Parks

Creativity and Culture Nestled Among Natural Wonders

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

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

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

Blue Ridge Parkway

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

Pisgah National Forest

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

Chimney Rock State Park

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

Mount Mitchell State Park

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

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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

Appalachian Trail

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

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

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

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Your Guide to the Past, Present and Future of Greenways in Asheville

Bikes ParkFor many people, the image of friends, couples, children and retirees gathering together at a city’s parks, and arriving there in multifaceted ways, brings about a feeling of community well-being.  In an increasingly busy and crowded world, we often make choices about our homes based upon access and proximity to public parks and alternative transportation.  

Asheville, North Carolina is no exception to this. The housing market within the city of Asheville is booming, and homes with proximity to greenways are not staying on the market for long.  Check out the history of Asheville’s greenways, the current state, and where the greenways are headed here.

The History of Greenways in Asheville

In the three decades prior to 2015, Asheville claimed only 5 miles of greenway with little connectivity between them.  This allowed for isolated pockets of greenway enjoyment but major obstacles to promoting alternative and green methods of transportation.  Greenways that are long-standing in Asheville include the French Broad River Park Greenway and Reed Creek Greenway near UNCA and the city center.

The Current State of Greenways in Asheville

Asheville ParkThe City of Asheville helps to maintain 4 greenways currently, the largest being the French Broad River Greenway at 2.83 miles in length.  It is mostly an 8 foot wide asphalt path that meanders from the Hominy Creek trailhead, through Carrier Park, along Amboy Road and to the French Broad River Park and dog park.  It provides connectivity for Asheville’s largest and most frequented park system.

Glen’s Creek Greenway connects Weaver Park in North Asheville to UNCA and and the Botanical Gardens; it is nearly a mile in length. Nearby, Reed Creek Greenway (.7 miles long) connects the historic Montford neighborhood to the UNCA area and Glen Creek Greenway. Finally, the Riverbend Park Greenway (nearly .5 miles long) hugs the Swannanoa River in east Asheville.

The Future of Greenways in Asheville

Asheville GreenwayThe master plan for greenways in Asheville has a goal of creating a 15 mile system composed of 12 interconnected corridors.  This River to Ridge Greenway and Trail network would encircle downtown Asheville.  It would reach into the River Arts District, French Broad River Greenways, Southslope Greenway Connector, Beaucatcher Greenway and Urban Trail.  

The use of multi-paths for both transportation and recreation has consistently ranked high on the public’s list of infrastructure projects that it values. Additionally, governments outside of the city of Asheville are beginning to catch the greenway bug.  Both the town of Woodfin and Buncombe County governments are advocating for connectivity with the Asheville greenway system.

A major goal of the project is to connect people to some of the beautiful assets of our area: the mountains and the rivers.

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

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Sources: Asheville Citizen Times article, February 2017

The City of Asheville

 

 

Asheville Elevates the Art of Downtown Living

Pack Square Park Asheville

Asheville is synonymous with lots of things – wide-ranging outdoor activities, a world-class craft beer scene, unparalleled mountain vistas – but urban oasis? Many would be surprised to learn that at the heart of Asheville’s natural beauty sits a compact, livable downtown district brimming with big-city amenities, arts, entertainment, eateries, markets, gyms … the list goes on. Living in downtown Asheville puts all of these conveniences within easy walking distance – making it simple to ditch the car and reduce that carbon footprint!

First Up, Downtown Asheville is Foodtopia

Grove Arcade Market AshevilleThere’s no shortage of dining options in downtown Asheville – everything from brunch hotspots Over Easy CaféEarly Girl Eatery, Tupelo Honey  to bustling brew pubs Wicked Weed Brewery , LAB , Bhramari Brewing Co. to dessert destinations French Broad Chocolates , Karen Donatelli , just to name a few. Feeling like a home-cooked meal? Pop into the locally owned artisan and discount food shop Hopey & Co.’s  downtown location, or make a quick stop at French Broad Food Co-op to pick up all your meal-making necessities. And every Saturday morning, you can visit the Asheville City Market for farm-fresh produce, meat, dairy and local artisan products.

Asheville: Enriching – and Entertaining

Asheville Civic CenterLook for culturally rich programs and entertainment in downtown Asheville, and you won’t be disappointed. Think dance and music performances at the Diana Wortham Theatre; a range of concerts and sporting events at the U.S. Cellular Center/Thomas Wolfe Auditorium ; and all manner of outdoor music and arts fests in Pack Square. Pack Memorial Library also features performances and a range of organized activities for all ages. Itching for an enriching museum experience? Hit the Asheville Art Museum, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the Asheville Museum of Science, or the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center, or mix in a little play at the Asheville Pinball Museum.

Catch a Movie, See a Play

Getting to the movies to see first-run, art and independent films is easy in downtown Asheville, thanks to the Fine Arts Theatre and the recently opened Grail Moviehouse. When you’re ready to see top-notch plays – or if you’d like to be in one yourself – visit Asheville Community Theatre or the N.C. Stage Company.

Get Fit Right in Downtown

YMCA Downtown AshevilleWalking the streets of downtown can be a workout in itself, but if you’re looking for something a little more challenging, the district boasts a YMCA (which sports two pools, basketball and racquetball courts, along with the traditional wellness center) as well as a Climbmax Climbing gym, with indoor and outdoor facilities.

Places to Park It

Partaking of all Asheville has to offer can be exhausting; luckily, the downtown area is replete with parks for relaxing, meeting up with friends, or simply people-watching. Pack Square, surrounded by the art deco treasures Asheville is famed for, presents the perfect spot for spreading a blanket and soaking in the atmosphere. A bonus for kids is Splashville water park, at the east end of the square. For some fun people-watching (and a little Friday evening drum circle action), head to Pritchard Park. Once you’re recharged – and ready for a rush – grab your wheels and head to Food Lion Skatepark.

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