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Experience Nepali Food at Sherpa Night

Join us at Sherpa Night: Celebrate Nepal to experience authentic Nepali cuisine and culture. Receive free prayer flags with any $35 purchase of Sherpa Adventure Gear.

Nepali food is a dynamic mixture of cuisines from all over the world, as complex as the people who make up this wonderful and mysterious country. To better understand the food, we will first have to take a look at the people. Nepal is a landlocked central Himalayan country in South Asia with an approximate population of 26.7 million people. Nepal is bordered by India on three sides and China to the north. The citizens of Nepal are known as Nepali or Nepalese. Generally speaking, Nepalis do not equate their nationality with ethnicity, but with citizenship and allegiance.

Ordering Thali is a great way to try several curries, spices and flavors on one plate.

One of the most famous Nepali dishes is the Momo. From the Chinese pot sticker, to the Japanese gyoza and Taiwanese soup dumpling, it seems each Asian country has their version of this tasty and popular snack. It can be made with a wide variety of different fillings. Meats commonly used are pork, chicken, goat and even water buffalo. As with most dished in Nepal, a vegetarian options is almost always available and is generally made from chopped vegetables. Momos can be steamed or fried and are served with a dipping sauce, which is usually tomato based and a little spicy. You’ll find these tasty treats in the homes of the Nepali people, and at just about every restaurant you come by.

Nepalese traditional dumpling momos served with tomato chatni and fresh salad in restaurant

Another popular meal in Nepal is called Thali. However, Thali by name simply means plate. Thali is an Indian style meal made up of several dishes served on a platter, many times this is on a beautiful brass platter. Nepalese Thali can consist of Dal (a soup made of lentils and spices), rice, pickles – the variety of Nepali pickles is said to be in the thousands, and a curry (can be mutton, chicken or vegetable and is much lighter than it’s Indian counterpart). The traditional way of eating Thali is with your hand (right hand only, please!). Many restaurants serve their own variation of Thali – generally with a vegetarian and meat option.

Nepali food is surprisingly lighter than the food of its neighbor, India, but retains all of the flavor. Gone are the heavy cream sauces and most dairy in general. The robust spices and fiery chilis remain. Nepali food is an instant favorite for those looking for a fun change of pace.

Interested in trying Nepali food, but not heading to Nepal anytime soon? Join us forSherpa Night: Celebrate Nepal on Tuesday, October 17 at our store in South Asheville’s Parkway Center on 1378 Hendersonville Road.

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What You Need to Know About Attending the Asheville Outdoor Show

The Asheville Outdoor Show makes its annual appearance on September 17 from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Salvage Station. Since we’re at a new spot, we figured you might have some questions. We’ve got answers.

Location

Salvage Station is located at 466 Riverside Drive in Asheville’s River Arts District, in between Downtown and West Asheville.

Parking

There is limited parking at Salvage Station. PLEASE plan to carpool, bike, walk, or take an Uber or Lyft.

Who To Expect

We’ve invited a mix of local gear makers, national innovators, and nonprofit organizations. Check out the full list!

Family Friendly

Bring the kids to the KEEN Family Adventure Zone for face painting, sidewalk chalk, and Camp Cedar Cliff‘s AH-MAZIN’ Climbing Wall.

Giveaways + Raffle

The first 1,000 folks through the door will receive exclusive discounts at Diamond Brand Outdoors and Frugal Backpacker including a $10 gear card to each store! Other booths will have stickers, keychains, and other fine schwag to collect. Everyone will have a shot at winning a handsome reward in the form of our raffle packages.

Contests

Stop by the Asheville Trails and Trailful tents for your shot at taking the top spot in a contest to pack a backpack the quickest. Marmot will also have contests that test your speed when it comes to pitching a tent and getting in and out of a sleeping bag.

Food and Drink

The venue has a full menu featuring eclectic Southern and Appalachian inspired choices and food trucks, as well as a full bar. Outside food and drink is not allowed.

Music

Local legends The Blue Dragons will be bringing positive vibes to the Osprey Outdoor Stage throughout the day.

Yoga

prAna is hosting 20-minute riverside yoga sessions at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30. Just bring your own mat!

Pets

From Salvage Station’s website: “Service animals only. We have a large number of natural wildlife animals around our site that we are trying to be respectful of in the coming years. Also, we plan to have several high volume events that would not be conducive to having large groups of animals here. We apologize for the inconvenience in advance.”

