2018 North Carolina Fall Foliage Forecast Near The Coves

fall foliage WNC

Autumn 2018 is just around the corner, and fall foliage North Carolina is graced by a vibrant palette of colors you just can’t find tucked into the back-to-school Crayola box.  Leaf peeping has become an annual tourist event that has surged over the years and for many good reasons.  Psychology Today ran an article three years ago, “How Autumn Leaves Change Our Inner Lives,” so aptly describing how “the memory persists, enriching your life in ways that may last long after the final leaf has fallen.”

It’s clear that folks who bask in Lenoir North Carolina weather get to reap the gift of living in the region day after glorious day.   When we stare out over a colorful vista, we feel the emotion and connection of being part of an awe-inspiring universe.  The Banner Elk elevation is the perfect spot to soak in all the colorful changes—the yellows, oranges, reds, and deep purples illuminated by the mountain sun.  No wonder this region of the country has been the rich source of inspiration for so many talented poets, painters and other renowned creative souls.  There is no doubt that slowing down to observe the transition from green to a splendor of color is good for us–mind, body and soul.

For those of you who are worried that our August rainfall will dampen the foliage, put your worries aside.  According to the Biology Department at ASU, rainfall does not lessen the vibrancy of fall foliage North Carolina.   Instead what truly makes for a gorgeous fall season is the sunshine and temperatures in September.  Howard Neufeld from ASU in Boone runs the Fall Color Guy Facebook page for those of you who like to keep informed.  “If we start to get a cool down, with sunny days and cool nights,” he explains…this will make for a spectacular and colorful show.  Meteorologists are calling exactly for that—normal fall temperatures and less rain will make for some incredible mountain displays.

Some experts have also studied the effects of elevation and latitude on our fall color, which would help explain the beauty of the foliage at places that share the same Banner Elk elevation.  This means that taking a spin down the Blue Ridge Parkway can give you a different colorful landscape from one location to the next.  Boone is 1000 feet higher in elevation than Asheville, so its trees have a colorful head start.  The region also has many micro climates which help create a diverse and visually stimulating landscape.

Wondering when to start your leaf peeping travels?  Anytime from here on into November.  The reds are already showing up in the higher elevations. Aim for the higher elevations first, like Banner Elk elevation, where all the magic starts.  We are fortunate in this region to have some of the highest peaks in the eastern US, and also to have such an extreme variation in elevation that our season lasts much longer than other areas of the country.  If you miss the peak change at one elevation, you can take a short excursion to a lower elevation and catch the highlights there the next week.

Those of us who are living a charmed life at The Coves, enhanced by Lenoir North Carolina weather, can hop onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and plan a fall adventure with ease.  The colors in this region will be most vivid in mid-October.  Take a colorful and leisurely ride to Grandfather Mountain, Boone, or Linville Falls and bring your camera to snap those astounding panoramic views from any number of convenient overlooks. 

Remember that the softer light of morning and evening are ideal for capturing the leaves.  Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge and contains a variety of wildlife and flora and fauna, as well as hiking trails to raise your pulse along with your spirits.  The Linville River originates at Grandfather Mountain and cascades into two breathtaking falls.  The Linville trails are the perfect spot to be surrounded by autumn’s bright hues.

An abbreviated leaf peeper checklist for the area:

• Last week of September—higher elevations—Grandfather Mountain

• First week of October—high mountains of Asheville

• Second week of October—Mount Pisgah

• Third week of October—Banner Elk, Pisgah National Forest and Linville Gorge

So make sure you step outside your dream house at The Coves Mountain River Club and share the magic of the autumn season with your fellow neighbors and nature lovers.  Take a relaxing stroll beneath a canopy of brilliant hues and feel your stress slip away with every step. Bask in the temperate Lenoir North Carolina weather.  There is nothing more cathartic than focusing on the beauty that surrounds you at The Coves as well as the fall foliage North Carolina.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit!

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Pet Partners Rescue – Happy Trails Continue

If you’ve reached that long dreamt about milestone known as retirement, and you’ve settled blissfully into unscheduled days of relaxation, socialization, maybe spending precious time with grandchildren and diving into those long put off hobbies, then you’re already aware of how sweet this time of life can be. 

