Are you someone who appreciates the leisurely pace of meandering through the fields and woods, savoring the opportunity to pause and enjoy the beauty around you? If so, this hike is tailor-made for your preferences. Whether you’re a newcomer to the region or a lifelong resident, seize this exceptional chance to delve deeper into the fascinating world of flora and fauna in this extraordinary, well-preserved haven of wilderness.

Led by the deeply skilled and experienced naturalist Nora Murdock, we will explore the rarely-visited private Hemphill Estate in Black Mountain for a day of discovery and exploration.

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 the estate trailhead, and specific directions will be provided for those registered. Feel free to bring snacks or lunch, plenty of water, and layered clothing.

About Nora Murdock

Nora Murdock is a native of Asheville, and her family has lived in the mountains of WNC for over eight generations. Nora is a Wildlife Biologist and Ecologist and has spent 38 years serving the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Natural Park Service as a field biologist. Nora has a deep knowledge of and appreciation for our local wild lands and ecosystems.  

About the Hemphill Estate

Arthur Joe and Mary Hemphill, well-known for their generosity and kindness in the Black Mountain community, left a lasting legacy through their posthumous contributions. Following Arthur Joe’s sudden passing in 2009 and Mary’s recent death at the age of 80, Mary bequeathed 25 acres of land within Black Mountain’s city limits to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy for the creation of a park. The couple’s residence and adjoining properties were sold to fund the park, with additional commercial property earmarked for conservation easements. Notably, this wasn’t the Hemphills’ first venture into conservation; in 2003, they placed 350 acres in McDowell County under a conservation easement. With no biological children, the couple devoted their love to the community, often caring for children in need, and demonstrated a profound commitment to environmental stewardship and historical preservation.

Date: Friday, April 19, 2024

Time: 9:00am – 2:00pm

Cost: $60 for SVM Members, $70 for Non-Members. Some fees apply.