For those of us who go " huffin' and puffin'. " around Western North Carolina looking for waterfalls, spring, 2020 marks the beginning of our 9th season!
Details: We will be hiking on Wednesdays, and information will be emailed to you the previous Sunday night. I will let you know the time and place of our meeting an estimate of the time we will return, and the difficulty of the trail . Please invite friends, neighbors, relatives, grandchildren, etc. I try to choose trails that are easy/moderate.
I will let you know by 7:00 AM the morning of the hike, if we are cancelling due to inclement weather.
Feel free to come, or not, you do not need to contact me one way or another. We usually end up with 5 to 12 hikers and are always delighted to see you.
Most of our hikes will begin at 9 am and are free of charge. We usually have lunch at the waterfall, and typically return to the meeting site by 1 pm.
I am excited about beginning again, we have a few newcomers this year, and I hope you will invite others. It will be good to see you.
From the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway that runs between the Blue Ridge Parkway and US Highway 64 through Pisgah National Forest, you'll see four waterfalls and cascades along a riverside hiking trail at the religious retreat named Living Waters in the Balsam Grove community. Visitors are welcome to see the falls and there is some room for roadside parking at the signs that say "Private Property, Enter at Own Risk." To the left of these signs is a short trail that leads to the riverside trail. It's a heavenly walk for waterfall lovers and super easy for all to enjoy!
After reaching the trail by the river, walk a few steps to the right to see a gorgeous twin waterfall featuring French Broad Falls and Mills Shoals (also called Shoal Creek Falls), both about 15 feet high. This is the intersection of the north fork of the French Broad River and Shoal Creek. There are boulders to sit on to soak in this beautiful setting behind an old mill that is now part of the retreat.
From the twin waterfall, turn around and follow the riverside trail downstream to see more cascades and Bird Rock Falls, also known as Cathedral Falls. There are several side trails to the right for picnic spots and up-close views of the rushing water.
"Graveyard Fields" is the name of a high, flat mountain valley adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Mount Pisgah. With its open views, cool summer temperatures, cascading waterfalls, and a great variety of hiking trails, Graveyard Fields is one of the most popular outdoor recreation areas in all of Western North Carolina.
It's at the junction of two high ridges where the Yellowstone Prong of the Pigeon River has its headwaters. Capped by mountains exceeding 6000 ft in elevation, the base of the valley is itself over 5000 ft, which accounts for some of its unique characteristics.
The area known as Graveyard Fields roughly includes the Yellowstone Prong valley above Yellowstone Falls, between the Blue Ridge Parkway to the south and the summit of Graveyard Ridge to the north, and west to the upper falls.
The unusually flat valley was once like an upside-down "bald", with fields of high-elevation grasses and shrubs surrounding the tributaries of the Yellowstone Prong. True bald mountaintops, such as Black Balsam Knob, surround the valley. But also like many balds, the valley is slowly growing over with shrubs and trees, replacing the open areas.
The Yellowstone Prong gathers in these high surrounding mountains, tumbles over Upper Falls into the western end of the valley, and spills out the eastern end over Second Falls (before flowing on to Skinny Dip Falls and the Shining Rock Wilderness area).
Lake Dense and Lake Alford are off the beaten path. Five-acre Lake Dense has a picnic shelter and fishing dock and a very good view of Joanna Mountain.
Half-acre Lake Alford is across the dam. The trail bears right at Lake Alford to Conservation Road. There is a view of 100-acre Lake Julia and the spillway from this trail.
Lake Julia is 100 acres and the largest lake in the forest. What is known as the Lodge is the present Ranger Station that is located near the end of Lake Julia Road.
The North Carolina Arboretum (434 acres (176 ha)) is an arboretum and botanical garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest at 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, southwest of Asheville, North Carolina near the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is open daily except for Christmas Day. There is no admission charge, but some parking fees do apply.
Although the idea for the arboretum stretches back to landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1898, who wished to create an arboretum at the nearby Biltmore Estate, today's arboretum was established by the General Assembly relatively recently, in 1986, as a facility of the University of North Carolina. In 1989 the site was officially designated the North Carolina Arboretum.
