Best Mountain Biking Towns Include Lenoir NC

mountain bike trails in North Carolina

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a bicycle, and that’s pretty close.”  – Anonymous

No one knows who coined the sentiment, but biking enthusiasts know it’s true! Especially those living in the mountain towns in North Carolina, land of the best mountain biking anywhere.

Okay, cyclists, have we got your attention? Good! Now, before you gear up and get ready to hit the trails, we’ve got a few tips on how to handle the curves ahead – not to mention the thrilling elevations –for your ultimate off-road adventure on the mountain bike trails in North Carolina.

Did you know the state is divided into three distinct sections according to its changing terrain from east to west? Biking buffs abound on the Western North Carolina (WNC) side, known as “the mountains section.” This is thanks in no small part to the more than 3,400 bike trails in Asheville, WNC’s largest city and the heart of the region.

The tree-lined trails in scenic Asheville take cyclists for the ride of their life along gravel roads that wind through forested valleys, past lazy streams, and up steep mountainsides. All these elements, plus the year-round mild climate, make this area perfect for exploring on two wheels.

WNC is known for three main trail systems – Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Forest (DSF), and Tsali. These are the three cyclist meccas traditionally featured in cycling magazines and on social media, and here’s why:

Pisgah’s trails are described as some of the most challenging because of their wet, rocky, and rooty terrain. But they’re also well maintained and frequently traveled by fellow cyclists.

DSF trails also make for some tricky riding over plenty of bumps and hills. And keep an eye out for that slickrock! Many DSF trails cross over large expanses of solid granite, a unique feature that can make for some smooth maneuvering.

Tsali trails are more hardpacked and make for exceptionally long and extremely fast riding along flat, level pathways. Tsali’s hills can be long, but they’re not very steep, and they offer gorgeous views of Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

These trail systems are all located within a short driving distance of downtown Asheville, a lively city with a vibrant night life and dynamic art scene. All of this makes Asheville a must-see-must-do town on the Blue Ridge bucket list of WNC visitors with a passion for cycling. And Asheville’s ranking on so many “best places to retire” lists has been known to inspire cyclists – and mountain lovers in general –  to settle in to a dream home of their own in one of the many gated communities near Asheville NC.

But Asheville isn’t the only game in town for mountain lovers and avid cyclists. In recent years, a slew of new hiking and biking trails have opened up in and around the towns of Boone, Banner Elk, Blowing Rock, and Lenoir. The trails in these towns grace some of the most majestic mountains in Western North Carolina, and they’re quickly growing in popularity. From the breathtaking highs of the 3,600-foot Blowing Rock elevation to the sweet Sugar Mountain valley down below, these trails are attracting cyclists from far and wide. Here are a few of our favorites:

Beech Mountain Trails

What sets Beech Mountain apart from all the rest? It’s the highest town in Eastern America with elevations at 5,506 feet. It’s not only high off the ground, it’s also high on our list of places for best biking adventures. If you’re looking for an unforgettable ride, you can’t beat Beech Mountain. Casual cyclists will enjoy the easy scenic routes, tailor made for cruising a summer day away. Advanced cyclists will find their fill of challenges here, including climbs of 1,400 feet in only 3-1/2 miles! Professional road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong covered many if not all of Beech Mountain’s 51 miles of biking routes, so you know this place has true cycling appeal. And there are plenty of events held throughout the year, including regular Beech Mountain Bike Club rides, guided group rides (third Saturday of the month, May through October), and the annual Beech Mountain “Beest” Weekend Cycling Time Trial held each May.

