State officials are turning to the skies and treetops for help with tourism.
The state has unveiled the North Carolina Birding Trail, linking dozens of sites known to birdwatchers as packed with rare, popular or threatened species. Officials are promoting the trail as nature-themed tourism.
The first section highlights the coastal region. Officials hope it will give the area an economic boost. It includes 102 birding sites in 16 groupings east of Interstate 95.
The trail will eventually include dozens of places throughout the state where visitors can look for more than 440 species. A Piedmont trail scheduled to be completed next year. A mountain trail is also planned.