Archive for August, 2009

Fishing the New River

Sunday, August 30th, 2009
Fishing on the New River with your best buddy.

Fishing on the New River with your best buddy.

Enjoy the last days of summer with a float on the New River, fishing pole in hand. Said by some to be North Carolina’s best river for smallmouth bass fishing, the New River is close to our pet friendly cabins in Glendale Springs. Have an experience that your whole family will cherish for years to come.

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

While you are staying at our Blue Ridge Parkway cabins, take a trip to Moses Cone Park. It is an easy drive (or longer bike ride!) down the parkway from our lodge, and offers many activities for the whole family.

Moses H. Cone was a successful textile entrepreneur during the Gilded Age. He worked hard to build his empire, and then worked hard to create a refuge from it. He loved the outdoors, and enjoyed displaying his wealth; these traits led he and his wife Bertha to acquire more than 3,600 acres of land at Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Over the years, the Cones developed a carefully landscaped estate, complete with two preserves to protect the white-tailed deer they brought in from Pennsylvania, two lakes stocked with trout and bass, and four apple orchards. They built more than 25 miles of carriage trails through the estate, which have been open to the public for horseback and carriage riding since day one.

The Cones began construction on Flat Top Manor in 1899. It is a fine example of Colonial Revival architecture and one of the most important historic sites on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The white mansion sits atop the estate, and enjoys stunning views of Grandfather Mountain, farmland and the surrounding forests.

The property was donated to the National Park Service in 1949, when it became Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. The mansion itself now houses the Parkway Craft Center, a craft shop of the Southern Highland Craft Guild that showcases works by artisans from nine Appalachian states.

The 25 miles of carriage trails are ideal for walking, cross-country skiing in the winter, or horseback riding (you must provide your own horse). The two man-made lakes are now designated as Wild Trout Water, meaning that they are not hatchery supported. Fishing from the shore is permitted at times. Boating is not.

Spend a day at the Moses Cone Park while staying at our cabins in the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a great way to both enjoy the outdoors and learn a little bit about a generous man who had a large impact on the lands and communities of this part of North Carolina.

The Grand Canyon of North Carolina

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Not everyone knows that North Carolina has its own version of Grand Canyon, but it does. We are fortunate that it is not far from our Blue Ridge Parkway lodging. Flowing out of Grandfather Mountain, the powerful Linville River has carved one of the most ruggedly beautiful canyons in the east. The Gorge encloses 12 miles of the Linville River, its walls soaring more than a thousand feet on both sides. Jonas Ridge on the eastern side of the gorge has fantastic rock formations such as Sitting Bear, Table Rock and the Chimneys.  Linville Mountain is soars to the west.

The Linville Gorge Wilderness is part of the Pisgah National Forest; both offer numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation for the whole family. Time spent at the Linville Falls Visitor Center is time well spent, for the rangers can help you craft a hike that will be fun for all ages. If mountain biking is more your style, you’re in luck, as there are three good routes along the ridges: Linville Gorge loop is nearly 50 very strenuous miles; Table Rock Loop is about half that distance, but also quite strenuous; Wiseman’s View Ride is less than ten miles, and is of moderate difficulty. Bring lots of water and snacks, because you are sure to work up an appetite.

Enjoy the last days of summer with the family, before the start of the school year and the often hectic routines that come with school. Our North Carolina cabins are perfect for the whole family – even the dog, since we offer pet-friendly lodging. There are so many great activities for the whole family in and around the Blue Ridge Parkway of Western North Carolina – so come on out and have fun.

Blue Ridge Brutal by Our Blue Ridge Lodging

Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Bike the Blue Ridge Brutal

Bike the Blue Ridge Brutal

August 15, 2009, will be the 20th annual Blue Ridge Brutal near our Blue Ridge Parkway Lodging. Starting at 8am, riders will ride 100 miles of challenging, varied terrain. This century ride begins and ends at the foot of Mount Jefferson in West Jefferson, North Carolina, just about ten miles from our pet friendly cabins in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  A 75-mile option and a 50-mile option are also available, for those who prefer not to tackle the entire 100 miles (read, those who love and respect their knees!). Of course, you are welcome to start pedaling at your cabin, as well.

The ride began as a fundraiser for the Ashe Civic Center, and it continues today both to raise funds and because it is so much fun. Today, funds go towards local schools and arts organizations. We are happy to support these fine local organizations.

Bring the whole family and make a weekend of it (after all, you’ll need a day to recover from the Blue Ridge Brutal, no matter how fit you are). Our Blue Ridge Mountains pet friendly cabins are the perfect spot to spend a few days or a few weeks. There is so much to do in the area, including but not limited to biking, that you won’t want to leave after the Blue Ridge Brutal. Imagine that good, exhausted feeling that comes only after exercising for many hours; then picture yourself seated with friends and family around a campfire, gazing at stars as you let that exhausted feeling wash over you. Let your friends do the cooking and the cleaning. You just sit back and talk about the ride and feel happy to have finished it.

Yes, you can bike the Blue Ridge Brutal.