Last weekend, we took a quick trip to the mountains. For years, we’ve been talking about visiting the mountains while the leaves change colors. It’s one of those things that we always want to do but never do it. I’m sure you can relate. Well, a couple months ago, I mentioned it again and we decided it was time to plan a trip. There are so many cool places in North Carolina to visit, we want to make a point to take more weekend trips whenever we can.
When I was booking our hotel, we decided to stay in Boone. We’ve been to Blowing Rock, but we found a really great deal on a hotel in Boone. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express for a couple reasons. It was great, and we saved money on food since they offer a continental breakfast. Our trip was at the beginning of the leaves changing, so we didn’t catch them at their peak. Hopefully next year we can go back when the colors are in full force!
My goal was to pack as much in as possible during the weekend, which meant a lot of outside time. Most of our pictures are from our hike, because the scenery is so gorgeous. I had planned two hikes, one in Linville Falls and one at the Cascades Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We didn’t end up finding the Cascades Trail until we were heading home, so that’s on our list for next time.
We started Saturday with breakfast at the hotel and a hike at Linville Falls. Linville Falls is about 45 minutes from Boone, but the drive was so pretty we barely noticed how long it took. I’d read that Linville Falls is family friendly. Our kids are 10, 9, and 6, and they had no problem doing the hike to the Erwin View of the falls. Round trip, it’s a little over 2 miles long. Just a word of a caution, there are some steep drop offs at the three different views. Kids need to be super mindful of being near the edge and watching their step.
Yup… she got a ride a few (..maybe more than a few) times. I was having flash backs of our trip to DC, when I walked with her on my back for 6 miles!
After we were done with the hike, we made lunch. We couldn’t find any picnic tables, so we ate in the car. Then we decided to drive to downtown Boone. I’d heard about the Mast General Store, so it seemed like the perfect segue from one hike to the next (only the second hike didn’t actually happen, since we couldn’t find how to get to it). Mast General Store was pretty cool. They had a lot of toys as soon as you walk in that obviously drew the kids in. It was huge, and we didn’t have enough time to look at everything.
After we walked around downtown, we headed to the hotel to clean up. We planned to eat at Canyons in Blowing Rock, and hiking had left us a little dirty. The reason we wanted to eat at Canyons was for their views. They have outdoor dining on a deck that overlooks the Johns River Gorge. The view is breathtaking. I got these pics with my cell phone. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any outdoor seating when we got there. Let’s just say… I would only go back for the views. The food was great, though.
We were so tired after dinner, so grabbed some ice cream and headed back to the hotel. The plan for the next day was to do the Cascades Trail, visit the Moses Cone Manor, and then head home. Well, long story short .. none of that happened but we found some really pretty views along the way. We did find the beginning of the Cascades Trail but we didn’t have time for the hike. By then, we realized the Moses Cone Manor was a little over 20 miles away from the trail, so that wasn’t an option either.
We did find a spectacular look out on the Blue Ridge Parkway that seriously took our breath away. The kids were a little scared to get out, so I snapped some pictures with my camera before we headed home!
Have you ever been to the mountains while the leaves are changing?