Field Trips

We have an exciting slate of field trips planned from Whitewater Rafting down the Upper Pigeon Forge, hiking Mt. Mitchell, the highest elevation east of the Mississippi, to visiting downtown Asheville for a street art and brewery tours! The field trips are scheduled for Thursday to Saturday, and can be half day, full day, or an overnight trip. Many of the field trip offer time for outdoor sketching and nature journaling. Grab your sketchbook, hats, comfortable walking shoes, and join us for an adventure.

Field trip schedule and events subject to change.

4-Hour Half Day Field Trips

Asheville Street Art Tour

Thursday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Max Enrollment: 13

Price: $50

Pick Up and Drop Off: North Entrance Main Parking Lot behind Kittredge Theater

Minimum age, if any: none

How participants will get there: Ride the GNSI reserved van

Join MI Alex Baker and local Asheville artist and street art aficionado Zen Sutherland for a tour around our fair city looking at outdoor murals and street art. We will venture through Downtown Asheville and the South Slope to West Asheville, the Foundation area and the River Arts District. We’ll look at planned projects from the Asheville Mural Project, and single artists effort to large scale painting events from Burners and BBQ. You’ll see murals everywhere through this town and we’d like to show you both the well known pieces and the harder to find gems.

What to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Reusable waterbottles
  • Camera
  • Extra cash
  • walking shoes/comfortable clothes

Time for sketching available? No

Handicap accessible? Yes

Difficulty of terrain: Ability to get off and on the bus ave. Wheelchairs won't work, but we can assist some with limitations.

Indoors or outdoors? Both

Benches/shady places available? Yes

Restrooms available on site? Yes

Additional info: We will be getting out of the van at some stops to walk around larger mural projects. There is some time for sketching during these stops if you wish. About halfway through the tour we will stop at a coffee shop for refreshments and use of facilities.

Craggy Gardens hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Thursday 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Max Enrollment: 14

Price: $50

Pick up and Drop off: Main Parking Lot behind Kittredge Theater

Minimum age, if any: none

Hiking map:

How participants will get there: Ride the GNSI reserved van

Ride the Blue Ridge Parkway to Craggy Gardens. We will start the moderate 1.4 mile hike at the Visitor's Center. This trail passes through a Northern Hardwood forest of mountain ash, birch and beech trees into a Heath Bald, which should be awash in blooming Catawba Rhododendrons. Take a break and sketch at the trail shelter, and enjoy views of Craggy Pinnacle. Finish at the Craggy Gardens picnic area.

What to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Insect Repellant
  • Raincoat
  • Sketching supplies
  • Reusable waterbottles
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • hiking boots/comfortable clothes

Time for sketching available? Yes

Handicap accessible? No

Difficulty of terrain: short hike with 200ft decline and some obstacles.

Indoors or outdoors? Both

Benches/shady places available? Yes

Restrooms available on site? Yes

Additional info: Plants found on this hike are catawba rhododendron, mountain laurel, blueberry, mountain ash, violets, blackberry, may apple, turkscap lily, flame azalea, buckeye, birch and others. Marla Coppolino will be a guide.

Full Day Field Trips

Mt. Mitchell State Park Sketching and Hike

Thursday 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Max Enrollment: 15

Price: $100* (If not staying on campus, +$10 for box lunch)

Pick Up and Drop Off: North Entrance Main Parking Lot behind Kittredge Theater

Minimum age, if any: not recommended for very young children

How participants will get there: Ride the GNSI reserved van

Visit the highest elevation east of the Mississippi and study unique floral of the alpine forest with a State Park Ranger and Guide. We will start at the Mt. Mitchell Museum to view exhibits on the mountain's natural and cultural history, then hike into the Balsam Nature Trail to study and sketch botanical examples. Take time to walk up to the Observation Deck to see the vistas at 6,683 feet.

What to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Insect Repellant
  • Sunglasses
  • Boots
  • Sketching supplies
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Extra cash
  • Walking shoes/comfortable clothes

Time for sketching available? Yes

Handicap accessible? Yes

Difficulty of terrain: varies: museum and observation deck are wide and gradual/hike is moderate unless attendees go farther/ longer hikes are difficult

Indoors or outdoors? Both

Benches/shady places available? Yes

Restrooms available on site? Yes

Additional info: Depart WWC 9:30 am. Bring Box Lunches. Time included to eat lunch at picnic area. 1.5 hour hike with Park Ranger. Time after to sketch or hike a bit further.

Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education Tour in the Nantahala National Forest

Friday 9:30 AM - 5:00 pm

Max Enrollment: 15

Price: $100* (If not staying on campus, +$10 for box lunch)

Pick Up and Drop Off: North Entrance Main Parking Lot behind Kittredge Theater

Minimum age, if any: no

How participants will get there: Ride the GNSI reserved van

Take a trip into the Nantahala National Forest to visit the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Looking Glass Falls. The Center will offer a 1.5 hour tour. This center features access to brook, rainbow and brown trout fish hatcheries and wildflower gardens with accessible interpretive trails that wind though a hardwood forest habitat.

The Center’s auditorium, we can view an award-winning documentary on the natural history of the mountains and the ways the commission works with the population to conserve wildlife diversity. Then get up close to live animals in the Mountain Wildlife exhibit. Large aquariums representing five aquatic habitats hold a diverse collection of fish, frogs, salamanders and snakes.

We can make a stop at Looking Glass Falls, a popular spot for travelers along U.S. 276, Forest Heritage Scenic Byway, near Brevard in the Pisgah National Forest. Enjoy nice views from the parking area along the road. Or take a short walk for a closer look. The waterfall is 60 feet tall.

What to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Insect Repellant
  • Sunglasses
  • Sketching supplies
  • Reusable waterbottles
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Extra cash
  • Comfortable clothes/walking shoes

Time for sketching available? Yes

Handicap accessible? No

Difficulty of terrain: Easy to moderate walking

Indoors or outdoors? Both

Benches/shady places available? Yes

Restrooms available on site? Yes

Additional info: Take Blue Ridge Parkway, with a brief stop at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor's Center. Stop for 45 mins at Looking Glass Falls. Arrive PCWE by 11:00 am. Lunch. Tour starts at 12:30 pm and is 1.5 hrs. A bit of time for sketching, hiking on own. Depart 3:00. Stop at Pisgah Inn for coffee, about 30 mins. Return by 5 pm.

Camping: Big Creek in Great Smokey Mountain National Park

Overnight Friday-Saturday 1:00 pm Friday - 3:00 pm Saturday

Max Enrollment: 4

Price: $85 (Includes all meals)

Pick up and Drop off: Main Parking Lot behind Kittredge Theater

Minimum age, if any: 18

How participants will get there: Guides provide transportation: car pool

Enjoy overnight hiking in the Smokies. The hike has a gradual climb of 1,375 ft over 5.5 miles on a level, relatively smooth path (with a downhill return). After the first 1.5 miles, you will be hiking along the creek all the way to the campsite. You’re likely to see fisherman while crossing over the carriage bridge. You pass a second bridge into the campsite at Walnut Bottom. Along the way you will see scars on the landscape from past logging day. If you want to see bears - this is the place to camp. The site does have bear cables installed at each campsite, but the rangers will warn you to keep an eye on your dinner.

What to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Insect Repellant
  • Sunglasses
  • Raincoat
  • Close-toed shoes
  • Boots
  • Long pants
  • Bathing suits
  • Sketching supplies
  • Reusable waterbottles
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Extra cash

Time for sketching available? Yes

Handicap accessible? No

Difficulty of terrain: The hike has a gradual climb of 1,375 ft over 5.5 miles on a level, relatively smooth path (with a downhill return)

Indoors or outdoors? Mostly outdoors

Benches/shady places available? No

Restrooms available on site? No

Additional info: Dave and Alex will plan and cook dinner friday and breakfast saturday and bring snacks. Buy lunch saturday at first sign of civilization heading back to town. Wear hiking boots. Bring tent, sleeping bag and pad. Bring your backpacking stove if available. Bring refillable water bottle. Pack warm layers (not cotton) for night time temperatures and rain gear in case of temperamental weather. Please contact Dave at DavidLBaker@bellsouth.net or 828 279 3160 with dietary restrictions or packing questions. Not a difficult hike, but backpacking experience helpful. The bears are used to people here.

Gray Fossil Museum Tour

Saturday 9:30 am - 5:00 PM

Max Enrollment: 14

Price: $100* (If not staying on campus, +$10 for box lunch)

Pick up and Drop off: Main Parking Lot behind KIttredge Theater

Minimum age, if any: none

How participants will get there: Ride the GNSI reserved van

Get up close and personal with an active Miocene-era fossil dig site at the Gray Fossil Museum. Prehistoric sloth, bear, three toed horse, alligator, turtles and lots of tapirs are just some of the fossils found at the site and on display. Take a tour with a museum curator of the museum and dig site.

