Mountains surrounds Asheville, North Carolina, and there’s no better way to experience the majesty of the mountains than outdoor adventure. With more than a million acres of protected wilderness, there are plenty of places to hike, explore, and raft. We’ll choose hiking trails that lead to mountaintops or favorite waterfalls. Take a drive on the Blue Ridge parkway to see native wildflowers and glorious overviews. Some hikes give you a view into the region’s past, and some just give you views of ridge after ridge of Appalachian mountain beauty. We’ll include a stretch of the Appalachian Trail to check off your bucket list. Rafting on the French Broad river in the Pisgah National Forest is a treat to behold. Of course we’ll spend a half day at the Biltmore Estate Home & Gardens, with a wine tasting. And, Oh! The food! Award winning! We’ll try foodie restaurants along with craft brews and/or amazing wines. Come join us on this soft adventure with built in comfort, yet still active. This is an “unpack once and chill trip”!
Arrive in Asheville by 3pm, and transfer to our hotel where you will be met by your Canyon Calling Trip Leader. We will check into the hotel, get settled, and stretch our legs a bit to get a feel for this artsy town and get to know your road-sisters. Welcome dinner at one of the many fabulous restaurants. Overnight Asheville.
After breakfast, we’ll pick up a picnic lunch and drive the two hours to Roan Mountain to enjoy a day hike. Considered one of the most scenic areas on the entire Appalachian Trail, this section starting from Carver’s Gap (elevation 5,512) takes you across three spectacular unique grassy hilltops (known as “balds”) with unimpeded views. This roughly 5 mile round trip hike is considered easy/moderate. We’ll lunch on the trail as the spectacular views unfold around each bend. Famous for its spectacular natural gardens of Catawba rhododendrons, Roan Mountain shelters a rich diversity of life, from spruce-fir forests to vast grassy balds. Roan Mountain is actually not one mountain, but a high ridge about 5 miles long. We’ll spend the day in the great outdoors, checking off your bucket list a stretch of the AT. After a great day of hiking, we’ll head back to Asheville to get cleaned up, maybe enjoy a dip in the pool, and have dinner. Overnight Asheville.
After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll get to know our basecamp city! Asheville is in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s known for a vibrant arts scene and historic architecture. The Downtown Art District is filled with galleries and museums, and in the River Arts District where we stay, former factory buildings house artist’s studios. This is a morning to explore, shop, and enjoy ourselves. By late morning and due to popular demand, we’re off to visit the Biltmore Estate this afternoon. Our entrance ticket includes one daytime visit to the Biltmore House with an audio guide that introduces us to the Vanderbilt family and their magnificent home’s history, architecture, and collections of fine art and furnishings. Also included in our entrance is access to 8000 acres of gardens and grounds, and Antler Hill Village & Winery – with an included wine tasting! Once we’ve had our fill of this iconic landmark, we’ll head back to our hotel with dinner on your own this evening. Overnight Asheville.
After breakfast, it’s off to white water raft on the French Broad River. Experience the exciting adventure of whitewater rapids and enjoy the natural beauty of the Pisgah National Forest. The team of professional and experienced river staff assures that we get much more out of our trip than just simply making it down the river. You will learn the names of the rapids, the history of the river, and river safety information all while having the time of our lives. We’ll have lunch at the raft base, and head back to town. Next it’s off to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. Considered by many to be one of the giants of 20th-century American literature, Thomas Wolfe immortalized his childhood home in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel. Wolfe’s colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of “Altamont” Asheville, North Carolina, and “Dixieland” the Old Kentucky Home boardinghouse, earned the Victorian period house a place as one of American literature’s most famous landmarks. Another excellent dinner and Overnight Asheville.
After breakfast we’re off on a day of exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, which meanders through some of Western NC’s most scenic terrain. We’ll hike to the towering cascades of Crabtree Falls, trailing through a lush, rocky forest filled with wildflowers, rhododendron and mountain laurel. Tumbling more than seventy feet into a deep pool below, Crabtree Creek falls over a towering, sheer cliff, forming one of Western North Carolina’s most beautiful waterfalls. The trail also explores the smaller, yet equally beautiful, Upper Crabtree Falls upstream, and a shady creek valley peppered with broad-trunked hardwoods. We’ll enjoy approximately 4 – 5 miles of hiking. A delicious lunch will be earned. We’ll head back to our hotel to clean up and have a bit of leisure time before our Farewell dinner. Overnight Asheville.
After breakfast enjoy the hotel amenities until it’s time to transfer to the airport for flights home or choose to extend on your own.