Outdoor Activities

Asheville Area Offers Flurry of Fun Activities This Winter

Skiing in Western North Carolina

As Western North Carolina gears up for winter, the Asheville area comes alive with snow-centric activities. From skiing to snow tubing to wintry hikes, a range of outdoor adventures makes the flakes all the more fun, for young and old alike. Following, a few favorites to try out this season:

Ski and Snowboard Central – With a range of slopes dotting the area, a day or evening of skiing or snowboarding is an easy option when the snow starts falling – or even if it doesn’t! Barring unusually warm weather, area ski centers are equipped to make snow, so you always have the option to hit the slopes this winter. Area resorts include:

·     Wolf Ridge Ski Resort – Located 30 minutes north of Asheville in Mars Hill, this family-oriented resort provides lessons in skiing and snowboarding, as well as night skiing. The lodge overlooking the slopes boasts three fireplaces, cafeteria, gift shop and rental shop. https://skiwolfridgenc.com

Snow Tubing Near Asheville·     Cataloochee Ski Area – An hour away from Asheville in Maggie Valley, this ski and snowboard resort offers 18 slopes and trails, lessons and special rates for day and night sessions. Afterschool and School Race programs are popular options at the resort, which also has a large lodge with cafeteria, fireplace and rental shop. https://cataloochee.com

·     Beech Mountain Resort – Make a weekend of it and visit this popular resort town, about two hours from Asheville. In addition to offering 17 slopes in the highest ski area in the eastern U.S., Beech also has snowtubing and ice skating. A free youth sledding hill next to the visitor center entertains the 12-and-under set. https://www.beechmtn.com/things-to-do/winter-sports/skiing

Snow Tubing – Take to the slopes on a tube, an easy, all-ages way to enjoy the snow. Area tubing spots include:

·     Tube World – Located 4 miles from Cataloochee Ski Area, this tubing park also offers Wee Bowl Snowplay area for young children not tall enough to tube. https://cataloochee.com/planning/tube-world/

·     Zip N Slip – Just half an hour from Asheville in Mars Hill, this spot features three tubing lanes, night tubing, a solarium with fireplace and snacks. http://zipnslip.com

Frozen Waterfall·     Moonshine Mountain Snow Tubing – This Hendersonville spot features the steepest tubing slope in Western N.C. There’s also a gift and snack shop, changing area and fire pit. http://www.moonshinemountain.com

·     The Tube Run – Located just outside Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, this slope has no designated lanes, allowing tubers to link up – and amp up the excitement. https://skiwolfridgenc.com/tickets/snow-tubing

Waterfall Hikes – Trekking to an icy waterfall in the winter affords a stunning adventure like no other. Partially frozen or fully iced-over falls dot popular hiking trails, making it easy to take in the wintry scenes. And with trees bare, long-range views normally shrouded by leaves open up. A few favorite frozen falls to visit include: Looking Glass Falls (aptly named for the icy “mirror” it boasts in the winter), Moore Cove Falls and Daniel Ridge Falls in Pisgah National Forest; Triple Falls, High Falls and Hooker Falls in DuPont State Forest; and Dry Falls and Cullasaja Falls near Highlands.

For more information about Asheville, or about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828.337.8190.

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Proximity Makes Asheville Tops in Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes

Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville

Much of the beauty of living in Asheville is the city’s amazing accessibility to the Blue Ridge Parkway. With the famed Virginia-to-North Carolina scenic highway – America’s longest linear park at 469 miles – winding along mere minutes from Asheville’s city center, it’s easy to jump on the parkway – whether it’s an impromptu afternoon hike you’re after, or an all-day trek – and still be able to cap the day with dinner downtown. Following, a few favorites to check out:

Mount Mitchell Summit and Balsam Nature Trail

This short hike is 31 miles from Asheville along the parkway. A shady balsam-fir forest shrouds the paths to the top of Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak east of the Mississippi at 6,684 feet.

Black Balsam Hike Near AshevilleMount Pisgah Trail

You can be to this moderately challenging trail from Asheville in 40 minutes. Hike through lush green forest to reach the tower-capped summit, which offers 360-degree long-range views.

