Shortleaf Pine illustration with NCFS Shield Holmes Educational State Forest

Shortleaf Pine illustration with NCFS Shield Holmes Educational State Forest

Public Events At Holmes Educational State Forest

photo collage of activities at Holmes ESF

Inclement Weather Policy

Hikes may be cancelled in the event of inclement weather such as thunder and lightning. Notifications will be sent out via phone and email. Due to the unpredictability of weather patterns in our area, cancellations may occur as late as the morning of the scheduled meeting date.

Spring/Summer/Fall Public Programs

Free Educational Offerings At Holmes Educational State Forest

These programs are free but you MUST SIGN UP to participate. Call now (828 692-0100) or email ( to reserve your spot! The guided hikes will only last a few hours, but there is so much more at Holmes Educational State Forest to learn about and explore on your own time! We offer hiking trails, picnic areas, and a variety of educational exhibits. Category II, III NC EE certification and CEU credit are available upon request.

Summer Programs

2023 Guided Mushroom Hikes

Saturday, July 22: 2 p.m.
Saturday, August 5: 2 p.m.
Saturday, August 19: 2 p.m.

A guided introduction to the world of fungi. Come explore our temperate forest with Ranger Dwigans in search of various fungi. There will be discussion about the history, toxicity, ecology, biology, medicinal uses and edibility of mushrooms that are common to our area, followed by a moderate hike into the forest! Each hike is limited to 10 participants. However, additional hikes will be scheduled if there is enough interest. We will meet near the kiosk in the main parking area. It is recommended that you bring comfortable shoes, a water bottle, a camera and a mushroom field guide if you have one. This hike is set to end at 4 p.m., but visitors are encouraged to explore the rest of Holmes ESF on their own time. We offer hiking trails, picnic areas and a variety of educational exhibits.

Professional Development for Formal/Non-Formal Educators

HESF periodically host professional development workshops for formal and non-formal educators. Workshops include but not limited to Investigating Your Environment, Project Learning Tree, and Tree Identification for Educators. Please contact the office for more information on Continuing Education Units for Teachers and/or Environmental Education Certification credits.

Most NCFS and HESF educator workshops will fall under the following categories. NCEE Category I: Approved Instructional Workshops, NCEE Category II: Outdoor Environmental Education Experiences and/or Continuing Education Units for formal teachers.