Outdoor Activities

Plentiful Neighborhood Parks Are Perk of Living in Asheville

Asheville Neighborhoods Near Parks

When beginning your home search in Asheville, nearby amenities are often a deciding factor. Parks – many boasting greenways, large playgrounds, ball fields, even a velodrome – are plentiful in the area, meaning there’s likely one within walking distance of (or a short drive from) your dream home. Here are some of Asheville’s most popular parks, and their nearby neighborhoods.

Asheville ParksFrench Broad River and Carrier Parks

These two greenway-connected parks bordering a densely populated portion of West Asheville are popular destinations, and it’s easy to see why. French Broad River Park (508 Riverview Dr.) features a vast area of open green space with old trees, a wildflower garden, gazebo, picnic tables and grills, a dog park, an observation deck and a small playground. Carrier Park (220 Amboy Rd.) is one of Asheville's premier parks, built at a former racetrack that now serves as a velodrome for cycling. The infield has volleyball courts, playground, roller-hockey rink and basketball court. The greenway also runs past a lawn bowling court, multi-use sports field for baseball and soccer, picnic pavilion, river overlooks and wetland interpretive trails. 

West Asheville Park

This popular neighborhood park off of Vermont Avenue Extension is home to a Little League baseball field, concessions and restrooms. It also boasts a playground and picnic shelter on its 8.6 acres. Rhododendron Creek runs through the park grounds. 11 Vermont Ave. Ext.

Asheville Parks Bent CreekBent Creek Community Park

A popular Bent Creek neighborhood gathering spot is the 20-acre Bent Creek Community Park, which features wide open areas and a covered pavilion for events, full basketball court, community garden, large playground, sandbox, paved roller area, bicycle pump track, trails, volleyball, playing fields and more. 125 Idlewood Dr.

Weaver Park

Located off Merrimon Avenue in the Norwood Park neighborhood of North Asheville, the 6.6-acre Weaver Park features a lighted ballfield, basketball court, tennis courts, a concession stand and a picnic shelter. There is paved off-street parking, a short trail, and restrooms. 200 Murdock Ave.

Azalea Park

Located in East Asheville along the Swannanoa River, not far from the neighborhood of Beverly Hills, sits Azalea Park. The park features the John B. Lewis Soccer Complex, a large, shaded playground, a dog park, restrooms and concessions. 498 Azalea Rd.

Kenilworth Park

Located in the heart of Asheville’s Kenilworth neighborhood, the 3-acre Kenilworth Park features basketball courts, ballfields, tennis courts, a picnic area with grills, a playground and restrooms. 79 Wyoming Rd.

Richmond Hill Park

Richmond Hill Park, not far from the Emma neighborhood in West Asheville, 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. 

Aston Park and Tennis Center

This park, located close to the residential neighborhoods that line the southern border of downtown Asheville, features one of the top public clay court facilities in the country, with 12 lighted courts available for use. A small playground and rolling green hills surround the center. 336 Hilliard Ave.

Overlooking Malvern Hills Park and PoolMalvern Hills Park

The outdoor seasonal pool is the big draw of this popular park, which is surrounded by a tight-knit community in West Asheville. The park also features a bathhouse, restrooms, concession area, lighted tennis courts, playground, walking trail and a picnic shelter with grills. 75 Rumbough Pl.

Murphy-Oakley Park

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

Martin Luther King Jr. Park

This 3.4-acre park, walking distance to many neighborhoods lining South Charlotte Street near downtown, 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.

For more information on homes near these parks, or anywhere in the Asheville area, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Swimming Holes Around Asheville Offer Cool Spots to Chill Out

Sliding Rock Near Asheville

Looking for a cool way to beat the heat of summer? Swimming holes in and around Asheville are the perfect answer. It’s easy to make a day of it, so suit up and head out to one of these natural splash spots.

