(INGLES OPEN ROAD) — We’re exploring a trail unlike any that we’ve experienced in our southern Appalachian mountains. This is the Blue Ridge Snorkel Trail, and we’re diving right in.
This stop on the trail features the protected lands and waters of the Mainspring Conservation Trust – a non-profit land trust conserving the waters, forests, farms and heritage of the Upper Little Tennessee and Hiwassee River Valleys in the six westernmost counties of North Carolina. More stops along the Blue Ridge Snorkel Trail can be found throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. While many of us have a true appreciation for the nature we experience while walking around in it, the underwater world is a mystery – and honestly, something we might not think a whole lot about.
Well, Mainspring Conservation Trust, MountainTrue, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are working to change that. The Blue Ridge Snorkel Trail is their attempt to give all of us an appreciation and understanding of the ecosystems that exist just beneath the surface.
They offer events throughout the year when you can come out and experience a whole new world – as you’re guided by a marine biologist who helps to explain and interpret what you can discover.
There are so many different things here to experience. Crayfish, mussels, not to mention all the different fish species – once you’re in and among them you’re thrilled by the beauty and diversity of it all.
- Explore the Blue Ridge Mountains on horseback with Joy Rides
- Give disc golf a shot at North Cove Leisure Club in North Carolina
- Get your hands dirty in the best possible way at Odyssey ClayWorks
- Museum of the Cherokee People shares history, culture of the Cherokee
- Go back in time with the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton
This is so fun and something they hope that people will try out close to home. The mask and snorkel not only open up an entire underwater world ready for your exploration. They also make you look really cool.
While you’re here at this location, there’s more to explore on dry land. This is Queen Branch – a 16-acre parcel with beautiful trails to take in, and lovely spots to enjoy that Ingles picnic.
Whether you’re trekking through the trails of the forests or the trails of the rivers and streams, getting out into nature is a great way to unwind and find a little peace in today’s hectic world.