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Archive for the ‘Outdoor Adventure’ Category

Appalachian Trail for One Day

July 25th, 2016 by Diane Rogers

Let’s face it, aren’t we all a little enamored with the Appalachian Trail?  This romantic notion of walking from Georgia to Maine holds some mystical power over us all.  And if you are lucky enough to live nearby the trail in Asheville, you can put down the Jon Krakauer book, lace up your boots, and give it a whirl, if only for a day.  We locked the door behind us at Pinecrest B&B and headed out for an adventure.

A good place to start would be 36 miles north of Asheville in Hot Springs, NC where the trail runs right through the center of town.  We choose the 1.6 mile loop Lover’s Leap Hike with directions quickly handwritten from the our favorite blog, Romantic Asheville. Even us novices knew there would be no GPS where we were headed.

Appalachian Trail thru Hot Springs NC

It would seem the day was off to a good start with the marker in the sidewalk.  We stopped in Bluff Mountain Outfitters which would be a godsend for supplies for those hearty souls who are thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail. They have earned our utmost respect.  Perhaps the hiking gene skips a generation as my parents hike and our daughter has even backpacked in Alaska but our main exercise these days is carrying laundry up and down two flights of steps.  Onward and upward!

Over the bridge, down some steps, a street led us to a well worn trail right beside the French Broad River.  There is something mesmerizing about the sound of water and particularly the rush over any waterfall, albeit so small.  With the intensity of the heat, a trip down the river over Surprise Falls might have been a better choice on this hot summer day?  Maybe our next outing will be at French Broad Rafting.

Surprise Falls on the French Broad River

Surprise Falls on the French Broad River

Everyone knows the white blaze of the Appalachian Trail keeps hikers on the right path but we somehow veered off quite quickly to the left.  Looking for a series of switchbacks, we attempted a near vertical climb, using ropes someone had secured to traverse this particularly challenging terrain.

This is NOT the AT

This is NOT the AT

AT White Blaze

White blaze marks the AT

After 50 feet straight up, we abandoned this spur and retraced our steps, nearly rappelling back down and headed along the river again, this time in the right direction!  And soon there were the familiar white blazes every 100 feet, bringing comfort to the uninitiated.

 

We continued along the river path awhile then came upon the promised switchbacks that started our ascent to 3 rock outcroppings.  The forest was still and quiet, save for our footfalls but we knew others had traversed this same path by the “cairns”

Cairns

Cairns

they left behind, which brings comfort to some but considered a scourge by others. It was nice to be reminded that there are places, not so far away if we seek them, where we can find quiet, peace and solace from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  No cell phones, no GPS, no email but be sure to take plenty of water as hiking the Appalachian Trail can leave you winded and thirsty.

 

The hike up was certainly worth it for the peak-a-boo views of the river below and ridges towering above.  We were happy to stop and rest at the top before taking the Silvermine Loop Trail back down the mountain.

Stunning views from the Appalachian Trail

Stunning views from the Appalachian Trail

These mountains call to us to climb them, some higher than others but all of us have the desire to search for views such as these.  All that is left to be said is “breathtaking.”

View from Lover's Leap Trail on the AT

View from Lover’s Leap Trail on the AT

 

 

 

Zen Tubing an Asheville Outdoor Adventure

July 21st, 2015 by Diane Rogers

 

lynnezip

We have been operating this Asheville Bed and Breakfast for almost 13 very lucky years and one of the biggest changes we’ve observed in the last several years is the duration of days our guests stay. It used to be folks would come in for a couple days to “get-away” and “recharge” – usually coming from not too distant towns and cities. More recently the average stay has    gone from just a few days to longer visits with a good number of folks even staying for a week.  Guests are coming from everywhere including a lot of international destinations.

While everyone almost certainly ventures to the Biltmore Estate for a day, or even 2, most people are looking for other adventures in and around Asheville.  We are increasingly assisting incoming guests with planning their vacation and extended stays.

Of course there is any number of outdoor activities to keep you entertained, but one of the newest and definitely most fun activity to hit the Asheville area of late is Zen Tubing.  It is the most leisurely way to enjoy an afternoon along the French Broad River.

I know what you’re thinking…..black tubes that you lug up the stream and float down and lug back up the stream and down again.  Not exactly..this is tubing in a Cadillac, or perhaps being Asheville – a fully loaded Prius, and there is no lugging involved.  The tube provides a soft and cushiony ride, has a back rest, a bottom (to protect your own) and can be hooked together with other floaters.

