The Catawba Falls trail is closed until spring of 2024. 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 Downtown 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.