Sugar Mountain Trails

It may be best known for its fabulous ski slopes, but this mountain has year-round appeal with runners, walkers, hikers, and bikers. Life is sweet on Sugar Mountain, with its welcoming landscape and far-reaching views. Just minutes from Grandfather Mountain and Linville Gorge, Sugar Mountain has 11 trails of varying difficulty to suit a variety of outdoorsy types, from the gentle walkers who enjoy the quiet of the woods to the adrenaline seekers who prefer a heart-pumping trek along the higher elevations. Mountain bikers love the network of trails that weave their way throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain. And when they’re ready to practice their downhill cycling skills, they can catch a lift to the top of the slopes on Sugar Mountain Resort’s chair lifts. All visitors can enjoy free trail access during daylight hours from May through October. And cycling fans will be the first in line when May brings The Showdown at Sugar Mountain, a NORBA (National Off Road Bicycle Association) National Championship Event that showcases both professional and amateur cyclists participating from all 50 states.

Zack’s Fork Mountain Trails

It may be only three miles long, but this single-track loop in the center of Lenoir NC is built for fun. It opened in 2014 and has since become a favorite among beginners, advanced riders, and everyone in between. It’s short and sweet with a nice curvy downhill descent that makes it a must-ride for Lenoir bike buffs. Zacks Fork Mountain Bike Trail has been described as “flowy and impressive with lots of berms and bumps” and – spoiler alert! – there’s a quick elevation change (250 ft) for an added thrill at the end of your energetic ride.

Yes, it’s true! The mountain towns in North Carolina really do have the best mountain biking anywhere. And these days, we’re seeing more and more enthusiasts making the move to the mountains, where they can enjoy year-round hiking and biking.

At The Coves Mountain River Club in Lenoir NC, neighbors not only have plenty of trails to traverse, they even enjoy the invigorating hike – or bike! – up to their neighborhood clubhouse, Pisgah Mountain Lodge, which takes them to elevations ranging from 1,000 to 1,700 feet. You get quite an endorphin boost making your way up the paved roads to the lodge. And once at the top, you’re treated to spectacular views of Grandfather Mountain, Johns River, Wilson Creek, and beautiful cascading waterfalls that can be seen in all directions.

Whether you’re an avid mountain biker or a gentle cruiser who appreciates the slower rolls, or even just a fan of beautiful mountain living, The Coves offers a full schedule of year-round recreational activities and relaxing opportunities. This variety of amenities is just one small part of what attracts so many people to this fabulous gated community in one of the most charming mountain towns in North Carolina.

Come on out to The Coves Mountain River Club and see what we mean… and be sure to bring your mountain bike so you can try our trails!

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule your visit.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, as for our 84-page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide, which gives you more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Kayaking Wilson Creek and Local Rivers

kayaking Wilson Creek

Wilson Creek NC and Johns River NC are just two of the popular kayaking destinations in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and are located right next to The Coves Mountain River Club.  From world-class competitive events to the chance to paddle leisurely through the spectacular scenery and slow moving rivers, kayakers are drawn year-round to the beauty of Western North Carolina’s natural resources.

In addition to the adventure aspect of water sporting activities, kayaking provides numerous health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, low wear and tear of tissues, and increased muscle strength around the legs, arms, chest and back.

Here are the top ten kayak runs (with rapids classifications) close to some of the gated communities near Asheville NC which includes The Coves:

  • Johns River, Burke County that runs 6.5 miles long with Class I-II (Easy and Novice)
  • Wilson Creek that offers Class I-III (Easy to Intermediate) and runs 4 miles long
  • The 1.9 miles long Wilson Creek with Class III-V (Intermediate to Expert)
  • The 18 miles Catawba River- Henry Fork offering Class I-III (Easy to Intermediate)
  • Wilson Creek, Caldwell County stretching 6.6 miles long with Class II-III (Novice to Intermediate
  • Steel Creek with Class II-III (Novice to Intermediate) runs 6.6 miles long
  • Catawba River McDowell with Class I-II (Easy and Novice) is 8.5 miles long
  • The 5-mile long Wilson Creek with Class IV (Advanced)
  • Gragg Prong River offers 1.6 miles long stretch with Class IV-V (Advanced and Expert)
  • The upper creek with Class III-IV (Intermediate to Expert) runs 17 miles long

The calm waters of the Catawba River are ideal for all skill levels.  Slow-moving water carries you over 3.5 miles from the Fort Mill dam to the Riverwalk.  Or, you can move at a faster pace through 2.75 miles of rapids.  Kayaking clinics and individual instruction are available.