Zen Tubing has 2 locations that you can drop in from – the Southern route which drops in near Bent Creek, just a short ride south of Asheville and a Mid-town location that cruises through the River Arts District past a few Breweries ending just short of the Bywater, a great outdoor/indoor drinking and eating venue.  They even have a free shuttle to the Bywater parking lot.

The process is so easy- just park at one of the end destinations, get checked-in and take the shuttle to the put in.  The average time on the river is between 2 and 3 hours ending where your car is parked. They are open 7 days a week from 10:00 to 4:00. You just have to be out of the water by 7:00. The cost per person for adults is $20.00 and kids $15.00.

We took our kids out the last weekend of summer last year and had an absolute ball.  We decided on the Southern route and couldn’t have had a sweeter family outing.  We floated along with the current of the French Broad River, swam, swung from a rope, had a picnic on one of the many islands and relaxed.  Thinking of everything for a fun-filled trip, they even provided a tube for our cooler.

Please don’t hesitate to ask Pinecrest B & B to help you plan your trip. We’ve got some great ideas.  Contact  Pinecrest Inn at 828-281-4275 or visit our website at www.pinecrestbb.com.

 

New Mountaintop Zipline Launches this Month in Asheville

May 13th, 2014 by Diane Rogers

navitat

Navitat Zipline (Photo by: Navitat Asheville NC)

The 2014 zipline season has begun in Asheville and it’s off to an exciting start.  This month Navitat is expected to launch its’ unprecedented zipline called the Blue Ridge Experience. The thrilling mountaintop tour high above the forest floor is being heralded as one of the Southeast’s longest and highest ziplines according to Abby Burt, Navitat’s Branding & Marketing Leader.

stacy zipline navitat

Stacy Shelley at Navitat

The Blue Ridge Experience features three pairs of dual “racing-style” ziplines, with riders zooming alongside each other against the panoramic backdrop of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Navitat’s10 ziplines, sky bridges, rappelling and forest hikes have been called some of the best zipline canopy tours in the nation by USA TODAY and Outdoor magazine, and a “must-do activity” in Asheville by the New York Times.

The Blue Ridge Experience tours begin May 10 and run daily through November. Cost is $69 per person Sunday-Friday and $79 on Saturday and holidays. Reservations are required. Visit www.navitat.com for more information or call 1-855-NAVITAT (855-628-4828) to book a zipline tour.

Need a cozy place to stay on your next trip to Asheville? Look no farther than the Pinecrest Inn, a historic Bed & Breakfast located on over an acre of wooded gardens in Montford. Our Inn is conveniently located a short 20 minute drive from Navitat and less than 5 minutes from downtown Asheville. We look forward to seeing you soon! Visit www.pincrestbb.com for more details.

Recommended Hiking Trails in Pisgah National Forest

August 30th, 2013 by Diane Rogers

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.

Asheville’s New Adventure Park in the Trees

May 2nd, 2013 by Diane Rogers

adventure park 2We get so many outdoor enthusiasts here at Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast, that we just love recommending all the fun things there are to do outdoors. So it’s just natural that we’d have to tell you about Asheville’s latest addition to the wonderful world of outdoor adventure.

What do you get when you combine an adventure park in the picturesque hills of Asheville with climbing, hoola hooping, kayaking, swinging and hang gliding? Asheville Treetops Adventure Park of course! The newest outdoor adventure experience is one of a kind, and sure to please even the youngest of outdoor adventure junkies. But be sure if you take children, they’re at least 7 years old and accompanied by an adult 18 years or older – park rules of course! Treetops offers 3 levels of courses based on difficulty, that navigate you up to 45 feet above the forest floor for a bird’s-eye view of Asheville’s beautiful scenery.

Enjoy a full day of adventure by tackling both Asheville Treetops Adventure Park and Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures in the same day. Get a one day combo pass to both for just $99. Military Visitors with a valid Military ID are also entitled to a 10% discount. For pricing and more details, visit www.AshevilleTreetopsAdventurePark.com.

So if you’ve got a zest for adventure and you’re coming to stay at our Asheville Inn this summer, be sure to check out Asheville Treetops Adventure Park – you’ll be thrilled you did. Happy jumping, climbing, zipping and swinging! For Inn reservations visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053.

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