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Switchbacks and Summits

Hiking & Nature in North Carolina

April 5 - 10, 2020

In the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, wildflowers line rugged trails, and switchbacks guide determined hikers to awe-inspiring summits to look out upon sparkling mountain lakes and green pastures. With a band of like-minded hikers and an expert naturalist, learn about wildflowers, trees, plants and rock formations. Discover the charming hidden-gem town of Highlands, and top off an incredible week of hiking with a farm-to-table feast and Appalachian music.  



Brent Martin

Brent Martin is the owner/operator of Cowee, N.C.-based Alarka Institute and Expeditions, which offers a wide variety of nature-based workshops and outings. He has worked in conservation for 25 years, most recently serving for over a decade as the southern Appalachian regional director for The Wilderness Society. He lectures widely on the 18th-century American naturalist William Bartram and the cultural and natural history of western North Carolina's Little Tennessee River Valley.

For full retreat information and to register visit their website bellow:


  • Program: April 5-10, 2020

  • Registration opens: Now

  • This event will sell out well in advance, please register and pay in full to secure your place

Can't make it to the April event?

Road Scholar Events Happening in May & October as well as

Road Scholar - From Farm & Forest to Fork


  • 5 nights of accommodations

  • 13 meals (5B, 3L, 5D)

  • 1 expert-led lecture

  • 6 expert-led field trips

  • 4 hands-on experiences

  • 2 performances

  • An experienced Group Leader

  • Customary gratuities throughout the program

  • Road Scholar Assurance Plan

  • Taxes included

        $1,049 for Double Occupancy 

        $1,149 for Single Occupancy 

"Beautiful region! Moderate to challenging hikes. Friendly environment and excellent food at The Mountain."

-Amy Class of 2016 Wimauma, Fl

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