You can join a group in Morganton for the six-mile Bridgewater Paddle.  It takes about three hours, with opportunities to hone your skills as you’re introduced to the thrill of white water kayaking.

Price Lake, near Blowing Rock, is the largest body of water on the Blue Ridge Parkway and a very popular spot for kayaking.  You can bring your own craft or rent one on site.  If you’re there during the fall foliage season, a calm day will reward you with a stunning view of Grandfather Mountain reflected in the water, along with the sky and surrounding trees.

Wilson Creek NC in Lenoir is known for its water quality, fast moving currents and rugged views.  There are areas for all skill levels, with the upper part of the stream being the most challenging and the gorge reserved for the most experienced kayakers.  Some of the bigger rapids include:

  • Mank Above 10ft
  • Ten Foot Falls
  • No Name
  • Boatbuster
  • Thunderhole
  • Triple Drop
  • Bitchslap
  • Hidden Eddy
  • Razorback
  • Huntley’s Retreat

Finally, flowing from the Pisgah National Forest, Johns River NC runs through Wilson Creek to Lake Rhodhiss, and The Coves Mountain River Club sits on five miles of its banks.  Residents and visitors alike enjoy the Johns River blend of adventure and slow-moving fun.  It’s one of the iconic features of the foothills, where rapids, streams and clean mountain-fed rivers create a nature lover’s paradise.

You’ll find a number of gated communities near Asheville NC, but we know there is nothing else quite like The Coves Mountain River Club.  Here, you can find riverfront property that puts world-renowned North Carolina trout fishing, boating and more right at your own back door.  And our mild four season weather lets you take advantage of outdoor activities no matter what the season.

We offer the most diverse selection of property in the area, from quarter-acre cottage lots to estates that are 25 acres in size.  With our on-site equestrian center set along the Johns River, the mountaintop Pisgah Mountain Lodge and wellness amenities which include an infinity-view swimming pool, you’ll enjoy the mountain lifestyle of your dreams in a scenic setting. You’ll even have a front row seat when the foliage begins its remarkable color changes in the fall. Our lodge is the perfect place to enjoy the kaleidoscope of colors while enjoying Monday morning yoga.

If you’re exploring mountain towns in North Carolina, be sure to stop by let us show you all that we have to offer. Call us at 828.754.0700!

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Unforgettable Spring Hikes at The Coves


If you hope to call The Coves “home,” then you will come to appreciate the Lenoir North Carolina weather and all it affords those of us who live in the mountains.  All four seasons are magical for folks who own mountain homes near Asheville, and springtime never disappoints with seasonal temperatures that make hiking, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding or mountain biking ideal, and all of these opportunities lay right outside our front doors. 

Hiking trails at The Coves were carefully planned with your recreation and visual pleasure in mind.  If you’re looking for hikes near Asheville NC that are scenic and meander for endless miles, The Coves will not disappoint.  What better time when the Lenoir North Carolina weather is coaxing the wild flowers to bloom, the birds to sing— and all of nature is coming to life around us.  So lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, or your binoculars, maybe a healthy picnic lunch, and head outdoors for a day of fresh air and rejuvenation you just can’t find inside.   

Every day of the week you can hike a new trail that will improve your fitness level as well as your frame of mind.  There’s nothing like hiking outdoors to brighten your mood, free your creative spirit, or provide you with the chance to connect with family or friends away from computers and televisions or the dirty dishes begging to be washed. 