Craggy Gardens Trail

In season, blooming rhododendron and blueberries line the trail to the grassy mountaintop of Craggy Gardens, 19 miles from Asheville along the parkway. Even when not in bloom, the trail, framed in ghostly gnarled branches, still draws hikers to its surreal beauty.

Graveyard Fields Trail

One of the parkway’s most popular hikes, Graveyard Fields offers waterfalls, gorgeous views, and wild blueberries and blackberries for picking – all just 34 miles from Asheville.

Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain Loop

A 5-mile loop takes you over two summits, affording amazing views from trails that cut through the grassy balds of Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain.

Blue Ridge Parkway Near AshevilleRattlesnake Lodge

This trail – a mere 21 minutes from Asheville – winds through the remains of an early 1900s estate, with parts of a barn foundation, lodge, spring house, pool and outbuildings still standing for hikers to explore.

Visitor Center Loop

An easy, smooth hike, the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center loop offers the perfect terrain for youngsters or those not wanting to venture too far into the woods or too far away from the parking area.

And when the parkway is closed…

Craven Gap

This trail, accessible at the end of Town Mountain Road in Craven Gap, is 15 minutes from downtown Asheville, but feels worlds away. It’s proximity to the city, easy hiking, and beautiful backdrop make it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike – including President Obama and wife Michelle, who hiked the trail during a 2010 visit to the area.

Folk Art Center Trail to Bull Mountain

A popular, well-maintained spot located just outside the city limits, the Folk Art Center Trail winds along the Mountains to Sea Trail, a rolling path interspersed with short steep climbs. Begin or end your hike with a stop into the Folk Art Center.

For more information about Asheville or about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Locally Grown, Fresh-Cut Flowers Flourish in Asheville

Asheville Local Flowers

Summer is in full bloom, and so are Asheville-area flower farms and greenhouses. For fresh cuts of everything from peonies and poppies to zinnias and dahlias, the sources are abundant. Flower farms provide their wares at farmer’s markets across the area, or through flower bouquet shares (similar to CSA shares). Some farms also offer pick-your-own options for guests to create custom clusters. Additionally, area greenhouses are brimming with colorful blooms to add a dash to your home. Following, a few farms and greenhouses to make buds with:

Flying Cloud Farm – This Fairview farm sells its blooms in mixed bouquets at the River Arts District Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays) and the North Asheville Tailgate Market (Saturdays), as well as at its farm roadside stand everyday May through mid-October. In addition, you can pick your own at the farm mid-July through mid-October.

Asheville Flower FarmFull Sun Farm – Flowers from this Leicester farm are available at both the River Arts District and North Asheville markets, with mixed bouquets and sunflower bunches among its most popular. The farm also offers fresh-picked field flowers for weddings and other special events, as well as pick-your-own flowers by the bucket.

Lady Luck Flower Farm – If you’re looking for a seasonal bouquet, you’re in luck – Lady Luck, to be precise. This farm in Leicester grows a variety of flowers from spring to fall, of which they hand-select the perfect blooms to create bouquets for sale at French Broad Food Co-op May through October. Lady Luck holds periodic Community U-Pick Flowers Days, usually in July and August, where they open up the farm for visitors to pick as many flowers as they’d like.

Flora – This botanical boutique in the heart of West Asheville offers fresh-cut flowers and arrangements to brighten your home. Shop for a range of blooms, from unique varieties to locally grown staples, in a small but stunning setting.

Jack Young Greenhouses – Located in Candler, this locally owned greenhouse, in business for nearly half a century, is a popular destination not just for its wide selection of blooms, but also for on-site events throughout the season that appeal to the entire family. The greenhouse prides itself in ethically sourcing plants with a strong devotion to sustainability.

Area Groceries – An easy option for locally grown, fresh-cut bouquets is your local grocery. West Village Market & Deli, Earthfare’s Westgate and South locations, and French Broad Food Co-op are all urban options for buying blooms to weave a little of the outdoors into your indoors.

