Upcoming Events & Hikes

Join the PAC “Kudzu Warriors” to help eradicate Kudzu (and other non-native and invasive species) at the PAC protected Norman Wilder Forest located off of HWY 176. Call PAC at (828)859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org if you are interested or would like more information. Also, check out our webpage dedicated to Conservation/Kudzu Eradication.   REGULAR SCHEDULED WORK DAYS are EVERY MONDAY from 9-11 (subject to change, please see the link to the calendar.)!


Scroll down for information on:
Programs at Walnut Creek Preserve, Programs at the Landrum Library, PACWalk & PACRun, the Spring Hiking Series, additional hikes, open forum about Foster Creek Preserve (3/20), River clean up at Alexander’s Ford (3/30), and more!


Click here to download a brochure of our 2017 Education Series.

Click here for a list of all of our 2017 scheduled events…so far!


PAC & Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) 2017 Programs

Each month (except December), PAC & WCP will offer a Saturday morning program/presentation at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve.  Programs are free of charge, open to all ages, and begin at 10:30 a.m. (more info. below)

PAC/WCP programs are made possible, in part, by a grant from Mary Merritt and Bob and Babs Strickland.


March 25 – Annie Martin, popularly known as “Mossin’ Annie,” will present “Moss Magic in your Landscape.”

*Annie will be bringing copies of her book, “The Magical World of Moss Gardening” (Timber Press 2015) for sale after the presentation.

Check out her website to learn more about Mountain Moss’ and moss products.

April 29 – Simon Thompson, owner of Ventures Birding Tours, will present “Confessions of a Birding Tour Leader”!

Leading a birding or nature trip sounds like a dream job, exploring the world and seeing wonderful sights and animals. But like any adventure things can wrong. Join Simon for a somewhat tongue-in cheek look at the fun and games leading birding tours around the world. 

Chestnut-sided WarblerChestnut-sided Warbler (photo by Jeff Catlin)

May 27 – owner of Mushroom Mountain and mycologist, Tradd Cotter, will present, “Amazing Fungi – The Dark Matter that Bounds all Life.”

Join mushroom expert Tradd Cotter, mycologist and founder of Mushroom Mountain, for a fascinating lecture on native plants and their fungal partners. In order to sustain life on this planet, a complex matrix of organisms has evolved to orchestrate the balance. Plants and fungi have merged and continue to unveil the benefits of collaborating with nature. We have a lot to learn from these relationships, and understanding the respect they have for each other can teach us more than just soil biology. Our native plant communities are communicating through their own internet, reaching out to other organisms to help repair the ecosystems that perpetuate life on this planet.


*SIGN UP TO TAKE A TOUR OF MUSHROOM MOUNTAIN with PAC ON JUNE 14TH!   $15 Pre-registration required.

Click here for more info.

June 17 – Tanya Poole, NCWRC Education Specialist, will present on Bats!

bigearedbatJuly 15 – Patrick McMillan, host of ETV’s Expeditions with Patrick McMillan, will present, “The Southern Blue Ridge – Crucible of Life.”

When we think of biodiversity our minds often wander to the far corners of the globe but one of the world’s great centers of temperate diversity is right here in our own back yards, the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment. Join Patrick as he takes an in-depth look at this often overlooked region of the Appalachians that harbors endemic and ancient relicts from the distant past that have long-since disappeared from the rest of the continent. This is the heart of the most diverse temperate broad-leaved forest on the continent and it has served time and again as a refuge during change and an engine of biodiversity production. This is the only place in North America you can find Oconee Bells, and there are more species of Trillium, Hexastylis, and Salamanders here than in any other comparably sized region on the continent. There is something all these species share in common. They can’t move very fast, they can’t quickly retreat from change. These plants and animals need a place to call home that can accommodate change–that is resilient in the face of change. The unique position, climate, and highly dissected and varied topography of the ridges and gorges of the southern Blue Ridge escarpment have provided this crucible for life in the face of change again and again. They hold biodiversity in the face of climatic adversity and exhale their treasures to the entire region when conditions improve. Recognizing the importance of this region lends strong support to the conservation of as much of this system as possible and identifying the routes in and out of this corridor into the rest of North America. Eloquent design could produce a network of conservation corridors to buffer change in the eastern deciduous forest, ensuring that our children’s children’s children will enjoy the same diversity of life we do today.

picture-from-sue-as-jpgAugust 12 – David Campbell will present on his Floristic and Biodiversity Study of Polk County.

Since 2015, David Campbell has been doing an inventory of the flora, habitats, and some fauna found within Polk County, documenting the rare and unique biodiversity that makes Polk County so special.  During his presentation, David will share his findings from the 2-year study with the community.

img_3721The Polk County Community Foundation (PCCF) funded a portion of the first year of the Study.  Thank you PCCF!

