What’s New at The Coves Mountain River Club

Wild Fungi Forage Classes Near The Coves

community gardens

You may be surprised to learn that North Carolina is home to more than three thousand varieties of mushroom.  About two hundred of those are edible, and you can find a major concentration of those growing wild in the Asheville and Blue Ridge foothills area.  Taking forays into the woods to gather them is a popular pastime for the residents of mountain towns in North Carolina

In addition, the cultivation of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms began decades ago in the region.  As interest in locally-grown products increased, many landowners, farmers and gardeners took advantage of our abundance of forested land to gain expertise in the growing of some of the more popular mushroom varieties.  Now, you can easily find them at Lenoir Downtown Farmers Market and venues in Conover, Collettsville, Boone, Spruce Pine, Vilas, Banner Elk and other nearby towns.

Any list of things to do in Lenoir NC for the mushroom aficionado would have to include wild fungi foraging through the woods of the Patterson School campus with local expert Ken Crouse.  Bring your basket and take home a collection of rare delicacies.  Afterward, there’s a cooking demonstration and tasting.  The Patterson School Foundation’s mission is to provide educational opportunities with a strong commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainable agriculture, historical preservation and the community.

Growing gourmet mushrooms such as shiitake and oyster on freshly-cut logs is not a difficult process, but it’s necessary to pay attention to certain details in order to be successful.  Whether you’re doing it entirely on your own or working with one of the area’s community gardens such as the one we enjoy so much at The Coves Mountain River Club, you can always get assistance from the NC Cooperative Extension at the Caldwell County Center in Lenoir and the Wautauga County Center in Boone.  It’s just another one of the many opportunities for lifelong learning you’ll discover here in the foothills. 

Many people who live in mountain towns in North Carolina and have a common interest in learning about, collecting, growing and eating the local fungi join the Asheville Mushroom Club.  They meet on the last Thursday of the month, from March through November.  The group ranges from beginners to professional mycologists and includes photographers, artists and nature enthusiasts.  There are guest speakers and special events to enjoy, and the more experienced members are happy to share their knowledge with anyone who wants to learn.  One – Charlotte Caplan – is the author of Cooking with the Asheville Mushroom Club,

We find no shortage of things to do in Lenoir NC. People move here for the clean mountain air, the year round mild weather, the outdoor activities, the natural beauty, the local history and culture…the list goes on and on.  It’s safe to say that most aren’t aware at first that this is the wild mushroom capital of the world.  But it’s not long before they meet someone who’s found great satisfaction in working with others in community gardens or carefully tending a private patch of edible or medicinal mushrooms.  It’s easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm, and so you take yet another step in your journey of lifelong learning.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, our Isabel’s Garden is nestled in a sunny spot adjacent to the Johns River, with dividers that create an English-style ambience.  Residents have the option of maintaining their own garden plots or asking for help from our garden committee.  Tomatoes, peppers, radishes, greens and watermelon do well in the nutrient-rich soil, along with herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano, sage and mint.  You’ll also see daffodils, tulips, lilies, sunflowers and assorted mountain wildflowers. 

Please plan to stop by and take a tour of The Coves Mountain River Club when you’re in the area.  We’d love to show you around.

There’s so much to see and do here that it’s easy to understand why it’s an ideal place to retire and enjoy your life to the fullest.

Call 828.754.0700 now!

Tags: Guest Lecture Series | Lenoir

Smoking in the Foothills BBQ Festival and Competition

barbecue competition

BBQ is one seriously delectable pastime from coast to coast in the United States. Over the years the culinary tradition has migrated to places where folks were not reared on the saucy, finger-licking fare.  But for those of us who have roots in the mountain towns of North Carolina, we have adored this savory dish so far back we cannot remember. 

