Shortleaf Pine illustration with NCFS Shield Holmes Educational State Forest

Shortleaf Pine illustration with NCFS Shield Holmes Educational State Forest

Educational Offerings At Holmes Educational State Forest


photo collage of activities at Holmes ESF

Spring/Summer 2019 Programs

Call 828-692-0100 or email to reserve your spot! You MUST SIGN UP for these programs to participate. Category II, III NC EE certification and CEU credit available upon request. These programs are FREE but you MUST SIGN UP to participate! Click on title for details.

  • May 18th, 8-11am @ main parking area: Bird Hike
  • Join professional birder Kevin Burke for a birding exploration of Holmes Educational State Forest. Kevin has been birding for 17 years and uses his expertise to guide trips in North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. Most recently Kevin has led trips to Columbia and Portugal. On this hike we can expect to see/hear warblers (such as Ovenbird, Black-throated Green Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Northern Parula), tanagers (Scarlet) and vireos (Red-eyed and Blue-headed) among others. This program is free but you MUST SIGN UP for this program to participate. Call now (828 692-0100) or email holmesesf.ncfs@ncagr.gov to reserve your spot! Program is limited to 15 participants. The group will meet in our main parking area at the kiosk. It is recommended that you bring comfortable shoes, a water bottle, camera, and bird field guide if you have one. The hike is set to end at 11am but feel free to explore the rest of Holmes Educational State Forest on your own time. We offer hiking trails, picnic areas, and a variety of educational exhibits.

  • June 1st, 10am-12 @ Holmes ESF: Guided Mushroom Hike
  • 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! Program is limited to 12 participants however other 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.

  • June 4th, 9:30 @ DuPont (Guion Farm Access): Bat Talke
  • Join DuPont State Recreational Forest Ranger Eric Folk for a short discussion on the current state of bat research in North Carolina to include updates on White-Nose Syndrome. Learn what you can do as a citizen to help with the ongoing bat research in our area. The discussion will be followed by a short hike to observe active bat houses. No registration required, NCEE credits available on request.

  • June 5th, 9am-12 @ DuPont (Guion Farm Access): Guided Hike to Wintergreen Falls
  • Join an NC Forest Rangers on a moderately-strenuous 3-mile hike to one of the lesser known waterfalls in DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF). Wintergreen falls is a beautiful 20-foot waterfall nestled in the bottom of Grassy Creek Gorge. Learn to identify local flora and fauna on the way. We recommend you bring good hiking shoes, water, sun protection, snacks, and a camera. If you’d like to wade in the creek make sure you are dressed appropriately. We will depart from the Guion Farm parking lot at 9:00 am and the hike will last 2-3 hours depending on how much time you spend at the falls.

  • June 16th, 2-5pm @ Holmes ESF: Family Fun With Pollinators
  • Join NC Forest Rangers at Holmes Educational State Forest in Hendersonville for a Free Father’s Day Celebration. Scheduled activities will take place during the afternoon at the Pollinator Garden starting at 2:15, 3:15 and 4:15. These family oriented activities may include a relay race, obstacle course, scavenger hunt, and arts and crafts. All ages are welcome! Visit for an hour or stay all day! RSVP is not required. Call 828-692-0100 or email holmesesf.ncfs@ncagr.gov for more information. We appreciate all the hard work of our volunteers and Extension Master Gardeners for helping us care for our pollinator habitat. June is a wonderful time to stop by the forest to observe the native plants and busy pollinators in the garden.

  • July 17th, 10am-1pm @ DuPont (Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center): Lake and Stream Ecology
  • Explore the aquatic environments of Lake Julia and Reasonover Creek within DuPont State Recreational Forest! Open to all ages, this family program will uncover the life histories of some of the creatures that live in and around these aquatic ecosystems as well as the history and forest management in the area. We will be using equipment to explore the life forms found in and around the water. Wear clothes and shoes that can get dirty and bring a towel, snacks and water. We will meet in front of the Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center at 10:00 a.m. and carpool to the lake; the program will take about 3 hours. Once we are at the lake, there are very limited facilities. Limit 15 participants, suitable for family audiences.

  • June 22nd, 10am-12 @ Holmes ESF: Guided Mushroom Hike
  • A guided introduction to the world of fungi. Come explore our temperate forests 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. Program is limited to 12 participants however other 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.

  • June 26th, 9am-12 @ DuPont (Corn Mill Shoals Access): Guided Hike to Cedar Rock
  • Join NC Forest Rangers on a moderately strenuous 2-mile hike to Cedar Rock to examine the lichen and moss communities that call this place home. Local flora and fauna will be discussed along the way and we will have excellent views of the surrounding mountains once we reach the top! We recommend you bring good hiking shoes, water, sun protection, snacks, and a camera. Hike is limited to 20 participants. However, additional hikes will be scheduled if there is enough interest.

  • July 10th, 9am-4:30pm @ Holmes ESF: Tree ID Workshop for Educators
  • You are invited to join NC Forest Rangers at Holmes Educational State Forest for a day long Tree ID Workshop where you will learn how to identify 20+ trees by observing physical features and other characteristics including twigs, bark and branching patterns. Participants will also collect leaf specimens and build a leaf press out of their own materials. Rangers will share numerous activities to help students engage in the concepts presented. Please dress appropriately for the weather, we will walk approximately 1.5 miles.

  • July 13th, 10am-12 @ Holmes ESF: Guided Mushroom Hike
  • A guided introduction to the world of fungi. Come explore our rich cove forest ecosystem 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! Program is limited to 12 participants however other 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.

  • July 24th 9am-12 @ DuPont (Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center): Guided Fire Ecology Hike
  • Join NC Forest Rangers on a three-mile guided hike through areas that have been recently burned with prescribed fire at DuPont State Recreational Forest. Participants will learn about the goals and objectives of using prescribed fire, as well as its application and effects. This hike will begin at the DSRF Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center and conclude at the Lake Dense shelter. Following the program, participants are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the lake or take a short walk to nearby Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Julia. Hikers will return on the 30 minute walk back to their vehicles at the Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center on their own time. This is a strenuous hike. We recommend bringing sturdy hiking shoes, sunscreen, water, hiking poles, sunglasses, and a hat.

  • July 31st 9am-12 @ DuPont (Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center): Guided Fire Ecology Hike
  • Join NC Forest Rangers on a three-mile guided hike through areas that have been recently burned with prescribed fire at DuPont State Recreational Forest. Participants will learn about the goals and objectives of using prescribed fire, as well as its application and effects. This hike will begin at the DSRF Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center and conclude at the Lake Dense shelter. Following the program, participants are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the lake or take a short walk to nearby Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Julia. Hikers will return on the 30 minute walk back to their vehicles at the Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center on their own time. This is a strenuous hike. Participants are encouraged to bring sturdy hiking shoes, sunscreen, water, hiking poles, sunglasses, and a hat.

  • August 9th, 9am-4pm @ Holmes ESF: Project Learning Tree (Fire Ecology)
  • Join us for a professional development workshop with Project Learning Tree. This will be a special secondary module with a large focus on forests, fire and fire ecology. This is an excellent opportunity for High School educators, and non-formal educators. Participants can earn 6 hours towards Category I, II or III credits OR 0.6 CEU credits. Sign-up through the NC PLT website. Bring your own lunch, snacks and water. Wear comfortable clothing for a full day outdoors.

There is much more at Holmes Educational State Forest to explore on your own time! We offer hiking trails, picnic areas, and a variety of educational exhibits.