For more information about our area or about real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Asheville Lights Up With July Fourth Celebrations

Fireworks Asheville

Every Fourth of July, the Asheville area plays host to a multitude of Independence Day celebrations, with an array of activities to delight young and old. Choose from one of these Fourth of July fetes, and you’re sure to have a blast! (Unless otherwise noted, all events occur on July 4th.)

Downtown Asheville:

July Fourth AshevilleIngles Independence Day Celebration 2018 – Things kick off in Downtown’s Pack Square Park at 2 p.m. with kids’ activities and a bouncy house. There will be live music at 6 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:30. Food trucks, along with beer and wine for sale at the event, mean you can bring your lawn chair or blanket to the park early and plan on spending the day enjoying the festivities. https://www.ashevilledowntown.org/independenceday

Asheville Tourists Baseball – Take in a game, followed by a grand fireworks display, at the Tourist stadium in South Slope. https://www.milb.com/asheville

South Asheville:

Lake Julian offers the perfect backdrop for a night of family fun this Fourth. Enjoy sand volleyball, horseshoe, boat rentals, and a picnic ahead of the fireworks display, which begins at sundown.

Biltmore House:

For a special celebration, head to the Biltmore’s Antler Hill Barn beginning at 6 p.m. to enjoy a dinner buffet, live music, Biltmore wines and old-fashioned fun and games for all ages. The evening culminates in a dramatic fireworks display on the estate grounds. $125/adult, $60/child. https://www.biltmore.com/events/detail/july-4th-celebration-dinner-at-antler-hill-barn

Surrounding Towns:

Fourth of July AshevilleWeaverville – Lake Louisa Park will feature live music, vendors and food, followed by fireworks over the lake at 10 p.m.

Bryson City – From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., downtown Bryson City comes alive with a 5K, crafts, food, live music and fireworks.

Sylva – Take in the shops and restaurants along Sylva’s picturesque Main Street, then enjoy live music starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by fireworks.

Marion – A parade at 6 p.m. kicks off Fourth festivities. There will be live music, food vendors and fireworks.

Lake Lure – This celebration, on July 3, features fireworks over the lake that you can view from the beach, so bring a picnic and make an evening of it!

Hendersonville – Downtown will feature live outdoor music at its Visitors’ Center, followed by fireworks.

Waynesville – While there won’t be fireworks, Main Street will light up with music, sidewalk sales and children’s parade at 11 a.m.

Brevard – An 8 a.m. Firecracker Run kicks off the festivities, followed by a Fine Arts & Craft Festival. The Courthouse Gazebo will host live music all day. Fireworks will happen at Brevard College.

For more information about the Asheville area, or for questions about Asheville real estate, contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828.337.8190.

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Asheville Brims with Park Perks

Pack Square Park Downtown Asheville

Asheville is home to many parks large and small, some replete with sports fields, others boasting an abundance of green space, and a number perfect for playground time. Following, a few of the area’s popular parks – as well as some lesser-known gems. Many of these parks are located in wonderfully walkable Asheville neighborhoods.

Pack Square Park 

A major community gathering spot is the Pack Square Park in the heart of downtown Asheville. Surrounded by historic buildings, this park hosts many events and outdoor concerts. With landscaped, terraced lawns, an outdoor stage and Splashville water feature for children, it is a popular hub for many families.

West Asheville Park/Gassaway Field

An 8-acre park tucked away on the Vermont Avenue extension in walkable West Asheville, West Asheville Park is home to Little League baseball’s Gassaway Field. There are also concessions, restrooms, a picnic shelter and a playground. Rhododendron Creek runs through the park grounds. 11 Vermont Ave. Ext.

Malvern Hills Park

Malvern Hills Park West AshevilleThe outdoor seasonal pool is the big draw of this popular West Asheville park. Nestled between the Horney Heights neighborhood and near the Malvern Hills neighborhood, the park also features a bathhouse, restrooms, concession area, lighted tennis courts, playground, walking trail and a picnic shelter with grills. 75 Rumbough Pl.

