Kayaking Adventures in the Foothills of North Carolina
Located in Western North Carolina, the foothills is home to small home towns, mountain-fed rivers, and hiking trails that offers magnificent outdoor adventure 365 days a year. North Carolina trout fishing and kayaking skills come in handy while the numerous hiking trails give outdoor enthusiasts a run for their time. With river frontage property for sale in the area, it’s possible to own property with North Carolina trout fishing and kayaking right in your backyard which is not easy to find in Western North Carolina real estate. Here’s a few of our favorite kayaking destinations in the foothills:
Regardless of your skill level, the calm waters of the Catawba River provide splendid adventure for all paddlers. It starts at the Fort Mill Dam covering more than 3.5 miles of slow moving water to the Riverwalk. For those willing to test their mastery through higher pace paddling, they can join the 2.75-mile trip with class I-II rapid under the launch. In case you need to learn the art, consider attending the kayak clinics that offer kayak courses for beginners. The ACA certified instructor conducts one on one practice on the learners aged 12 and above.
The rugged scenery and the stunning water currents flowing down the stream from Grandfather Mountain gives a reason to paddle at the Wilson Creek as often as possible. With rapids from Class I to IV, exceptional quality of water and proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the creek attracts numerous kayakers of all skill levels. The upper part of the stream remains the most challenging and only accessible during heavy rains. The part below the gorge is suitable for the low skilled and average skilled paddlers but often find it challenging to cruise along the stretch. The fourth section, widely known as gorge is one of the most popular among the paddling enthusiasts but always preserved for the experienced lot. The section after the gorge offers drops with class 1 and two suitable for the average kayakers.
THE JOHNS RIVER
Over the years, the Johns River stands as one of the iconic features of the foothills that offers residents with a sweet blend of adventure and slow moving fun. Flowing from the Pisgah Forest, the Johns River runs through the Wilson Creek to the Lake Rhodhiss. The first section runs from the Camp Bridge to the low water bridges taking out at the CR 1356 west of NC. The second part begins at Collettsville to the starting point of section 3 that gives access to the wildlife access area.
While some consider white water paddling a challenging activity, most kayakers enjoy the thrill that comes with the sport. Participants need to wear the appropriate gear that includes a life jacket and a helmet to enhance safety.
Here’s a the top 10 kayaking runs in the foothills:
1. Johns River, Burke County that runs 6.5 miles long with class I-II
2. Wilson Creek that offers class I-III and runs 4 miles long
3. The 1.9 miles long Wilson Creek with Class III-V
4. The 18 miles Catawba River- Henry Fork offering class I-III
5. Wilson Creek, Caldwell County stretching 6.6 miles long with Class II-III
6. Steel Creek with class II-III runs 6.6 miles long
7. Catawba River McDowell with Class I-II is 8.5 miles long
8. The 5-mile long Wilson Creek with class IV
9. Gragg Prong River offers 1.6 miles long stretch with class IV-V
10. The upper creek with Class III-IV runs 17 miles long
Other than the adventure associated with water sporting activities, kayaking offers numerous health benefits to the participants. The low impact sport is known to improve cardiovascular health, low wear and tear of tissues, and increase muscle strength around the legs, arms, chest and back.
THE JOHNS RIVER AT THE COVES MOUNTAIN RIVER CLUB
When it comes to real estate Western North Carolina, river frontage property for sale at our mountain community gives you the opportunity to own waterfront property to enjoy North Carolina trout fishing. Amenities in our community along the Johns River include Coleton’s Swimming Hole, Coves River Pavilion, Waterfall Park, two community gardens and Round Mountain Ranch, our full service equestrian center.
The Coves Mountain River Club offers the most diverse offering of property types relative to any other community in the North Carolina mountains. The smallest is 1/4 acre cottage home site. The cottage home sites are clustered on ridges and form small villages within the larger subdivision. These enclaves are often on the top of a mountain ridge with long range views or near the river.
The cottages are perfect for the empty nester or second home owners. Cabin home sites are 1 acre in size. The cabin home sites are often clustered in 3-8 units and share a common, private road for access. Cabins in The Coves work well for owners who want privacy but not seclusion when they purchase Western North Carolina real estate. They are often ideal for home sizes in the 1,650-2,250 square footage range.
Traditional home sites comprise about 60% of the total number of home sites at The Coves. They range in size from 1-3 acres and are found on traditional subdivision roads. Traditional home sites range from huge view sites to private wooded sites with streams along the rear property line.
