The beginning of March has brought us great weather. And so, for the second weekend in a row, we have found ourselves hiking off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trees are still bare, so the views are better, looking down into the valleys.
Our intention was to hike a trail called Graveyard Fields, south of Mount Pisgah near marker 418. Unfortunately, the road was closed several miles north of the trail. We should have visited the Blue Ridge Parkway real-time road closures website for current information.
The great thing about the Parkway is there are trails everywhere. Improvising, we pulled over around mile marker 395 where a lot of cars lined the road – a certain indication of trails. We found both a forest road for hiking, biking and horse back riding; and a more challenging trail going up the mountain which we discovered is part of the Mountain to Sea trail.
Mountain to Sea is a project that will connect over 900 miles of North Carolina trails from the mountains in the western part of the state to the eastern coast. Of course the Asheville area is lucky enough to have local access to these trails!
The trail climbed up the mountain and followed a ridge which is the natural border between the National Park land and North Carolina game lands. The trail is well maintained and has views in all directions. Here are some pictures we took along the way.
There’s a saying in the mountains of North Carolina. If you don’t like the weather here, wait 15 minutes; it will change. We do have four distinct seasons, and sometimes two in the same month. This February lives up to that reputation. A week ago, there was several inches of snow on the ground.
Today, motorcycles and bicycles were everywhere. The sky was blue. Children and dogs roamed the trails and water flowed. The temperature was in the mid 60s. We hiked the trails near Craven Gap along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This trail has the notoriety of having been trekked by the President and the First Lady on one of their recent trips to Asheville.
By mid-week, those same trails will be slick and icicles will form once again. The only thing you can count on is rapid weather changes, sometimes without notice. Nevertheless, outdoor activities thrive even in the winter in North Carolina. Come see what makes the Asheville area such a wonderful place to live. For more information on local hiking trails, go to http://www.exploreasheville.com/things-to-do/hiking-trails/craven-gap/
Have you even been home hunting and ignore a home because the adjacent homes are in clear view? Or perhaps you find a home that has everything you like but you step onto the back deck and see the neighbors waving? There are some low cost, fast growing solutions for adding a little separation between you and those living around you.
Now, I’m not trying to sound unsociable, but sometimes you just want a little “me time” and that doesn’t include the neighbors. And let’s face it, some of us have at least one neighbor we don’t care to see at all. So what to do? Fences can be expensive and detract from an otherwise beautiful yard. Border trees can sometimes take a decade or more before they provide any real privacy. Let me introduce you to a few options that grow well in North Carolina and are hardy through even the harshest winters for our climate.
A popular option is the Leyland Cypress. These attractive, fast growing evergreen trees provide year-round privacy. They grow several feet per year and can be shaped and pruned. Planting 4 to 6 feet apart, they will grow together much like a hedge. They are very hardy in even poor soil types. I have found them quite effective.
Another option, more compatible with larger properties is bamboo. Bamboo works well as a natural border where sound dampening is required and is one of the fastest growing plants; it grows well in North Carolina – sometimes beyond the expectation of the homeowner. It is important to note that once planted, it is not easily eradicated, so it is only recommended as a permanent divider. It is also important to maintain it from encroaching into your neighbor’s yard.
So the next time you are house hunting, envision the possibilities of increased privacy on the property before you reject it. As with any changes to landscaping, always consult local zoning and home owners association regulations.
I have lived in Hendersonville, NC all my life. Meeting people that have relocated here from all over the world has taught me that Hendersonville, North Carolina is the best place to live! Many professionals who have lived abroad have told me that Hendersonville, by far, has been the place they love the most.
Charleston is only 3.5 hours away if you want to satisfy your need for sand and surf. Boone, North Carolina is only 2 hours away for a great mountain ski getaway. The Biltmore House with it’s grand architecture, expansive lawns and lovely flower gardens draws hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
Asheville has been voted Beer City USA 3 years in a row due to it’s active craft brew culture. There are about a dozen breweries to choose from within a 30-45 minute drive. Tours are available at most of them and the atmosphere is casual. Hendersonville is proud to have it’s own Southern Appalachian Brewery which opened recently.
All of these surrounding areas are wonderful places to visit, but living in Hendersonville, is “Better every day in every way!” Many enjoy evening strolls down Main Street, meeting up with friends. There is fine, yet casual dining, art galleries and now the Flat Rock Playhouse has opened a venue right on Main Street. We have a strong Chamber of Commerce sponsoring many annual events such as The NC Apple Festival, Garden Jubilee and Music on Main Street, just to name a few.
If you are an avid golfer, I don’t have to tell you that we have some excellent golf courses. We boast the private award winning Tom Fazio course at Champion Hills, Hendersonville Country Club, and the Joe Lee designed course at Kenmure in Flat Rock. Public golf courses include Cummings Cove, Etowah Valley, Highland Lake, and Crooked Creek. Many more great courses are withing an hour drive.
If you can visualize yourself loving this area as much as I do, give me a call. I’d love to find your dream home here in the mountains.