The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

Archive for the ‘Hiking in Asheville’ Category

Things to Do this Winter in Asheville

December 11th, 2013 by stacy

cataloochee ski

Cataloochee Ski Resort

shoji

Shoji Day Spa

Winter isn’t everyone’s favorite time, but for us it’s a time of quiet reflection, time to relax a bit and take in all the beauty around us. The mountains are spectacular this time of year and winter offers some of the best views when hiking (that is if you’re not intimidated by the colder temperatures.) There’s a certain exquisiteness about the trees in winter that you can’t truly appreciate unless you slow down on an early winter evening and watch the beauty unfold.  At sunset, the mountains thrust one last bit of sunlight tinged with pink and purple hues onto the sky’s canvas. The twilight sky seems to illuminate the now naked tree branches that sit in quiet repose. But beyond taking in the raw beauty of winter, there’s lots of other fun and relaxing things to do this winter in Asheville. Foodies still flock here to take in the vast culinary scene known as Foodtopia, then sit by a cozy fire at the end of a long day of site seeing and shopping. Here’s our recommendation of things to do this winter while you’re visiting.

  1. Hiking. Winter is simply put, the best time to take in the views. Just make sure you are packed properly. Here’s a trail guide that will help you choose the right hike http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=61
  2. Antique Shopping. Slow down your pace and spend time browsing for antiques around town then take in lunch at a downtown café overlooking the square. Here’s a great list of Antique shops, put together by Romantic Asheville http://www.romanticasheville.com/antiques.htm
  3. Beer Tasting and Brews Cruises.  Asheville, or Beer City U.S.A. as it’s been named for the past four years, has dozens of brewery tours and beer tastings to choose from. A great way to spend a cool winter day indoors. Here’s a short list of places to do a beer tasting: Hops & Vines, Lexington Avenue Brewery, The Oyster House Brewing Company.
  4. Spa Day.  Ever visited an outdoor spa? Shoji Spa offers Japanese style outdoor hot tubs with mountain views, saunas and couples massage. For something more traditional, pick anyone of Asheville’s amazing spas and pamper yourself for the day.
  5. Gallery Hopping. Check out Asheville’s outstanding line up of art galleries. Here’s some of our favorites: Grove wood Gallery, Blue Spiral 1, Southern Highland Craft Guild, New Morning Gallery.
  6. Ski, tube or snowboard. Asheville is only about 30 minutes from Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, Cataloochee Skiing and Tube World.

Planning a visit to Asheville this winter? We still have some rooms available at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast. Celebrating an anniversary, birthday or special occasion? We’ll help you plan a special getaway with flowers, in room massage, a bottle of bubbly or anything else you may need for your special day. Pinecrest Inn is a beautiful, relaxing place to enjoy a winter getaway in Asheville. Call 888-811-3053 for reservations.

 

Recommended Hiking Trails in Pisgah National Forest

August 30th, 2013 by stacy

The Pisgah National Forest covers over 500,000 acres of forested land in and around Asheville. Avid hikers and bikers alike will discover hundreds of miles of trails to suit any taste. If you haven’t explored the Pisgah Forest, then you definitely need to. Some of the Pisgah trails most favored by locals include those at Max Patch, Hot Springs, Bent Creek, Mills River, Graveyard Field and many others. For a quick guide to the best trails based on features, or ease/difficulty of hike visit http://www.hikewnc.info/besthikes/.

A favorite of our Asheville Bed & Breakfast is Max Patch – a good 45-60 minute drive West of Asheville, but well worth the trip.  kids_hikingMax Patch Mountain offers some amazingly scenic hikes, appropriate for children and older individuals. It highest elevation reaches 4,629 feet. The grassy summit is not the highest peak around, but it is considered by some to be the “crown jewel of the Appalachian Trail”. If you want a relatively easy hike to Max Patch, take the moderate, 1.4 mile Short Loop trail. For a more difficult hike, continue another mile on the Long Loop trail. The long range mountain views are simply breathtaking.

For easier hiking just 15 minutes from downtown, head south to Bent Creek. The Bent Creek trail system offers great hiking and mountain biking options, a campground, mountain lake with sandy beach (Powhatan Lake), picnic area, fishing pier and a family recreation area. A great place to spend the day or just take a refreshing walk around the lake to enjoy the beautiful Dogwoods and Mountain Laurel. Bent Creek is adjacent to the NC Arboretum and charges a $5 per vehicle entrance fee to the park.

If you’d rather hike on the north end of town, head up to the trail system in Hot Springs. The famous Appalachian Trail runs right through town. From the trail head, take a hike up to Lovers Leap Ridge for spectacular views of downtown Hot Springs and Spring Creek. The scenic town is also home to natural, hot mineral springs for which the town is named. Take in the therapeutic spring waters after your hike by renting your own private mineral bath at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa and follow it up with a relaxing massage. Now that’s my idea of a satisfying hike!

