Outdoor Activities

N.C. Arboretum's Whimsical LEGO Sculpture Exhibit Brings Nature to Life

Lego Exhibit NC ArboretumThe North Carolina Arboretum, the 434-acre public garden located just south of downtown Asheville, is pleased to unveil the one-of-a-kind exhibit Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks, a whimsical, toy-filled outdoor adventure. Originally set to open in May but delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis, the exhibit – of which Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is a community partner – opened July 1 with an extended schedule, and will remain on display through November 1, 2020. 

Composed of nearly 500,000 LEGO bricks, Nature Connects includes 16 nature-inspired sculptures constructed on a larger-than-life scale by renowned artist Sean Kenney. Among the fanciful sculptures on display are a 5-foot-tall colorful peacock, a giant dragonfly, a bonsai tree and a massive monarch butterfly. This family-friendly exhibit, appealing to a range of ages and interests, draws inspiration from the living world and combines play with science to create an innovative intersection of education, entertainment and environment. 

Daytime admission to Nature Connects is free; however, a standard $16 parking fee applies to non-Arboretum members. When outdoors on the Arboretum grounds, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings whenever they are unable to socially distance themselves from others.

NC Arboretum Lego ExhibitExtending into the evenings

As an added bonus, Nature Connects will take center stage during the Arboretum’s ArborEvenings summer after-hours series. This year, the Arboretum is extending the dates and times of ArborEvenings: The event will be held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July through September, from 8 to 11 p.m. (some exclusion dates apply; please check the Arboretum’s website for details).

Visitors to ArborEvenings can sip and stroll through the Arboretum’s beautiful gardens and discover the illuminated LEGO Brick sculptures while listening to live music. Sweet and savory snacks, along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, are available for purchase from the Arboretum’s Bent Creek Bistro. 

In addition to the parking fee admission, there is a special ArborEvenings admission price of $5 per person. Proceeds from ArborEvenings go to support The North Carolina Arboretum Society, the Arboretum’s 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides financial assistance to further support the Arboretum’s mission and educational programming. This year, in light of the COVID-19 crisis, 10% of all proceeds from the ArborEvenings event series will be donated directly to MANNA FoodBank, the Feeding America food bank serving over 100,000 people facing hunger across 16 counties of Western North Carolina. 

For more information about the Arboretum or Nature Connects, please visit ncarboretum.org or call 828-665-2492. 

 

 

Soak in the ‘Blue' Hue of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge MountainsNestled among the stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is perfectly positioned to offer easy accessibility to all the famed mountain range has to offer. While the Blue Ridge Mountains extend from Georgia to Pennsylvania, the highest peaks are found in Western North Carolina. Living in Asheville affords the opportunity to enjoy the Blue Ridge almost everywhere you turn. 

But what puts the “Blue” in the Blue Ridge? A little science lesson provides the answer: The green trees and thick vegetation that blanket the Blue Ridge emit the hydrocarbon isoprene to protect themselves on excessively hot days. Oak trees, plentiful in these mountains, are particularly active producers of isoprene. When isoprene is released, it interacts with other molecules in the atmosphere. The resulting haze gives the surrounding range its distinctive blue appearance.

With summer upon us and popular spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway opening back up, it’s the perfect time to soak in the “blue” surroundings that have made this region world-famous. Here are a few 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.

Why are the Blue Ridge Mountains BlueMount 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 “blue” 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 “blue” 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 of the blueness surrounding you, from trails that cut through the grassy balds of Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain.

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 for some even closer opportunities to immerse yourself in the “blue” of the Blue Ridge:

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.

If you’re interested in finding an Asheville-area home from which to enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains every day, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190. 