Montford Park

Montford Park is located in the heart of the Montford historic district, just outside of downtown Asheville. It features tennis courts, mature trees, benches and a short walking path. This park is an established gathering spot for Montford neighborhood families and has great access via sidewalk. A second small park in Montford features playground equipment, a covered pavilion and a small walking loop.

Murphy-Oakley Park

This 7.7-acre park is extremely convenient to surrounding East Asheville neighborhoods and includes a lighted ball field, three tennis courts, a playground, a picnic shelter, a concession and restrooms. 715 Fairview Rd.

Riverside Cemetery

Located in the Montford Historic District, this cemetery features more than 87 acres of landscaped grounds for strolling and is the final resting place for many of Asheville notables including writers Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry. 53 Birch St.

Martin Luther King Jr. Park

This 3.4-acre park features a lighted ballfield with scoreboard, concession stand, fitness court, picnic tables, playground, restrooms, open shelter, memorial statue, courtyard and grills. 50 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Kenilworth Park

Located in the heart of the Kenilworth neighborhood, this park includes 3 acres of ballfields, basketball courts, picnic tables, a playground, restrooms, tennis courts and grills. 79 Wyoming Rd.

Walton St. Pool and Park

A popular summer destination, the Walton St. Park features an outdoor swimming pool complete with a concession and bath house, as well as a softball field, basketball court, off-street paved parking, a picnic shelter and a playground. 570 Walton St.

Carrier Park

French Broad River Park AshevilleA former racetrack, West Asheville’s Carrier Park is one of area’s most unique parks. Circling Carrier is a recently renovated velodrome for cycling, in-line skating, scooting or simply strolling. The infield has volleyball courts, a giant playground, a roller-hockey rink and a basketball court. A lawn bowling court and multi-purpose fields, a picnic pavilion, river overlooks and wetland interpretive trails round out the offerings. The French Broad River Greenway, a 2.8-mile bicycle and pedestrian paved trail, connects Carrier Park to Hominy Creek Park and French Broad River Park – another West Asheville gem featuring open green space, a gazebo, picnic tables, and a large fenced-in dog park. 220 Amboy Rd.

Azalea Park

Perched beside the Swannanoa River in East Asheville, Azalea has soccer fields, a dog park, a large playground and a picnic shelter. 498 Azalea Rd.

Aston Park and Tennis Center

Featuring one of the top public clay court facilities in the country, Aston Park has 12 lighted courts open to the public. A small playground and rolling green hills surround the center. 336 Hilliard Ave.

Food Lion Skatepark

This park, located in downtown Asheville, features 17,000 square feet of skating surface. There’s a beginner bowl, intermediate street course and advanced vertical bowl. 50 Cherry St. North.

Richmond Hill Park

Richmond Hill Park boasts 183 forest-filled acres, making it Asheville’s largest wooded city park. There are a wide variety of activities available, including disc golf, mountain biking, hiking, jogging, dog-walking and bird-watching. The disc golf course, considered one of the most challenging woods courses in the country, is 18 holes and 6,093 feet long. 280 Richmond Hill Dr.

For a personally guided tour of Asheville neighborhoods near parks, or for more information on real estate anywhere in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Asheville Area Earth Day Events Celebrate Environmental Stewardship

Blue Ridge Mountains

Since 1970, when a grassroots demonstration initiated by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson marked what we know today as Earth Day, millions of people have gathered around the world every year to participate in events and activities focused on improving, cleaning up and celebrating the environment. This month, Asheville is host to a multitude of events culminating in the April 22 Earth Day celebration. No stranger to environmental activism and stewardship, the city gives everyone, young and old, the opportunity to participate in a range of activities, including clean-ups, vigils and festivals.

Spearheading area Earth Day events is WNC for the Planet, a collective made up of local environmental organizations that provides access to service, educational and recreational opportunities throughout the month of April. WNC for the Planet is teaming up with local businesses, universities, community groups and individuals for a month of environmental service, educational opportunities and celebrations in Asheville and across Western North Carolina.