No wonder Steven Raichlen wrote “The Barbecue Bible” ( a best-seller), and gave a lecture at the Library of Congress, “Barbecue:  A History of the World’s Oldest Culinary Art.”  These days folks who live in NC mountain communities don’t just have dog-eared copies of our grandmother’s cherished BBQ sauce, we have recipes that have come from food programs and competitions, like the popular Smoking in the Foothills BBQ Festival & Competition in Lenoir, NC on October 19th and 20th, 2018.

This yearly event “combines the fun of a family-friendly festival with the excitement of a sanctioned barbecue competition!” for those of you who want to turn up the heat.  There’s so much more than sharing amazing and mouth-watering BBQ with your friends, family and neighbors…live music, poker run, corn hole, a wood-crafter’s showcase, kids’ activities, raffles, competitions and more will keep you more than happy during these gorgeous fall days.

The Festival Schedule at a Glance:

Friday, October 19, 2018; 5 pm-10 pm

• Festival opening with Mayor Gibbons; Smokey Barrel Beer & Beverage Garden; Cash Cow 50/50 Raffle; Kids’ Que Competition; Playful Piglet Kids’ Area opening; live music; Cook Team BBQ People’s Choice–Wings

Saturday, October 20, 2018; 10 am-10 pm

  10 am—Poker Run Registration

• 10:30 am—Poker Run

• 11 am—Smokey Barrel Beer & Beverage Garden Opens

• 11:30 am—Cook Team BBQ People’s Choice—Pork!

• 12-1:30 pm—Turn-ins for BBQ Competition

• 3 pm—Registration for Fling the Wing Corn Hole Tournament

• 4 pm—Fling the Wing Corn Hole Tournament

• 5 pm—KCBS Competition Awards Ceremony on the Downtown Stage

• 7 pm—Live Music; FracXured

• 8 pm—Cash Cow Winner Announced

• 10 pm—Festival Closing

Festival Music Line-Up

• Friday, October 19, 5-7 pm; Andrew Massey & the Midnight Americans

• Friday, October 19, 7-10 pm; Jim Quick & Coastline

• Saturday, October 20, 10-11 am; Terry Edwards

• Saturday, October 20, 11 am-1 pm; The Classics

• Saturday, October 20, 1-3 pm; Rooted

• Saturday, October 20, 3-5 pm; Chad Triplett & Two Lane Blacktop

• Saturday, October 20, 7-9 pm; FracXured

Fourth Annual Foothills Corn hole Tournament

• Saturday, October 20, 4 pm at the parking across from 1841 Café; $25 fee per team with cash pay outs.   50% of proceeds benefit local charity, and the remainder goes to first through fourth place winners.

Workshops; learn how to smoke, grill and carve meats like a pro, learn about new technology, or tour local furniture factories—it’s all there for residents and visitors in the mountain towns of North Carolina.

• Friday, October 19

   Where There Is Smoke, There’s Flavor!  A Smoking How-to Workshop

   Slice It Right—The butcher does it better!  A How-to Workshop on carving meats

   Seared and Sizzled—Our Lenoir Fire Fighters share their grilling secrets & fire safety tips

• Saturday, October 20; Workshop on new tech driving the furniture industry

   Furniture Factory Tours and Hayride

And of course it wouldn’t be the tradition festival for the NC mountain communities without the Professional BBQ Competition—a State Championship event sanctioned by Kansas City Barbecue Society.  Four categories include scrumptious—chicken, pork ribs, pork and beef brisket.  Come and win the $15,000 prize and be surrounded by KCBS judges and professional cook teams from across the country.

Professional BBQ Competition Schedule:

Friday, October 19

8 am–Cook Team Check In

10 am-4 pm—Meat Inspection

1 pm—Cook Team Lunch @ the Distillery

4 pm—Cook Team Meeting @ the Distillery

7 pm—Private Cook Team Social @ the Distillery

Saturday, October 20

7:30 am—Private Cook Team Breakfast

12 pm—Turn Ins for BBQ Competition

12:30 pm—Pork Rib Category

1 pm—Pork Category

1:30 pm—Brisket Category

5 pm—Awards Ceremony; Corn hole Winners Announced; 10-First Place Announced; Reserve Grand Champion Announced; Grand Champion Announced.