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Enjoy the Full Bloom of Western N.C. Flower Farms

Asheville FarmsSummer is blossoming, and so are Asheville-area flower farms. From fresh offerings of peonies and poppies to zinnias and dahlias, there is no shortage of ways to bring the vibrant outdoor colors in. Flower farms provide their wares at farmers’ markets across Western North Carolina, or through flower bouquet shares (similar to CSA shares). Some farms also offer pick-your-own options for guests to create custom clusters.

Flying Cloud Farm – This Fairview farm sells its blooms in mixed bouquets at the River Arts District Farmers Market (Wednesdays) and the North Asheville Tailgate Market (Saturdays). And flower bouquet shares can be tacked on to Flying Cloud’s produce CSA shares: Each week, a fresh bouquet accompanies your box for the 20-week regular CSA season. Flying Cloud flowers are also available at its farm roadside stand every day May through mid-October. In addition, you can pick your own at the farm mid-July through mid-October. Website: http://www.flyingcloudfarm.net/

Bloom – Bloom, located in Black Mountain, is a pesticide-free, no-till farm offering unique specialty flowers. During spring and summer, the best way to guarantee the first and best cuts of flowers is with Bloom’s subscription shares. Being a shareholder allows you to come to the farm once a week and choose your own flowers by the stem, or select a pre-paid bouquet. Website: www.farmerfloristbloom.com

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 weekly flower shares. Website: http://www.fullsunfarm.com

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. https://ladyluckflowerfarm.com

Ivy Creek Family Farm – The field-grown flowers at Ivy Creek in Barnardsville are selected for their beauty, long vase life, and diversity. Ivy Creek produces three main products with its flowers: pre-made bouquets, bulk buckets (long-stem and table flowers), and custom-designed arrangements. Ivy Creek sells bouquets at the North Asheville Tailgate Market and Weaverville Tailgate Market from April to October. Bouquets change weekly with the flowers of the season. https://ivycreekfamilyfarm.com

The Never-Ending Flower Farm – This farm, located in the Big Ivy community of Barnardsville, offers wholesale flowers to florists and designers, full-service wedding floral design, and U-Pick options. Peak season starts in July with the arrival of the Dahlia blooms; other flower crops include peonies and hydrangea paniculata. The farm also grows a wide range of annuals and perennials that it incorporates into its design work. The flower field is honor system payment, with an info table set up at the top of the field. https://www.theneverendingflowerfarm.com

Learn More: About Asheville

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Low-maintenance Gardening Makes Lush Landscapes Easy

Native Perennials for Easy GardeningFor those who love the look of a summer yard brimming with blooms and showy foliage but don’t want to have to toil in the soil, a low-maintenance garden bed or a micro-garden is the ideal option. Low-maintenance gardens are exactly what they sound like – a collection of plantings chosen for their ease of care. Micro-gardens allow your green thumb to flourish on a small, easy-to-handle scale – think patio containers, window boxes and flower pots. Following are some tips on taking on either this summer.

Choose natives to Western N.C.

Native plants are an easy addition to a low-maintenance garden. They are already adapted to native soil types of Western North Carolina and generally grow best with little attention. Maximize your success by matching the right plants with the right site conditions: Take into account available light, moisture and soil pH, and for ideas look to nearby natural areas to observe how native plants grow naturally.

Some native plants to consider are: ferns such as Lady Fern and Hay-scented Fern; grasses and sedges such as Big Bluestem; ground covers like Wild Strawberry and Wild Blue Phlox; and wildflowers like Butterfly Milkweed and Blackeyed Susan.

Low Maintenance GardeningPack in perennials

A garden bed packed with perennials promises blooms year after year, with minimal-to-no work. Add in flowering perennials that require no deadheading, and you can literally sit back and enjoy the fruits of your one-time labor!

Perennials require less yearly maintenance, saving you money, energy and time by not having to clear out garden beds and replant every year. They also don’t require annual composting or mulching.

