This month, our property
owners are offering:
- An extra night free
- Discounted rates
- Complimentary firewood
- Complimentary gift baskets
- Complimentary wine or champagne
Over 40 of our properties are running specials right now!
So, while many people might be better at getting out and about, I certainly don’t manage to hike as much as I would like. Still, after 5 years living in WNC I’ve managed to find two hikes that I love so much, it has become difficult to branch out and try others. Both are easy driving distance from Asheville and are easy-moderate hiking, but they have some very distinct differences.
Nice foliage on path
Good for de-stressing
Romantic date setting
This hike is located right on the Blue Ridge Parkway, not too far from Asheville. It is short, and somewhat steep, but has beautiful trees, rhododendron, and several views along the way. Once you reach the pinnacle at the top, there’s an amazing, full 360 degree view. There are benches and other sitting spots as well to relax and enjoy the beautiful photo ops. It has always been a good pick-me-up for me when life is stressful, but it’s also one of my favorite date spots. This is a nice place to go with a picnic (small enough to pack into a day size bag, anyway). Keep in mind that the wind is almost always heavy up at the pinnacle and it can be much cooler than the starting point below.
Craggy Gardens and the Visitor’s Center are nearby spots worth stopping for if you are going to Craggy Pinnacle. Craggy Gardens is pretty, too - a good-sized grassy area, views, picnic tables and another small trail. Bathrooms are also located at this stop. This is a good place to picnic before or after a hike up to the pinnacle, especially if you don’t want to hike with your food.
Access to river and falls
Swimming/Wading in Summer
Several different trail options
This falls hike offers three - count them, THREE - waterfalls in one. Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, and High Falls are located together on a easy, riverside trail (exception: to get the top of high falls is a more vigorous upward hike, away from the riverside). You can spend an entire day checking out the different trails - one of the fun things about this area is that the hike is customizable. Visitors have the option of staying on mostly flat land to see Hooker and Triple Falls, going down a steep - and sometimes slippery - trail to the bottom of High Falls, and heading upwards to the top of High Falls. Although this hike is REALLY popular and therefore always crowded, I’ve never minded. The hike is best in the fall for leaf colors, but is also super fun in the summer, when guests can wade into the river and play in the falls!
For more great WNC hikes, photos, directions, and other great information, visit Hike WNC.
Asheville was in the news recently as one of the happiest places in the world. The distinction comes from researchers at the University of Leicester (UK), who have established the first color-coded world map of happiness. In addition, author Eric Weiner traveled the happiest places in the world for his book The Geography of Bliss, and determined that America’s happiest place is Asheville, NC!
Those of us who live in Asheville, or enjoy visiting, didn’t need the media to tell us. But this does validate what we already knew. The question is, how in the world did they measure happiness?
As it turns out, scientists have been trying to determine the ’science of happiness’ for years. Factors leading to life satisfaction? Friendship, marriage (or life partnership), meaning in life (stemming from spirituality, religion, or philosophy), and long term goals that are fun to work towards. For more in-depth information, check out this 2006 article from Mike Rudin, BBC News series producer of “The Happiness Formula.”
Weiner’s decision to settle on Asheville for the happiest place in the US was based on our beautiful surroundings, abundance of art & culture, and sense of community.
Winter is upon us in the mountains of Asheville, it is time to give our beloved dogs a little extra care and attention. Our younger canine partners can still enjoy the great outdoors with just a couple of extra things to look out for.Short haired breeds & breeds that feel the cold temperatures will appreciate an extra layer of warmth - there are some great waterproof outward bound dog coats available.
Exercise is important at this time of year. If there is snow on the ground, take care to check your pet’s paws for ice balls or injuries. Also consider rinsing your pet’s feet off, if your pet has walked where de-icing chemicals have been used. Keeping your dog’s nails short & the fur trimmed on the bottom of their pads will help prevent them from slipping on ice and from snow collecting on the bottom of their feet.
Daylight savings can cause dog walking to be a little hazardous if you are out after dark. Consider a reflective leash and collar, as well as reflective coats for you and Fido, which can make you visible to traffic.
Senior & over weight dogs feel the winter harder on their bones – cold, damp weather can aggravate arthritis. Keep them warm and away from cold drafts. Heating pads or a hot water bottle can also lend relief. Remember: if your dog is having trouble getting up or laying down, climbing the stairs, or has started to snap or cry when picked up, you should visit your veterinarian/homeopathic veterinarian for extra advice.
If, for reasons beyond your control, your dog is housed outside or spends a lot of time outside, make sure that you provide adequate shelter. The shelter should be raised off the ground to ensure your pet is protected from the wind, moisture, and cold. Take extra care to ensure that your pet is comfortable with lots of warm bedding and can get into and out of their housing easily.
One thing that can be overlooked in winter is sufficient fresh water for your dog. Check frequently to be sure the water is not frozen during this frigid time of year. Dogs that live outdoors may need additional food (calories) to sustain body temperature as well. You may want to check with your veterinarian to decide if your pet needs additional nutritional intake.
**A Note on Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol) - Cats and dogs are attracted to the sweet smell and taste of antifreeze, and will often sample some if left out in a container or spilled on the garage floor … however, Antifreeze is highly toxic - it is rapidly absorbed (initial signs appear approximately one hour post-ingestion), and there is a high mortality rate. Only a very small amount needs to be ingested to cause signs of intoxication.
Success of treatment is dependent upon a quick response. If you suspect that your animal has come into contact with antifreeze, immediately contact your veterinarian or pet emergency center. The ASPCA also provides information and a Poison Help Line.
A safe alternative to Ethylene Glycol antifreeze is available – Propylene Glycol. While it does cost a little more than ‘regular’ antifreeze, it is worth the piece of mind for those with beloved pets.
Thank you for taking time to read, your pet will appreciate your awareness!
Stay tuned each month for our dog series, including issues such as seasonal care and training.