A Fall Evening at The Windover Inn Bed & Breakfast

Monday, March 17, 2014

Gorges State Park, Gorgeous Way to Reconnect With Nature

http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/gorg/main.phpGorges State Park is about an hour and 20 min from us (about 60 miles) and is part of the Southern Loop Day Trip we made up for our guests. The day trip to the park from Waynesville is a great way to see a little bit of everything, and gives you  a lot of options to see a number of our Western North Carolina attractions.  It starts with with a stop in the town of Franklin, continues along the beautiful Rt. 64 Mountain Waters Scenic Highway for some of the best Western North Carolina waterfall viewing and before you get to the park there is a stop off in the towns of Highlands and Cashiers if you want to do some shopping, or just get a bite to eat. We asked Melissa to check out the hiking, because we ran out of time the day we mapped out the day trip.  (Someone has to earn a living around here!) 

A fairly new North Carolina state park, Gorges has a very nice visitors center with a paved parking lot, and something I really appreciate restrooms!

Melissa found the trails to be beautifully maintained and according to the park information, along those trails is an abundance of rare wildlife and plant species.  It never ceases to amaze all of us how many rich, natural resources our area has!  With a number of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, fishing and the beautiful waterfalls, this North Carolina park is a must do when visiting the mountains of Western North Carolina. 


The trail Melissa took was Rainbow Falls Trail, which is 3 miles out and back, well marked, and an easy to moderate trail.

There are conflicting reports online, but Rainbow Falls itself is anywhere from 125'-150' high and is obviously breathtaking (Niagara Falls is 167')!

According to Melissa, the trail takes you right on top of the falls. ( I want to experience that Lion King moment!)  After you make it to the top, there is a skinny trail between 2 rocks, and if you continue on the trail you can get to another waterfall, Turtleback Falls.

No doubt we'll all be going back several more times to Gorges until we get to see everything.  But this week, as Glenn and I tackle the trail (look for Glenn's photos on Facebook), while Melissa will be tackling the mountains of laundry!

Oh well, it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Waynesville Bait & Tackle Gets You Connected


When Melissa was giving us advice about where to fish, she also told us about a shop we didn't know about in Waynesville.  And although it's not one of our downtown Waynesville Art Galleries, from what Melissa told us, the owner is definitely familiar with his art - the art of fishing!


Waynesville Bait & Tackle is less then 2 miles from us on Old Balsam Rd. and takes about 5 minutes to get there.   

Plan to spend some time there, because they have everything from clothing to bait, rods, licenses and even more importantly, Jim, the owner! 


A great resource for all you need to know about fishing in this area, and just a nice guy, Jim's never too busy to share stories and pictures about local catches, and offer some good advice on the subject.

Beginning in April the store is open 7 days a week, 6-6 Mon thru Sat and 6-5 on Sun.


Current hours for the slower season are Mon, Wed, Thurs and Fri 8-5:30, Sat 8-5 and Sun 8-3, closed on Tuesday. The phone number is (828)452-1624.  For more info:
http://waynesvillebaittackle.com/





Friday, March 7, 2014

Fishing along Big Creek Trail and Reconnecting with Nature


Since Western North Carolina fishing is something we haven't tried yet, we asked Melissa to share some information on fishing with us, and to keep us updated with any good spots she finds.  (She's getting quite good at it!)

To start, she told us about Big Creek, just about 40 miles and just under an hour from us.  This beautiful trail follows the creek and is an easy one, so no strenuous hiking involved! There are many good fishing holes along this 5.2 mile trail, but if its a hot summer day, it's important to remember you may have to compete with swimmers. But no worries, fishing in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is permitted year round with a Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license, and has over 2000 miles of streams with wild trout and many are within an hour of us, so need to wait until summer!

A beautiful waterfall, Mouse Creek Falls is also accessed by Big Creek Trail, so why not put out that "Gone Fishin'" sign and come enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Western North Carolina mountains, the sounds of nature and feel rejuvenated by the sunshine and fresh air after being cooped up all winter long!

Don't know where to get a license?  Need supplies?  Melissa found a great one stop shop where you can get a license and any other fishing gear you need called Waynesville Bait & Tackle not far from here.  She's going to get the details and we'll share them soon!