camping,  Outdoor recreation

Recreation & Parks offers spring outdoor activity series – Black Mountain News

With mountains surrounding the town on all sides, it’s hard to imagine a spring in Black Mountain without outdoor activities. 

Offered to all ages and skill levels, the Black Mountain Recreation & Parks Department announced the return of its Spring Ascension Series to begin in March. 

“This is the second year we’re doing it,” said Clint Bowman, the department’s recreation coordinator. “The big thing for this one is we’re adding in a trail building experience.”

The activity series consists of two rock climbing sessions, three local hikes, two river cleanups and two trail building opportunities. Bowman said all three hikes will be at new locations. 

Taking place in Old Fort, Bowman said trail building allows for volunteers, who may not know how to get connected with trail maintenance, to take part in the upkeep of local trails.

All tools will be provided by the G5 Trail Collective, according to Bowman. He said the work can be anything from creating drainages to clearing trail corridors to minor uprooting; mostly just “pretty low impact stuff.”

BMRP partners with Take a Hike Outfitters for the trail projects to provide all volunteers with a free trail map of the Black Mountain area. 

The climbing sessions are made possible through BMRP partnering with the Blue Ridge Assembly. Sessions will take place on the assembly’s outdoor climbing wall. 

“In the winter we did their indoor wall, which is only about 25, 30 feet high,” Bowman said. “This spring one is about 50 feet high.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Bowman said groups for all the activities will be kept fairly small, maxing out at 15 people for hiking, river cleanups and trail building. He said climbing sessions will be limited to around 10 people. 

Since numbers will be small, Bowman encouraged participants to register for the waitlist. He said activities typically fill up quickly, but the waitlist is a safe way to be added should something fall through. 

The hikes, trail building and river cleanups are all free. Climbing costs $12 per person. To register, participants can sign up through the BMRP website. For additional questions and information, email [email protected] 

Ezra Maille covers the town of Black Mountain, Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley. Reach him at 828-230-3324 or [email protected] Please support local journalism with access to more breaking news by subscribing.

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