Folks who have chosen to live in the mountain towns in North Carolina get to enjoy many of the region’s amazing perks at this stage of life.  These quaint and charming towns are the perfect accompaniment to the beauty of the landscape.  Community pulls together in these small towns, creating an atmosphere of support as well as a fun place to socialize.

People aren’t the only ones who benefit from the warmth of the mountain community—anyone who lives here knows how pet friendly the environment is from the downtown to the expansive outdoors– like the hiking trails near Asheville.   And it’s fortunate for us that pets are cherished and welcome.

It’s no secret how essential socializing is as we age, both for our emotional and physical health.  Pets can be a tremendous part of socializing. Not only our personal relationship with our pet, but also the ways that dog ownership fosters more interaction outside our homes. Owning a dog, for example, encourages exercise—up to 34% more according to Michigan State University’s study- than our non-dog owning neighbors.  That’s quite impressive. 

The beauty of being retired is our ample free time which translates to more hours we can commit to our dogs and cats. More time to stroll downtown and chat up your neighbors who can’t resist your adorable pup.  Dogs most certainly help create a sense of community outside the home

Pet Partners understands just how important pets are to all who live in the mountain towns of North Carolina.  Pet Partners is a non-profit, ten-year-old Caldwell County organization whose mission “is to find forever, loving homes for unwanted, abandoned and homeless animals in our area.”  Pet Partners has been working tirelessly to make a better community and all this effort and determination is paying off.  Pet Partners knows the solution is fairly basic—spay/neuter, adopt and educate.

Thank goodness Caldwell County is a pet friendly community that eagerly supports Pet Partners’ mission.

Located at 220 Joyceton Church Road in Lenoir, many get involved by donating time and helping to fund this worthy organization.  The folks in the mountain towns of North Carolina are reliable and committed to helping out their four-legged friends–whether by adopting a dog or a cat, fostering an animal, donating food, wipes, disinfectant spray, paper towels, crates, bowls and other pet necessities, tick and flea meds, or volunteering.  All donations are tax deductible. 

Feel free to visit the Waggin’ Tail Resale and Marketplace in Lenoir for home décor, furniture, glassware,  garden and patio, consignment, local artisans, select clothing, unique finds and collectibles—and of course all purchases and donations benefit Pet Partners.  Store hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm.

Pet Partners is currently campaigning to raise $150,000.00 by June 1, 2019. They will surely reach their goal with the support of the pet friendly community.  Don’t forget their weekly adoption events at Tractor Supply in Lenoir most Saturdays 10am-4pm.

Fall 2018 Adoption Schedule: September 1, 8, 15, 22, October 6, 13, 20, 27, November 3, 10, 17.  All adoption fees and information are available on the Pet Partners’ website PetPartnersRescue(dot)org.

Some volunteer opportunities: fostering animals, working at adoption events, hosting fundraisers, helping at Waggin’ Tail Resale & Marketplace, maintaining their building and grounds, as well as education and promotions.  Just fill out the form on the “Contact Us” page.   

Those folks upon retiring who chose an idyllic parcel of land and dream home at The Coves,  understand the immeasurable essential value of our pets.   Just take a stroll outside on any lovely fall day, and you will find your neighbors at The Coves out hiking trials near Asheville with their dogs trotting contentedly alongside them.   Thirteen miles of glorious trails stretch out over our gated community’s 3,600 acres…an undeniably lush playground for folks and their dogs to explore throughout the year. 

The Johns River is the centerpiece of the trails, meandering through The Coves’ expanse, carrying recreation and relaxation in its clean current.  Dogs adore the trails that wind through the woods, as well as lead to four waterfalls,  with forty-and-fifty-foot cascades.  Put The Coves Mountain River Club first on your list when you’re beginning to search for your retirement home.  Take a stroll with your dog on the many hiking trails near Asheville, and see for yourself why The Coves should be your next home.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Chasing Waterfalls Near Asheville Western North Carolina

waterfalls in Western NC

There’s nothing like a natural waterfall to soothe our senses. No wonder folks who adore setting out on invigorating hikes near Asheville NC, search for cascading falls throughout the region.  Waterfalls are as individual as snowflakes–no two are alike, and their beauty is undeniable.  Whether the water takes the form of running rapids, or a gentle stream flow, the waterfalls of Western North Carolina are among the state’s glorious natural features. 

