The Catawba Falls trail is closed until spring of 2023. Click here to find alternative waterfall and hiking trails.

Jan. 2, 2019, 10:22 a.m.

Winter In The Blue Ridge


It may surprise you to learn that winter is a wonderful time to explore the Blue Ridge Mountains — even outdoors!

Much of our area lies in a regional thermal belt, which keeps January and February temperatures warmer than the surrounding areas. Check out a new favorite hiking trail this winter to catch a glimpse of icicles glistening in the shadow of a waterfall. And bring your camera to capture winter vistas— without leaves on the trees, you’ll find miles-long unobstructed views of the surrounding landscape.

Stroll the main streets of our charming small towns. Marion’s 3/10 District boasts an eclectic variety of boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and taprooms. In Old Fort, you can tour nineteenth-century log cabins and learn about mountain life in days gone by, or walk across the street to shop for a unique souvenir at the art gallery or grab a cup of coffee.

Craft beverage enthusiasts will love the stops on the High Spirits Trail, a collection of 11 breweries, wineries, meaderies, distilleries and taprooms where visitors can sample, drink and enjoy community together.

A number of local mountain cabins and vacation rentals feature hot tubs or fire pits — both great ways to warm up after a winter day of adventures in the Blue Ridge. Start planning your winter escape now by downloading the latest Blue Ridge Traveler Visitor Guide.