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June Updates for Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness

Dear friends of the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness,

June is here, and that means lots of blooms.  The famous Flame Azaleas on Hooper Bald are showing lots of buds, and should be out for the event on June 8th, plus lots of buttercups and Bluets all along the trails. June also means Fireflies.  We have about 9 species, including the very special synchronized species, but not in the abundance of the Elkmont area.

We have been working on upgrades to the bridges and boardwalks on the Memorial Loop Trail, adding step or deck cleats for better footing during wet or freezing weather, improving some of the toe kicks and hand rails, as well as a general trimming of the growth along the trail.

Here is what we have coming up this month:

June 3 - We will celebrate National Trails Day with an evening hike in the Memorial Forest.  Meet at the Joyce Kilmer Parking Area, 5410 Joyce Kilmer Road, at 6 PM for a few festivities and join us in a leisurely hike thru the Memorial as the day ends. We'll have some refreshments after the hike, compliments of the Partners and the American Hiking Society.  Some of us plan on lingering until about 9:30 PM or so to see if we can coax any of the Fireflies into making an appearance, but it is likely early in their season.

June 8 - Join us for hikes to the Flame Azaleas on Hooper Bald to celebrate the Flame Azalea Festival.  We will be leading guided hikes at 10 AM and 2 PM, plus others depending on attendance. Just follow the Cherohala Skyway to the Hooper Bald Parking Area.

June 20 - Our local Congressman, Chuck Edwards, is having an event at the Court House to hear from constituents.  Full details will be in the Graham Star.

Hope you get time to see some of the beauty, I'll see you on the Trail.


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