Have you ever noticed the calming effect when you stand by the ocean’s shore, lost in the salty spray while the pounding surf is all you can hear? For the same reason we love the sound of the ocean, indoor waterfalls have become a popular fixture in our homes. This is because the sound of cascading water, just like the sound of the ocean’s waves, is soothing to our senses.

We are incredibly fortunate in this region to be able to step from our mountain view cottages and take hikes near Asheville NC to any number of these uplifting waterfalls where we can experience the glorious sight, sound and mist in person. The spray from a waterfall is cooling and pure as the spray from the sea, and the sound of a natural waterfall is something you cannot buy.

Here are a few waterfalls of Western North Carolina to put on your list when planning your next hikes near Asheville NC:

Looking Glass Falls is named after nearby Looking Glass Rock; located off US 276 between Waynesville and Brevard, this is an easy 50-foot waterfall you can admire from the parking lot.  There’s a short flight of stairs if you’d like a closer peek.  This is a great excursion for little kids or the elderly who are unable to handle a longer hike.  Swimming in the pool beneath the falls is amazing fun and safe even for little ones.

Soco Falls is located off Highway 19 of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Maggie Valley and Cherokee.  This waterfall is known for being tucked away as well as being two falls in one!  Soco Falls is the perfect backdrop for your family photos.

Dry Falls also has easy access from the highway and is located in the Nantahala National Forest.  This waterfall joins a group along the Cullasaja River in an 8-mile stretch.  Visitors can stay somewhat dry while walking behind the falls but don’t count on that—the refreshing mist from Dry Falls can make London seem arid!

Linville Falls is closest to The Coves and is part of the National Park Service and boasts three waterfalls, two upper and one beneath with a forty-five foot drop.  This falls is right off the parkway at milepost 316.  There are a variety of trails to hike for all levels of endurance and a picnic area to enjoy after you work up that hearty appetite.

There are hundreds of waterfalls of Western North Carolina to visit.  Did you know we have four waterfalls at The Coves?

Those who live in mountain view cottages at The Coves Mountain River Club, know the ease and simplicity of stepping out of their front doors to explore the four cascading waterfalls along the gated community’s impeccably-groomed trails.

Grandfather Gorge Falls is a 50-foot-triple-tier falls with water that plunges down tremendous boulders and into a stunning pool.  Mila Cascading Falls is admired for its staircase effect that flows into the Johns River in the serenity of Mila Park.  Highland River Falls cascades through a hollow in the mountain, splashing into the Johns River.  And Penelope Cascading Falls is dynamically layered and 40 feet high with various splash pools. Of course these waterfalls and trails are graced with mountain laurel, azaleas, and other colorful flowers and a canopy of trees that provide shelter for many captivating birds at The Coves.

When you’re scoping out mountain view cottages, come visit us and be sure to bring your camera to capture the beauty of our waterfalls.

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: Asheville | Greenways & Trails

Take the NC 100 Mile Hiking Challenge in 2018

hiking trails near Asheville NC

Every year, North Carolina State Parks challenges every state resident to complete 100 miles of physical activity.  It’s a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty and resources North Carolina is known for.  And of course you reap many health benefits as well, such as stress reduction, improved muscle mass, weight loss, better sleep and even disease prevention.

There are 42 trails close to The Coves Mountain River Club that offer not only the exercise you need but amazing views of the waterfalls of Western North Carolina and some of the area’s other most spectacular features.

So why not use this opportunity to become familiar with some of the popular hiking trails near Asheville NC?  Even if it’s just one or two miles to begin with, what’s important is that you’re getting started and participating.

Go to to sign up for the 2018 “100-Mile Challenge” and start logging your progress.

Here are some rules to keep in mind.  Be sure your footwear is sturdy, comfortable and well broken-in before you hit the trail.  Choose the right activity for your fitness level.  Bring a map.  Know the weather forecast and dress accordingly.  Take sunscreen, bug repellent, a hat, sunglasses, snacks and water.  For safety, hike or bike with a friend or family member.  Otherwise, let someone know where you’re going and when you should be back.  Finally, respect your surroundings, others in the park and the wildlife.

While you’re in Lenoir looking for North Carolina land for sale, plan a side trip to one of our three beautiful state parks:  Grandfather Mountain, Lake James and South Mountains.  You can find wonderful trails that accommodate any level of physical strength and stamina.

Grandfather Mountain State Park offers Nuwati Trail, which is peaceful and soothing, mildly challenging and good for all ages.  You’ll get a spectacular view of the Boone Bowl and Calloway Peak from Storyteller’s Rock.  Profile Trail is a longer and more strenuous walk, and Grandfather Trail is recommended only for very advanced hikers.

The Overmountain Victory Trail at Lake James State Park follows the route taken by American patriots who shadowed a force of marauding British loyalists across three states until they finally engaged in battle at King’s Mountain.  It’s an easy hike, mostly shaded under mature forest canopy.  Beginner and intermediate level bikers will like the Upper Tindo and West Winda Loops.

At South Mountains State Park, hikers often combine Possum Trail with Chestnut Knob Trail for a 7.7 mile loop that reaches the highest point of the park and includes a view of one of the loveliest waterfalls of western North Carolina, High Shoals Falls.  Also check out the Benn Knob, Horseridge, and Fox Trails.

The many hiking trails near Asheville NC make it easy to walk and stay in shape because there’s so much to explore that you never run out of surprises.  People who seek North Carolina land for sale know they’re buying a lifestyle that’s wonderfully different from the one they’ve been accustomed to. 

With so many ways to become and remain active – and the year-round mild weather – our residents at The Coves Mountain River Club find that the Lenoir area’s many attractions can keep them as busy as they want to be.

We look forward to your visit.  Find us on the Johns River near Wilson Creek with plenty of access to swimming, fishing, tubing and other water-related activities. Explore our four waterfalls, two community gardens and 16 miles of award winning hiking trails within our community.

There is no better way to immerse yourself in the splendor of the surroundings here in the foothills of North Carolina than to choose a trail, set off on an invigorating hike and begin your “100-Mile Challenge”.

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

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

7 Exciting Western North Carolina Hiking Clubs

Western North Carolina hiking clubs

It’s no wonder that hiking clubs abound in Western North Carolina.  This region provides a gloriously varied landscape to those who enjoy heading out for a day, or maybe a week, heading down trails that range from tame to downright strenuous.

Western North Carolina is hands down the most sought after hiking grounds for those in the know.  For one thing, the 2,184 mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail graces this part of the state, and the Blue Ridge and the Smoky Mountains are an equal draw.

But there are so many other wonders—dramatic 360- degree views, fir forests, the bursting beauty of the natural growing Catawba rhododendrons,  sheer rock faces and other geological features that stop you in your tracks before you reach the crest of a summit.  Some seek the waterfalls of western North Carolina, loving nothing more than a hike in spring with one thing in mind– feeling the cool spray of a majestic waterfall.

There are many great resources online to assist your excursions.  Be sure not to forget to pack sunscreen, water, snacks, and of course your camera.

The Blue Ridge Hiking Club is an informal group of hiking enthusiasts who love meeting new friends while enjoying the outdoors of north-western North Carolina.  They welcome residents who live in Carolina mountain homes as well as visitors. Hikes of all levels, all year long  through the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Mountains-to-Sea trail, the Appalachian Trail, Linville Gorge, Roan Mountain (Tennessee), and the Virginia Creeper Trail (Virginia) for $10 a year, two hikes weekly.

The Monday hikes are easier than the Wednesday and Saturday hikes. Just show up at the trail head on Monday morning at 9:30. “We always have fun – no matter the weather, and we invite you to join us!”  Upcoming hikes:

