Plan a fun getaway to the Blue Ridge! Before heading out, please make a plan to share with others. Cell coverage is spotty in wilderness regions and on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Remember, restaurants, shops, and attractions are operating under COVID-19 guidelines. Check their website, social media, or give them a call before stopping by.
Scavenger Hunt! This NC Agricultural project is a fun way to explore the county while learning about the area's trees. This is an interactive contest and you may win a prize. Each tree is unique to the area. Don't forget to record your findings! Check details online. https://mcdowell.ces.ncsu.edu/2020/06/scavenger-hunt-for-trees/
The Orchard at Altapass - Open Friday through Sunday between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 328.3 https://www.altapassorchard.org
Waterfalls! Catawba Falls, Tom's Creek Falls, Crabtree Falls, Linville Falls, and the smaller sites including Setrock Creek Falls, and Dugger Falls.
Hiking Trails - For the under 9 years of age crowd, try the McDowell Greenway, the Woodlawn Fitness Trail, the Orchard at Altapass trails, or one of the beginner trails at Lake James State Park. Experienced hikers check out these trails. North of Marion is Woods Mountain Trail, a 25-mile loop. Snook's Nose and Mackey's Mountain are located outside Old Fort at the Curtis Creek area, or take it "easy" following the paved path at Point Lookout Trail. PLT ascends close to 3.75 miles meandering through the Pisgah National Forest and opens to spectacular views of the Royal Gorge.
Mountain Biking - Beginners, head out to Lake James State Park. The lake terrain is ideal and includes over thirteen miles of trail. Old Fort is quickly becoming the promised land of mountain biking! Experienced riders know Kitzuma Peak/Young's Ridge, Heartbreak Ridge, the Old Mitchell Toll Road, and Star Gap. Woods Mountain Trail is a challenge for mountain bikers as well as hikers with 25 miles of wilderness conditions, tricky routes crossing the Mountain to the Sea Trail, some serious switchbacks and a 2,000 descent from Betsy's Ridge.
River Floats - Catawba River Outdoors (828-442-6048) has everything you need for a relaxing day on the river. Call ahead for reservations. NC Outdoor Adventures is another source for floats, guided kayaking and funyaking trips. They offer adventures throughout the western NC region. Call to reserve a spot. 828-260-4505
Cruising! For those enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of a car or on motorcycles, it doesn't get much better than a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our region is between Milepost 316, close to Linville Falls, and stretching to Mount Mitchell State Park at Milepost 355.4. The Lake James Loop and the DiamondbackNC are two cool and scenic routes. Call us to request maps. 828-668-4282Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
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