September 23 – “Wilderness from an ecological, cultural and aesthetic perspective,” presented by Jennifer Frick-Ruppert

Jennifer Frick-Ruppert is the author of “Mountain Nature: A Seasonal Natural History of the Southern Appalachians,” and a professor of biology and environmental science at Brevard College. During her presentation, Jennifer will also discuss wilderness management from the present into the future. 

frick-ruppert_mountainOctober 28 – Naturalist, Tim Lee will present, “Bioluminescence: From Fireflies to Fungi.”

Fireflies flashing on a warm summer night. The eerie glow of jack-o-lantern mushrooms in the forest on a moonless night. These lights bring mystery and magic to the dark night. Join us as we discover how light is produced and emitted from living organisms and how it used to lure prey, deter predators and entice insects.

85aed54ac18bd0b3af9ebc6a1eafc981November 11 – basket maker and Cherokee storyteller, Nancy Basket, will present on basket making with Kudzu!

(more info to come!)

photoClick here to check out her website.

library-logoLandrum Library Free Community Events Programs Continue in 2017!


Thanks to a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation (PCCF), PAC and the Landrum Library will continue to provide free nature education programs at the Landrum Library in 2017!
 Just in time for spring, join us for three programs on our native wildflowers!


April 11 – Dr. Timothy Spira will present on “Favorite Spring Wildflowers in the Blue Ridge Mountains” at 6:00 p.m.


Botanist Tim Spira will show beautiful photographs of common and conspicuous, as well as rare and unusual, spring wildflowers including trilliums, trout lily, wild ginger, mayapple, bearcorn, Jack-in-the-pulpit, pink lady’s slipper, cucumber root, Oconee bells, and many others. In addition to helping you identify spring wildflowers, we will discuss fascinating features about their ecology and natural history, which will enhance your understanding and appreciation of spring wildflowers in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

presenter-tim-spiraTim is an avid hiker, wildflower enthusiast, and emeritus professor of botany at Clemson University.  He is the author of Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia (University of North Carolina Press, 2011) and Waterfalls and Wildflowers in the Southern Appalachians: Thirty Great Hikes (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).  He will have copies of his books available for purchase for those that are interested.

May 9 – Dennis Chastain will present, “Appalachian Sampler,” at 6:30 p.m.

Dennis Chastain is an award-winning outdoor writer and interpretive naturalist and his “Appalachian Sampler” presentation is a representative sample of natural and cultural features characteristic of the Blue Ridge segment of the ancient Appalachian Mountains.  He has put together a slide show composed of moonshine stills, animal tracks, scats and spoor, and a tantalizing sampling of the nearly 1,200 flowering species of wildflowers, trees and shrubs that grace our Carolina mountain region; along with ancient Indian petroglyphs, rock shelters, waterfalls and finally, a pictorial survey of snakes and reptiles.


June 8 – naturalist, Carlton Burke, will present “Owls – Masters of the Night,” at 2:00 p.m., part of the Landrum Library’s “Summer Reading Program.”

Owls are mysterious birds of prey which are seldom seen due to their nocturnal lifestyle and secretive habits. This program will introduce you to the fascinating lives of these unusual birds and their unique adaptations for life in their nighttime world. The program will also feature live owls as guests.

July 18 – naturalist, Tim Lee, will present, “Salamanders of the Carolinas,” at 6:00 p.m., part of the Landrum Library’s “Summer Reading Program – Family Fun Night.”

The Carolinas are home to the greatest diversity of salamanders on earth. The presentation will highlight salamander diversity and describe many of the species found in the area.  The program will include live specimens!


August 29 – Dr. Jack Turner and Beth Button, from the USC Upstate Watershed Ecology Center will present on “Watersheds” at 6:00 p.m.

(more info to come!)


The PAC Spring Hiking Series begins February 17th!


Join PAC for five Friday hikes offered to the public, free of charge, this spring!


The community is invited to enjoy the beauty of our Carolinas with PAC.


Come see what the work of local conservation organizations have done for the preservation of our areas natural resources and take in the beauty of the emergence of spring!


  • February 17 – DuPont Stat Forest, Thomas Cemetery loop & Wintergreen Falls, 7-miles, easy, loop
  • March 3 – Pisgah N.F., Coontree loop to Bennett Gap Trails, 6.6-miles, moderate, in the shape of a lollipop
  • March 17 – Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Naturaland Trust trail to Moonshine Falls, ~5.5-miles, moderate, out & back
  • March 31 – Pisgah N.F., paralleling the Davidson River to the Art Loeb trail, onto the Connector trail, then North Slope trail, 8-miles, moderate/strenuous, loop
  • April 14 – Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Asbury Trail, 6.8-mile, moderate, out & back
PAC invites the public to participate in a “Hiking Challenge!”
Complete all five of the hikes this spring and receive a custom bumper sticker acknowledging your accomplishment!
Click here to download a brochure of the hiking schedule.
Two additional hikes announced for April!
April 7th – join PAC and Polk County Recreation for a 10-mile, moderate hike along the Palmetto Trail, from Orchard Lake Campground trail head to the Blue Wall Preserve. The hike will follow the Palmetto Trail along the NC/SC state line and along the northern perimeter of the Greenville Watershed, down Brushy Ridge, along Hog Back Mountain Road, down Vaughns Gap and into the Blue Wall Preserve.