All traditional home sites are developed with nearby access to the extensive, community trail system. The Estates at The Coves range from 5-25 acres in size. There are a wide variety of estate lots including river front, huge view and pasture sites. All estates are heavily wooded and provide for ultimate privacy. It is extremely rare to find large acreage estate lots inside an amenitized, gated community. Our river front lots are the most rare. Whether you are an angler or just enjoy the peaceful sound of rambling water and serene river views, river front lots are a special find in the NC mountains.
If you own your own horses or would like to own a horse, our Estate lots with pasture land are the perfect option. All of our pasture lots include improved, groomed pastures that are ready for you to move in your best, equine friend. With our equestrian director on site full time and one of the longest, most well groomed trail systems in a private community in the North Carolina mountains, an estate lot with pasture at The Coves could be perfect for you.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which will provide more information about the foothills and over a dozen popular builder floor plans.
Living The Golden Lifestyle: Western North Carolina’s Rich Mining History
“Rockhounding” is a popular and fast-growing hobby around the mountain towns in North Carolina. That’s the name people give to panning and prospecting for gold. All you need to get started is a pan, sluice box, metal detector or dredge. In addition to gold, you may turn up rubies, sapphires, garnets and emeralds and even the occasional diamond. And whatever you find is yours to keep.
We’ve all heard stories of the “gold rush” out West, but did you know that North Carolina was the first state to find the precious metal? That was on a fateful Sunday in 1799, when a farmer John Reed’s son Conrad discovered a large yellow rock that weighed a reported 17 pounds. Not realizing what they had, the family used it as a doorstop for three years. Finally, a local jeweler identified it and paid the Reeds their asking price, which at $3.50 must rank as one of the world’s greatest bargains!
At its peak, gold mining in North Carolina was second only to farming in the number of residents it employed. The estimated value of gold recovered reached over a million dollars a year. North Carolina led the nation in gold production until 1848, when the great rush to California got underway.
Here in Caldwell County, there are plenty of old prospecting sites to explore. The adjoining mines of Miller and Scott Hill, a mile and a half north of Hartland, were major lode gold producers in the area, as was Hercules Mine, located about 12 miles north of Morganton. Others popular with local rockhounds include the Upper Creek, Little John and Baker mines.
If you’re going to prospect near The Coves Mountain River Club, you’ll want to check out Wilson’s Creek and the Johns River for placer gold. The north side of Lower Creek, below Lenoir, is another good spot. And the stream gravel around Grandmother’s Mountain yields good results.
Of course, the Johns River in North Carolina, is also renowned for its great fishing. Where it meets Lake Rhodiss is a good spot for trophy stripers, and trout are plentiful near where Wilson Creek flows in. Fishing for smallmouth bass can be excellent as well, because the water coming from the Pisgah National Forest is so cold and clean. And even in the hottest months of summer, the high elevation means you’ll never have to worry about oppressive heat interfering with your enjoyment of outdoor activities.
If you’re planning to retire to the picturesque mountain towns in North Carolina, be sure to visit to The Coves Mountain River Club in Lenoir to see why so many people have found it to be an ideal place to own a retirement home. We’re a 3600-acre gated community, nestled between the Blue Ridge and Brushy Mountains in the midst of stately hardwood forests.
The Coves offers such a wealth of opportunity for those who want to escape the stresses of the city and enjoy the good life in a tranquil, beautiful environment. Maybe you never imagined yourself investigating gold mining in North Carolina. Well, that’s just one of the pleasant surprises The Coves has in store for you.
When the weather turns cool and the leaves start to change, you’ll have a front-row seat for one of nature’s most spectacular shows. And whether your interests lie in fishing, boating, biking, hiking, photography or just relaxing as a cool mountain breeze blows gently over your body, there’s no better place to be than in this special corner of the world.
But don’t worry. You’ll still be within an hour of city life and an easy drive from Asheville, Charlotte and Winston-Salem.
Try your hand at panning for gold in Wilson’s Creek or the Johns River. North Carolina’s gold-mining history is close by for you to see and explore to your heart’s content. And who knows what treasures you might find near your new mountain home?
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine about the area and about us.