Azalea Park

For those who want to take a quick, in-town dip, Azalea Park, on Asheville’s east side, offers an ideal spot. While the swimming hole – along a stretch of the Swannanoa River that borders the park – is not officially maintained by the city, it draws a crowd with its light current, perfect for a refreshing stop on a hot day. Bonus: There are bathrooms and a playground at the park, so you can make a day of your dip. 498 Azalea Road East in Asheville.

Lake Lure Beach

Lake Lure Beach and Water Park

This popular destination – famed as one of the locations where the iconic 1987 movie “Dirty Dancing” was filmed – boasts a large sandy beach, a children’s park, a waterslide and water games. The lake – 45 minutes from Asheville – is nestled in Hickory Nut Gorge, with a backdrop of majestic mountains. In-season admission is $9/adult and $7/child. 2724 Memorial Hwy in Lake Lure

Carolina Hemlocks

Carolina Hemlocks, a shaded recreation area surrounded by thick hemlock forest with a mix of deciduous trees and rhododendrons, sits in Pisgah National Forest adjacent to the South Toe River. It’s the perfect spot for you and your family to swim, tube or even camp. There’s a shaded picnic shelter, as well as hiking trails to explore after your fun in the water. https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/233954

The Beach at Lake James

Popular Lake James, about an hour east of Asheville, beckons with its wide sandy beach, bathhouse, concession and kayak/paddleboard rentals. When lifeguards are on duty (from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends), there’s a fee of $5/adult and $4/child. You can make a day or even a weekend of your visit, thanks to the lake’s camping options. In addition to water activities, take in the trails – all 25 miles of them – either by foot, or on mountain bike (where designated).  https://www.ncparks.gov/lake-james-state-park

Swimming Hole Hooker FallsHooker Falls

This 12-foot waterfall spills into a wide, open pool, perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. The fourth waterfall on the Little River in DuPont State Forest, Hooker is easy to access via a short trail from the main parking area, which is equipped with a bathroom for changing. After swimming (and remember to take caution around waterfalls, never standing at the top), you can easily hike to the other falls – Triple, High and Bridal Veil – along a well-marked trail. https://www.dupontforest.com/explore/hooker-falls/

Sliding Rock

This favorite natural mountain waterfall in Pisgah National Forest offers the ultimate in water slide action. Fans line up to ride down the 60-foot flat, sloping rock, splashing at the bottom into a chilly, 8-foot-deep pool. If you’d rather watch than participate, there’s an observation deck to take in all the action. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=48156

 For information 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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An Active, Entertaining Retirement Awaits in Asheville

Asheville Retirement Resources

Asheville has long enjoyed a reputation as a great place to retire, but as the city has grown, so have the reasons for retiring here. From a vibrant food scene to exciting cultural offerings to ongoing learning opportunities, Asheville offers everything to make your retirement anything but boring.

Asheville's Temperate Climate

Life in Western North Carolina offers up a refreshing range of weather experiences. Asheville, at an elevation of just above 2,000 feet, claims an overall mild year-round climate – not too cold in the winter, not too hot in the summer. Because the area features a full four seasons, weather-dependent activities thrive here. It’s easy to enjoy fall foliage, winter skiing, and spring and summer hiking and swimming thanks to the region’s seasonal changes. 

Asheville NC EntertainmentCultural Offerings

Looking for an exciting and enriching entertainment experience in Asheville? The city brims with performing arts events grand and intimate. With an ever-changing roster of shows across Asheville, you’ll have plenty of inspiring options to choose from all year long. Among the offerings are the Asheville Symphony Orchestra (http://ashevillesymphony.org), Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre (http://www.acdt.org), Asheville Ballet (https://www.ashevilleballet.com), Asheville Community Theatre (http://ashevilletheatre.org), The Magnetic Theatre (http://www.themagnetictheatre.org), and NC Stage Company (http://www.ncstage.org).