  • Wednesday, April 25 – Watauga Dam via AT. (Carter/Johnson Co., TN)–7 miles, 4+ hrs. Rated moderate. Contact Carol Ann Mitchell at 423-772-4280, text 423 957-1207.
  • Saturday, April 28–Price Lake plus Boone Fork–approximately 7 miles; 4 hours; moderate to strenuous. Contact Roger Bodo–828-260-2019.
  • Monday, April 30–Trout Lake to Rich Mountain: 5 miles or less; relaxed pace.
  • Wednesday, May 2–Wildflower Crawl on the Lower Profile Trail; moderate–about a mile round trip. Contact Susan Moore at 828-733-5748.
  • Saturday, May 5–Hawksbill Mountain: Moderate to strenuous 1.8 miles, with 670 ft. elevation gain; approximately 2 hrs. Contact Bob Heath–828-773-0471.
  • Monday, May 7–Price Lake plus; 5 miles or less. Wednesday,
  • May 9–Mountains-to-Sea Trail; about 5 miles; contact Pam Hoffman, 828-262-9779.
  • Saturday, May 12–Appalachian Trail from US 321 to Watauga Dam; about 7 miles, 4 plus hrs; rated moderate; contact Carol Ann Mitchell–423-772-4280, text 423-9957-1207.
  • Monday, May 14–Green Knob Trail; 9. 5 miles or less, relaxed pace.
  • Wednesday, May 16– Laurel Fork Falls Hike; approximately 5 miles; moderate; contact Sheryl McNair at 443-360-9933.
  • Saturday, May 19–Table Rock and Crest Trail, 2 mi; moderately strenuous hiking; Mountains To Sea trail approximately 4-5 mi. Contact Skip Rackmill–828-355-9303.
  • Monday, May 21–Old John’s River Road to Price Lake–9. 5 miles or less, relaxed pace.
  • Wednesday, May 23– Hughes Gap to Roan High Knob on the AT–10 miles; moderate; contact Carol Ann Mitchell at 423-772-4280, text 423 957-1207.
  • Saturday, May 26–Story Teller Rock and Flat Rock; 5 mi., some parts strenuous and rocky; contact Bob Heath–828-773-0471.
  • Monday, May 28–Flat Top Observation Tower + Cone Memorial; 1. 5 miles or less, relaxed pace.
  • Wednesday, May 30– Glen Burney: Annie Cannon Gardens parking lot on Laurel Lane in Blowing Rock; 3.2 miles; contact Sherrey Murray at 828-737-0248.

 There are many opportunities to get involved with the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and Pacolet Area Conservancy—whether you want to volunteer, donate, or take on a hiking challenge.  For $35 dollars a year, there are plenty of hikes and activities throughout the month!  This organization has “deep roots and strong histories of preserving lands, joined together to build a larger community of advocates to further our common missions to protect and conserve natural resources in our burgeoning region for generations to come.”

Some upcoming hikes to usher in spring:

  • Friday, April 27, Craven Gap; 8:30-4; enjoy the scenery of WNC with your friends and family!
  • Monday, April 30, 9:30-1:30; celebrate Earth Day with a hike!
  • Friday, May 11, 8:30-4; the spectacular Lone Ridge of Pinnacle Mountain.
  • Saturday, June 30; 10:30-12; the first Tails and Trails with your four-legged friends!

Pisgah Hikers is a private hiking club with a number of hikes of various levels each week.  These hikes are free on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Please Note that effective May 9 Pisgah Hikers returns to the “Summer Schedule” with hikes starting at 8:30 and updates will be issued every Tuesday morning before the Wednesday hike.   Upcoming hikes to get your blood pumping:

Friday Easy Hikers; hikes are generally 3 miles, 3 hours long with no more than about 300 feet of climb. We meet every Friday at the BiLo Assembly Area in the parking lot  in June 9:15 AM departure; emails every Thursday to members of this group with weather forecast and hike description.

Spring 2018 Schedule:

  • April 27– Arboretum along Bent Creek
  • May 4— Carl Sandburg Hse
  • May 11–Pisgah Inn for Breakfast E38B. (8:15amDeparture)
  • May 18– Holmes State Park
  • May 25–Pink Beds via Barnett Branch
  • June 1— Daniel Ridge
  • June 8–Cradle of Forestry E14C
  • June 15–Pisgah Ridge E35H
  • June 22–Cove Creek
  • June 29–Corn Shoals in Dupon

The Monday Rollers’ hikes are in the medium range of difficulty. Regular departure time and place: the Lowe’s Assembly area in the Lowe’s parking by US64.  Please be there by 8:50 am; contact Maggie DiRocco  862-4618.