Mosaic Makes a Difference

River Clean Up AshevilleWNC for the Planet also includes a Business & Community Challenge, allowing area businesses, civic organizations and community groups to create teams and compete for prizes and bragging rights. As part of their mission to work with and support the vitality and health of our local and global community, Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty agents and employees are joining in the challenge. Each team earns Planet Points according to how much it accomplishes at WNC for the Planet events – for example, how much trash it collects or how many trees it plants – and at the end of the month, each team is ranked. The harder the team works, the more points it earns.

Other Earth Month events include everything from clean-ups at the Green and Swannanoa Rivers, to invasive plant workshops and clearing, to composting talks and stargazing. The month culminates with a weekend of celebrations, including Earth Day Kids’ Festival with RiverLink on April 21, at Salvage Station, MountainTrue’s annual Earth Day Vigil with faith groups on April 22, at First Baptist Church, and an Earth Day Celebration Party on April 22 at New Belgium Brewery. For more information on all the WNC for the Planet events, visit https://wncfortheplanet.org/events/category/public-event/.

Impacting the Earth, Every Day in Asheville

Earth Day Asheville NCIn the meantime, there are many ways you and your family can make a positive impact, however small, on the environment in celebration of Earth Day, and all year long:

·      Clean up the Asheville community by organizing a group to pick up litter in a local park or along a roadway.

·      Talk to local government about planting more trees and native garden beds in public spaces, or consider planting your own on your property.

·      Try an organic vegetable garden.

·      Conserve water.

·      Simply enjoy nature through hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway or taking a stroll through any of Asheville’s beautiful local parks.

For more information about our area or about real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Native American Knowledge and Western Science Intertwine in N.C. Arboretum's Roots of Wisdom Exhibit

NC Arboretum Asheville

Studying the Earth’s past in order to improve its future may be a tried-and-true strategy, but The North Carolina Arboretum brings fresh perspective to the process in its exhibit Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science., on display through May 6, 2018. The national traveling exhibit, proudly sponsored by Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, educates visitors about the ways in which traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and cutting-edge Western science are intertwined to enhance the natural world.

Roots of Wisdom Exhibit NC ArboretumOn display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily inside the Arboretum’s Baker Exhibit Center, Roots of Wisdom spotlights four indigenous communities, including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The exhibit features the voices of elders and youth, engaging video interactives, and hands-on games, whereby visitors can learn about and take part in the growing movement toward sustainability and the incorporation of age-old yet timeless practices into today’s world to restore vital ecosystems, provide sustainable food sources and improve human health.

Each of the indigenous communities featured in the exhibit holds a sacred relationship with its homeland, and it’s the traditional knowledge gleaned from this relationship that helps to complement Western science in its quest for solutions to a multitude of ecological and health challenges. Visitors to the exhibit will come away with a new perspective on some not-so-new methods for drawing from the Earth’s resources for the greater good.

Roots of Wisdom NC ArboretumThe North Carolina Arboretum, located just south of Asheville on 434 acres of public gardens, has an ongoing history of and keen interest in working with native indigenous communities. Most recently, its Germplasm Repository has joined forces with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, United South and Eastern Tribes, and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to assist in conserving traditional ecological knowledge through a variety of initiatives. It is this inspiring collaboration to help preserve the Asheville region’s botanical diversity that continues to shine through in exhibits like Roots of Wisdom.

The central mission of the Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, is to cultivate connections between people and plants. A standard $14 per vehicle parking fee is required for non-members; no other admission fee is required for entry to the exhibit. For more information on the Arboretum and Roots of Wisdom, visit www.ncarboretum.org or call (828) 665-2492.

For more information about our area or about real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Asheville on Bikes Gears Up for Cycle-Centric Events

Cycling Asheville

Cyclists in Asheville have plenty to enjoy around the city. From Asheville’s bike path infrastructure to its greenways, opportunities to cycle around town are growing. Spearheading the pro-pedal movement is Asheville on Bikes, a non-profit that advocates for better biking and walking infrastructure in the city and the surrounding Western N.C. region. The group celebrates bike culture regularly through group rides, educational programs – and fun special events.

