Mountains to Sea Trail
Asheville, North Carolina
Mountains to Sea Trail Asheville Reviews
Mountains to Sea Trail Nov 08, 2008
Enjoyed a brief junket to Asheville, NC last weekend with my wife and it is a beautiful place. We will definitely return and I hope to provide further info as we get the opportunity to explore this gem. Being autumn, we didn’t focus so much on the town as the surrounding mountains which were draped in gorgeous fall foliage. To savor the splendor we hiked a five mile stretch of the Mountains to Sea Trail, an incomplete, ambitious endeavor to carve a hiking path from the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee to the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina, a 900-mile pathway when completed.
Our stint began at the Folk Art Center outside of Asheville, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is your basic tourist trap. We did enjoy a few creative and unique art pieces here, but 80% was typical tourist garbage. Though a nice facility, I didn’t count this location as a must see destination.
The trail, however, was magnificent. Fortunately the Mountains to Sea Trail has white trail blazes to steer you in the right direction, because at the beginning there are a multitude of spur trails which can sidetrack you. But it isn’t too difficult settling in to the main attraction and trekking down a splendid path through a mature hardwood forest. There are plenty of hickory, poplars and oaks sporting their fall colors here!
The trail crosses over the Blue Ridge Parkway roughly a mile from the Folk Art Center and the side trails evaporate, leaving you to enjoy the dense woodlands. You are climbing here, but it isn’t an arduous elevation gain and there is the occasional rhododendron thicket to complement the beauty of the dense forest. We savored the journey to our lunch spot, the Haw Creek Overlook which affords expansive views of the Asheville environs (it is pretty much a small cliff above the Blue Ridge Parkway, which you shadow most of the time). We retraced our steps back, greatly enjoying the same trail from the reverse perspective.
Just a small sample of a great trail, which begs further exploration!
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