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Want Our Fall Mailing?

Our customers are our guiding star. Based on your suggestions, we added free in-store pickup and are bringing several new brands into stores this season. Next on the list: DBO in your mailbox.

We haven't sent an outdoor guide direct mailer in awhile, but that's about to change. Our fall mailer will include awesome photos and highlight the gear, shoes, and clothing we're most excited about. Tell us where to send your copy! (Just to let you know, we'll never share, sell, or rent your information.)

Street Address or P.O. Box


By submitting this form, you are granting: Diamond Brand Outdoors, 1378 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC, NC, 28803, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

Hiking Biltmore

Intro

Famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the grounds at Biltmore with visitors in mind. Flowers, shrubbery, and trees were his brush strokes as he intended the landscape to resemble a “walk through painting.” If you are looking for an upscale adventure close to town come play on the meticulously manicured grounds of Biltmore.

What Makes It Great

Construction of George Vanderbilt’s 250-room French Renaissance chateau began in 1889. An entire community of craftsmen came together, over a six year period, to construct this architectural marvel. It is a well-known fact that Biltmore is the largest private residence ever constructed in the United States. It may however surprise you to learn that Biltmore hosts a variety of outdoor activities available to all guests and season pass holders.

The intricate beauty of Biltmore grounds is something that is best enjoyed “one step at a time.” Take a stroll through the meadows at Deer Park, amongst the estate’s noble forests, or along the placid French Broad River on Biltmore’s 22 miles of hiking trails. If you find yourself visiting in the warmer months, explore the labyrinth of Garden Trails which lead you through a variety of gardens adorned with a worldly display of flora.

Who is Going to Love It

Biltmore has a variety of activities for anyone: hiking, biking, horse back riding, and a Land Rover Ride-Along.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Access to outdoor activities at Biltmore is limited to pass holders, plan your visit and get your passes here.

Here is a free tip; if you are visiting and want to make the most out of a one day pass, purchase your ticket after 3pm and it will grant you access to the grounds for the following day as well. If you live in the Asheville area, take the plunge, buy a season pass and have year-round access to the outdoor wonders of Biltmore!

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Featured image provided by Doug Letterman

5 Most Photogenic Landscapes Near Asheville

What are the Blue Ridge Mountains besides an immense exhibition of natural beauty: wide-open vistas overlooking an ocean of rolling mountain peaks, rivers of whitewater and clear pools with wildflowers clustered at the banks, sunlight catching rainbows on the curtain of  a waterfall. You could wander this wilderness for season after season, camera at the ready, and never get a disappointing shot. But if you’re looking to stand amidst the most dramatic and picturesque landscapes that Western North Carolina has to offer, here are our top five—the best of the best, the cream that rises to the top—a photographer’s paradise.

1. Hawksbill Mountain

The views from the summit of Hawksbill Mountain are as stunning as anything you will find this side of the Mississippi.
The views from the summit of Hawksbill Mountain are as stunning as anything you will find this side of the Mississippi.
James Lautzenheiser

At an elevation just above 4,000 feet, the panoramic views from the summit of Hawksbill Mountain are as stunning as anything you will find this side of the Mississippi. A steep and strenuous 1.5-mile hike through the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area culminates in a tremendous reward: a jutting outcrop of rock where you can perch and shoot photos of the granite-rippled summits of Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock and Shortoff Peak, and beyond them a rolling mountainscape so far reaching that, on certain clear evenings, the glittering lights of Charlotte are visible. Peer below into the canyon of the gorge and you will see the powerful Linville river cutting through the valley floor some 2,000 feet below you.

2. Crabtree Falls

The beautiful Crabtree Falls.
The beautiful Crabtree Falls.
Forest Wander

Forty-five miles north of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Crabtree Falls is a study in contrast: a gauzy white veil of water spilling over 70 feet of black rock, nestled inside an emerald forest. Photographing water is an art form in and of itself, and this unique aquatic feature, which some say resembles a massive, dark beehive, is an impressive subject. From the bridge that spans the creek directly in front of the falls, you can shoot the spectacle in any number of ways, from a close-up snap of water droplets, sharp and suspended, to a wide angle, slow shutter-speed capture of swirls and soft curtains.