Our 39 miles of hiking and horse trails are paradise when you’re craving hikes near Asheville NC. The 3,600 acres provide a range in elevation from 1,040 to 1,700 feet.  As well as varying in elevation, the hiking trails vary in difficulty, so for those of us who own mountain homes near Asheville, we can plan our fitness routine accordingly, beginning with the easier hikes and working our way up to those that are more challenging.  Strap on your Fitbit or Garmin and impress yourself with the miles you trek or the calories you burn. 

Maybe fitness is the last thing on your mind…but why not to take some incredible nature shots with your camera to send back to friends who are hoping you’ll retire to The Coves so they can visit. Better yet, if they are like other property owners, your family and friends may move here too. 

The seven miles of Switchback Trail will lead you to Mila Cascading Falls.  What better photo op than the splendor of a waterfall to showcase the natural beauty of your new home?  Spine Trail boasts a wildlife viewing area if you’re in the mood for gazing over pastures and streams, taking in mountain laurel and other springtime blooms.  A short four-mile Winding River Trail deposits you at Coleton’s Swimming Hole, a perfect ending to a walk and a place to dip your tired feet. 

For a pleasurable two or three-mile jaunt into the quiet of the woods, take Magnolia or Tranquility Vineyard Trails and revel in the mild Lenoir North Carolina weather.  If you’re looking for shorter hikes near Asheville NC, perhaps to bring younger children, there are plenty of one-mile trails that lead past waterfalls, streams, gardens, the Johns River and our horse stables. There’s something spectacular for everyone. 

Just as there’s a hiking trail perfectly suited for each resident at The Coves, there’s also the perfect property and home.  For those of you considering mountain homes near Asheville NC, you will discover a variety of property types here to suit your aesthetics and your needs.  You can choose a parcel of land with a scenic mountain view for your majestic house or nestle your cabin in the seclusion of the woods.  The difficulty won’t be in finding the perfect spot for your home, but in choosing only one. 

Once you’ve found the property, you can decide on your building plans to accommodate your family’s every need.  We have over a dozen builder floor plans to choose from. Of course, there are re-sale homes already crafted and ready to be lived in at The Coves too.

Come visit The Coves Mountain River Club this spring, explore the natural beauty of the mountains, hike our idyllic trails and discover why so many have made this their home.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Butterfly Gardens and Wildflowers in Western North Carolina


With spring season soon upon us, it’s time to brush off those garden tools and prepare for Mother Nature’s majesty. By March of each year, she’s already hard at work rolling out a colorful carpet of wildflowers with vivid colors and sweet nectars that will lure the Monarch butterflies from now until autumn. Her gardening skills are unmatched! And her butterfly gardens are a source of inspiration to all of us would-be gardeners.

Her dazzling explosion of fiery oranges, mellow yellows, luscious lavenders, and robust reds is a springtime staple along the Blue Ridge Parkway and
Johns River NC. Peak wildflower viewing in this area takes place from late April to late June, and nature lovers come out in droves to see this fabulous floral tapestry and the many winged creatures summoned by its beauty.

When it comes to those highly anticipated annual mountain wildflower displays, one thing you can count on is that each season is uniquely spectacular. Like a singular snowflake or sunset, Mother Nature whips up each bold new wildflower season with the distinction of being one of a kind. Whether she spreads her blankets of blooms across green rolling mountains or fills her mountain fields to the brim with sweet-smelling blossoms, she never presents the same display twice. From meadow to meadow, from season to season, her abundant displays are truly original works of art.

This time of year, her Blue Ridge Mountains are alive and abuzz with springtime flora. New buds and blossoms peek through the rich organic soil, their stems reach high toward the sun as fickle mountain winds tickle their petals. Their roots are nourished by mineral-rich rivers, mountain streams, and some of the most beautiful waterfalls of North Carolina, plentiful in these parts.

This ever-moving, ever-changing landscape of rushing waters and rolling hills creates a constant state of change. It’s that change that yields a beautiful diversity of mountain wildflowers that must be seen to be believed. And it’s that same diversity that attracts butterflies to the scene. After all, the experts say, a wide variety of flowers that will appeal to a wider selection of butterflies.

