Whether you are new to this area or have lived here all your life, you may want to know more about the fauna and flora of our beautiful Swannanoa Valley and surrounding mountain lands. Too often we head off walking or hiking at a quick pace with a destination in mind, but this unique outing is more of a “ramble” through nature with an experienced guide and naturalist Luke Cannon – founder, director and teacher at Astounding Earth.

An ethnobotanist and naturalist, Luke is a longtime pursuer and teacher of our living natural world and has a great understanding of the ecological intricacies in Appalachia. Spending time with Luke in the pastures and woodlands we will pass through will profoundly change your appreciation of how plants and fungi are shaped by various ecosystems while learning more about the birds, insects, reptiles, and animals we encounter.


This excursion through natural areas in the Black Mountain vicinity will be approximately five hours in length over gently sloped terrain, though with rocks and stream crossings to negotiate. Be prepared to be seated in the woods at times for demos and discussions. To facilitate interaction and a good experience for all the group will be limited to 20 or less.

We will meet at 9 AM at a spot near a trailhead and specific directions will be provided for those registered. The hike will be 2-3 miles. Feel free to bring snacks or lunch.

Location: Shope Creek (specific directions provided to those who register)

Date: Friday, October 28th

Timing: 9:00am-3:00pm

Costs: $60 for members, $75 for non-members

  • Bear corn. aka. Squaw Root