  • April 30–to be announced.
  • May 7–M21A; John Rock; 700 feet; 4.5 miles; R5;$1.50.
    May 14–M14B; Pink Beds; Long Loop; 500’; 5.5 miles; R5; $2.50.
    • May 21; M66B; Upper Whitewater Falls; 900’; 5 miles; R6; $5.50; starting at Bad Creek parking lot.
  • May 28; Memorial Day; M80A; Wintergreen Falls; 450’; 4.5 miles; R3; $2; starting from the Sky Valley Parking area.
  • June 4; M16A; Promontory Stump; 300’; 5 miles; R3; $3.
  • June 11; M81G; 3 Lakes Trail in DuPont State Forest; est.300’; est.4.5miles; R3;$2.
  • June 18;M23A; Daniel Creek/Lanning Ridge; 900’; 5 miles; R6 $2.
  • June 25; M38C; Buck Springs Lodge Loop; 300; 3.5 miles; R2; $3.50.

 The Monday Milers is a companion hiking group but slightly more challenging than the “Monday Rollers” with an average moving pace of 2 to 2.5 mph and distances of 4 – 8 miles with moderate elevation changes. Regular departure time and place:  Lowe’s Home Center near US 64—9 am; arrive by 8:45. Contact Richard Mayberry; 828-884-4398 (h) 704-236-4398.

The Monday Milers Spring Schedule:

  • April 30—Bearwallow Mountain/Trambore Trail; 5 miles estimated, 800’ climb estimated, R6, car fee:  $4.
    May 7—Flat Laurel Creek/Big Slam Loop; 4.5 miles, 900’ climb, R5, car fee:  $5.
    May 14—Cat Gap Loop/John Rock; 6.6 miles, 1,200’ climb, R7, $2.
    • May 21—Pisgah Ridge/Skinny Dip Falls via Graveyard ;4.6 miles, 500’ climb, R4, $4.50; shuttle, start at the intersection of 816 and the BRP.
  • May 28—Black Balsam/Tennant Mountain; 5 miles, 700’ climb, R6, $5; start at Big Sam parking.
  • June 4–Hike with “Rollers”
  • June 11— Hike with “Rollers”
  • June 18— Hike with “Rollers”
  • June 25—Mountains to Sea, Green Knob Trail; 6 miles, 700’ climb, R5, $5.

Wednesdays Striders: a faster pace and with less stops than the Monday Pisgah hikes.  Hikes range from 5 to 8 miles.  We have three different assembly areas depending upon the location of the hike—St. Philips Church parking lot, BiLo, and the Cedar Rock Community Center. Contact: Jay Hinze–828-553-6533 or Craig Smith–240-416-5971.

Wednesday Striders Spring 2018 Schedule:

  • April 25–Jones Gap – Rainbow Falls; 5 mi, 1300’cl, R5, $5; meet at Cedar Mountain; $5 for park admission.
  • May 2–Pisgah Ridge – Graveyard Fields Upper Falls; 5 mi, 900’ cl, R5, $4; meet at BiLo; from the junction of FS816 and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • May 9–Pilot Mountain; 5 mi, 1900’cl, R8, $3; meet at BiLo.
  • May 16–Bearwallow Mountain; 5 mi, 1700’cl, R10, $7; meet at BiLo or Ingles I26 & US64.
    May 23–Panthertown Waterfalls; 8 mi, 1500’, R8, $6; meet St. Philips.
    • May 30–23 feature hike – East Loop; 6 mi, 1300’cl, R8, $4; meet at BiLo;16- feature hike starts from the Big Sam parking lot at the end of FS816.

The Friday Hoofer hikes are the longest and most strenuous of the five groups. Contact Jay Hinze 828-553-6533 or Vince Castello–828-458-4489.

Friday Hoofer Hikes Spring Schedule:

  • April 27– Flat Creek Falls Panthertown; 8 mi, 1440’cl, R5, $5; meet at Catheys Creek Road.
    • May 4–Bennett Cove/Big East Fork; 8 mi, 1800’ cl, R8, $3; meet at BiLo.
    • May 11–Buckeye Gap – Haywood Gap; 9 mi, 1600’ cl, R8, $5.50; meet at Catheys Creek Road.
    • May 18–Buck Spring – Pisgah Inn; 12 mi, 1500’ cl, R7, $2.50;meet at BiLo.
    • May 25–Avery Creek – Buckhorn Gap Loop; 10 mi, 2000’, R9, $1; meet at BiLo.

