Home     |     About     |     Rooms/Rates     |     Day Use    |    Weddings     |     Reunions    |     Retreats    |    Education      
1600 Golden Rd Lake Toxaway, NC 28747    |    828.862.4207    |    info@earthshinediscovery.com
Earthshine Discovery Center - About Page
Discover Earthshine

Earthshine began in 1989 as an outdoor education center. Since then, we've taken on new roles, with family recreation, weddings, and corporate retreats. At our heart, our purpose remains the same; to share with our guests life changing, hands-on, outdoor experiences that educate and uplift.

“Our 5 day stay at Earthshine was nothing short of magical. Our family had the best vacation ever. The staff was so friendly and accommodating, making sure we were always having fun.”

Earthshine Discovery Center is here for schools, youth groups, families, businesses, and anyone else ready to play and learn outside the box. From our live-action immersive history programs, to our high-adventure team building courses, there is something here for everybody.

Students enjoy breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Orientation begins after arriving at Earthshine.
In character, Liz explains Cherokee history.

Karen listens to students sharing their experience.
Nick instructs a cooking class in the kitchen.
Mo guides students through a team building exercise.
Karen gives students a hands-on nature lesson.

Karen Montgomery - Owner

Karen graduated from Brevard College with a degree in Wilderness Leadership. She joined the Earthshine team in 2001 as a program facilitator. In 2013, her and her sister Liz reopened Earthshine as Earthshine Discovery Center. Karen is committed to providing a high quality experiential learning environment at Earthshine. Her experience and professionalism are a driving force behind the success of our programs. 


Liz in the barnyard with one of Earthshine’s four-legged family members.

Elizabeth Chancellor (Liz) - Owner

Liz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from the University of Tennessee at Martin. For over a decade, she worked closely with special needs youth at Youth Villages, Memphis Boys Town. Then in 2013, she joined her sister Karen at Earthshine as a co-owner. Liz is a high-energy educator with a passion for empowering young people.

Mo helping students on the spin wool on the spinning wheel.

Moriah Geer-Hardwick (Mo) - Program Facilitator

Moriah holds a degree in English from Montreat College. He started working summers at Earthshine in 2001. In 2005, he began year round employment at Earthshine. Energetic and sincere, Moriah brings a diverse range of skills to everything Earthshine has to offer.
Nick preparing a meal with a student group.

Nick Gardin - Head Cook

Nick has been with Earthshine since the beginning. Over the years, he has mastered the art of keeping both our guests and staff well fed and ready for adventure. We couldn't be more proud of the meals he offers.


Amy in the office, with our furry office assistants.

Amy Shute - Office Manager

Amy became our office manager in August of 2016. She spent 10 years traveling across the U.S. Europe and Hong Kong working with a non-profit organization teaching meditation. She moved to North Carolina to be close to her family. In her spare time, she performs with the North Carolina Studio Theater and the Brevard Little Theater.


Gene and Liz building a log cabin in the Cherokee village.

Gene Owen - Maintenance Manager

Behind the scenes, there is a complex infrastructure supporting every program we offer. Gene is the unsung hero who ensures this infrastructure remains in good working order. From constructing new buildings in the living history villages to maintaining the electrical and plumbing systems in the lodge, we could not do what we love here without his untiring efforts.