Perennial root systems offer some amazing advantages, not only to the perennials themselves, but to surrounding plants and soil. Because they don’t need to be pulled up and replanted each year, the soil remains undisturbed and structurally strong. The roots aerate and channel the ground, allowing water to travel more efficiently. This benefits shallow-rooted plants nearby, which draw moisture and nutrients up from the surface of the perennial roots.

Hardy perennials provide ground cover and preserve moisture. You can choose perennials that continue to benefit your yard through the winter, dying back in the colder months yet keeping enough foliage to cover the soil and protect it.

The magic of mulch 

Adding a layer of mulch to your garden bed helps to prevent weeds from proliferating among your plants, saving you time and effort. Mulch also prevents erosion, an issue in the many hilly yards common in the Asheville area. It allows water to drip into the soil, rather than run off the surface and strip topsoil with it. Mulch also helps to retain moisture, so you don’t have to water as much. And it aids in regulating soil temperature, protecting plants from extremes that can stress and weaken them.

Easy Gardening TipsDepending on what you use, mulch can help to add nutrients and improve your soil over time. Natural mulch gradually decomposes, helping to aerate soil and prevent it from becoming compacted and hard.

Micro gardening options

If you’d like to grow plants and vegetables on a smaller, easier-to-handle scale, micro gardening is the way to go. Flowers, greens and herbs are micro favorites, but really anything can be grown with this method of gardening. All you need is a small outdoor space and a container.

Window boxes and flower pots are great for micro gardening, and having such containers can make it easier to tend to plants and amend the soil specifically to each plant’s needs. Micro gardening usually requires seed selection and germination, moist, rich soil, and a warm environment to start.

Depending on the type of vegetables or herbs planted, a micro garden can begin producing within two weeks of first leaf formation. The result is fresh, nutritious food for you and your family, easily attained with some tending.

Read More: How to Create an Eco-Friendly Landscape

 

 

These Asheville-Area Spots Offer Peak Sunset Views

Asheville Sunset Views

There’s very little that can visually match Asheville’s stunning sunsets and accompanying color play against a Blue Ridge backdrop. Pretty much any elevated point in the area will afford you some amazing sunset views, but if you’re looking for that guaranteed wow factor, here are the spots to check out.

Grove Park Inn

The famed inn, perched above North Asheville with expansive grounds at its feet, offers a perfect spot to sit back and soak in a broad, unobstructed view of the sunset. Bonus: You can enjoy dinner or cocktails while feasting on nature’s majestic show. www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park

Sunsets in AshevilleDowntown rooftop bars

Downtown Asheville has many rooftop bars and restaurants from which to watch the setting sun, many with outdoor firepits that allow for a year-round experience. Among them are Hemingway’s Cuba www.hemingwayscuba.com and Capella on 9 www.capellaon9.com.

Max Patch

Max Patch, a bald mountain 48 miles from Asheville on the N.C.-Tenn. border, is a major landmark along the Appalachian Trail. Climbing the moderate two-mile loop will reward you with 360-degree views, including superb sunset (and sunrise) scenery. As with any mountaintop sunset adventure, smartphone flashlights come in handy for the darker descent back to your car, so don’t forget yours!   

Biltmore Estate

There are innumerable spots all over the Biltmore Estate’s 4,000+ acres from which to watch the sun’s display as it sets. Bring a blanket and relax on the sloping lawn adjacent to the home, or visit the estate’s Antler Hill Village for unobstructed sky views from benches and seating areas dotting the grounds. Hike the trails around the house and find a perfectly private spot for some stellar sunset viewing. https://www.biltmore.com

Blue Ridge Parkway

The parkway offers plenty of places to stop for a seasonal sunset experience. A favorite is Waterrock Knob (at milepost 451.2) – with panoramic picnic spots near the parking lot, a visitor center and restrooms (all open in season).

Another favorite, Craggy Pinnacle, is a short, 1.4-mile roundtrip hike to the top of a 5,892-foot summit. The hike, which starts at Craggy Gardens visitor center (milepost 364), will take you along beautiful, rhododendron-draped trails, opening up to a 360-degree view.

