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April 3, 2024, 8:48 a.m.

5 Spring Adventures to Get Back to Nature

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Did you hear that? It's Mother Nature. She's Calling

Springtime in these Blue Ridge Mountains is more than something just to behold - it is something to be fully experienced! The fresh splashes of spring green on every branch, so much birdsong, new wildlife everywhere - land, air and water. What a time to be alive! And no better place to be alive than beautiful McDowell County.

Here are some of our favorite adventures to treat yourself to the Blue Ridge Mountains waking back up after a long winter rest.

Find a favorite spring hiking trail

Trek through blossoming Mountain Laurel to find a picturesque waterfall or find your pace on an ancient trail that winds through the towering trees of Pisgah National Forest. Check out our guide to some of the best hiking and waterfall trails in the area. Enjoy a colorful adventure at one of these top spots for finding spring wildflowers in the mountains.

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Spot a new feathered friend — birding in the Blue Ridge

More than 250 species of birds have been observed along the Blue Ridge Parkway. And you don’t have to be doing a Big Year to possibly catch sight of a Peregrine Falcon or an Appalachian yellow-bellied sapsucker, two rarer species found specifically in our mountains. We’ve rounded up 6+ spots that are working packing your binoculars for, as recommended by the North Carolina Birding Trail.

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Sleep under the stars — camping adventures for all

Many consider springtime the most ideal season for camping. Longer days with the warmth of the sun makes for pretty stellar hiking. And the evening breezes with perfectly cool sleeping temperatures make for extra dreamy snoozing. So, if you enjoy your spring nights outdoors with a side of s’mores, you’ll want to check out these top campgrounds and RV parks. Choose from tent sites beside the creek or lake, full hook-up RV sites with all the amenities, or unique “glamping” cabins. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a family campout, there’s a Blue Ridge site perfect for your adventure.

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Try your hand at a new-to-you adventure

Ready to venture into a new adventure? There are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from in these blooming mountains. If you haven’t given disc golf a try, treat yourself at the North Cove Social Club, which features an 18-hole course for all skill levels, as well as a more technical course for experienced players.

Mountain stream fly fishing or angling in a lake is a great excuse to play in the water, even if you don’t catch any fish. But if you are interested in catching fish, book a guided fly fishing trip with The Catawba Angler, or borrow a rod and reel for free from the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort. Find all the rules and regulations in our fishing guide. You can also spend a day fishing with the family at Buck Creek Trout Farm.

Have bikes, will travel! If this is your motto, you are going to love time spent in McDowell County this spring! Kids and beginner cyclists can enjoy a short ride along the Joseph McDowell Historical Catawba Greenway conveniently in Marion. Those with a bit more mountain biking experience, stories to tell and scars to show should check out Kitsuma Peak, Copper Ridge Trail, or the Gateway Trail System in Old Fort.

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Plan a day at Lake James

Lake James State Park offers plenty of adventures for warm weather months, including 30+ miles of hiking trails. Beginning in May, the Paddy’s Creek Recreation Area is open for both swimming and boating, including canoes and kayak rentals. And Lake James is also a terrific spot for a picnic, small or large, any time of the year.

Ready to plan your trip? Contact us at +1 (888) 233-6111 or [email protected] with any questions or to request a free travel guide.