You can access the base by a 3 mile out-and-back trail, or climb to the ridge just above the falls via a slightly more strenuous 3.5-mile loop.

3. Roan Mountain

A rhododendron garden atop Roan Mountain.
A rhododendron garden atop Roan Mountain.
discutant

In the summertime, Roan Mountain becomes so spectacular with blooming Catawba Rhododendrons that an annual festival is held on its grassy summit each June, celebrating the rare beauty of these natural gardens. Bright fuchsia and deep purple blossoms set against a background of dark green spruce-fir forest and an entire spectrum of blue rolling off into the distance creates a pallet so rich and resplendent it would be impossible to take a mediocre photo.

The ridge line that compiles Roan Mountain—the longest continuous stretch of grassy balds in the Appalachians—remains one of the South’s most picturesque landscapes in every season. Flame azalea light up the mountains in spring, in autumn the forests are ablaze with wildfire foliage, and in winter the pristine balds sparkle under smooth blankets of heavy snow. The best day hiking begins at Carver’s gap and traverses five miles over Round Bald, Jane Knob and Grassy Ridge. The Appalachian trail runs through these mountains, offering a wealth of options for overnight backpacking. Whether you’re out for the day or out for a week, in the heat of summer or the tangy cool of autumn, just remember to pack your camera.

4. Max Patch

Jason A G

With all the hype surrounding Max Patch , you may be tempted to believe that this pastoral Appalachian destination is overrated. That notion, however, will vanish the moment you arrive, and realize that it would be impossible to oversell the sheer beauty and scale of the place. Located on the western fringe of the Appalachians, the meadow remains one of the most photographed and iconic landscapes in the Southeast and beyond, and holds the title as the prettiest spot on the Appalachian Trail.

“The Patch” itself is lovely and vast, acres of rolling green hills dotted with wildflowers that spread out in all directions, creating a bucolic setting for hikers, picnickers, kite-fliers, star-gazers and, of course, photographers. However it’s the views—soaring, panoramic, and seemingly endless—that award this field its fame. The Great Smoky Mountains and the formidable Black Mountain range dominate much of the skyline, but the lush Tennessee flatlands to the west allows for a brilliant and unparalleled sunset view. A tripod will help you to capture all the delicate and elusive layers of color from the sun’s last rays.

5. Black Balsam Knob

At the fire pit on the summit of Black Balsam Knob.
At the fire pit on the summit of Black Balsam Knob.
Melina Coogan

Never have you seen colors so bright and saturated as you will on the alpine summit of Black Balsam Knob. The weather changes fast up there during the summer months, with frequent thunderstorms sweeping in, dark clouds gathering and then dissipating just as quickly, unveiling cobalt blue skies. Sitting on a rocky outcrop on the Art Loeb Trail and watching clouds of mist swirl up the mountainside, temporarily obscuring the view of the Blue Ridge, the highlands of the Pisgah National Forest, and the fertile French broad valley down below, enveloping you in a cooling mist, is one of the more memorable experiences you will have in this wilderness.

Black Balsam Knob features spectacular sunsets.
Black Balsam Knob features spectacular sunsets.
Mary Anne Baker

The ribbon of trail winding over the ridge that connects Black Balsam and Sam’s Knob endows the enormous, dramatic mountain-scape with a sense of depth and scale, as well as a leading line that will add story and purpose to your photos. Easily accessible via a half-mile hike on the Art Loeb Spur trail, Black Balsam Knob may be the most popular spot for shooting sunsets in the entire region.

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Originally written by RootsRated.

Featured image provided by Kenny Lex

10 Family-Friendly Summer Adventures Around Asheville

Summer days are long and should be filled from sunup to sundown with adventures and enriching outdoor activities. Now is the season for children to get their hands dirty, to chase frogs and climb trees, to hear songbirds and eat freshly picked berries. Asheville and the surrounding mountains are brimming with family-friendly summer adventures that will keep the little ones engaged, entertained, and asking for more. Here are our top 10 picks for an active excursions filled with rivers, sunshine, and delight.