Ongoing Learning in Asheville

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNC Asheville is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed learning community dedicated to promoting lifelong learning, leadership, community service, and research, with the goal of enabling its members to thrive in life’s second half. Members pay a $25 annual fee for access to 20-plus special interest groups, as well as the opportunity to attend classes and lectures. They also can take advantage of special events including programs with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and the Astronomy Club. https://olliasheville.com

Retiring in Asheville NCMany 55+ Communities

The Asheville area is replete with communities geared toward those 55 and older, or neighborhoods that naturally trend toward the active-adult set. A range of amenities – club houses, pools, libraries – as well as activities like exercise classes and coffee socials mean there’s always something to do onsite. And thanks to the setting, against Asheville’s Blue Ridge backdrop, the area’s 55+ communities offer the added benefit of relaxing and stunning surroundings in which to enjoy the region’s natural beauty.

Food and Drink Scene

The breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains enveloping Asheville have long-established the city’s reputation as a mountain lover’s mecca. But in recent years, Asheville has reached the pinnacle of another scene: food and drink. From creative craft cocktails to farm-collaborative dining to an unrivalled micro-brew boom, Asheville has become an epicurean’s escape like no other. 

Interested in retiring in Asheville and experiencing everything the city has to offer on a daily basis?  Find your perfect home by contacting Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or calling him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Get Your Disc Golf Game On at Asheville's Many Courses

Disc Golf Courses in Asheville

Disc golf is taking off in Asheville, and for good reason. Occasionally called Frisbee golf or frolf, the popular game involves throwing a flying disc at a target, and follows rules similar to golf – but without all the equipment or expense of that sport. 

Disc golf is often played on a course of 9 or 18 holes. Players complete a hole by throwing a disc from a tee area toward a target, tossing again from the landing position of the disc until the target is reached. Usually, the number of throws a player uses to reach each target is tallied, and players seek to complete each hole, and the course, in the lowest number of total throws.

If you want to try your hand at disc golf, Asheville has many courses from which to choose. Following are just a few:

Richmond Hill

One of two public championship caliber courses around Asheville (Mars Hill is the other), Richmond Hill Disc Golf Course boasts dense pine and daunting elevation, making it an extremely popular but challenging spot. The 18-hole course, just north of downtown Asheville in Richmond Hill Park (280 Richmond Hill Dr.), has one set of tee pads with multiple basket placements. Watch out for poison ivy and poison oak, which are common around the course.

Asheville NC Disc Golf CourseSandhill

Sandhill Disc Golf Course is part of Buncombe County Sports Park and hosts a full 18 holes that make their way through a hilly and wooded area. Parking and accessibility are easy, making this a popular course.

58 Apac Dr., Candler

UNC Asheville

UNCA Disc Golf Course is a 6-hole disc golf course open to both students and the community. The course is mostly hilly and wooded, and boasts easy access and efficient play.

2500 University Heights, Asheville

Lake Julian

Lake Julian Disc Golf Course lies along the shores of South Asheville’s Lake Julian and was expanded to 18 holes in 2017. The mostly flat terrain features everything from waterfront holes to forested ones.

406 Overlook Road Ext., Arden

Disc Golf Courses WNCOwen High Nature Trail

This disc golf course is minimally wooded, relying more on elevation to keep things interesting. The interpretive tee-signs help players connect with the natural resources found on, and around, the school’s campus; and, since the scorecards double as field guides, you can identify common trees and bird species as you play your round. 

99 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain

Pisgah Brewing Company

This brewery’s 9-hold disc golf course is located behind the outdoor stage area. It is mostly open and flat, with some trees and a creek in play on a few holes. It is open as long as there are no live on-stage shows happening. And bonus: You can grab a beer or food-truck snack post-game!

150 Eastside Dr., Black Mountain

Black Mountain Disc Golf

This course is in a small park near a winding creek and scenic area. The front 9 holes are relatively short but have some challenge. The back 9 holes more long and open. 