No matter where you go, you’re sure to enjoy exploring the endless hiking trails in and around Asheville -especially in the Pisgah Forest. Our Asheville Bed & Breakfast is fortunate to be surrounded by so much natural beauty and endless outdoor recreation options. Need trail maps or other recommendations for hiking? Just ask our innkeepers or any member of the Pinecrest Inn staff during your visit. For Inn reservations or more information visit www.pinecrestbb.com. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Winter Holiday in Asheville

January 10th, 2013 by stacy

Happy New Year ! This year marks our 10 year anniversary as owners of this Asheville Bed and Breakfast. It’s hard to believe how fast time has flown by and here we are starting the New Year off much like last. The weather has been very mild, no snow and quiet. Even though January and February are usually slow months, it’s a great time to visit. The Biltmore Estate is still magnificent and less crowded. You can purchase your 2 day ticket for $35.00 from this Asheville Inn. Guests receive a complimentary audio guide with purchase. Children 16 and younger enjoy free admission.

Asheville’s restaurants are calmer – making reservations unnecessary on most nights and giving you some extra flexibility in your schedule. With temperatures expected to continue to be mild this year, outdoor hiking and activities are abundant. Strolling the streets of Asheville is a more leisurely and relaxed experience.

Here at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast, our rates are reduced through March 31st. We also allow for one night bookings on the weekend, except certain holidays. This year we are offering an additional 5% savings if you book 2 weekend nights (Fri, Sat, Sun) through March 31st in the Grace, Thomas Wolfe or Wible suites.

Valentine’s day falls on a Thursday this year and we expect that the weekend following Valentine’s day to be busy, so you may want to start your planning your get-away now. We would really enjoy the opportunity to host you during your visit to Asheville. Please call our toll free 888-811-3053 for additional information or book online.

Day Excursions from our Asheville Bed & Breakfast

July 10th, 2012 by stacy

Lately we’ve been recommending some day trips, that are easy to take from our Bed & Breakfast in Asheville. I have to say - these little adventures we have been going on have been pretty cool and lots of fun. Our latest expedition took us south of Asheville to Hickory Nut Gorge area, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure.  Many of our guests ask about these destinations so we ventured down to check them out again. It has been some time since we were in that area and it appears that not a lot has changed. The view from Chimney Rock is still awesome and the town and the lake perhaps a little more touristy. If you are visiting just for a weekend, this is probably not a side trip we would recommend — since there is just so much to see and do in and around Asheville. If however, you are planning on staying longer, or if your trip into or out of Asheville can take you that way, then it is great way to spend the day or a long afternoon.

Lake Lure is nestled in the heart of the Hickory Nut Gorge and is fed by the Rocky Broad River that makes its way down a series of rapids through the Gorge.  Lake Lure is a town in Rutherford County.  As of 2009, the population was 1007 – down 5 folks since 2008.  Lake Lure was incorporated in 1927 and acquired its namesake lake in 1965.  The town and lake make up all of 15 square miles and boasts a new marina and a beach front. You can rent just about every type of water craft at the marina or take an hour guided tour around the Lake. The guide lets you in on all the secrets of the lake including an underwater city and the scoop on filming of the Dirty Dancing movie. It is a picturesque lake and was designate one of the “top ten man made lakes” by National Geographic. We hit the beach and swam in the lake for a short bit before dark clouds and lightening swept in forcing us to change plans – much to the chagrin of our little tourist who was having fun on the two water slides.  We took a drive around the lake and ended up at “Larkin’s on the Lake,” situated as it name implies right on the water.  We sat outside under the awning, sipped on drinks, ate a bite and watched the storm roll in and eventually over us.  As the sun began to reappear, we ventured back out and headed back toward the beach and toward Chimney Rock about 2 miles away.

Once you turn into Chimney Rock State Park you drive along a narrow road, up and up, paying at the gate approximately half way up and then arriving at the Welcome Center, further up and approximately 3 miles from turning in.  Out of your car, you face a difficult decision:  whether to venture up to the towering 315-foot monolith located on the very edge of a mountain, perched above the Hickory Nut Gorge at 2280 feet, by your own two feet by trail OR take a leisurely 30 second ride up an elevator to the Old Rock Café and entrance to breathtaking views.  Built within the mountain is a 198 foot tunnel which cuts into the mountain to a 26 story elevator, which was constructed in 1949 (using 18 tons of dynamite).

