Spark Your Sense of Wonder Year-Round in North Carolina’s High Country
By Arielle Patterson
Beneath majestic mountains, on a picture-perfect landscape, adventure awaits. No matter what season, a vacation in the High Country promises a year-round outdoor playground with an assortment of activities. You are sure to find both rustic and relaxed vibes in this diverse region.
Spring represents the awakening of the High Country. After a cold winter, birds are singing and varieties of the region’s native flower, the rhododendron, are blooming along the Blue Ridge Parkway and on Grandfather Mountain. You can also find these beautiful flowers on a hike through the Pisgah National Forest or while kayaking through the New River. Get lost in nature with a hike or bike ride through the mountain trails.
As summer heats things up, take a dip—or make a splash—in one of the many rivers, lakes, streams or waterfalls in the area. For the adrenaline junkies, the Blue Ridge Mountains provide the perfect escape for whitewater rafting and tubing. Or grab a group of friends and rent a river tub to float along the Yadkin River. It’s hard to resist a dip in the cool mountain waters.
A slow drive down a country backroad will provide scenic views as the leaves change in autumn. The range of elevation in the High Country makes a great opportunity to catch these breathtaking views. Zipline through the amber-colored mountains, get a sky-high look from the Blowing Rock observation deck or hike along a natural trail—let your cares drift away as you become hypnotized by the blazing colors.
While a little warmth is nice, don’t let cold weather keep you from answering the call of the wild. The High Country offers some of the highest ski and snowboard peaks on the East Coast. You can also go snow tubing at the largest snow tubing park in the eastern United States.
A winter getaway to the High Country is not complete without cutting down your own Christmas tree. The Choose and Cut events offer guests a memorable experience from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas Eve. Local tree farms carry White Pines and Fraser Firs (known as the “Cadillac of Christmas Trees”) that come straight from the mountains of the High Country.
Whether you want to take a day trip, weekend getaway or well-deserved long vacation, the High Country has something exciting to offer all year long. Lose yourself in the charm of the mountain towns and return with stories to tell for a lifetime.