That’s one reason butterfly gardens are so popular in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Green thumbs abound in this fertile landscape, where mild climates and rich soil produce plants and flowers of all varieties.

Nobody paints a prettier picture across the Blue Ridge canvas than Mother Nature herself. But when you have your own little slice of heaven in the foothills, you can certainly give it a try! The NC mountain land for sale in this area is perfect for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and flower gardeners. Most mountain homes have that nice bright sunny spot that’s perfect for a butterfly garden. That’s where you’ll want to plant a nice mix of “early bloomers” like lupine, Russell hybrids, and verbena, then mix in some aromatic beauties like purple coneflower and verbena homestead purple. And for the crowning glory, don’t forget that “banquet of nectar” known as the butterfly bush.

After a day of planting, you’ll want to sit back and breathe in the beauty of the mountains in springtime as you sip a cool lemonade on your porch and wait for your blooms burst onto the scene. It should only take a few weeks before you spot those first glorious buds. And soon your garden will become home to a kaleidoscope of delicate mountain butterflies. If you’ve planted enough of a variety, by late summer and into fall, you’ll be basking in the golden glow of your beautiful butterfly garden, now home to many more Monarchs adding a dash of zesty orange to brighten your days.

What better way to remind us that spring is a time of new beginnings than a butterfly garden – full of wonder and promise. New life. New and exciting things ahead. Spring is certainly a time of new beginnings for our neighbors in the mountain towns of Western North Carolina. This is the time of year people come shopping for NC mountain land for sale. With a reputation for unmatched beauty and that coveted mountain-river lifestyle, the Johns River NC area attracts new home-buyers each spring like butterflies to nectar.

They come for the vibrant mountain vistas. They stay for the promise of peaceful retirement living in a mountain paradise like The Coves Mountain River Club, a 3,600-acre mountain community with five miles of river frontage along the Johns River, and a Waterfall Park that features four of the most visually stunning waterfalls of North Carolina. There’s Penelope Cascading Falls (40-foot layered waterfall with splash areas, Grandfather Gorge falls (50-foot triple-tier waterfall that spills over large boulders and plunges into a pool below), Mila Cascading Falls (a dramatic stairway-like waterfall that cascades into the Johns River at Mila Park), and Highland River Falls (tumbles down a mountain hollow into the Johns River).

With such gorgeous natural surroundings, every home at The Coves enjoys a spectacular view. Custom designs range from cozy to rustic to luxurious, and there’s a variety of spacious open floor plans to choose from. The endless list of amenities at The Coves includes well-appointed equestrian stables, a hilltop swimming pool, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

But perhaps the most unique and enticing amenity at The Coves is the beloved community garden. Known as Isabel’s Garden, this fenced English-style garden is the perfect example of what community gardening is all about. With two dozen individual plots and three communal plots for sharing, it’s ideal for growing fruits and flowers.

Remember that butterfly garden you wanted to get underway? Why not plant it at Isabel’s Garden and share the experience with your neighbors? It’s a wonderful way to bond with your fellow butterfly lovers. And if you’re lucky, they may invite you to dinner and toast your efforts with a glass of wine from the grapes they harvested at Evelyn’s Vineyard –  just one more of the many amenities at The Coves Mountain River Club that draws from Mother Nature’s majesty and makes this community one of the highest-rated in Western North Carolina.

Call us at 828-754-0700 to schedule your visit to The Coves. It’s the most sought-after gated community in the Johns River NC area, and it offers your choice of NC homes on prime NC mountain land for sale.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84-page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide, which gives you more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Birdwatching – The Owls of Western North Carolina


If you are fortunate enough to awaken every morning in your new cozy mountain home in The Coves, now there’s the leisure time to relish your carefree and active lifestyle. So many possibilities lay before you in this incredible region of the country, and The Coves make these possibilities effortless.  In fact, they lay right outside your door. 

