Aldous Leonard Huxley, an English writer who was known for his thought-provoking novels such as “Brave New World,” was once quoted saying that his father “considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.” Walking, strolling, sauntering, and hiking all point to the same basic mechanism – which is putting one foot ahead of the other, repeatedly. Yet, for it to be considered as similar to a communion with one’s God, then there must be more to walking and hiking than merely making strides and traveling distances.
The hiker often experiences a sense of wonder, admiring the beauty around them and experiencing this beauty in the most primitive way, walking. The hiker regularly achieves a great degree of serenity when they trek among the mountains, forgetting a mundane way of life and finding solutions to problems they have wrestled with for several days.
Could the mountains have spirits that were impressed by the tenacity of the hiker? Could there be deities in the mountains that send indecipherable messages through the breeze? And if all these are true, then hiking in North Carolina can be considered as a divine experience.
The topography of North Carolina is a wonderful combination of mountains and valleys. The result is an environment that is both mysterious and inspiring. This is why the State’s tourism industry is heavily invested in its environment and natural wonders, such as Blue Ridge Mountains and Pisgah National Forest. For example, within the forest’s mountainous terrain, there is a complex system of hiking trails that visitors can follow in order to see the unique biological diversity of North Carolina’s flora and fauna.
Hiking, however, is not just about appreciating the natural beauty of the environment. Every hiker knows that the destination is as important as the trail. For example, if the hiker chooses to follow the 20-mile hiking trail of John’s River Club, he or she will find areas for rafting and canoeing, as well as areas for camping.
If the hiker chooses to face an uphill hiking trail and head towards the Pisgah Mountain Lodge, he or she will be rewarded with an incredible view of mountain ranges. The more incredible aspect of it is that this 360-degree gorgeous vista can be accessed everyday by people who live at The Coves at Round Mountain. For them this is not simply a vacation, nor a destination – it is a way of life.