Hickory Nut Gorge is home to 36 rare plants and 14 rare animals, making it one of North Carolina’s most significant centers of biodiversity. Bring a lunch and follow a naturalist Off the Beaten Path to see some areas of the Park not normally accessible to the public, and learn about the amazing species that live here. Dress appropriately for the weather. This hike is strenuous; wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring water. Space is limited to 15, and advance registration is required, so call 800-277-9611 today to reserve your spot! Mountaintop Excursion is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January - December to learn about wild edibles, plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!