Due to our temperate winters, you can explore so many peaceful hiking trails in Western NC 365 days a year, trails that are accented with vistas of the mountains as well as the miraculous waterfalls of Western North Carolina.  These trails near our North Carolina mountain homes, are beautifully maintained at The Coves with more than 39 miles for your recreation, over 3,600 acres with a variation of elevation from 1,040 to 1,700 feet, and no matter your fitness level, there is the perfect hike for you and your companions.  For those of you who adore horseback riding, thirteen miles of the trails are ideal horse trails. 

Be sure to try all of our trails without ever having to get in your car and drive: Switchback Trail, is seven miles skimming along Mila Cascading Falls, and crosses over several streams; Spine Trail is also seven miles adjacent to a stocked fishing pond and a wildlife viewing area; Winding River Trail is a slightly shorter four-mile hike along the Johns River and the River Park to Coleton’s Swimming Hole; Magnolia Trail is a mere three miles that overlooks the river; Tranquility Vineyard Trail brings you on a two-mile journey into the woods; Little Waterfall Trail leads you past several waterfalls and is a brief 1.5 miles; Cedar Cove Trail is a short mile that leads to the well-tended community gardens and stables; Waterfall Trail is also a mile down to Waterfall Park and the community gardens; and Hawks Nest Trail is a one-mile walk down Waterfall Lane and a peaceful stream to the community gardens and stables.

If you’re wondering about the waterfalls of Western North Carolina that await you at The Coves, there are four right in our neighborhood you can access along the trails.  Grandfather Gorge Falls has a 50-foot triple tier waterfall that spills into a pool.  Mila Cascading Falls is reminiscent of a stairway, and has an easy access; this fall empties into the Johns River at Mila Park.  Highland River Falls also empties into the Johns River, and has easy access for all levels of hikers.  And Penelope Cascading Falls has easy access near Coves River Park, with an impressive 40-foot layered fall accented with splash areas. 

The Coves is truly unique in terms of what residents are afforded while living in their North Carolina mountain homes.  What hobbies are you now free to enjoy?  Whether it’s outdoor recreation, like canoeing, kayaking, hiking, or bird watching, you have acres and acres of pristine nature to make these hobbies real. 

Over five miles of our property parallels the incredible Johns River—a peaceful place to get lost in your favorite book, or the perfect backdrop for those nature shots you want to take with your camera and share with friends and family. 

If bird watching is your passion, those of us who have settled into our North Carolina mountain homes are the most lucky.  The North Carolina Bird Records Committee maintains the records for bird sightings in the state and amazingly nearly five hundred species of birds have been noted in the past decade.  Most of these birds live in the region all year long, which creates quite a haven for bird watchers and other nature enthusiasts–whether you’re on the hiking trails in Western NC, having packed a nutritious lunch, to get some exercise, or perhaps you’re out for a productive photo session with your camera in hand.  

There are many scenic backdrops to inspire your exercise or your hobbies.  Lift your binoculars and you’ll discover a wide variety of birds like lively-colored finches, cardinals, and wood warblers, or traipse along the Johns River or the waterfalls of Western North Carolina and you’ll likely find the ducks and loons, as well as the herons and egrets that wade along.  Pause beneath the trees for a cold drink and listen for the tapping of a pileated woodpecker, or the loud song of a wren.  And who doesn’t adore the sight of the rapid flight of a ruby-throated hummingbird?

The variety of birds of North Carolina doesn’t end there, however, since there are four species of owls in the state that add an air of mystique and majesty to the area—like the Barred Owl which is one of our all-time favorites due to its hooting call.  This owl gets its name from the barred pattern on its feathers. Adults are up to 25 inches long with a four foot wing span, which is quite a sight if you catch it swooping down from a tree—the spot they prefer as opposed to open areas.

