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Parks & Rec's community hike series kicks off March 26 in Arden

Buncombe County Recreation Services will lead several community hikes across Buncombe County, showcasing local parks' hiking trails as well as some of the better-known trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in Pisgah National Forest. (Photo of Collier Cove from Buncombe County Parks & Recreation)

Spring's here: who's ready to enjoy the great outdoors?

Buncombe County Recreation Services will lead several community hikes across Buncombe County, showcasing local parks' hiking trails as well as some of the better-known trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in Pisgah National Forest.

Hikes are open to the public and are part of the department’s continuing efforts to encourage people to get outside and enjoy outdoor recreation.

All the hikes are moderate, so that even those new to hiking can get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Western North Carolina with an experienced guide. Participants are advised to judge their own level of fitness and capacity to complete the hikes; while the hikes have been selected to be accessible to a wide range of participants, these are natural surface trails across varied terrain.

The first hike is Sunday, March 26, 2017 at Collier Cove Nature Preserve in Arden.

A hidden gem within the community, the Collier Cove Nature preserve is at 190 Rhododendron Drive in Arden.

If you want to participate, meet in the parking area at 1 p.m. R|Parks & Rec officials say to bring your water bottle and camera, there is beautiful scenery all around.

Advance registration is required, signup at GoHikeNC.com or HikeCollier.BuncombeRecreation.org.

Registration is free and allows attendees to be eligible for giveaways from hike sponsors. People who pre-register will receive a $10 gear card from Diamond Brand Outdoors.

Additional hikes will take place throughout the spring and early summer at Craggy Gardens (Blue Ridge Parkway), Alexander Park Loop, and Lower Douglas Falls. Be sure to check BuncombeRecreation.org for additional opportunities to enjoy area parks and outdoor activities.

The series of hikes are being held in conjunction with Go Hike NC and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

See you at the park!

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