What to bring:

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sketching supplies
  • Reusable waterbottles
  • Camera
  • Extra cash
  • Walking shoes/comfortable clothes

Time for sketching available? Yes

Handicap accessible? Don't know

Difficulty of terrain: Easy (walking on flat/paved paths)

Indoors or outdoors? Mostly indoors

Benches/shady places available? Yes

Restrooms available on site? Yes

Additional info: Museum has an introductory film about the 2000 discovery, interactive displays, fossil and mounted specimens, hands on digging exhibits, murals and the actual fossil dig all on display.

Upper Pigeon Forge: Whitewater Rafting with the Nantahala Outdoor Center

Saturday afternoon 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Max Enrollment: 15

Price: $100* (If not staying on campus, +$10 for boxed lunch)

Pick Up and Drop Off: North Entrance Main Parking Lot behind Kittredge Theater

Minimum age, if any: 8+ years or 70+ pounds

How participants will get there: Ride the GNSI reserved van

Upper Pigeon Forge River Rafting: Fully-Guided 5 mile trip, intermediate level, duration about 3 hours. NOC provides all necessary gear and equipment. Enjoy class III and IV rapids in the spectacular Upper Pigeon River Gorge as it winds among through the Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest with an experienced NOC river guide.

What to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Bathing suits
  • Reusable waterbottles
  • Camera
  • Extra cash
  • Comfortable clothes/river shoes/no flip flops/straps for glasses

Time for sketching available? No

Handicap accessible? No

Difficulty of terrain: intermediate rafting experience

Indoors or outdoors? Mostly outdoors

Benches/shady places available? No

Restrooms available on site? Yes

Additional info:

  • The Raft Trip is 3 hours long. Trip starts at 1:20 pm.
  • Board shorts or nylon shorts, bathing suit
  • If cooler, long sleeve non cotton shirt
  • Water shoes or sandals with a heel strap or sneakers you don’t mind getting wet (NO FLIP FLOPS)
  • A strap for glasses or sunglasses if you have them









LaZoom Band & Beer Tour of Asheville

Thursday evening 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Max Enrollment: 40

Price: $35.00

Pick up and Drop off: WWC North entrance in the main parking lot behind Kittredge Theater

Minimum age, if any: 21

How participants will get there: LaZoom provides all transportation including pick up at WWC

Come join us for a ride on Asheville’s much beloved purple bus. Asheville is widely known as a unique, lovely, giddy little city. There’s never been anything quite like it, and there’s never been anything anywhere like the multiple award-winning LaZoom Comedy Tours! LaZoom tours were recently named among TripAdvisor’s top ten US attractions to visit. This sweet purple ride comes with a live band and a tour MC to entertain you with tales our our nationally acclaimed beer scene (Beer City USA - watch yourselves Portland!) Music, beer, comedy and safe driving to and from Warren Wilson Campus. Get on the bus!

What to bring:

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Raincoat
  • Reusable waterbottles
  • Camera
  • Extra cash
  • comfortable clothing, walking shoes, cash to buy beer, jacket if its cool.

Time for sketching available? No

Handicap accessible? No

Difficulty of terrain: easy, but will need to get off and on the bus

Indoors or outdoors? Both

Benches/shady places available? Yes

Restrooms available on site? Yes

Guided Garden Tour of the NC Arboretum

Friday 8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Max Enrollment: 15

Price: $50.00

Pick Up and Drop Off: North Entrance Main Parking Lot behind Kittredge Theater

Minimum age, if any: not recommended for children under 8 years

How participants will get there: Ride the GNSI reserved van

A Garden Guide will lead the group through exhibit gardens and may include descriptions of garden design, seasonal plants, the Arboretum’s history, art and general gardening information. Gardens on the tour may include the Heritage Garden, signature Quilt Garden, Stream Garden, Bonsai Exhibition Garden.

What to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Insect Repellant
  • Sunglasses
  • Sketching supplies
  • Camera
  • Walking shoes/comfortable clothes

Time for sketching available? Yes

Handicap accessible? Yes

Difficulty of terrain: Yes: Tours are wheelchair accessible and not recommended for individuals that cannot stand for 1 hour tour.

Indoors or outdoors? Both

Benches/shady places available? Yes

Restrooms available on site? Yes

Additional info: Arrive by 9 am to meet the Garden Guide for 1 hour tour. Time after to explore on your own, take photographs and sketch specimens. Arboretum has museum, gift shop, exhibit space, classrooms and a cafe.