I hope that at this time of year you get to see family, catch up with old friends and enjoy a turkey (or to-furky) feast. And afterwards, a meandering walk outdoors could be the perfect pace for you and your loved ones. Today, we venture to Brevard, less than an hour from downtown Asheville, for a walk in the woods.
First stop, Pink Beds. The Pink Beds area offers sunny picnic spots and a winding trail through the Pisgah National Forest with a few wobbly log bridges to cross. There is hardly any elevation and the trail can last for about 5 miles (roundtrip) or you can cut it in half with a shortcut. With the fall leaves crunching under my feet, I could see this being the perfect walk for every one after an early Thanksgiving dinner. I understand if you need a quick nap first.
Just down the road is the Cradle of Forestry, a spot for those curious enough to learn about the history of these mountains. Not your typical destination for twenty-somethings but, again, a unique area to enjoy with grandpa. Original historic structures, a trout hatchery and an old train line the paved walkways. The peace and quiet cannot be matched on a crisp, sunny autumn afternoon. Over the age of 16? There is a $5 admission that benefits this nonprofit preserving the history of our forests’ conservation.
As you leave the area, you can head one direction and intersect with the Blue Ridge Parkway (just 4 miles away). If you head the other direction as you leave, be sure to pull over to see the beautiful Looking Glass Falls. You can’t go wrong either way.
If for nothing else, a walk in the woods gives us a moment to connect with nature. Today, I’m grateful for living close to a forest so vast in beauty, life and history.