How We Give Back
We recognize and value the need to conserve the southern Appalachians, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. We also treasure our local community of individuals and organizations and strive to strengthen that community whenever possible. This is how we advocate for and protect our mountains and community:
Asheville Hiking Tours founded and organizes the Annual Nature Festival of Asheville – a fun, informative, and FREE celebration occurring every fall in Asheville. At this gathering, you can enjoy nature-inspired crafts, wildlife demos (birds of prey, ducks, and reptiles), a kid’s nature scavenger hunt, animal face painting, a bouncy house, and other family-friendly outdoor activities. Thank you to The Salvage Station, Wild for Life, The Hop, the Southern Appalachian Herpetological Society, the Farmstead School, the AmeriCorps volunteer team, and our many artists and vendors who made the 2018 event a success.
Sustainability is forefront in our minds when making business-related decisions. We believe in and enjoy being members of the green community in Asheville. For example, we purchase local and organic food products for our tours. Lunches are provided by Green Sage Café, a sustainability-awarded restaurant in Asheville. We also support free nature tours for locals, and network with local businesses such as Max Cooper Photography, Asheville Promo, and Hatchworks to help us run our business!
We have been trained by the National Association of Interpretation, and doctoral programs in Conservation Biology to educate and inspire guests about our mountains and their unique history. It is widely known that people cherish those things which they come to understand. Our tours offer guests this opportunity to learn about and appreciate the unique flora, fauna, and heritage of the Southern Appalachians. We discuss on tours the nonprofits and agencies key to the long-term protection of our mountains, hoping to inspire others to contribute to conservation. We enjoy speaking at science and conservation events, educating people about Southern Appalachian ecology and history.
Leave No Trace principles are guidelines for people to enjoy the natural world while minimizing human impact. Our tour group sizes are small to respect other guests and wildlife, as well as to provide an intimate educational experience. We stay on well-hiked trails and provide reusable and recyclable products for our snack and lunch options. Asheville Hiking Tours is licensed through the Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park so we may report our tour activities to ensure the sustainability of our scenic places long-term.