10 Veterans Park Dr., Black Mountain

If you are interested in learning more about living in Asheville or about Real Estate in Asheville, call Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at 828-337-8190, or email him at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com

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Green Yard, Green World: How to Create an Eco-Friendly Landscape

Pollinators Eco-Friendly Backyard

Creating a backyard that’s enjoyable for you and friendly to the Earth is easier than you think. From pollinator gardens to organic mulching to smart watering, taking an environmentally sound approach to landscaping helps to promote a green yard – and a greener world. Following, some simple tips to try:

Choose Native Plants

Populate your yard with plants native to Western North Carolina and you’ll be providing habitat for many beneficial local animals and insects. In addition, native plants are already acclimated to the region’s climate, and are naturally resistant to local pests and disease. All of this means they don’t require fertilizers or extra watering, which makes them eco-friendly. Native trees and plants to try in your Asheville yard include southern magnolia, flowering dogwood, redbud, cardinal flower, oakleaf hydrangea and foamflower –the list goes on and on. Visit local farmers’ markets, local plant vendors, or the Botanical Gardens at Asheville to get an idea of which native plants will work for your yard.

MilkweedPlant Pollinator Gardens

Pollinator gardens – with specific nectar- and pollen-producing plants – are designed to attract beneficial insects and animals to pollinate, thus performing an important step in the food and flower cycle. Because pollinator habitat has been lost to urban development, pollution, climate change and other adverse action, the population of many pollinator species is at risk. Flowers with large “landing pads,” plants with many small flowers, and plants that bloom very early or very late (when attractive pollination options are scarce) are all good options for your pollinator garden.

Use Plenty of Mulch

Using mulch helps to keep soil temperature consistent, retain moisture, and inhibit weed growth. As organic mulch like wood chips, bark leaves and pine needles breaks down, it adds nutrients to the soil. Bonus: Using more mulch means you can get away with growing less grass, which requires a lot of water to maintain.

Eschew Fertilizers

Dumping large amounts of chemicals onto your lawn via popular “weed and feed” products could put the environment, your health, and eventually the condition of your lawn at risk. A better option is to use organic fertilizer or, better yet, eliminate fertilizer and instead use compost and organic matter in your soil, aerate, cut grass on a higher setting, and incorporate low-maintenance moss and groundcover into your landscape.

Rain Barrel Eco-Friendly BackyardWater

There are many ways to water smart and still keep your yard happy. Harvesting rainwater via a rain barrel, cistern or rain chain means you’ll be using much less household water. When you water, make sure to do it in the morning before the temperatures start to climb and threaten the moisture. If you water in the late afternoon, make sure foliage has time to dry to avoid fungal diseases that thrive in damp nights. Water plants near the base rather than overhead, to better target the roots.

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

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Western N.C.'s Varied Yet Temperate Climate Lets Seasons Shine

Asheville NC Climate

Photo credit: Evan Kafka

Life in Western North Carolina offers up a refreshing range of weather experiences. Asheville, at an elevation of just above 2,000 feet, boasts an overall mild year-round climate – not too cold in the winter, not too hot in the summer – but traveling just a short distance outside of the city can reveal a greater fluctuation in temperature and precipitation.

Because the area boasts a full four seasons, weather-dependent activities thrive here. It’s easy to enjoy fall foliage, winter skiing, and spring and summer hiking and swimming thanks to the region’s seasonal changes.

Higher Elevations in Western North Carolina, Greater Differences

While the city is quite temperate – Asheville sits in a relatively dry and protected spot along the French Broad River Valley – traveling higher into the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains promises greater weather variations. It’s not uncommon to encounter sudden clouds and fog, snow on the ground, a rain shower, or a 20-degree temperature drop in a single drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s windier in the higher elevations, and nighttime temperatures can still dip into the 30s during springtime.

