Highlands Cashiers Plateau

Gorges State Park Now Open

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Some things are well worth the wait! After more than a year and a half and an estimated $6 million in renovation costs Gorges State Park reopens its gates to the North Carolina public. Situated on 7,520 pristine acres in the Sapphire/Lake Toxaway region of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, Gorges is the only state park found west of Asheville. The newest additions to the park include 350 new parking spaces in four parking lots; four miles of paved roads; new trailheads and trails; and improvements to the parks infrastructure including water, electricity and phone lines. And thats just the beginning! Construction of the next phase in the transformation of Gorges State Park is slated for the winter of 2010. Plans include a visitor center and two sheltered picnic areas, as well as new restroom facilities and a maintenance area.

Gorges State Park now features six hiking trails anywhere from one to over 14 miles in length for a total trail system of 28 moderate to strenuous miles. Horses and mountain bikes are allowed on the 14 � mile Auger Hole trail, and campers are welcome to pitch their tents on one of six campsites along the nearly 7 mile Foothills trail. Nature lovers will appreciate the fact that close to 125 rare plant and animal species native to the Western North Carolina mountain region can be found within the park, 12 of which are either threatened or endangered.

The park is currently open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors should be mindful of the fact that the gates are secured at closing. To access the park from Cashiers, travel east on Highway 64 to Highway 281. Travel approximately 7 miles south on 281 to the entrance of Gorges State Park. Upper Bearwallow Falls, the Bearwallow Falls Overlook and a new picnic area are scheduled to open on Monday, May 18. The Gorges Overlook is lined up to open on Monday, May 25.

Park Hours:

March May 8 a.m. 8 p.m. June August 8 a.m. 9 p.m. September October 8 a.m. 8 p.m. November February8 a.m. 6 p.m.

Ranger Presentation/Education Series:

Talking Turkey May 16 at 2 p.m. Box Turtles and Timber RattlersMay 17 at 2 p.m. Trailhead and Trailside WildflowersMay 20 at 9 a.m.

For more information about these and future programs, call the Gorges office at (828) 966-9099.

Silver Creek Invites You to Join Them Thursday Evenings for Groovin on the Green

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Judith Burganger and Leonid Treer performed on the Village Green July 9, 2009

Judith Burganger and Leonid Treer performed on the Village Green July 9, 2009

Silver Creek Real Estate Group is a proud supporter of Groovin on the Green a free outdoor concert series sponsored by The Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association. Silver Creek president and senior broker, Jochen Lucke serves on the Board of Directors for the GCAMA and wishes to extend a personal invitation to all residents and visitors of The Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. The first concert of the series was a great success, relates Lucke. We look forward to continuing to bring talented local artists to Cashiers Village Green, and drawing the community together to enjoy great music with family, friends and neighbors.

Groovin on the Green was launched on July 9 with classical piano performances by Judith Burganger and Leonid Treer. Upcoming performances will include classical guitarist, George Andrews and other local favorites. It will also be a special part of the First Annual Cashiers Leaf Festival, scheduled for October 9-11. The GCAMA is very excited to host this new event which they hope will draw thousands to the area to witness the changing of the leaves, shop and dine at area merchants, and take part in the celebration. Plans for the Leaf Festival include live music and dancing during that weeks Groovin on the Green, an Arts and Crafts Festival featuring the work of local artists and distinctive items from some of our merchants, as well as an exciting Tour of Homes showcasing some of our most exclusive mountain homes and communities. Keep an eye out for future updates with regard to The Cashiers Leaf Festival A Celebration of Fine Homes, Folk Art, Friendship and Foliage.

Future performances of Groovin on the Green will be held on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Gazebo on The Village Green. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic supper, lawn chairs, and blankets. For more information on upcoming dates and performers, contact The Village Green at 828-743-3434. Jochen Lucke and the rest of the Silver Creek team hope to see you there!