Polk County Recreation has two vans and will provide a shuttle for the hike. The shuttle can accommodate 31 passengers; therefore, pre-registration is required to guarantee a seat on the bus. If we run out of seats, you are still encouraged to participate, but you will have to provide your own carpool and shuttle. Please contact PAC at 828-859-5060 or email, landprotection@pacolet.org to reserve your seat.

Those interested are asked to meet at the Tryon Antique Mall and Market Place, across the street from the entrance to Lake Lanier, at 8:30 a.m. From there, we will carpool to the Blue Wall Preserve parking area (with limited parking) to load the buses and begin our journey to the trailhead at Orchard Lake Campground.

April 21Celebrate Earth Day with PAC with a hike at Walnut Creek Preserve! This is a joint hike with hikers from PAC, CMLC, and Keith Viglietta’s hiking group that will take place at Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP). Hikers will enjoy the trails at WCP & stop to enjoy the many wildflowers that should be blooming at this time.

The hike will be 4-5 miles; easy/moderate.

Meet: 9:30 a.m. at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve for short tour & talk about the center and the preserve; 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. – preserve trails and wildflower hike.

No dogs, please.

Contact PAC at landprotection@pacolet.org or 828-859-5060 to sign up or for more information.

May 13 – Hikers, and their dogs, are invited to join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and the Foothills Humane Society (FHS) for a 5.5-mile hike at Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve in Gowensville, SC.

PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike from the trail head off of Oak Grove Road to the South Pacolet River. The 5.5-mile hike is 2.75-miles out and 2.75-miles back and it starts out as relatively easy, winding through new growth forest and along several streams, gradually becoming moderately strenuous as the trail ascends Squirrel Mountain through a rich hardwood forest with beautiful rock outcroppings. After reaching the ridge top, the trail descends Squirrel Mountain through a lush cove forest to the South Pacolet River, at the base of Chestnut Ridge.

River Clean Up at Alexander’s Ford, March 30th!

Volunteers Needed!

Alexanders FordPAC is partnering with the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) and Polk County Trails on Thursday, March 30th, from 10am until 2pm to host a clean up on the Green River in the section of the river around Alexander’s Ford.

We will be meeting at the Alexander’s Ford parking lot before we begin work for the day. (Follow this link, https://www.polktrails.org/alexander-s-ford, for info about parking and where to meet!)

If you can help, please contact PAC at 828-859-5060, or email, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Sign up NOW for PACWalk and PACRun for Preservation!

PACWalkMusic will be provided by Turtle Power, a local band from Saluda!

Start forming your teams now!

Sponsorships available!

Click here to download a PACWalk & PACRun Flier

Click here to download a PACWalk entry form

Awards and door prizes will be provided as well as a free lunch following the event.

Online registration for PACRun at, “It’s About Time,” https://eventsignup.org/PACRun

Metals will be awarded for:
(1) overall male and female,1st – 3rd,
(2) overall 14 and under, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(3) 15-19, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(4) 20-24, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(5) 25-29, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(6) 30-34, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(7) 35-39, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(8) 40-44, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(9) 45-49, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(10) 50-54, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(11) 55-59, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(12) 60-69, 1st – 3rd, male and female,
(13) 70 and over, 1st – 3rd, male and female.

Swag bags will be provided for every runner and snacks and refreshments will be offered after the race.

PACRun routePACRun route, clockwise two times

Click here to download a PACRun entry form

Click here for the American Hiking Society’s list of 10 essentials for hiking.

Click here for the American Hiking Society’s “Tips for your next hike.”

Click here for the American Hiking Society’s instructions on “How to use a compass.”

Click here for the Thrifty Outdoors Man’s “43 Useful Hiking Tips and Tricks.”

Click here for directions to the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve.

Click here to use Google maps to get directions to the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center from your location.

GPS coordinates to the entrance of Walnut Creek Preserve (at Aden Green Road and Herbarium Lane): 35°22’21.95” N, 82°09’46.18” W

The Landrum Library is located between the Town of Landrum and I-26, on Hwy 14.  The address is: 111 Asbury Dr, Landrum, SC 29356

Click here for a link to Google Maps.