While Asheville experiences the seasons to the fullest, weather extremes rarely occur. When they do, they’re not sustained. Snowfalls in the city are sporadic, and the snow melts quickly, with an average annual accumulation of 10 inches. Higher elevations, however, see heavier snowfalls, along with icing that can close roads for extended periods. The cold season in Asheville is from late November to late February, with an average daily high in the mid-50s. During the coldest point of the year, night temperatures can dip into single digits, but generally, they hover in the 30s.

The warm season in Asheville lasts from late May to mid-September, and even though temperatures can hit the upper 80s to 90s during the hottest periods, the average daily high is 76 degrees. While summers can be humid in town, higher elevations offer cooler forests, streams and waterfalls for respite.

Climate of Western North CarolinaA Range of Rainfall Amounts Around Asheville

Rainfall varies widely across the region: Asheville gets an average of 44 inches of rain per year, but surrounding areas like Brevard and its forests can get around 67 inches. Spring, which begins relatively early in Western North Carolina, is usually the wettest season of the year. Tropical systems can affect the region in late summer and early fall, resulting in heavy rainfall and forceful winds.

The driest time of year in Western North Carolina is autumn. Cooler temperatures (60s to low 70s) and crisper, clearer air create the perfect conditions for producing brilliant, sustained fall foliage. The best colors come forth from late September at the higher elevations to late October and early November in the valleys.

Eager to experience Asheville’s climate year-round? Please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190 to learn about available real estate options in Asheville and the surrounding areas.

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This Summer, Swim Spots Make a Splash in Asheville

Recreation Park Pool Asheville

Hot weather is almost here, and the Asheville area’s many water destinations – both man-made and natural – are sure to help your summer go swimmingly. Following is a list of the best spots to cool off when temperatures heat up.

City of Asheville Pools

Malvern Hills Pool AshevilleThree public outdoor pools – Malvern Hills, Recreation Park and Walton Street – provide safe and affordable outdoor summer fun for children and adults. The pools have varied schedules, but generally are open early June through early September. General admission is $3, a 15-visit pass is $40, an individual season pass is $100, and a family season pass is $150. All three pools also offer two sessions of free swim lessons for school-age children (registration required).

In addition, there are swimming pool events throughout the summer, including $1 Dip Days at Malvern Hills and Rec Park, Float Days (all pools), and the Sixth Annual Doggie Dip day at Rec Park. For more information, and to register for swim lessons, visit https://www.ashevillenc.gov/departments/parks/pools_n_splasheville.htm. Malvern Hills is located at 75 Rumbough Place, in West Asheville; Recreation Park at 65 Gashes Creek Road, by the Nature Center; and Walton Street at 570 Walton Street, near the River Arts District.

Splasheville

The City of Asheville's interactive splash play fountain in downtown’s Pack Square Park features 21 jets of water that run in 12 combinations for hours of fun. The fountain usually operates from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week from April through September. https://www.ashevillenc.gov/departments/parks/pools_n_splasheville.htm

Buncombe County Recreation Services Pools

Asheville Public Pools and FountainsBuncombe County boasts five outdoor public pools that will open for the season May 25. Cost to swim is $3 per day for Buncombe County residents. Discounted multi-visit passes are also available at each pool. Bonus: The pools are set against stunning mountain backdrops, so you can drink in the view while you enjoy the water. Cane Creek Pool is located at 590 Lower Brush Creek Road in Fletcher, Erwin Pool, 58 Lees Creek Road, Asheville; Hominy Valley Pool, 25 Twin Lakes Road, Candler; North Buncombe Pool, 892 Clarks Chapel Road, Weaverville; and Owen Pool, 117 Stone Drive, Swannanoa. https://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/parks/facilities/pools/default.aspx

In-Town Swimming Hole

For a more natural water experience, nothing beats a dip in a swimming hole. But if you don’t have time to drive out to a waterfall in Dupont State Forest or Pisgah National Forest, Azalea Park, on Asheville’s east side, offers an ideal in-town alternative. While the swimming hole – along a stretch of the Swannanoa River that borders the park – is not officially maintained by the city, it draws a crowd with its light current, perfect for a refreshing stop on a hot day. Bonus: There are bathrooms and a playground at the park, so you can make a day of your dip. The park is located at 498 Azalea Road East in Asheville.