Local Sporting Events Near The Coves
When it comes to local sporting events, North Carolina residents have seen a rise in the number of outdoor sports organized every year. Ranging from professional baseball to motor speedways, from triathlons to high school sports, both local and migrant enthusiasts hardly go a week without a major sporting event. In fact, most may be spoilt for choice when these occur simultaneously. Most of the frequent sporting activities happen in right in our home town, in the towns of Lenoir, Hickory, and Boone.
LOCAL PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL
If you are a baseball fan, locals hardly miss the upcoming matches in Hickory preceded by the friendly game against Lenoir University. On top of the local sporting events, the Hickory Crawdads host an open house that features free games and special deals on tickets. There’s a baseball game going down every day at Hickory at L.P. Frans Stadium which seats roughly 4,000 fans.
L.P. Frans Stadium underwent major renovations after the 2013 season and now boasts a new VIP section, Picnic Pavilion, three outdoor Party Patios, and completely renovated suites and Crawdads Cafe. Fun family events include the sweetFrog Claw Club, Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Silver Sluggers Club and Scout Nights.
Teaming up with Barkley Baseball School, the Hickory Crawdads provide a single day clinic and four-day paid camp in July. The attendees of between the ages of 5-14 will enjoy training from the school and the players while receiving baseball T-shirts and free meals every day.
LOCAL COLLEGE SPORTS
Regardless of the age of the participants, there is a game for everyone to engage or a team to cheer. Appalachian State University in Boone is not only home to the finest athletes but also Kidd Brewer Stadium and the Appalachian athletics complex that offers frill suites for Mountaineer football. Both athletes, parents and retirees, flock to Appalachian State sports at ASU to view the upcoming talent.
About 450 students take part in the in the NCAA Division I University Sports in Boone, with thousands of fans cheering at every match. NCAA sports include basketball, baseball, and softball, football, cross country, field hockey, bowling, golf, fencing lacrosse, soccer, gymnastics, rowing, and volleyball.
While most of the local sporting events are free and open to public admission, the Appalachian State sports program charges a fee for men’s basketball, football and women’s basketball.
HICKORY MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Located at 3130 20th Ave SE, Newton NC, Hickory Motor Speedway remains one of the oldest and iconic of all the Western North Carolina sports. The one stop car racing track remains the most famous short track in the world and one where most NASCAR stars are trained. Initially, the track hosted most of the car races, but with the introduction of other tracks, the races were reduced to NASCAR club racing division and the Whelen All-American Series.
The 0.363-mile asphalt oval track offers a 9,600 seating capacity and about 3,600 extra lawn seats for additional participants. Every Saturday, NC mountain communities are treated to unique racing events that feature Late Model Stocks, Street Stocks, Super Trucks, and renegades at the Hickory Motor Speedway.
Car enthusiasts can also enjoy more car muscle displays at the monthly Lenoir Cruise Ins on Main Street. The events take place on the first Saturday of the month April through October.
OUTDOOR SPORTS AT THE COVES MOUNTAIN RIVER CLUB
For NC mountain communities, The Coves is more than a traditional neighborhood to find NC land for sale. The combination of natural rivers and mountainous terrain is breathtaking and provides ever changing views throughout the day. In fact, the gated community offers a variety of outdoor sports within the community. With easy access to the Wilson Creek and the Johns River, residents can quickly grab their kayak or water toys to enjoy trout fishing, canoeing and fly fishing among others.
Round Mountain Ranch is the community’s full service equestrian center along the Johns River and has 13 miles of dedicated horse trails. Stop by and enjoy a tour of all the amenities at The Coves. You might be surprised to discover annual HOA fees are low at less then $1,000 per year.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine to help you learn more about the foothills and about us.
Grandfather Mountain State Park – A North Carolina Icon
Over the years, Grandfather Mountain has given the NC mountain communities an iconic identity that is hard to find in another state. The magnificent scenery, rich history, and exceptional biodiversity make it more than a landmark. In 2009, Grandfather Mountain sold part of the backcountry amounting to 2700 acres, to the state for the creation of the state park. Since then, the Division of Parks and Recreations in conjunction with the Stewardship Foundation took charge in preserving the national treasure in the High Country of North Carolina. The Mile High Swinging Bridge is one of the park’s most popular attraction.
HIKING TRAILS AT GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Located in the one of the highest elevation mountain towns in NC, the park opens the backcountry to adventurous backpacking and hiking. For the area’s NC mountain communities, the spark is home to some of the most challenging trails owing to the rough terrain and severe weather conditions. If you are hiking enthusiast, you cannot miss the adventure that comes with hiking the following trails available in the park.