Most of us know the Great Horned Owl, named because of the tufts of feathers on either side of its head that look like attentive ears. This owl is the largest of the species in the state, ranging from 17-25 inches, and lives in both wooded and open areas.  You can spot the Great Horned Owl nesting in trees if its found a handy hollow to call home.  

If your meandering along the hiking trails of North Carolina, the Screech Owl you are more than likely to discover, is the Eastern Red Screech Owl. These are small to medium-sized, typically  7-10 inches with wingspans up to 24 inches. They can be mistaken for the Horned Owl since they share the same tufts of feathers on the sides of their heads. This species of owl does not actually screech but emits a fast sequence of notes.  Real bird aficionados who reside in The Coves can differentiate between the various species of Screech Owls that are typically heard in our relatively open areas.

There’s also one type of Barn Owl that calls North Carolina its home, and are rarely seen during the day or night.  They have an easily recognizable heart-shaped pale face, and are 10-20 inches with a three-foot wing span.  Barn Owls make their nests in tree hollows, caves and barns, and bird watchers may hear their shrieking hiss even if they cannot spot them diving for a rodent. 

Simply open the door of your beautiful North Carolina mountain home and discover the nature that surrounds you.  The summit of your neighborhood is accented by eagles that drift overhead. Take a stroll up to our Pisgah Mountain Lodge for breath-taking panoramic views of Grandfather Mountain and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Coves is truly the place where “the High Country begins.”

Come take a tour and explore our amenities. We’re confident you won’t find anywhere like The Coves.

Call us now 828.754.0700. 

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Crafting Hickory – Sneak Preview of Redevelopment Plans

proposed Hickory Riverwalk

So much beauty and charm, so little time! That’s how we feel about the many picturesque and lively mountain towns in North Carolina. After sampling them all, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But today we’re shining our spotlight on a true standout. Known as a furniture capital, a natural wonder, a recreational heaven, and an entertainment haven, this beloved town has mastered the art of blending “small town values with big city drive.” That’s right, Hickory, North Carolina, we’re talking about you. 

For years, Hickory has encompassed all that’s great about mountain living. Visitors rave about the limitless things to do in Hickory North Carolina, and residents boast that their traditional-yet-progressive hometown offers something for everyone. Not one to rest on its laurels, Hickory is currently focused on its own redevelopment, with city officials confident they can renew and revive the area by bringing in new jobs and residents to stimulate the local economy like never before.

Here’s how they’ve set about “Crafting Hickory” –  After studying a few pages from the playbooks of recently revitalized cities like Greenville, South Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee, county and city officials in Hickory developed a similar success strategy, putting focus on the specific needs of its own businesses, communities, and neighborhoods. A team of dedicated committee members, citizens, and consultants came together to create a plan called Inspiring Spaces, which promises to improve Hickory’s appearance, grow its businesses, and strengthen its overall economy. This forward-looking plan strives to preserve Hickory’s “Life. Well crafted.” motto while subscribing to Mayor Rudy Wright’s secondary motto: “Nulla Vestigial Retro – No Steps Backwards.”

Here’s a sneak peek at three of the major projects currently in development by the Inspiring Spaces committee, as they take steps toward creating a well-crafted life for the citizens of Hickory in the 21st century and beyond:


A network of picturesque pedestrian walkways will extend from Geitner-Rotary Park along Lake Hickory and extending into the surrounding landscape along the Catawba River on the periphery of the city to US-321. Designed for functionality and recreation, this combination boardwalk/ trail will serve as both a city system that links multiple points of interest along the route – including local businesses, event spaces, parks, and playgrounds –  and a unique destination space with brand new shopping, dining, and entertainment venues which we’ll soon see springing up at the southern end. With built-in scenic overlooks spaced throughout, the eight-to-10-foot wide waterfront trail will accommodate both walking and biking. Hiking trails will be added to offer even more recreational opportunities for those who like to venture off into more rugged terrain.