For information 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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Explore: Asheville Neighborhoods

As Greenways Gain Ground in Asheville, Neighborhood Accessibility Grows

Asheville Homes Near Greenways

Asheville Parks and Recreation maintains a beautiful system of greenways throughout the city, with miles more planned for completion in the next few years. This means that even if you don’t currently have a greenway near your Asheville home, you likely will soon. From paths that incorporate edible gardens, to trails dotted with playgrounds and dog parks, Asheville offers a multitude of options for immersing yourself in nature without having to stray far from your neighborhood.

Glenn’s Creek Greenway – This paved greenway extends westward from Weaver Park on Merrimon Avenue to Riverside Drive along the French Broad River.  Glenn’s Creek connects the Norwood, Montford and University neighborhoods via mostly wooded settings. The trail is on-road in portions but there are also off-road trails through Weaver Park and UNCA.   Reed Creek Greenway links into this greenway corridor.

Asheville Homes Near ParksReed Creek Greenway – This path begins at the Botanical Gardens on W.T. Weaver Boulevard, and runs parallel to Broadway Avenue along a creek, offering a slightly urban feel.

Swannanoa River Greenway – This greenway, situated next to Walmart, travels the banks of the Swannanoa River in East Asheville inside River Bend Park.  It is accessible from the shopping center parking lot.

French Broad River Greenway – This 2.8-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail in West Asheville connects Carrier Park to Hominy Creek Park, French Broad River Park, and RiverLink’s future Karen Cragnolin Park as it winds along the river, Amboy Road and Riverview Drive. French Broad River Park features a vast area of open green space with old trees, a wildflower garden, gazebo, picnic tables and grills, a dog park, an observation deck and a small playground. Carrier Park is one of Asheville's premier parks, built at a former racetrack that now serves as a velodrome for cycling. The infield has volleyball courts, playground, roller-hockey rink and basketball court. The greenway also runs past a lawn bowling court, multi-use sports field for baseball and soccer, picnic pavilion, river overlooks and wetland interpretive trails.

There are plans to close the gap between the half-mile section of greenway on New Belgium Brewing Company’s property at Craven Street and the French Broad River Park (near the dog park). Once completed, it will extend just over 1 mile. Dubbed “The Edible Mile,” this greenway will feature information on the indigenous edible plants in the area and feature volunteer-led edible gardens. Construction is slated to begin this spring.

Asheville Greenways Real EstateTown Branch Greenway – This .75-mile-long greenway will start at the Grant Southside Center on Depot Street and Livingston Street near the River Arts District and end at Phifer Street near the McDowell and Southside intersection. An important East/West connection in the greenway network, the trail runs on flat terrain along the banks of Town Branch creek. It will feature a series of interpretive signs educating visitors about the detrimental impact the razing of the Southside Community had on its historically African-American community. Construction will begin Spring 2021.

River to Ridge Greenway and Trail Network – This will be a connection of continuous greenways that encircle the downtown area with the River Arts District and French Broad River greenways, the South Slope Greenway Connector, Beaucatcher Greenway and the Urban Trail. Once completed, the network will have 10.25 miles of connected greenways and trails.

RADTIP– This project will feature a new greenway, as well as enhance the River Arts District with a safer roads, flood mitigation measures, sidewalks, separated bike lanes, public art and new gardens. The French Broad River East Bank corridor will have a 2.2-mile long section that will be completed in this construction project. The section will begin at Hill St. and Riverside Drive and end at the Amboy Road Bridge.

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

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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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