The arboretum is still under active development. It includes many hiking and bicycling trails, a bonsai collection, a holly garden, a stream garden, etc., as described below. Its tree collection includes a fine set of Metasequoias planted in 1950, and now said to be the tallest in the south (over 100 feet (30 m) in height).
source - Wikipedia
Tryon International Equestrian Center has quickly become an international hub for many of the world’s top equestrian athletes. Guests are welcome 365 days a year to watch, dine, shop, and experience one of the premier riding facilities in the world built for the love of horses and the sport.
Watch riders and horses from all over the United States compete from the comfort of elevated viewing areas around each ring with ample shade and seating, designed with spectators in mind! Admission to all of our horse shows is free and open to the public with complimentary parking. Competitions generally start at 8 am and wind down in the late afternoon through 5 pm. Click here for our event calendar to find out when the next show is!
During non-competition weeks, Tryon hosts other events including festivals and concerts. Visit to the facility, enjoy the views, and grab a bite to eat any day of the year!
“Saturday Night Lights” is a Grand Prix equestrian event featuring food, fun, live music, and the highest level of competitive show jumping on select Saturday evenings throughout the year. Admission, parking and carousel rides are all free! For more information, click here.
"Deep Woods Mushrooms is fungiculture and education center in the Pisgah National Forest of Western North Carolina. We are a distributor for Field and Forest Products carrying a full line of mushroom spawn and growing supplies and dedicated to the sustainable cultivation of edible and medicinal mushrooms, foraging and identifying wild edible mushrooms and teaching how to incorporate mushroom cultivation into your permaculture or property. We offer inoculation workshops, farm tours, and foraging tours from March – October"source - http://deepwoodsmushrooms.net/
The Glassy Mountain Trail to the top of Big Glassy starts just behind Connemara, the historic home of Carl Sandburg, “the People’s Poet” (you can also start it by crossing the field across from the goat barns). This wooded trail is well maintained and moderately steep. Along the way, you’ll pass a small reservoir and some rock outcroppings. There are benches along the way for resting. The top is a flat, exposed granite slab that’s suitable for picnicking. While the mountains in this area aren’t as big or dramatic as they are further north, you can see Mount Pisgah in the distance off to the northwest and South Carolina to the south. There are a lot of evergreens at the top, but the fall color is still lovely.
Length: 1.3 miles
Explore American Poet Carl Sandburg's legacy with our National Park Service at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in North Carolina.
Sandburg, nationally renowned poet, biographer, lecturer, newspaper columnist, folksinger, author of American fairytales, and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, spent a lifetime exploring what it meant to be an American and asked the eternal questions, "Who am I, where am I going and where have I been?" He passionately championed for the everyday working person, those who neither had the words nor the power to speak for themselves.
A Midwesterner most of his life, Sandburg and his family moved to North Carolina in 1945. This farm offered the peace and solitude required for his writing and offered Mrs. Sandburg over 30 acres of pasture-land to raise her champion dairy goats. Sandburg, having already achieved literary fame before relocating to North Carolina, continued to write and lecture and published more than one-third of his works during his 22 years at Connemara.
The historic landscape consists of the Sandburg residence, a dairy goat farm that is home to the Connemara Farms goat herd, rolling pastures, mountainside woods, five miles of hiking trails, two small lakes, flower and vegetable gardens, and an apple orchard.
Take a tranquil walk in the woods and learn a little about the forest as you go. Just 4.5 miles from the very busy (and often overcrowded) DuPont State Recreational Forest is much less known Holmes Educational State Forest. Find a variety of hiking trails, picnic areas, exhibits and even talking trees! In addition to free admission, all of their programs and special tours are free. It's just 10 miles from downtown Hendersonville.
Open mid-March through mid-November, the mountain slopes of the forest are filled with a very diverse collection of trees and wildflowers. The network of trails offers exploration for all fitness levels. The half-mile Talking Tree Trail has seven stops on gentle slopes with a short recorded message about one of the trees – fun for all ages.
source - RomanticAsheville.com