Outdoor Adventure in the Northern Piedmont
Many people visit the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Most of them visit the high country. Most people forget the Piedmont area- an area jammed with fun and informative things to do. Piedmont is the Central part of North Carolina. On your next vacation, consider this area of North Carolina.
Asheville is the gateway to the mountains. Here, artisans of all kinds craft pottery, glazed porcelains and stained glass. Catch painters on the streets and in the parks, capturing images of people, places and things. Jewelry makers string hand-crafted beads and twist different metals and stones into gorgeous heirloom pieces.
Asheville is a beautiful, walk-able city. Sidewalks are everywhere. Streets are well-lit. People are going at all times and the overall feeling is one of safety and home-town coziness. When visiting Asheville, don’t miss Biltmore Estates. This 250-room mansion is surrounded by gardens that bloom with heady fragrant flowers of all kinds. Walk the pathways and envision seeing these gardens from the high windows as the lady of the house did so many years ago.
Nearby Cherokee has an Indian reservation. Native Cherokee can be found in the village of Oconaluftee Indian Village. On some weekends in summer, visitors can watch actual PowWows where the Cherokee come to compete in dance, sports and tribal traditions. See native costumes. Visit the Indian museum while you are there and see the history of these amazing people.
If you are looking for some faster fun, consider The Beanstalk Journey Zipline in Morganton, NC. Here, a network of tree houses linked together with rope bridges and zip lines offer rest stops high above the ground- some 50 ft high off of the ground! An integrated ropes course, disc golf and the nearby Freedom Trail Greenway will have you huffing and panting one moment, and holding your breath the next. And the views from the tree houses are amazing!
Feel like taking a polar plunge? Then Steele Creek Park and Campground is the place to be. Icy cold water straight off the mountain waits for the first brave visitor to dive in. The creek (more like a river in some spots) has a beach area, a diving board and a waterslide.
Wilson’s Creek (also known to locals as Brown Mountain Beach) is just north of Lenoir. Here people seeking adventure go to swim it’s icy waters and tube down over the river rocks. Spend the day floating in your tube with a cooler of cold drinks and a bunch of friends- that’s what locals do. Swim in the water. Fish from the rocks or the banks. Lots of people bring tents and camp along the river’s edge. There are bears and snakes in the thick underbrush so be aware of your surroundings. Also- it is advisable to have on a life jacket if you plan to get in the water. Even experienced swimmers can get caught in the under tow near the rocks.
Visit the Piedmont on your way to the mountains. You may find you decide to stay!