saturday, March 14th, the band Bean Sidhe (pronounced Banshee) will be at the Smoky Mountain Community Theater playing traditional cletic tunes and ballads from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Using a variety of acoustic instruments, these guys are sure to entertain.

The Smoky Mountain Community Theater is located on Main Street (hwy 19) in downtown Bryson City.

For more information: Toby Allman, 828-488-8103.

Painting with Charles

2014-04-01Bryson City artist, Charles Heath, offers affordable and fun art classes. On Thursdays, he hosts the Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program at his gallery on Everett Street. There is a new and fun project ever week. Today they painted green landscapes, next week they’ll be painting flower pots.

$20 per child per class. Cost includes materials and snack. Please call 828-538-2054 to register.

Entertainment for the kids and an hour of child-free errand running for you!

Classic Hikes in the Smokies



Friends of the Smokies host a series of guided hiking trips. Called Classic Hikes, these trips aid hikers in getting the most out of a day hike. This month’s hike is to Smokemont in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, three miles north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. At 6.2 miles round trip, this hike is rated moderate in difficulty and has a total elevation gain of 1,400 feet. These hikes are both entertaining and informative. A $10 donation for Friends members and $35 for non-members is requested to benefit the Smokies Trails Forever fund.


Back Porch Jam

On the first and third Saturdays of each month, all year, you are welcome to bring an acoustic instrument and join in on this old-time jam. Not a picker? We’ll grinners are needed too! Come kick back and enjoy the sights and sounds as others play traditional Appalachian Music. The jam takes place on the covered porch at the Oconaluftee visitor center, located at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park on Hwy 441 in Cherokee. 

Music on Tap 

The sledding adventures are over and Nantahala Brewing Company has their eye on spring. As the air warms, the main tap room reopens and the Music on Tap Concert Series begins. Over the last two years, this local brewery has consistanly brought quality music into Bryson City. The acts range in genre from country and Americana, to rock n roll and soul. There’s something for everyone. 

Saturday, March 14th the concert series kicks off with The DuPont Brothers. These songwriters wear their hearts on their sleeves and the harmonies are cause for melting.

Friday, March 20th The Freeway Revival takes the stage. These guys are rock n roll souls and shouldn’t be missed. They head out for a Europe tour later this year. 

Saturday, March 21st Fritz Beer & the Crooked Beat  is an acoustic/Americana rock band headed by songwriter, Fritz Beer. Beer writes songs “about good-hearted people who sometimes go astray”. 

All music starts at 8:30pm and continues until about 11pm. These shows are free. So grab a pizza from Anthony’s, take it to the brewery, pull up a pint and a seat to a good night. Cheers!

The Nantahala Brewing Company is located at 61 Depot Street. Parking is on the corner of Depot Street and Richmond. Check website in link at top for daily hours. Family and dog friendly. 

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The Freeway Revival photo by Liz Nance



The DuPont Brothers photo by Liz Nance



Frita Beer & the Crooked Beat photo by Liz Nance



Hiking in the Smokies

Hiking Trails of the Smokies is a book that was originally published in 1994 by the Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association. Filled with maps and detailed trail descriptions written by 15 different hikers, this is one of the most popular hiking guides for this area. This book aims to help you plan your hiking and backpacking trips, as well as guide you along the trails. The book provides such information as trail mileage to elevation gain, trail difficulty to trail cautions and highlights. Find trails that are great for viewing wildflowers, or maybe it’s a mountain top view you’re after. Find waterfalls and venture to spots you never knew existed. New editions of this book have been released so trail info is accurate and up-to-date.  The Great Smokies Mountain Association is a nonprofit and operates several bookstores within the park at various visitor centers and park ranger stations. You can also shop their online bookstore from home. 

Just a little winter left! Plan your spring hikes and backpacking trips. Not a camper? Plan a day hike then find a cozy little mountain cabin to stay in close by. There’s something for everyone in western North Carolina. 

Dreaming of Spring



Sure there’s snow on the ground now, but soon it will be melted by the spring sunshine. I can already see the daffodils poking through, ready to jump up and burst into a beautiful display of yellow flowers. So while you are stuck inside because of the cold, use this time to plan that spring break vacation. Find a place in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to day hike or plan a weeklong backpacking trip. Maybe you’ve never been fly fishing, the guys at Tuck Fly Shop are always ready to guide a beginner or show you the best places to head out on your own. 

So pull out the maps and trail hiking guides and get to daydreaming. Hang on, all you winter bah-hum-bugs, it’s almost over. 

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All Aboard

 

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IMG_2502A season worth of Polar Express and Valentine train rides is over. Things are cold now, but the snow will soon be giving way to little sprouts of green. The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad is slowly creeping back to a full spring schedule. Currently, the railroad is running on Saturdays only. This is the Tuckaseegee River excursion. The 32 mile round-trip ride from the depot in Bryson City to the small town of Dillsboro, NC will keep you and your family entertained for four hours. You’ll be able to walk around town and check out the many artisans’ shops with a 1.5 hour layover time. From chocolatiers to potters, from wine to cheese, don’t let the size of Dillsboro fool you. This quaint mountain town has a lot to offer. The ride departs at 11am from Bryson City. Make your reservations now!

Winter Wonderland

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Well we may have had to wait until February, but we’re finally having a real winter. The snow is on the ground and still falling here in the Great Smoky Mountains. Sitting in a rustic cabin on the hillside, feet kicked up by the fire, that’s how we enjoy our snow days. Currently we can’t see the ridge line in the distance for the wall of white. For the adventurous, the snow turns old familiar trails into new wonderlands. This weather brings sledding, snowmen, and snow angels. Ever made snow cream? We’ve got a bowl sitting out on the porch right now. Tonight we’ll bring it in and add a little milk, vanilla, and sugar. Mmmmm. A winter treat to keep the sweet tooth at bay while we’re stuck inside. Happy February. Hope this weather finds you all happy and warm.

Find Things To Do In The Area in and Around the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina! This blog provides info on events, happenings, and things to experience with your family while on vacation in the Bryson City and Cherokee, NC areas. The locals always know best!