Join the High Peaks Birders and the NC High Peaks Trail Association for a special treat on Saturday, July 21 when they host an open house at the Green Knob Fire Tower off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The tower – normally locked and inaccessible – will be open to all comers from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The tower offers tremendous views of Mt. Mitchell, the Black Mountains and the South Toe River Valley. The event also comes at the later stages of the breeding season and we may see some birds beginning to molt into fall plumage as they prepare to head south.
Parking will be at the Green Knob Overlook, Mile 350.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The access trail to the tower starts from the Parkway about 100 yards north of the overlook and is marked by a sign and a rustic set of steps with a handrail.
Please be extremely careful walking along and crossing the Parkway, as passing drivers often speed or are distracted by the scenery. The trail to the tower is about a half-mile long but involves several hundred feet of climbing on rough footing. Although short, it is not suitable for the elderly or those in poor physical condition.
Please bring layers of warm clothes as it can be quite windy and cold on the tower. Depending on the forecast, rain gear is also advisable. Although the tower will open at 8 a.m., birders are welcome to come earlier.