Contact Information:  Smoking In The Foothills–c/o Mike Kilby, 309 Sheldon Street, Hudson, NC; 28638; 828-310-2953, Festival Contact 828-757-4451, BBQ Competition Contact 828-310-2953

Venders are most welcome; download the application and mail in with fees as well as obtain your required permit.  Cooking spaces, ice and utilities will be provided.

For those of you lucky travelers coming to visit the mountain towns of North Carolina, the Comfort Inn in Lenoir is the host hotel for the festival and will provide you and your friends and family with a “foothills” discount.  Volunteers are also welcome!  The people who come together in the NC mountain communities are who make these festivals and events not only possible but also incredibly special.

Folks who have made The Coves Mountain River Club their home, nestled in the sweet and breath-taking Blue Ridge Mountains, live the idyllic life day after incredible day.  There’s no amount of time that will take away your gratitude when you awaken in your dream house and peer out upon the natural beauty that surrounds you—an inspiring vista no matter where you turn! 

And when the residents at The Coves venture out to the downtown of Lenoir, there’s plenty of community and goings on to fulfill their every desire.  Those who have settled blissfully into their custom home at The Coves get to enjoy the Foothills Barbecue Festival each and every year—a tradition that adds comfort and fun to all.  North Carolina has been a BBQ haven forever, with flavor and savory sauces that melt in your mouth.  Come and visit The Coves this fall, take part in the festival or simply dive into some of the most spectacular BBQ in the country.  You will find in just one tasty weekend why this is the place you should next call 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: Festivals | Lenoir

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

Chrome On Over to Lenoir Cruise-Ins

Lenoir NC Cruise In

Did you know on the first Saturday of every month, from April through October, Lenoir transforms itself from a picturesque and serene mountain town into a fun destination for people of all ages who appreciate automotive excellence?

This is when the Lenoir Downtown Cruisers bring their shiny chrome cruise-ins and swap meet to the downtown streets of Lenoir.  Admission is free, but you can purchase 50/50 tickets, T-shirts, drivers tickets, ladies tickets, door prizes, and much more, with all of the proceeds going to local charities. Lenoir Downtown Cruisers is a non-profit organization. 

This popular event features block after block of eye catching cars, trucks, motorcycles, with their proud owners happy to chat about the finer points of their vehicles.  And there’s always the chance that you’ll see a special car that brings back thoughts of years gone by and the good times and good friends that defined your youth.

If you’re in the area looking for mountain homes for sale in NC, the Lenoir cruise-ins are a great opportunity to get a feel for our local culture and meet others who have relocated happily to the mountain towns in North Carolina.  Like so many of the fun things to do in Lenoir, NC, and the other towns in the foothills, they evoke memories of a simpler life and time.

You soon discover what makes this part of the country so special.  It’s the strong feeling of community…the small town appeal that’s such a welcome change from the stresses of big city life.  Before you know it, you’ve found the key to happiness.  It was within your reach all along. 

Our mountain communities in the foothills have a way of surprising people.  Just when prospective buyers of mountain homes for sale in NC may think they’ll be leaving so much behind, they learn that there’s such a wealth of activities and events to enjoy that they won’t know what to do next.  Here, you get all of the benefits of country living – the crisp, fresh mountain air, the breathtaking scenery, the exercise – with easy access to shopping, entertainment, dining, adult education, medical facilities and more.

When you’re planning a visit to any of the mountain towns in North Carolina, be sure to check the Lenoir Downtown Cruisers web site or their Facebook page to learn about upcoming cruise-ins or give us a call.  It’s good family fun but also an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to come together and share the many joys that life in small-town America brings.  And be sure to sample the local restaurants and browse the stores and quaint shops.

