North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures
Help Protect the Vulnerable Wildlands of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests

June 24: Stewartia Walk with Naturalist Jack Johnston in Fires Creek Area

June 24, 2016
8:00 amto2:00 pm

On Friday, June 24, The Wilderness Society’s Southern Appalachian Office based in Sylva is hosting a guided walk with Stewartia expert Jack Johnston. This is a great opportunity to see and photograph the rare native Mountain Camellia, Stewartia ovata, in flower and to explore the Fires Creek Mountain Treasure Area near Hayesville, NC. Participants will also have the opportunity to take a short offshoot hike to see the Mountain Camellia that is in the American Forests Champion Trees national register.

Stewartia Ovata

Photo Courtesy of Jean Ron Hunnicut

Participants may meet in Franklin and depart for Hayesville at 8:00 a.m., or meet directly at the Fires Creek picnic area at 9:30 a.m. The walk will involve crossing creeks so wading shoes are advised. Hikers should bring plenty of water and pack a lunch.

The outing is free and open to the public, but RSVP is requested. To RSVP, email Michelle Ruigrok at Those who RSVP will receive additional details prior to the outing regarding meet-up locations and carpooling.

Jack Johnston is a naturalist who has been hunting (and finding) native Stewartias in the United States for more than two decades. In addition to hunting Stewartias, he has also been collecting seeds, taking cuttings, propagating them, growing them, and giving them away to promote this beautiful native species. He is an in-demand leader for wildflower and bird walks.

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