The Grandfather Trail: commencing at the attraction, the path spreads across a rocky terrain to the Calloway Peak. Sitting at an estimated elevation of about 5498 feet, the point is considered the highest on the mountain, park, and Blue Ridge Mountain range and perhaps sits above the Piedmont Area below. It cruises through other rugged rock peaks, cool forests and alpine meadows that often need hikers to use ladders to maneuver.
The Profile Trail: The trail runs up from Watauga River to the Peak of the Ridge next to Calloway Peak, forming unique summit route.
Tanawha Trail: ending in the middle of the peak of the mountain, visitors can use segments of the trail to access the state park. The thrilling trail sits parallel to the Blue Ridge Parkway and is covered separately.
Others trails running up Calloway from Blue Ridge Parkway include Cragway, Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails. They provide not only fun but also gorgeous natural features worth exploration.
There are very places in mountain towns in NC, that allow camping. Grandfather Mountain State Park is one of them with 13 backpack camping areas. Camping can only be done in specified areas with a permit required for the group that intends to camp. Fires are allowed on the low sides of the campsites excluding the grandfather Trail or beyond the Hi-Balsam Shelter. Also, campers need to use dead firewood with restrictions applied on wood from out of the park.
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AT GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Other than the hiking and camping, the North Carolina state park is known for extensive learning opportunities conducted by rangers. Suitable for all ages, the facilitators makes interpretive presentations that need the attendants to pre-register. The annual wildflower walks are free and open to all visitors. The guided walk includes two miles of hike and round trip, where participants take modest climbs.
ADMISSION TO THE PARK
Patrons can access the backcountry trails from the bridge area as part of the admission fee for the Mountain travel attraction. For the hikers, access to the state park from the Mile High Swinging Bridge is only granted after purchasing a ticket to the site. However, access to the trailheads at the base remains free, but visitors need to register for safety. Except for Christmas holiday and Thanksgiving Day, the park is open every day of the year. Those visiting on vacation and weekends can beat the delays caused by huge crowds at the gate by arriving before 11 a.m. and after 3 p.m.
GATEWAY TO THE COVES MOUNTAIN RIVER CLUB
When it comes to living in Western North Carolina, The Coves Mountain River Club is an exact definition of idyllic living and has NC land for sale near Grandfather Mountain. The vibrant gated community in the foothills sits on a mountaintop and along the Johns River with numerous outdoor amenities. Whether residents choose to spend a leisurely day in the saline infinity-view swimming pool or exploring the 39 miles of hiking trails with waterfalls, there’s plenty to do within the gates.
One of the many big advantages of living in the foothills at The Coves is being close enough to access the state’s top attraction and Blue Ridge Parkway yet live year round at the lower elevations to avoid the harsh winters and snow of the High Country.
NC land for sale at The Coves comes in all sizes, elevations and shapes. Stop by our Welcome Center for a tour of almost 100 homes built already and see the new builder floor plans.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which will provide more information about the foothills.
WNC Cheese Trail – Farm to Table Deliciousness
Attention curd nerds, cheese buffs, and foodies. It’s time to wake up and smell the gouda. As the glorious mountain sunrise emerges on the horizon to light up the beautiful mountain towns in North Carolina, it’s time to celebrate cheese season. Time to visit the friendly family of independent dairy farmers, creameries, and cheese makers in your favorite western NC mountain communities. And there’s no better path to cheesy goodness than the WNC Cheese Trail, one of the area’s tastiest attractions.
What’s the WNC Cheese Trail? It’s an innovative approach to connecting local cheese makers with enthusiastic cheese lovers. This one-of-a-kind tasty tour of cheese-tastic businesses blaze a delectable trail through the Blue Ridge mountains and across the beautiful countryside to create the perfect cheddar-lovin’ experience.
Introduced in 2012 by a group of dedicated cheese makers intent on raising awareness about the fabulous local cheeses being made right here in mountain towns in North Carolina, the WNC Cheese Trail has grown in both size and reputation over the years. Today, the trail spans across 33 counties, extending from I-77 to the western border of NC, and includes dozens of member organizations, including creameries, restaurants, breweries, inns, cheese shops, and farmers’ markets. The WNC Cheese Trail provides you with a treasure map that leads to each of these local businesses that support the industry. Just follow the map to find your favorite places for browsing, sampling, observing, tasting, and learning how cheeses are produced. And don’t be shy about buying a few favorites to bring back home.