Ready to get the good times rolling? Then join Asheville on Bikes for two of its most popular events, coming in February and March.

Bike Love

Road Bikes AshevilleThe 11th annual Bike Love, presented by New Belgium Brewing, returns to Salvage Station (468 Riverside Dr.) the evening of Saturday, Feb. 24. Bike Love is Asheville on Bikes’ annual signature extravaganza and fundraiser celebrating all things bicycle. Come and score popular gear and dance the night away while supporting Asheville on Bike’s mission. The event features a silent auction, a bicycle raffle, a photo booth, and music from top local artists. An early reception for special ticket holders includes small bites, a free beer and a sneak peak at the auction goodies. DJ Marley Carroll and Siamese Sound Club featuring CaroMia Tiller will be on hand to supply the grooves throughout the night. You can purchase tickets in advance online or at a variety of shops around Asheville. For more information, visit https://ashevilleonbikes.com/events/asheville-bike-love.

Bike of the Irish, in Asheville

The 12th annual Bike of the Irish is set for March 2018. Bike of the Irish is Asheville on Bike’s annual spring ride, featuring hundreds of green-bedecked riders and routes that showcase the best of Asheville’s bike infrastructure and greenways. Family-friendly and free to everyone (although donations are appreciated), Bike of the Irish has drawn hundreds every year to cycle along scenic routes including the River Arts District, into Downtown Asheville, and along various greenways before ending in an after-ride celebration at brewery favorites. For more information, visit https://ashevilleonbikes.com/events/asheville-bike-of-the-irish.

Thanks to Asheville on Bikes events like these, as well as the efforts of its members, sponsors and civic partners, Asheville is seeing real change on the ground and in the community in creating a safer cycling-friendly city.

For a personally guided tour of bikeable homes or homes near greenways in Asheville, or for more information on other Asheville real estate, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Asheville Trails That Aren't a Hike to Get To

Hikes Near Asheville NC

Western North Carolina is renowned for world-class hikes to suit all tastes and experience levels. Living in Asheville affords easy day trips to every manner of mountain trail. But what if you just want a quick lunchtime loop or an easy afternoon jaunt without going far? Asheville and the immediate area around it are replete with spontaneous options sure to stimulate the senses and pump the blood. Below, a few favorites.

NC Arboretum Explorer Loop

For a nearby hike you can do in just a few hours, head to the North Carolina Arboretum in southwest Asheville, near the banks of the French Broad River. The 4.4-mile loop offers beautifully maintained and gently grade trails that are perfect for young hikers and those looking for a less arduous route. The trail traces the perimeter of the Arboretum, beginning at Hardtimes Road and culminating at the beautiful gardens and sculptures surrounding the Visitor Education Center.

Destination Center Track Trail

The Blue Ridge Parkway visitor center at milepost 384 near Asheville offers an easy, 1.4-mile loop trail that starts at the far end of the visitor center parking lot. The trail allows visitors to enjoy the Parkway’s nature without venturing too far from the road, and also connects to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Stop into the center before the hike to get a map, talk to a ranger, pick up some merchandise, learn about other area offerings, watch the park film, and explore Parkway-themed exhibits.

Bent Creek North Loop

Bent Creek Experimental Forest AshevilleThis southwest Asheville trail nestled in Bent Creek Experimental Forest offers views of Enka, Candler and Biltmore Lake along its 8-mile loop. The hike starts at Rice Pinnacle Trailhead and runs along Deer Lake Lodge Trail, up the slopes of Little Hickory Top. The payoff of the moderately difficult climb along the trail is reaching Ingles Field Gap and tracing Stradley Ridge to take in long-range views of west Asheville and Enka.

Haw Creek Valley Overlook

From the Folk Art Center just east of Asheville to the Haw Creek Overlook runs a 5-mile, out-and-back trail featuring a moderate course overflowing with wildflowers and wild mushrooms in season. The gradually uphill hike follows the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway north from the Folk Art Center at milepost 382 to the mountain just above Haw Creek Valley Overlook, which offers picturesque mountain and valley views. When you’re done hiking, you can stop into the center to view a variety of Appalachian arts and crafts and, in season, enjoy daily craft demonstrations and talk to the craftspeople as they work.