Roan Mountain

If you’re in the mood to trek, Roan Mountain, located near the N.C.-Tenn. state line, 76 miles from Asheville, provides an abundance of points along its terrain to take in the sunset. The Appalachian Trail winds along the grassy summits of its five-mile ridgetop, which climbs to 6,286 feet, and the mountain offers the largest natural rhododendron garden, as well as the longest stretch of grassy bald in the Appalachian range. Bring a picnic and make a day of hiking and exploring, then top the experience off with a sunset display like no other. 

If you’d like to live close enough to these spots to experience them anytime, or better yet, if you want to find an Asheville home with its own built-in sunset views, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Asheville's a Winner on the Weather Front: Weather Trends in Asheville

Asheville Weather in the Fall

Asheville attracts visitors and transplants for a variety of reasons, one of which is its temperate year-round climate. Never too extreme in any one direction, Asheville weather boasts four distinct seasons, with surprise bursts of warmth in the winter, as well as periodically cool evenings in the middle of summer. 

Spring Weather AshevilleTemperature trends in Asheville

With an elevation of around 2,200 feet, Asheville winters are relatively mild. While the mountain peaks surrounding the city might be snow-capped, downtown Asheville is often shielded from extreme cold. Temperatures in January, the coldest month of the year, average around 47 for the high and 28 for the low. But it’s not unusual to see the mercury reach into the 60s in the wintertime.

Asheville’s crisp falls and springs make these seasons the best times to enjoy outdoor activities. From March to May and September to early November, temperatures range between the upper 50s and the mid-70s – ideal for enjoying a stroll through downtown Asheville in the spring or hiking amid vibrant foliage in the fall. 

During the summer months (June to August), the city sees an increase in humidity. However, it’s still one of the less humid parts of the Southeast, which makes Asheville the perfect regional escape during the dog days of summer. The hottest month of the year – July – sees an average high of 85 and an average low of 65.

Winter Weather in AshevilleThe skinny on snow and rain in Asheville

While Asheville gets about 44 inches of rain per year (compared with the U.S. average of 38 inches), it gets much less snow (10 inches per year) than the national average. Snowfall is greater in the mountains surrounding Asheville, which benefits the ski resorts and snow-tubing runs dotting the range. 

Asheville enjoys about 200 sunny days per year. The wettest month is June, with about 4.7 inches of rain. The driest month, with the lowest rainfall, is October (2.9 inches).

Interested in setting down roots and enjoying Asheville’s weather year-round? Please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190 to find the perfect property for you.

Learn More: About Asheville

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Educational Spots Reflect Asheville Region's Rich Past

North Carolina Arboretum

Western North Carolina is a region steeped in intriguing history, and the Asheville area offers many destinations in which to absorb that rich past. Spend an afternoon exploring one of these spots and you’re sure to deepen your knowledge and appreciation of the area.

North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre public garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest, is surrounded by the lush, botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, allowing visitors to connect personally with nature in ways that are as unique and rich as the land itself. The arboretum offers year-round educational programs and learning experiences for adults, families, youth, school groups, and trade professionals that focus on environmental sustainability, art, science and economic development. From classes, to self-guided programs, to lectures and symposia, the arboretum’s educational programs serve more than 18,000 children and 6,000 adults annually. https://www.ncarboretum.org/education-programs/

Educational Trips Near Asheville NCSmith-McDowell House

Ringed by picturesque mountains and overlooking the confluence of two rivers, Buck House was constructed around 1840, more than 20 years before the Civil War. During a time when most people lived in wood frame houses, the imposing structure was composed of brick, a rarity in early 19th century Asheville. Today it is known as the Smith-McDowell House, the oldest surviving house in Asheville and the finest surviving example of brick antebellum architecture in Western North Carolina. It serves as a timeline museum showing how families lived during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays. A small entry fee covers the self-guided tour. https://www.wnchistory.org/smith-mcdowell-house/

Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Thomas Wolfe, considered by many to be one of the giants of 20th century American literature, immortalized his childhood Asheville home in his autobiographical novel, “Look Homeward, Angel.” Wolfe’s colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of “Altamont” (Asheville), and “Dixieland” (the Old Kentucky Home boardinghouse situated in what is today downtown Asheville) earned the Victorian period house a place as one of American literature’s most famous landmarks. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial is a state historic site and museum offering daily tours; the museum also hosts events and book discussions throughout the year. https://wolfememorial.com

Cradle of Forestry WNCCradle of Forestry in America

Nestled in Pink Beds Valley is the Cradle of Forestry in America, the birthplace of science-based forest management. Jointly managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association, the site is open to visitors every day from mid-April to early November to explore the past, present and future of environmental sustainability and stewardship. These are brought to visitors through paved interpretive trails, interactive exhibits, a sustainably designed Forest Discovery Center, nature programs, craft demonstrations, and special events. Visitors can view Historic Biltmore Forest School buildings that represent traditional, forest-based Blue Ridge mountain culture with lessons for today. An onsite antique portable sawmill, 1914 narrow gauge locomotive, log loader and road graders illustrate the simple and practical technology of yesteryear. https://cradleofforestry.com

Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace

This historic site, birthplace to the N.C. governor and U.S. senator, offers an intimate view of daily life on an early 1800s plantation in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Visitors can see the historic structures, including a loom house, tool shed, spring house, smoke house, and corn crib. Guided tours show visitors a 1790 slave house and discuss the 18 enslaved people that lived and worked on the Vance farm. Tours conclude at the reconstructed 1790s Vance home. https://historicsites.nc.gov/all-sites/zebulon-b-vance-birthplace

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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Craggy Park Partners With Asheville City to Provide Trail System Access

Trails Near Craggy Park

The Craggy Park community in West Asheville offers the ideal combination of urban and natural amenities, and now the neighborhood will have a hand in connecting the entire Asheville community to a valuable nature preserve. 

Asheville city officials and non-profit organization MountainTrue are working within the 8-acre Falconhurst Nature Preserve to create a looping trail system. Craggy Park will work with the project to provide public access and a greenway entrance to the trail.

Craggy Park Walking Trails and BridgeThe preserve, deeded to the city in 2012 as a conservation easement from the Conservation Trust for N.C., allows for natural surface trails, but very little other development. The trails will be built and maintained at no cost to the city; neighborhood volunteers plan to prepare the trails this winter in time for use in the spring.

"Craggy Park is proud to have partnered with the City of Asheville and Mountain True to provide access and a greenway entrance to this exciting new trail system,” said Mike Figura, Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty owner and real estate broker for Craggy Park. “By providing a public easement and building a trail through our urban nature preserve, we can link the community with a piece of city-owned property that was previously landlocked, and provide our residents access to a fantastic urban forest."

A sustainable urban community featuring streamside trails and organic gardens against a park-like backdrop, Craggy Park is situated within easy walking distance of West Asheville’s vibrant Haywood Road corridor. Its 45 phase I green-built homes, featuring modern, clean lines and bright, open designs, are responsibly constructed for low environmental impact and Craggy Park Entrancesustainable living. Ditching the car in favor of biking or walking to restaurants, grocery, schools, the library and other amenities along Haywood Road and Patton Avenue is easy for Craggy Park residents, making this neighborhood the ultimate in green living.

A neighborhood park includes a nature trail with benches, a lawn by Fox Creek, a “little free library,” a treehouse, an oversized double swing, organic gardens, a fire pit, a picnic area with a community grill and herb spiral gardens. Native, drought-tolerant and edible landscaping throughout the neighborhood provides a habitat for local flora and fauna.