Hickory Riverwalk is a perfect fit for a healthy, vibrant town where visitors and locals like to stay active, enjoy the great outdoors, and have their pick of fun things to do in Hickory North Carolina. The Inspiring Spaces team is excited to revitalize this scenic area along Lake Hickory and the Catawba River to help spur new jobs, promote tourism, and encourage residential growth in Hickory and nearby North Carolina mountain properties.

PARK 1764

To further promote economic expansion in Hickory, Catawba County and City of Hickory officials are working together to develop a 178-acre Class A business park with state-of-the-art manufacturing and office complexes that will no doubt attract new companies looking to do business in Hickory. It’s called Park 1784, and it’s ideally located in a quiet community with easy access to two major interstates, just two miles from I-40 (E/W) and 30 miles from I-85 (N/S). Hickory currently has limited areas for existing businesses to grow, or for new businesses to move into. This project solves both problems by allowing businesses currently in Hickory to grow and expand, and by paving the way for new companies wanting to build or relocate to Hickory in an industrial park that’s less than an hour’s drive to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.


Then there’s Citywalk! This one’s sure to be a favorite with university students and business professionals who spend much of their day in Hickory’s business district. This attractive downtown corridor will connect all of the area’s best features, offering easy access between businesses (including the university campus) and a variety of surrounding shops, services, venues, and transportation stops. Citywalk will extend from Lenoir Rhyne University, down Main Avenue, and past Union Square along the railroad tracks. It features a pedestrian bridge plus added amenities along Main Avenue and Union Square. The Inspiring Spaces team has developed a vision for Hickory’s Citywalk as “a great place for all residents to enjoy … a place where young adults want to work, live, and play.”

When it comes to revitalizing an already amazing little slice of Blue Ridge heaven, Hickory’s not alone. Sure, they may have borrowed a page from the playbooks of Greenville and Chattanooga, but they’re not the first, and they certainly won’t be the last to transform their charming city into a vibrant, walkable mountain community, preserving the character of the past while infusing it with all the amenities of 21st Century living. That’s the perfect combination, according to thousands of baby boomers who each year choose to migrate from the daily rat race to a peaceful-but-active mountain lifestyle in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

If there’s one thing these folks know, it’s how to live life to the fullest, in a place that offers mild mountain climates, fishing from the riverbank just outside your door, enjoying sun salutations against the backdrop of Grandfather Mountain, and hiking, biking, and gardening the day away until the sun sets behind your beautiful Western North Carolina mountain property. This is living. Where avid foodies gather at a neighborhood gastropub to share a farm-to-table meal and toast their friendship with a local microbrew. Where live music festivals flow endlessly from one season into to the next. Where public art sculptures (think Hendersonville’s Painted Bears, Hickory’s Painted Benches, or Aiken’s Painted Horses) beckon the cultural crowd out into the streets. Where charming towns inspire road trips to the next mountain town on your bucket list.

Hickory’s a town where life is well-crafted. And lucky for you, it’s surrounded by your choice mountain towns in North Carolina where life is well lived. When you’re ready to start looking at Carolina mountain properties, look no further than The Coves Mountain River Club. Our 3,600-acre mountain community with five miles of river frontage along the Johns River is an easy 40-minute drive to Hickory’s Downtown Farmer’s Market.

The well-crafted homes at The Coves range from cozy to luxurious and offer scenic mountain and water views in all directions. And when it comes to outdoor walking paths, Hickory may be expanding on a good thing, but we have plenty of our own. And they’re perfect for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. There’s also a full range of amenities, including a community vineyard and garden, modern fitness center, and hilltop swimming pool located on the grounds of the neighborhood lodge, the best place to take in the spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding Blue Ridge mountain ranges.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule your visit to The Coves. We are Lenoir’s most sought-after gated community, and it’s just minutes from Downtown Hickory.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84-page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide, which gives you more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Hickory