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy

“SAHC conserves unique plant and animal habitat, clean water, farmland, scenic beauty, and places for people to enjoy outdoor recreation in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.”  There are many ways to be involved with SAHC whether you enjoy lacing up your hiking boots or you long to help preserve the hiking trails in Western North Carolina.

Hikes and Outings almost every day for $40 a year:

  • April 25—April Wildflower Wednesday—11 am-3.
  • April 29—Golden-winged Warblers!At Yellow Mountain State Natural Area, NC;6:30 am-3:30 pm–$100.
  • May 3—2018 Leave No Trace Tainer Course; Highlands of Roan; 10 am; May 4 at 3 pm.
  • May 30—2018 May Wildflower Wednesday; 11 am-3 pm
  • June 8—2018 Roan Highlands Birding Hike; 9 am-12 pm; Highlands of Roan
  • June 9—2018 June Jamboree—Free Highlands of Roan
  • June 27—2018 June Wildflower Wednesday; 11 am-3 pm

The Smoky Mountains Hiking Club is nearly 100 years old and has over 600 members who are “hikers and outdoors enthusiasts who love the Smokies and the mountains of East Tennessee.”  There are weekly hikes in the  Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as other gorgeous nearby areas, and membership fees are only $20 a year.  For those of you who have settled into your Carolina mountain homes and find you’d like to contribute to the community, SMHC appreciates volunteers to help maintain trails and shelters.

Upcoming SMHC Outings and Events:

  • April 28—Sat; Little Cataloochee
  • April 28-29—Sat & Sun; New Backpacker Orientation
  • May 5—Sat; Appalachian Trail Work Trip
  • May 6—Sunday; Big South Fork; Grand Gap Loop and Angel Falls Overlook
  • May 10—Thurs; Ten Mile Greenway
  • May 12—Sat; Spence Field/Russell Field Loop
  • May 16—Wed; Ace Gap and Beard Cane
  • May 19—Sat; Kanati Fork/Thomas Divide/ Newton Bald
  • May 19-20—Sat & Sun—Welch Ridge/Cold Springs Backpack
  • May 20—Sun—Kuwahi Scar Off-Trail
  • May 23—Wed—Rich Mountain Loop; Indian Grave Gap and Crooked Arm Trails
  • May 26—Sat—Ace Gap
  • May 28—Mon—Memorial Day; Cataloochee Divide Trail to PurchaseKnob

Mountains to Sea Trail is an essential organization for folks who care about our hiking trails in Western North Carolina.  For $35 a year you can support this 1,175 mile trail that allows hikers to cover the state and “is as diverse as North Carolina. Along the trail, you may see mountain vistas, rolling Piedmont farms, picture postcard colonial towns, weathered tobacco barns, old textile villages, country churches, rushing mountain streams, coastal swamps, hardwood and pine forests, lighthouses, sand dunes, miles of seashore, and friendly people.”  Some of the ways to get involved from the comfort of your Carolina mountain homes—join the friends, attend an event, share your photos, keep up-to-date with the newsletter, purchase a MST license plate, or volunteer.

Upcoming events to support the trail:

  • April 27—Fri—2:30; Trail Grand Opening at Guilford County Farm
  • April 28—Sat—Intermediate Trail Maintenance at Rockingham Community College
  • May 5—Sat—Eno River Section Annual Picnic at Fews Ford area, Eno River State Park
  • May 12—Sat—Upper Haw River Section Workday
  • June 5—Sat—Eno River Section Annual Picnic
  • June 12—Sat– Upper Haw River Section Workday

Friends of the Smokies was begun in 1993, and with hard work and devoted members and volunteers, more than $53 million has been raised to fund worthy projects in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—historic preservation, wildlife management, environmental education among them.  If you don’t yet know about this amazing park, it spans more than 800 square miles of Western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, and is where you are sure to find some of the most cherished views from mountaintops, as well as the wildlife we adore.  Find out for yourself by getting involved and have an incredible outdoor adventure while making life-long friends.

Upcoming Spring Hikes and events:

  • May 2—Pint Night at Bearden Beer Market
  • May 8—Classic Hike of the Smokies—Ramsey Cascades
  • June 11—Classic Hike of the Smokies: Cades of Cove Overnight Experience
  • June 12–Classic Hike of the Smokies: Cades of Cove Overnight Experience
  • June 19—Friends Day at Frugal Backpacker

It’s no secret to the folks who appreciate hiking trails in Western North Carolina that The Coves Mountain River Club delivers 13 miles of groomed hiking and horse trails. This is just one of the many perks that draw people in search of Carolina mountain homes to The Coves.

The Coves’ location is perfect, providing variation in elevation, with 3,600 acres ranging from 1,040 to 1,700 for our active residents to strut their stuff… and all without leaving home!   There are trails that suit a leisurely stroll by a magnificent waterfall, and challenging climbs to work your quads.   If you adore waterfalls of Western North Carolina, there are four dramatic waterfalls throughout these trails; it’s a hard act to follow!   Here’s a glimpse at what awaits you at The Coves:

Switchback Trail – 3.5 miles of trail over several streams, ending along Mila Cascading Falls.

Spine Trail – 3.5 miles of pasture trail over streams abutting a fishing pond and wildlife viewing area.

Winding River Trail – 2 miles of trails along the Johns River, past Coves River Park, the community gardens and stables and ending at Coleton’s Swimming Hole.

Magnolia Trail – 1.5 miles of trail up to 100ft overlooking river, winding into the serene woods and ending at Coleton’s Swimming Hole.

Tranquility Vineyard Trail –  a 1 mile trail into the woods along several small streams ending in the vineyard.

Little Waterfall Trail –  a .75 mile trail from Table View Lane, meandering past several waterfalls and into Waterfall Trail.

Cedar Cove Trail –  a .5 mile trail from the Waterfall Trail to the lovely community gardens and stables.

Waterfall Trail – a .5 mile trail down to Waterfall Park and into the community gardens for residents who just can’t get enough of the waterfalls of Western North Carolina.

Hawks Nest Trail – a .5 mile trail down from Waterfall Lane by a spring fed stream, into the Waterfall Trail and back to the community gardens and stable.

Lace up your hiking boots and then come explore the variety of hikes that bring fitness, relaxation and good old-fashioned outdoor adventure in our mountain community.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour and a hike!

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

The Mountain of Youth at The Coves

wellness NC mountain communities

An active lifestyle is important at any age but at retirement, it becomes crucial to maintain the highest quality of life into our golden years. Once we stop working, if we stop moving, it reduces our stamina. Exercise feels good and is important because it can ease symptoms of chronic conditions, and delay, and even prevent, disease. People who stay active have healthier immune systems, blood pressure levels, and are at less of a risk for heart disease or osteoporosis.

Simply going for a hike in the woods or mountain bike ride may be all it takes to reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack and prevent falls. Hiking also benefits us mentally by improving the quality of sleep and boosting our mood and self-confidence. And what better place to enjoy the great outdoors than in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. There are so many fabulous hikes near Asheville NC than you can explore 365 days a year.

At one of the most beautiful NC mountain communities near Blowing Rock, The Coves Mountain River Club is the place to hike along the slow moving Johns River which originates from Grandfather Mountain. It’s the place to breathe in fresh air and let the sound of rushing water put you at ease. Kayaking and canoeing are also popular to enjoy an epic river adventure.

The riverfront trail leads to Coleton’s Swimming Hole, an old-fashioned swimming hole with a rope swing. There are also four cascading waterfalls along the trails.  All in all, The Coves has 39 miles of groomed mountain hiking trails surrounding all the stunning North Carolina mountain homes within the neighborhood.

The Johns River is just one of the many wellness amenities that residents enjoy at The Coves. Here’s a quick over of all the amenities:


  • Gated Entrance
  • 6,000 Square Foot Mountaintop Lodge
  • Infinity-view Saline Swimming Pool & Hot Tub
  • Modern Fitness Center
  • Full Service Equestrian Center
  • 39 Miles of Hiking & Horse Trails
  • Four Waterfalls and Community Parks
  • Two Community Gardens
  • Five Miles of River Frontage on the Johns River

If you’re searching for the fountain of youth, come experience our mountain of youth at The Coves.

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