For a personally guided tour of Craggy Park, or for more information on the trail system partnership, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Learn More: About Craggy Park

Urban Adventures Abound in the Heart of Asheville

Asheville Indoor Rock Climbing

The mountains surrounding Asheville are overflowing with opportunities for outdoor adventures, from hiking to cycling to camping to whitewater rafting. But did you know you don’t have to leave Asheville’s city limits to enjoy an afternoon of outdoor thrills? Urban adventures abound; here are a few favorites to try next time you’re looking for a little local excitement.

Asheville Treetops Adventure Park

Featuring 60 unique climbing, flying, walking, jumping, swinging and rappelling challenges anchored to more than 30 trees and poles, this park (just minutes from downtown Asheville in the Adventure Center of Asheville) has five different trails with various obstacles and challenge levels – think a jungle gym for all ages. Challenges include a flying kayak, snowboard and swinging hula hoops. https://www.ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com/asheville-treetops-adventure-park

Asheville Bike ParkKolo Bike Park

Located in West Asheville, right off I-240, is Kolo Bike Park, part of the Adventure Center of Asheville. Here you’ll find four miles of mountain bike trails featuring a hand-built singletrack surrounded by wooded terrain, a machine-built flow trail with dirt berms and rollers, two pump tracks for beginners and advanced riders, wooden balance features and bridges, a dirt jump area with a range of jump levels, and a 180-degree wood berm. All the trails are designed for various rider levels, from beginner to expert. https://www.ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com/kolo-bike-park

Rock Climbing and Bouldering

For some in-town climbing, head to Climbmax (with two locations, downtown and by the French Broad River in West Asheville). The downtown location (which is great for children as well as adults) features expansive bouldering terrain, as well as a 40-foot outdoor climbing wall. The Smoky Mountain Adventure Center location on Amboy Road features extensive top rope and lead climbing, with six auto-belays for indoor use. It also offers a 44-foot outdoor wall, MoonBoard and fitness equipment. https://www.climbmaxnc.com

Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures and KidZip

This convenient zipline canopy tour, amid white and red oaks on a 124-acre resort, affords views of downtown Asheville set against a majestic mountain backdrop. The full canopy tour includes 11 ziplines in nine treetop platforms and several large adventure towers, as well as three sky bridges. The express tour includes seven ziplines and one sky bridge. https://ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com/asheville-zipline-canopy-adventure/about-asheville-zipline-canopy-adventures

In addition, kids ages 4-10 can enjoy KidZip (either self-guided for older kids, or with an adult escort for younger kids), which includes nine ziplines and four climbing elements, with ziplines ranging in length from 50 to 250 feet. https://www.ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com/kidzip

River Tubing Near AshevilleFrench Broad River activities

The French Broad River flows through the heart of Asheville, which means you can enjoy a range of floating fun without leaving town. Among the offerings:

·       Stand-up paddleboarding – Wai Mauna offers paddleboard rentals, which include a free lesson (and complimentary footwear!), as well as guided tours where you can learn about Asheville’s history. https://www.waimaunaashevillesuptours.com

·       Tubing – This laidback way to see Asheville from the water involves putting in at one of the many points along the French Broad, then floating through forests and past riverside breweries, bars and restaurants. Popular starting points include Hominy Creek River Park, Carrier Park and Jean Webb River Park. Many businesses along the river encourage tubers to disembark for a drink or meal: Grab a bite at White Duck Taco or 12 Bones, or a brew from New Belgium Brewery or the Bywater. Tube rentals are plentiful (check out Asheville Outdoor Center or Zen Tubing for starters).

·       Flat-water canoeing or kayaking – To travel via canoe or kayak, there’s a popular seven-mile river trip that runs through Asheville, passing through the Biltmore Estate. Put-in is at Bent Creek River and picnic area (near the N.C. Arboretum), and take-out is at Hominy Creek River and picnic park. The Asheville Outdoor Center offers shuttles.

To learn 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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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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