8 Ways for Families To Have a Great Spring in the Mountains
1) Go Hiking Before and After Things Spring to Life
There are thousands of miles of hiking trails throughout southwestern North Carolina. It would be a significant endeavor to attempt to hike all of them in a lifetime. If your family is ever wondering how to best spend a day off or weekend, hiking is always an option. In addition to the high number of hiking areas, your favorite trails and views will change from day to day and season to season. Spring presents an opportunity to see that change in action.
Make a list of a few kid-friendly hiking trails (i.e., Balsam Knob, Turtleback Falls, Mount Pisgah) to hike early in the season, before trees and flowers are in full bloom. Help your kids make observations about what they see, including:
- Animals and bugs that are out and about
- The predominant colors of the mountain vistas and earliest blooms
- What can be seen through the leafless trees
- The water flow of streams and creeks during early spring
With your notes in hand, or in mind, go back later in the season as the leaves and flowers return. Ask the same questions and make new observations about the views and colors. In many cases, the same hikes will feel brand new. Furthermore, it will help your children be more attentive to the world and the beauty around them.
2) Take a Trip on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Departing from Bryson City, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will help you and your family step back into the time when steam engine trains were the primary way to travel through western North Carolina. With spectacular views and fascinating stories, this will be a spring activity your family will want to make part of a new family tradition.
3) Go on a Zipline Adventure Tour
Zipline canopy tours are popular throughout the country, but few places offer scenery that even begins to compare to our area. Navitat Canopy Adventures in Barnardsville and nearby Nantahala Adventure Park offer breathtaking zipline tours that will help your family see our mountains with fresh eyes.
4) Try Whitewater Rafting
Exhilarating whitewater rafting is available just minutes down the road from Waynesville and Haywood County. Your family can bond as you work together to raft the Nantahala, Pigeon, or Ocoee Rivers. You may get your feet with a short trip this spring and plan to take on more challenging waters during the summer.
5) Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Just minutes down the road, Oconaluftee Visitor Center serves as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At the visitor center, you will almost certainly catch a glimpse of the only wild elk herd in North Carolina. From there, there are hundreds of hiking trails, waterfalls, and wildlife areas to explore.
6) Go Mountain Biking
In addition to fantastic hiking and water sports, western North Carolina has some of the best mountain biking on the East Coast. The mountain biking trail system at Tsali Recreation Area is second-to-none for beginners and experienced riders alike. Bent Creek and Dupont State Forest are other beautiful areas your family will love as they shred the trails this spring.
7) Challenge Your Family to a Round of Mini-Golf
Maggie Valley Mini Golf is a family-owned and operated 18-hole course that is fun and challenging for the whole family. Spring is a great time to get out and try your hand at mini golf.
8) Start a Garden
While it will still be too early for most plants to go in the ground, it is the right time to plan and prepare for gardening. Starting a garden will help your children learn a myriad of valuable lessons ranging from the value of hard work to herbology. If you want to make sure your family is getting outdoors throughout the spring, summer, and fall, let this be the year you start your garden.
At Haywood Christian Academy, our staff and faculty have worked tirelessly to make sure our facilities are able to accommodate in-person classes. We are grateful our students have been able to safely socialize and benefit from seeing teachers and classmates face-to-face. With smaller-than-average class sizes, it is easier for us to practice social distancing when necessary. That has provided an invaluable reprieve from remote-learning for parents already having to navigate working-from-home. If you would like to know more about our school, we would love to answer your questions and provide a tour. Contact us today for more information about Haywood Christian Academy in Waynesville, NC.