Whatever your choice, you arrive at the top of the “Rock” where the gorge unfolds around you with a view that extends 75 miles with Lake Lure directly below.  I must confess that we took the elevator, but mainly because of the time we had and that we were tugging a 7 year old along with us.  The view was spectacular, but should come with a word of caution.  If you have any fear of heights, you may have some difficulty crossing the bridge and then walking up the stairs to the actual “rock”. It is well fenced and safe, but it could make anyone a bit nervous. Our son was a little hesitant, but we all made it out onto the rock and it was well worth it. Even though the focal point of the park is the “rock” there are many hiking trails and an amazing 404 foot waterfall.  The Park holds special events throughout the season so check before launching your own expedition at http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/index.php

The trails are surrounded by oak, hickory, maple, beech, poplar, locust and basswood harbor trees. The plant life includes rare and endangered wildflowers as well as native Solomon’s-Seal and Jack-in-the-pulpit.  An easy ¾ mile trek that leads to the aforementioned waterfall: Hickory Nut Falls.  If you have ever seen the movie, “The Last of the Mohicans” you are sure to remember the climatic fight scene at the end of the movie. This scene was filmed at the top of Hickory Nut falls.  It’s an easy walk and well worth experiencing. Admission to the park is a little steep at $15 per adult, but if you are planning a day of it, you will get your money’s worth.  You can eat at the café or take a picnic along.  Enjoy! For more information about accomodations or local attractions, please call Pinecrest Inn, a premiere Asheville Bed and Breakfast at 888-811-3053.

Stunning Views and Easy Hike 40 miles from this Asheville Inn

June 3rd, 2012 by stacy

The Pinecrest Inn in Asheville is located a short drive from some pretty amazing hiking destinations. If you want to see stunning 360-degree views of the mountain ranges from the Black Mountains (Mt. Mitchell) on the east to the Great Smokey Mountains to the southwest, then you have to go no further than 40 miles west of Asheville to Max Patch Mountain. The origin of such grassy balds that dot the mountain landscape in the region has been long debated.  Some believe that Max Patch was cleared by sheep and cattle in the 1800s.  The area is maintained as a bald by the U. S. Forest Service today.

Today Max Patch is part of the Pisgah National Forest and is 300 acres of a grassy bald at an elevation of 4600 feet and the famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT) passes through the area.

This past weekend, my family and I ventured up to Max Patch for a short day hike, which even our 7 year old could master. Having read about the fairly easy loop around the bald and interested in the view, we thought this would be a pretty good fit for the day. We headed out with a picnic around 11:00 and hit the road. We took 40 west to exit 7, which is a beautiful drive. Once we exited we turned right onto a gravel road and drove another 6 miles of switchbacks through the Pisgah National Forest. You can’t miss the parking area at the end of the road and just below the grassy dome.  Getting out of your car you are instantly wowed!

One of the reasons Max Patch is so appealing is it offers something for everyone. You can hike around the bald on one of 2 loops or you can just take a short walk up, up, up to the summit, but well worth the very short steep hike.

After checking out the map (displayed at the trailhead), we decided on the 2.4 mile loop, which circles the mountain for magnificent views from all sides. As you leave the parking lot, take the trail on the left which is also the AT. It makes its way up the grassy bald, through shaded forest and meadows — finally emerging on the back side of the dome with a short uphill that delivers you out onto the top of the grassy bald and to the most amazing, breathtaking, 360° view of the southern Appalachian mountains.

After taking several pictures at the first trail junction, which presents another option to summit the dome, we took a left and continued along the way, looping around the bald through forest and meadow, stopping for a picnic and finally up the summit from the back side. The summit is a pasture of wild flowers and breathtaking views and caused the girls to break out into an over the top rendition of “The Sound of Music.”  I can’t think of a better picnic spot or a place to star gaze. We decided we would have to comeback another time at dusk or even a night trip for the stars.

As we headed back in the early afternoon, we decided to venture over to Hot Springs, NC and visit the Hot Spring Resort for a mineral springs soak. Hot Springs, located along the banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River, is a town rich in history and natural allure. The hot 100° mineral water was first discovered by Native Americans over 200 years ago.  The town’s name comes from the hot springs and this little town tucked away in the mountains has been a resort destination since the turn of the century. Hot Springs serves as an Appalachian Trail town, passing right through town as it passes along the ridges of the Southern Appalachian Mountains (from Georgia to Maine). At the heart of this town is a 100 acre Resort and Spa featuring private modern Jacuzzi style hot tubs, positioned outside along the picturesque banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River. The resorts tubs are supplied with a continuous flow of natural mineral water. We soaked for about an hour and then got some ice cream downtown (just across the street and across the railroad tracks), finally heading back into Asheville only 30 minutes away.

We had a wonderful family outing and so can you! As you can probably imagine, this can also make a great trip just for the two of you.  If you are spending a few days in Asheville, this is an easy way to see the remarkable mountains and enjoy the great outdoors.  This is just one of the day trips that we can recommend to our guests.  Whatever your pursuit — scenic views, a hike, some awesome waterfalls or just a scenic drive, we can offer some suggestions that will help you make the most out of your visit to Asheville.   Call Stacy at 888-811-3053 or email innkeeper@pinecrestbb.com for more information and let this Asheville Inn  be your guide. Need a place to stay? Check out our Bed & Breakfast specials.

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