The WNC Cheese Trail is open year-round, and since it’s virtually impossible to hit all the hot spots on the trail in one day, we recommend planning to stay a while and keep coming back for more. Some of the stops along the WNC Cheese Trail are located in or near Lenoir, which is also home to The Coves Mountain River Club. Why not combine your Cheese Trail experience with a closer look at our gated mountain community nestled in the foothills that combines rustic mountain living with some of the best outdoor amenities, including a neighborhood vineyard and garden. Just imagine sipping your own brand of wine – harvested, stomped, and aged right in your own backyard – with some crisp local fruit and a fresh creamery cheese you picked up while venturing along the WNC Cheese Trail.
The dairy closest to The Coves is the Ripshin Goat Dairy, located right along the Yadkin River in Happy Valley. Inspired by goat dairies in France as well as the historic Carl Sandburg Farm in Flat Rock, NC, this local family-owned operation once produced hand-made farmstead cheeses, including herbed chevre (using fresh herbs straight from their own gardens), goat milk feta, farmer’s cheese, and on special occasions, chocolate goat cheese truffles. Now retired, these cheese makers have turned their contemporary dairy building into a mixed-use facility, which is now used by bakers, pickle-makers, and jam and jelly makers. But they invite you to come for a tour, and say hello to their multi-generational herd of American Saanen dairy goats who enjoy grazing along 20 acres of woods and pasture on this beautiful NC dairy farm.
Plan to visit Ripshin Goat Dairy (1865 Hwy 268, Lenoir, NC) as part of your WNC Cheese Trail experience. But call ahead to schedule your tour, where you’ll meet the goats, learn about goat husbandry, and basic cheese making (828-758-0906). To purchase cheeses to take back to The Coves, be sure to stop at one of the active dairy farms, shops, and creameries along the WNC Cheese Trail, including:
Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery
327 Flat Creek Road, Fairview, NC
(Call ahead: 828-551-5739 )
English Farmstead Cheese
19456 US 221 North, Marion, NC
(Open Fri & Sat, 10am – 6pm)
Looking Glass Creamery
57 Noble Rd., Fairview, NC
(Open Year Round: Thu 3pm – 7pm, Fri & Sat 11am – 5pm)
3001 Halls Chapel Rd., Burnsville, NC
(Open Year Round: 1st Sat of the month 10am – 5pm)
Oakmoon Farm & Creamery
262 Baker Lane, Bakersville, NC
(Farm stand open Thu & Fri 2pm – 5:30pm, Sat 9am – 5pm)
Round Mountain Creamery
2203 Old Fort Rd., Black Mountain, NC
(Open Year Round. Call ahead: 828-669-0718)
Spinning Spider Creamery
4717 East Fork Rd, Marshall, NC 28753
(Open May-Dec, Fri-Sun 12noon – 4pm)
Yellow Branch Cheese and Pottery
1073 Old Yellow Branch Rd., Robbinsville, NC
(Open Apr-Dec, Tue-Sat 12noon – 5pm)
WNC Cheese Trail tours and visits are open on varying schedules throughout the year. But summertime offers special events you won’t want to miss. Last month, the Second Annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest took place on April 24th at Highland Brewing in Asheville. This lively festival celebrated the best of southern cheese and benefits the WNC Cheese Trail (a 501c6 organization). Attendees senses were indulged as they watched the process of cheese making, learn about pairings, taste the products, touch the animals, chat with the cheese makers, and the lucky were able to buy a few of their favorite flavors to take back to The Coves.
After enjoying the Cheese Trail and or a Cheese Fest experience, don’t be surprised if your friends and neighbors at The Coves Mountain River Club are wow’d by your cheese prowess and impressed by your choice to support these small independent cheese makers. And when you pair a few of their locally grown gourmet cheeses with the wines made from your home-grown grapes as you share a perfect Blue Ridge sunset with friends from your side-by-side handcrafted rocking chairs on the porch of Pisgah Mountain Lodge, you’ll wonder why you didn’t move here years ago.
This is living! This is the life! Of all the charming NC mountain communities, we know The Coves Mountain River Club is the perfect pairing of mountain and river living. Why not make The Coves your forever home. Visit our beautiful community found in the foothills of Lenoir. Invite your friends along to enjoy a unique mountain adventure on the WNC Cheese Trail, and you’re sure to melt their hearts like a creamy fondue.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which will provide more information about the foothills.