For a personally guided tour of neighborhoods near local hiking trails, or for more information on real estate anywhere in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

 

Solar Eclipse Promises Out-of-This-World Experience in Asheville

Solar Eclipse Viewing Near Asheville

On Monday, Aug. 21, for the first time in 26 years, parts of the U.S. will experience one of nature’s most amazing celestial events: a total eclipse of the sun. If you’re lucky enough to be in the Asheville area that day, you’re in for a treat: the city will see a 99% eclipse, while Jackson, Swain and Graham counties – all located about 50 to 70 miles west of Asheville – will experience the extremely rare total eclipse. Towns in the direct path include Sylva, Dillsboro, Cashiers, Bryson City, Cherokee and Robbinsville.

Prepare to be Wowed

In a solar eclipse, the moon passes directly between the sun and the Earth, revealing the sun’s rarely seen corona. The moon casts a shadow that moves across the Earth's surface, creating a path of totality. For areas within this narrow, 70-mile-wide band, the experience will be otherworldly: temperatures will drop, birds will go silent, and stars will come out as complete darkness falls in the middle of the day for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds. The total transition in Western N.C. will begin about 1 p.m. and end around 4 p.m. Asheville will experience a 99% eclipse at approximately 2:37 p.m.

Best Spots to Watch the Eclipse near Asheville

View the Solar Eclipse Near AshevilleThere are many places to witness the entire eclipse in Western N.C. With visitors coming from everywhere to experience the phenomenon, you’ll need to arrive early to avoid heavy traffic. Although many events will have viewing glasses on hand, secure yours in advance and you’ll be assured a safe eclipse experience. Following, some prime spots for soaking in the exciting event:

Downtown Asheville: The Asheville Museum of Science and UNC-Asheville will host a free Solar Eclipse Festival in Pack Square Park from 12-3 p.m., with music, food and hands-on eclipse activities. For those living outside the city who don’t want to travel far, Buncombe County Schools will be hosting three satellite viewing locations: Owen High School, North Buncombe High School and T.C. Roberson High School.

Sylva: Beginning Friday evening, and leading up to the main event on Monday, visitors to downtown Sylva can enjoy festivities to celebrate the eclipse. On Monday, live music, food trucks and eclipse experts will be at Bridge Park (76 Railroad Avenue) in downtown Sylva from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Time of total darkness will be 1 minute, 45 seconds.

Dillsboro: Park at Monteith Park for $2 and take a free shuttle from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. into Dillsboro to experience vendors, galleries, studios, shops and restaurants along the river. Time of total darkness will be 1 minute, 50 seconds.

Cashiers: From 12-4 p.m., the Village Green will host food trucks, live music and experts with equipment for viewing. Everyone receives viewing glasses. Totality of darkness will be 2 minutes, 25 seconds.

EclipseCherohala Skyway: This National Scenic Byway near Robbinsville, with many overlooks at which to park, will experience the longest period of darkness (about 2 minutes, 30 seconds).

Blue Ridge Parkway: The southern section of the parkway will be in the path of total darkness (about 20-60 seconds around 2:36 p.m.) - from around Looking Glass Rock overlook (Milepost 417) to the end at Cherokee. The numerous overlooks on the stretch will fill up quickly, so get there early.

Bryson City: Events downtown on Frye Street and at Swain County Event Park will feature food trucks and music from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Total darkness will be 1 minute, 57 seconds.

Gorges State Park: Visitors can enjoy a three-day celebration with free activities. Aug. 19 is Nature Day, with a series of guided hikes from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20 is Fun Day, with programs, exhibits, food and music from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. On Eclipse Day, gates will open at 5 a.m. with free solar glasses, food and music from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – but get there early, since they’ll close the gates when they reach full capacity (1,400 vehicles).

For more information about our area or about real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville