Falling in Love with Fall Foliage in Western North Carolina

North Carolina mountain homes


Living in Western North Carolina as the summer days slip into colorful autumn is an amazing visual gift for those of us with North Carolina mountain homes.  No matter how many fall seasons you spend in this gorgeous region of the country, each one is uniquely different in its foliage display.  The hues of our mountains vary due to many factors from weather and rainfall, to the vegetation, to elevation–as well as how much sun the mountain receives throughout the day.

When you’re planning your leaf peeping adventures,  one fast and true rule to remember is that the higher the elevation, the earlier the leaves begin to turn.  So as fall graces us with its brilliant show, plan on taking a ride or hike to the higher peaks.  And remember that during the first week of October the vibrant color schemes will be best at the highest elevations while the end of the month will be most stunning at the lowest elevations.

For those with North Carolina mountain homes, here’s a simple timetable to make the most of your colorful autumn:

• End of September through first week of October, the highest elevations of 6000 feet begin to turn.

• Beginning of October through October 10—elevations above 5,000 feet turn (Grandfather Mountain and areas off the Blue Ridge Parkway around Asheville).

• October 10-third week elevations between 4,000-5,000 feet around Boone and Blowing Rock peak.

• October 18-26—lower elevations of about 3,000-4,000 feet like Pisgah National Forest change.

• October 24-end of the month–peak for elevations below 2,000 feet (check out Asheville and surrounding areas like the Biltmore Estate).

Here are some of the peaks accessible along the Parkway to visit during the fall of 2019:

• Mount Pisgah—a must-see peak with a high elevation for an amazing vista and prime colors.  An idyllic stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway for a brisk walk.

• Grandfather Mountain—this is one of the highest peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains so the vistas are unbelievable along the trails, or gazing from the mile high swinging bridge.

• Linn Cove Viaduct—if you head over to Grandfather Mountain, this is another autumnal most see.  The viaduct encircles Grandfather Mountain and provides visitors with magnificent views and an easy hike.

• Price Lake—this is a popular spot to see the palette of the mountains reflected in the water.  For photographers, painters and nature lovers alike…this is a precious place to visit.  Of course there are boundless possibilities for recreation as well (kayaking, canoeing, hiking and more) and it’s an easy trip from Blowing Rock and Boone.

• Craggy Gardens—picnic, hike and take in the Blue Ridge Mountains from this location at over 5,500 feet and convenient to Asheville.

Maybe after searching North Carolina Mountain homes, you’ve happily settled into your cozy and custom-made cabin at The Coves.  Those who live in this gorgeous gated community are surrounded by the astounding fall foliage in one of the country’s longest leaf peeping seasons.  The perfect weather and pristine Blue Ridge Mountains are the magical combination to afford a panoramic view from The Coves that never ceases to amaze.  Fall of 2019 promises to be a stunning display of color, so plan on visiting The Coves and take a seat in the Pisgah Mountain Lodge to see for yourself just how sweet life can be.
Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Great Places 2019 Winners Include Lenoir NC!


“Great Places in North Carolina” is an awards program established by the state’s chapter of the American Planning Association in 2012 to honor the state’s remarkable places and the communities and citizens, planners, business leaders, and elected officials who create and sustain them.

The public is invited to vote each year – with a hundred words and a photo – for “Great Street”, “Great Street In The Making”, “Great Transformation”, “Great Historic Rehabilitation” and “Great Public Art”.

More and more, people have come to value communities that see the importance of highlighting their creative sides.  And Downtown Lenoir, renowned for its displays of public art, was chosen the 2019 winner in that last category for international sculptor Thomas Sayre’s monumental work “Across The Grain”.  Weighing 40,000 pounds and twenty-six feet in diameter, it’s an impressive centerpiece for Caldwell County’s Sculpture Art Trail.

The Sayre piece is sure to draw plenty of attention during the 34th annual Sculpture Celebration on September 7th in T. H. Broyhill Walking Park in Lenoir.  Visitors can stroll and look at the entries, talk with the artists, and buy sculptures.

This popular event is one of the things to do in Lenoir NC that attracts enthusiasts from all over.  They come to enjoy our wonderful early Fall weather and learn more about this very special part of the state.  There’s a lot to explore, and September’s a great time to enjoy festivals and other outdoor fun.

Long-time residents may remember that the Sculpture Celebration began modestly with a single piece: the chicken weather vane that now adorns the roof of the Caldwell Arts Council building at the corner of College Avenue and Norwood Street.  From there, the County developed what is now one of the largest collections of public sculpture in the United States.  There are over 80 publicly-displayed works, most of which are outdoors.

The Caldwell Arts Council has a reputation for quality exhibits of art from all over the country.  The galleries are housed in a historic home that’s over a hundred years old, and you’ll find everything from  

contemporary to traditional, with both 2-D and 3-D works on display.  New exhibits are featured each month, and one of the things to do in Lenoir NC that’s a must for art lovers is attending the opening receptions to meet the artist, typically held on the first Friday.

Sculptural artwork is offered for sale in Tucker’s Gallery.  The name has historic significance.  The Tucker family settled in what is now Lenoir around 1797, and their barn became a center of activity in the area.  It served as a voting precinct, a militia muster ground, a store and a place for “frolics” and celebrations, at least one of which featured a drum corps, a march of Revolutionary War veterans and speeches by General William Lenoir.

Pieces remain on display in Tucker’s Gallery for one year or until they’re sold.  

The Caldwell Arts Council’s programs are supported by a grassroots grant from the North Carolina Arts Council – a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources – and by individual and corporate donors. 

When you visit for the Sculpture Celebration or to take advantage of the many other things to do in Lenoir NC, be sure to set aside some time to visit The Coves Mountain River Club, a community designed and built to represent the very best of what it means to live in the Blue Ridge foothills.  We’re proud of what we have to offer, and we’d love to give you a tour.

Lenoir is just over 70 miles from both Asheville and Charlotte, southwest of the Brushy Mountains and next to the beautiful Pisgah National Forest.

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

National Trails and Hikes Near Asheville NC

hikes near Asheville NC

Did you participate in National Trails Day last month?   From volunteering at a service project to being part of an individual or organized cleanup effort, people take this opportunity each year to pledge their time and energy to a nationwide movement to sustain and preserve America’s trails system for the benefit of future generations.

Anyone who hikes near Asheville NC knows the value of these great natural resources.  And residents of The Coves Mountain River Club are fortunate enough to have easy access to miles of the nation’s most popular and scenic hiking and horse trails, right within our 3600-acre community near the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Western part of the state.

You don’t have to be a trained athlete to enjoy the experience.  From less taxing walks along the bank of the Johns River to a real workout climbing up to Davis Knob’s 1700 feet of elevation, anyone who wants to spend time in our breathtaking surroundings has plenty of opportunities to do so.

Here’s a guide to some of the highlights:

  • Switchback Trail – Three-and-a-half miles in length, it crosses over several streams and brings you to the bottom of the lodge, by the old gold mine and along Mila Cascading Falls.
  • Spine Trail –  Another three-and-a-half-mile trail that takes you through the pasture property alongside the stock fishing pond, past the wildlife viewing area and over several beautiful streams.
  • Winding River Trail –  You’ll follow the Johns River tor two miles, passing Coves River Park, the community gardens and stables leading to Coleton’s Swimming Hole.
  • Magnolia Trail –  This one-and-a-half-mile trail starts down near the pasture and then climbs in elevation about 100 feet, where it overlooks the river.  Then you’ll go deep into the woods and back down to Coleton’s Swimming Hole.
  • Tranquility Vineyard Trail – Hike a one-mile trail deep into woods and along several small streams down to the vineyard.
  • Little Waterfall Trail – It starts at Table View Lane and takes you three quarters of a mile, passing several waterfalls and tying into Waterfall Trail.
  • Cedar Cove Trail – It’s a half-mile hike that brings you to the Waterfall Trail and eventually the community gardens and stables.
  • Waterfall Trail – Take this trail a half mile down to Waterfall Park and into the community gardens.
  • Hawks Nest Trail – This is another half-mile hike that brings you from Waterfall Lane down along a spring-fed stream and into the Waterfall Trail leading to the community gardens and stable.

You won’t want to miss our four cascading waterfalls of Western North Carolina:

  • Grandfather Gorge Falls – a fifty-foot triple-tier waterfall over large boulders that plunges into a pool.
  • Mila Cascading Falls – a dramatic, stairway-like waterfall into the Johns River at Mila Park.
  • Highland River Falls – tumbles down a mountain hollow into the Johns River
  • Penelope Cascading Falls – a forty-foot layered waterfall with splash areas, with easy access near the Coves River Park

Hikes near Asheville NC are a treat for all the senses.  You’ll see wildlife in its native habitat, dramatic foliage at every turn and spectacular views of the natural wonders that make life at The Coves Mountain River Club rewarding on so many levels.  Whether it’s a  short day hike or a full day’s adventure, it all awaits you right outside your mountain home. Please come by The Coves Mountain River Club and see all we have to offer.  Our hiking and horse trails are wide and well-marked, and they lead to scenic outlooks, picnic areas, and community parks.  Be sure to bring your camera! 

And, of course, our fresh, clean mountain air and year-round mild weather create the perfect environment for hiking and all the other outdoor activities that make living here in the foothills one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit!

Tags: Asheville | Greenways & Trails

Come See The Blowing Rock Mile of Flowers

hikes near Asheville

This is the sixth year of Blowing Rock’s Mile of Flowers celebration, a self-guided tour of private gardens in glorious bloom on June 28, 9:30 am until 4 in the afternoon.  Flower lovers, and those who adore Blowing Rock real estate, will be welcomed at the quaint Rotary Gazebo, 1036 Main Street, and given a wrist band to gain entry into the private gardens, as well as a map for guidance.  The tour is relaxed, allowing participants to linger in local gardens and appreciate incredibly artful and vibrant settings.  It’s an opportunity to socialize with other gardeners and share a cup of tea while learning a few horticultural tips.

Don’t forget to take some photographs to inspire ideas for the flower beds that brighten your Carolina mountain properties. A boutique in the afternoon at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church affords the opportunity to purchase hand-crafted items, plants, and garden-themed products.  The afternoon tea is held in the American Legion Hall and is accompanied by an auction of hand-painted rocks by local artists.  Guides will be available to provide gardening information, and an entrance fee of $30 covers the tea as well as the tour.  A shuttle bus will be available although most of the gardens are easily walkable.  This popular event is an opportunity for the community to come together and share their gardening passion.

This region is renowned for its stunning beauty and there’s no question that the flowers and plants that adorn our Blowing Rock real estate contribute to its natural allure.  This beauty echoes beyond our own yards.  As locals and visitors experience the many majestic hikes near Asheville–some through Pisgah National Forest, an incredible lush expanse close to Black Mountain, and running alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway to the south of Blowing Rock—they are able to take in the inspiring landscape.

In addition to Pisgah’s 192,000 acres, Grandfather Mountain provides the highest vantage point of the Blue Ridge region.  Blowing Rock has been a sightseeing attraction for the better part of a century due to Grandfather Mountain, Hawksbill and Table Rock—all popular spots for those with Carolina mountain properties who never take the beauty of western North Carolina for granted.  Our homes are tucked into a natural expanse that provides us with top-notch recreation, amazing wildlife, and views that make us pause and truly embrace the moment.

Blowing Rock’s name was born from the landscape.  This rock formation perches 1,500 feet over the John River Gorge, and causes the wind to gust upwards, carrying leaves and petals up into the North Carolina sky.  Glen Burney Falls and Glen Marie Falls are also worth visiting in this gorgeous region.  This is the time of year to visit, while setting out on your hikes near Asheville, as it’s open daily through December.

And for those with horses who are living in their Carolina mountain properties, the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve allows riders a secure place to board their horses convenient to the trails that drift on for miles through the mountains.  Twenty-five miles of horse trails are groomed and waiting for enthusiastic riders.

Blowing Rock was recognized by the national non-profit, America in Bloom, for its spectacular community flowers.  The Coves Mountain River Club is also graced by residents who truly care about the natural beauty of the landscape that surrounds them–as well as growing healthy produce and developing gardening techniques.  From their carefully-tended properties and flourishing gardens, to Isabel’s Garden, a community project that brings folks together over vegetable and flower beds, The Coves’ residents share a passion for the simple and natural life.

When you are setting out for your hikes near Asheville, stop by and visit The Coves’ gorgeous Isabel’s Gardens.   And if you are searching for BlowingRock real estate, The Coves may just be the perfect place for you to build or buy your mountain dream home.

Call us now at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Blowing Rock | Greenways & Trails

Tips on Creating Your Own Butterfly Garden

Coves community gardens

The folks who live in Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina truly value the region and the lush landscape that provides a home to all the native plants and animals. Those who have chosen Carolina mountain properties as their home have formed a collaborative effort to protect the Blue Ridge Mountain’s natural heritage. One amazing way to establish a gorgeous property is to encourage and maintain the scenic beauty that surrounds us in the mountains, valleys, woodlands and fields.

The butterflies that grace North Carolina are astoundingly gorgeous, and the people living in the High Country enjoy planting gardens to encourage the local and natural species. There are over 175 species of butterflies in North Carolina. Butterflies, and of course caterpillars, are a real asset and necessity to our native landscape. They help pollinate our flowers as well as provide nourishment for our wildlife. By planting butterfly nectar plants and butterfly host plants, you can help preserve the landscape. This will provide a place for the butterflies to feed and reproduce, and will make your time outside visually stunning.

Creating a butterfly garden is relatively simple. The first step is having a basic understanding of which butterflies are native to Carolina mountain properties. Once you know which butterflies thrive in your region, you can decide which ones you want to attract so you can grow a garden to lure these majestic creatures into your yard. Since the plants and butterflies are all native, you’ll be working alongside nature, and that’s a beautifully simple thing!

You can design your garden with the help of a local nursery, by looking at plans online, or simply by relying upon your own creativity. Butterfly gardens can be vast or tiny. Think about incorporating both annuals and perennials–depending on how much gardening you want to do from year to year. The best way to attract these colorful creatures to your yard is to plant a wide variety of nectar plants in the sunny spots, (which will feed the adult butterflies), as well as host plants for the caterpillars. Tapping into the generous sun of North Carolina ensures your butterflies will have plenty of space to bask and warm their bodies before they fly; their wings are designed to be effective solar collectors!

Some of the native butterflies of Western North Carolina and their preferred diet:

Brushfooted Butterflies
• Monarch (milkweed)
• Painted Lady (thistle, hollyhock and sunflower)
• Question Mark (nettle, elm, hackberry, hops, false nettles)
• Red Admiral (nettle, false nettle, pellitory)
• Viceroy (willow, poplar, apple)
• Variegated Fritillary (various, including pansy)
• Mourning Cloak (willow, aspen, cottonwood, elm)
• Red-Spotted Purple (wild cherry, oak, poplar, hawthorn, willow)

• Zebra (pawpaw)
• Spicebush (spicebush, sassafras)
• Eastern Tiger (sycamore, willow)
• Black (dill, parsley, carrot, fennel)

• Silver Spotted (wild licorice, locust)

Sulphurs, Whites and Yellows
• Cabbage White (broccoli, cabbage–mustard family)
• Clouded Sulphur (alfalfa, clover)
• Orange Sulphur (alfalfa, vetch, pea)
• Cloudless Sulphur (ornamental cassia, canary bird bush)

Choose flowers that bloom in various sizes so that no matter the size of the butterfly they can access the nectar. You can strategically place a few large flat rocks for butterflies to perch upon to bask in the sun. Don’t forget to provide shelter for the butterflies in your habitat by leaving standing dead trees or a brush pile. There’s nothing like contributing to the conservation of our Carolina mountain properties while also creating a visually pleasing yard.

Some interesting facts about butterflies: their vibrant colors are caused from sunlight reflecting on their wings, not from pigment. And the life span of a butterfly is relatively brief, from a mere week to nine months.

The Coves Mountain River Club is a sanctuary for many of our native plants and creatures. The residents of The Coves value their panoramic views and form a collaborative effort to maintain the pristine landscape. Wildlife watching is a popular pastime in North Carolina. Take a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway that winds through the charming towns and gorgeous mountains and affords such awesome views, and you’ll discover all the other folks who care so much about our state. There’s nothing better than being able to observe the wildlife from your very own porch or deck while you sip your morning coffee. The Coves is the perfect setting for wildlife watching. No matter our age, watching the spectacular metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly is a magical show.

Stop by and take a look at The Coves two beautiful community gardens.

Call 828.754.0700 now to schedule a tour!

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Lenoir Parks, Nature Trails and Greenway

Lenoir NC nature trails

Sometimes, when you live in the city, it’s hard to find a safe way to get adequate outdoor exercise.  And really fresh air is often in very short supply.  So you’re forced to choose between breathing the traffic fumes or closing yourself off in a fitness center.

Imagine being able to step out your front door, inhale a deep breath of clear mountain air and have such a wide range of choices for being at one with nature that each day can bring a brand new adventure.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we’re so fortunate to enjoy easy access to miles and miles of walking trails, pathways and greenways that offer enthusiasts and novice outdoorsmen alike some of the very best hikes near Asheville NC.

The natural beauty of the City of Lenoir and greater Caldwell County is the perfect environment for a leisurely stroll, a long bike ride, or a challenging aerobic workout.  And our year-round mild weather allows you plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy yourself.

Lenoir Greenway connects to the Caldwell County Library, the Lenoir Aquatic and Fitness Center, and the Lenoir Rotary Soccer Complex.  It includes one of the more popular mountain bike trails in North Carolina.  On any given day, you’re also likely to encounter casual cyclists, runners, walkers and skaters.  The Greenway is perfect for all ages and abilities and offers convenient parking, restroom facilities and benches.

For breathtaking scenery, be sure to experience T. H. Broyhill Walking Park, on Lakewood Street in Lenoir.  It’s nearly a half mile in length, lighted and paved.  You’ll be surrounded by a beautiful, oriental-inspired botanical garden that includes a lake, with waterfowl, trees and flowers.  And public restrooms are available.

At Granite Falls, in southern Caldwell County, you’ll find another one of the great hikes near Asheville.  Lakeside Park comprises 72 acres on Lake Rhodhiss and has a one-mile trail that’s smooth and suitable for both hikers and mountain bikers.  For a somewhat more strenuous workout, try the footpath along the shoreline.  There are also three fishing platforms, public restrooms and a picnic shelter.

More of our mountain bike trails in North Carolina can be found just a short drive from The Coves Mountain River Club at Redwood Park in Hudson.  Redwood features two outdoor basketball courts, two tennis courts, one sand volleyball court, and horseshoe pits, plus picnic tables and covered shelters available for parties by reservation.  It has three separate playgrounds for children, nature trails with interpretive trees, and an outdoor amphitheater in the Barton and Estoy Hayes Forest.  The McCreary Recreation and Fitness Center and Hudson pool are located there, too.

These are just a few of the many nearby venues where you can enjoy exhilarating hikes near Asheville or take on one of the famous and challenging mountain bike trails in North Carolina.  Living at The Coves, you can take advantage of additional trails and tracks in not only Lenoir, Hudson and Granite Falls but the communities of Baton, Buffalo Cove, Collettsville, Gamewell, Oak Hill, Valmead, Sawmills and Happy Valley.

If you’d like a complete list of locations and many more details regarding the features and facilities available visit the City of Lenoir’s website.

While you’re visiting the foothills, be sure to stop by The Coves Mountain River Club.  We’re proud of all we have to offer, and we’d love to show you around.

Being right on the Johns River makes attractive for retirees who like fishing, boating and other activities on or in the water.  Our golf course is known for its spectacular mountain views.  And the homes here offer all the modern design, efficiency and convenience you want while blending perfectly with their natural surroundings.

Why not take control, start anew and build the life you want?  There’s so much to do and see here – and our mountain air has a way of giving you a level of energy and motivation you may have forgotten existed.  Hiking, biking, photography, sightseeing, local culture…the list of opportunities for learning and self-improvement goes on and on.

We look forward to meeting you soon!

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