On your calendar of things to do in Lenoir NC, set aside some time for a tour of  our mountain community. We’re conveniently located between Charlotte and Asheville and just minutes from the mountain towns of Blowing Rock, Morganton and Hickory.

Spread across  3600 beautiful acres, our gated community is nestled along the Johns River at Wilson Creek.  Here you’ll find 16 miles of hiking, biking and riding trails, a two-story mountaintop lodge with an infinity-view swimming pool, fitness center and so many more amenities.  Choose property with mountain views, riverfront property, private wood estates, nature settings or equestrian parcels. Our home collection is extensive!

Cruise in to The Coves at Mountain River Club. We’re happy to show you around.

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: Festivals | Lenoir

2018 Fall Lifelong Learning Courses in WNC

lifelong learning courses in Western North Carolina

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (CCC&TI) in the foothills offers residents of mountain towns in North Carolina a schedule of lifelong learning courses (both degree and non-credit) that are tailor-made for pursuit of their individual interests and hobbies. College isn’t just for young adults. Going back to school is popular in our golden years as we desire a lot more from life now that they’re free from the dual pressures of work and family obligations and have more free time to do what we want.

As many more members of the “baby boomer” generation reach retirement age, the demand for “lifelong learning” continues to grow.  A primary benefit, of course, is the opportunity to increase our knowledge of subjects we’re already familiar with and others we would like to find out more about.  We can brush up on our skills, learn some new techniques and have some fun as we enter this rewarding and exciting stage of our life. 

But continuing education is also vital to our mental and physical health, because when we attend a class we’re making important social connections with others who share our experiences and interests.  Students in adult education are not trying to satisfy a degree requirement and are there by choice and enthusiastic.  Many programs have no books or tests, and the atmosphere is informal.  And we can miss a class or even drop a course if we choose.

The mission of CCC&TI is to provide accessible, quality instruction; support economic development through comprehensive resources to business, industry, and agencies and offer diverse services and opportunities which improve the quality of life.

Full academic programs at the school for the coming year include accounting, automotive systems technology, aviation management and career technology, business administration, biomedical equipment technology and cosmetology. Students also study biotechnology, cardiovascular sonography, computer information technology, landscape gardening, medical sonography, networking technology, associate degree nursing, paralegal technology, radiography, and web technologies. 

And personal enrichment classes teach subjects as diverse as beekeeping, craft brewing, motorcycle safety, sign language, computer skills, digital photography, writing and Spanish.

The school also offers special events such as the Fall 2018 installment of Caldwell Cuisine, a showcase for the talents of Culinary Arts students, and the 2018-2019 Showcase of Stars, featuring music, dance and drama.

CCC&TI is located in Hudson, one of the quaint mountain towns in North Carolina most popular to those who are drawn to the laid-back lifestyle found in the foothills.  And its diverse class offerings are testament to the fact that settling into retirement doesn’t mean we can’t still follow your passion for lifelong learning.

As you consider the advantages of various mountain homes for sale in NC, make time to come by and visit us in Lenoir. Our beautiful 3600-acre gated community is nestled between the Blue Ridge and Brushy Mountains, surrounded by tall hardwood forests.  It’s an ideal choice for those who enjoy outdoor recreation such as fishing or boating, with its proximity to the Catawba River, Rhodiss and Hickory Lakes and Wilson Creek – plus the many hiking and riding trails and camping spots.  

We’re a world away from the stresses of the city.  Instead, we have fresh air, year-round mild weather, clear skies, spectacular sunsets, great neighbors and a front row seat when the foliage changes color in the Fall which is coming soon.

Take a tour of The Coves Mountain River Club and see why so many people have chose to retire here and enjoy all of this area’s many benefits and opportunities. We offer mountain view homes, estate homes, river front homes, mountain cottages, tiny houses and new Design-Ready Log Homes. Ask us for more info.

Call 828.754.0700 now!


Tags: Guest Lecture Series | 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