Asheville Outdoors

The Ultimate Guide to Asheville Area Cycling

Cyclist

Asheville has long been a destination for outdoor adventure.  In recent years it is gaining in popularity as a cycling destination, and the city and local businesses are responding!  From increased access to greenways and bike corrals to a plethora of cycling outfitters offering group rides, to growing advocacy efforts, cycling is on the rise in Asheville.

Mountain Biking in Western North Carolina

One of the many benefits of living in the Western North Carolina mountains is being able to take advantage of the outdoor adventure opportunities all around us. Just 10 minutes southwest of downtown is Bent Creek Experimental Forest, which has miles of gravel roads and single track.

Mountain Biking AshevilleThere are many other world class mountain biking opportunities within a 90 minute drive of Asheville at Tsali Recreational Area, Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest

Get your mountain bike fix right in town at Kolo Bike Park, a mountain bike park with trails designed for progression of skills.  They also host bike camps at their location in West Asheville.  In 2016 they opened a new location for bike rentals near the greenway trails at the Smoky Park Adventure Center.

Bailey Mountain Bike Park, located near Mars Hill north of Asheville, is a gravity-specific bike park with over 1000 feet of vertical elevation for an incredible downhill experience.  This gorgeous piece of land is being developed as a downhill mountain biking destination.  Additionally, lots are available in this development and Mosaic Realty is the exclusive real estate partner of Bailey Mountain.  More information by emailing Justin at Justin@BaileyMountainWNC.com.

Road Biking in Asheville/ Buncombe County

Blue Ridge ParkwayThe Blue Ridge Parkway is a nationally renowned scenic highway that cyclists voyage to for the beautiful mountain vistas from the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 
Buncombe County roads in Swannanoa, Leicester, Hominy Valley and Mars Hill offer fantastic opportunities for road biking and gorgeous rural mountain scenery.  Many group rides from local bicyle shops explore these county roads.

Asheville Area Cycling Organizations

Blue Ridge Bicycle Club seeks to promote fun and healthy lifestyles through cycling in Western North Carolina.  They have a comprehensive cycling event calendar on their website.

Ring of Fire races are a 12 race training series on the safe and fast track at Carrier Park every other Wednesday from March until late July.  There are free kids races as well!

Asheville Cyclocross hosts free clinics at Bent Creek Community Park and has a strong presence at the annual Mountain Sports Festival at Carrier Park.  They also host rides at Oskar Blue’s REEB Ranch in Brevard.

Bicycle Stores in Asheville

There is an incredible array of options when it comes to getting outfitted for your cycling needs in this city!  We suggest trying out some of the group rides offered at shops such as Liberty Bikes, Motion Makers, and Beer City Bicycles to get acquainted with some of the fantastic service providers and their cycling wears.  

Cycling Advocacy in Asheville

Cycling AshevilleMosaic Realty is proud to support the 5th annual NC Bike Walk Summit held this year in Asheville.  At this event, cycling advocates and experts will gather to address issues surrounding economic benefits of cycling, funding strategies for bicycling and advancing bicycle advocacy in the area.  The event is September 16 and 17 this year.

Asheville on Bikes is a bicycle advocacy group that works tirelessly to make this a bikeable community.  They have successfully installed bicycle corals in various parts of town among other initiatives.  They also host a variety of fun-filled cycling events throughout the year such as the Bike of the Irish and Summer Cycle.

At Mosaic Realty, we aim to connect you with real estate that fits your lifestyle.  We have specific knowledge of the areas of Asheville that may appeal to your interests.

For more information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at mike@mymosaicrealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Creativity and Culture Nestled Among Natural Wonders

In recent years, Asheville North Carolina’s cultural draws have the town ranking in many national lists.  Known as a visual and performing arts hub as well as a foodie and microbrew destination, Asheville has much appeal for the cultured visitor.  

However, long before it’s popularity as a refined destination, outdoor enthusiasts have ventured to this area.  Historically, Asheville has been a tourist destination for a century and a half due to its refreshing air, mountain vistas and healing mineral springs.

With loads of state and national park destinations within an hour’s drive, Asheville is the perfect jumping off point for numerous outdoor adventures with a welcoming return to the finest comforts of civilization.  

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge ParkwayThe Blue Ridge Parkway, a stunning winding mountain road, stretches 469 miles along the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and passes straight through Asheville.  Breathtaking vistas, highland blueberry fields, waterfall hikes and elevation hikes are some of the attractions.  Just a few miles off of the Parkway in south Asheville you can stop by some of the town’s finest restaurants for rejuvenation: Tupelo Honey Cafe, Farm Burger and Twelve Bones Smokehouse.  

Pisgah National Forest

Pisgah National ForestThough Pisgah National Forest is over 500,000 acres of hardwood forests crisscrossed with white water, some of its most impressive natural wonders are within an easy hour drive of Asheville.  Swim in Looking Glass Falls swimming hole, race down the famous and frigid Sliding Rock or ascend Looking Glass Rock for one of the most spectacular views in the southeast.

Chimney Rock State Park

The pinnacle of Chimney Rock State Park is the 315 foot tower of stone known as the Chimney Rock itself.  It overlooks Lake Lure, the Rocky Broad River and Hickory Nut Gorge.  The river there is a destination for trout anglers and the amazing rock formations draw climbers from across the region.

Mount Mitchell State Park

Mount MitchellJust 35 miles northeast of downtown Asheville, explore Mount Mitchell State Park, the highest point east of the Mississippi River.  Bundle up for the mile high hikes and breezy picnic!  This peak is a popular ascent for road bikers who take the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville and distance trail runners who are up for the challenge of the rocky and technical climbing trails.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains National Park just West of Asheville features camping, horseback riding, fishing and hiking on more than 800 miles of trails.  There are 6 visitor centers and over a dozen waterfalls.  For a stunning geographical wonder, check out Clingman’s Dome at an elevation of 6,643 feet!

Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail, a national scenic trail, winds from Georgia to Maine but comes within an hour’s drive to Asheville in several special points.  Climb up to the highland bald at Max Patch for nearly 360 degree views as the Appalachian trail traverses it.  Or, head north of Asheville to Hot Springs where you can catch a short section of the trail after soaking in the natural mineral springs, having a microbrew at a local pub or kayaking the French Broad River.

If you appreciate both the creature comforts of a small city brimming with culture and proximity to spectacular natural beauty and outdoor adventure, then Asheville may have a home for you.

For more information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at mike@mymosaicrealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Rowdy to Relaxing: River Culture in Asheville

Tubing on the French Broad River

photo by JustinAsheville.com

The French Broad River flows through 25 municipalities in Western North Carolina, but it gets the most love in Asheville.  Over the past decade, a burgeoning river culture has emerged around the River Arts District in the center of town.  Passers-by can glimpse that love from the I-240 Smoky Park Bridge headed into downtown Asheville.  The river there is often teeming with river-lovers on a summer day.

Changes

What was once the distinctly industrial area of Asheville is now undergoing a sort of renaissance, spearheaded by artists a decade or more ago and carried along by restaurateurs, brewers and outdoor sports entrepreneurs.  The River Arts District is experiencing rapid changes to infrastructure amenities that will bring more access by road, bike and foot.

Food

Several stalwart eateries forged the way to a growing foodie scene along the river.  Clingman Cafe, overlooking the railroad tracks is a great spot to grab a coffee drink and pastry.  All Souls Pizza, known for their artisan crusts and farm fresh ingredients, was even featured in the New York Times.  

Fine dining establishments such as The Junction, Bull and Beggar and Smoky Park Supper Club are emerging from the rubble via reclaimed buildings and even reused shipping containers.

Asheville Food Park at the River is a shabby chic food truck heaven with new local and regional culinary artists rolling into town daily.  Visitors can sit by a creek, have a microbrew and throw cornhole while eating a delicious affordable meal.

Drink

The River district of Asheville does not lack for an opportunity to savor a craft cocktail or a microbrew.  The Wedge Brewery, long a staple of the area, sits at the epicenter of the river district, with its biergarten style tables overlooking the railroad tracks.  The Burger Bar, Bywater and the Salvation Station all provide riverside or riverview opportunities to get a great cocktail on a budget.  Some of the most delectable craft cocktails in the city can be found at the higher end restaurants mentioned above.

River Arts District train tracks

Adventure

Relaxing or rowdy, whatever your style of adventure can be accomplished along the French Broad through Asheville.  For those choosing not to voyage by vessel, the French Broad River Park now boasts about 5 miles of paved trails for bicyclists and pedestrians. A dog park is situated at one end of the long park and a sports complex rests at the other.   Across from the center of the park, you can find the Smoky Park Adventure Center, a hub for rock climbing, yoga, tai chi and more.  

Zen Tubing is the go-to company for renting tubes and running shuttles.  French Broad Outfitters can equip you for kayaking and paddle boarding.  Many anglers float the river for a day of fishing for smallmouth bass.

Entertainment

Asheville non-profit RiverLink sponsors a free community concert series called River Music on the banks of the French Broad River once a month during the warmer seasons.  Local and regional acts draw thousands of people to these shows.  They also spearhead River Festival and the Anything That Floats Parade in August.

Twice a year, the River Arts District holds an artist’s studio stroll where visitors can see almost 200 artists showcasing their art throughout historically industrial studios along the river.

River Living

The River Arts District is an increasingly popular place to live due to its convenience to downtown and its accessibility to Asheville’s greatest natural and designed outdoor play spaces.  Much of the housing in this area is either bungalow style homes, condos or studio apartments.  

Mosaic Realty would love to help you find your home in Asheville.  For more information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at mike@mymosaicrealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Get Outside At These Asheville Parks

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Asheville Parks

With a new year, many strive to make a commitment to get outside more often to be active. Asheville's surrounding mountains offer great escapes from the everyday, however some its parks are the perfect place to clear your head during a lunch or evening break away from the office. With smart phones increasing the constant noise around us, we wanted to share some of our top favorite afternoon parks to escape the daily grind.

 

Beaver Lake: Take a stroll through the bird sanctuary or if you are a runner it's a great place to run around this small lake located in North Asheville. It's picturesque and quaint, and is the perfect place to get a few minutes of fresh air. 

 

Carrier Park: Known as one of Asheville's top park locations, this park offers volleyball, a playground, roller-hockey rink, basketball court, track, a paved trail, a multi-use field, great for baseball or soccer, and a picnic pavillion. Connected by a 2.8 mile bicycle and pedestrian trail known as the French Broad River Greenway, Carrier Park is connected to Hominy Creek Park, a popular spot for Asheville tubers to get in the river. 

 

Richmond Hill Park: This large wooded park is great for trail running, mountain biking, and paying disc golf. Dogs are often seen on the trails with their owners, and it is a beautiful place to take in serenity within Asheville city limits. 

 

Azalea Park: Well known in the soccer community, Azalea Park is located along Swannanoa River and has soccer fields, picnic pavilions, and a running/walking trail. It is home to competitive soccer HFC, as well as an adult league. Also home to the Azalea Dog Park. To reserve a field, go to the Asheville Parks web site

 

Montford Park: With tennis courts, a playground, and green space, this park has much to offer. Located in the Asheville neighborhood of Montford, it has convenient access to/from the highway. 'Shakespeare in the Park' by the Montford Park Players during the spring, summer, and fall adds a magical charm to this park.