1. Explore the Botanical Gardens

With free admission, plenty of parking, and stroller-friendly trails, Asheville Botanical Gardens may be the easiest and most convenient way to introduce your children to the beauty and diversity of Asheville’s great outdoors. The gardens include over 600 species of trees, wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and sedges that are native to the Southern Appalachian mountains, including many that are rare and endangered. Guided tours are available or simply let the little ones splash in the creeks, dash through the meadows and explore the wildflower coves.

2. Go Star Gazing

Explore the night sky with the help of Star Watch Night Vision Tours.
Explore the night sky.
Christian Reusch

Here’s a compelling reason to keep the kids up past their bedtime. Plan a family stargazing session and prepare for one of the most memorable evenings of the summer. Getting started is easy and inexpensive.

3. Fly Through the Trees

Asheville Treetops Adventure Park offers kids off-the-ground thrills.
Asheville Treetops Adventure Park offers kids off-the-ground thrills.
Loco Ropes

Climb, jump, swing, fly, and rappel through the woods at Asheville Treetops Adventure Park, a wild and elaborate outdoor jungle gym just five minutes outside of town. Where else could you kayak through the canopy or snowboard through the sky? The park features five separate adventures trails, each with their own set of obstacles that will appeal to a wide variety of ages, experiences and comfort levels. Kids are guaranteed to have a blast and discover the adventurous side of physical fitness, all the while being kept safe and secure with the latest “smart belay” technology. This will be one of the most fun and active afternoons you’ll have all summer — just don’t be surprised when they ask to go back the next day.

4. Meet the Butterflies

The Hop'n Blueberry Farm features a butterfly house that kids love.
The Hop’n Blueberry Farm features a butterfly house that kids love.
Nick Page

The Hop’n Blueberry Farm  is a water-and-sun powered sustainable family farm located outside of Black Mountain, North Carolina. The farm’s unique array of specialties range from medicinal herbs and hops to butterflies and blueberries. Take a hands-on tour of this innovative Blue Ridge establishment, which dates back for seven generations, and learn about sustainability, permaculture, and pollination. Children will love the butterfly house, where you can reach out and have a friendly monarch land on your hand. During the summer months, you can observe every stage of these beautiful creature’s lives: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and adult. You can even purchase all things butterfly to bring home, including nets, butterfly grow kids and plant seeds.

5. Beat the Heat at Splashville

Splashville is a great way to beat the heat in downtown Asheville.
Splashville is a great way to beat the heat in downtown Asheville.
StacyVann

Splashville, a brand new interactive water fountain in Pack Square, is by far the coolest way to beat the heat in downtown Asheville. Children never seem to tire of chasing the jets of water that leap out of a tiled surface in this bustling and historical section of the city. Their shrieks and laughter mingles with live music of street performers and the chatter of shoppers, museum-goers and patrons dining outside of the many restaurants that surround the square. For an extra-special summer afternoon, treat the kids to an ice cream from nearby French Broad Chocolate Lounge.

6. Slide down Sliding Rock

Kids and adults will both be thrilled by this 60-foot natural waterslide.
Kids and adults will both be thrilled by this 60-foot natural waterslide.
William Whyte

Sliding Rock is a popular natural water park located 8 miles outside of Brevard, North Carolina. Children of all ages love the thrill of this exhilarating summer adventure, which includes lifeguard supervision during the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day. After you slide down a 60 foot face of smooth, steep rock, fueled by 11,000 gallons of water, and land with a splash in a deep, icy pool at the bottom, you’ll only have one thought: “I have to do that again!”

7. Visit the WNC Nature Center

This 42-acre wildlife park has plenty of critters and interactive exhibits to enjoy.
This 42-acre wildlife park has plenty of critters and interactive exhibits to enjoy.
anoldent

This 42-acre wildlife park and sanctuary is home to more than 60 native species of animals, including bobcats, black bear, red wolves and cougars. The Western North Carolina Nature Center provides a refuge for animals that have been imprinted, injured, orphaned, or otherwise rendered unable to survive on their own. Children of all ages will enjoy the interactive exhibits, such as touching reptiles, identifying songbirds, and observing the animals’ daily feeding. A highlight of your visit will be Otter Falls, a newly designed collection of pools and waterfalls chock-full of curious, playful river otters.

8. Have an Orchard Adventure

The Appalachian Heritage Center features live music, barn dances, mountain art and other cultural programs in addition to apple picking.
The Appalachian Heritage Center features live music, barn dances, mountain art and other cultural programs in addition to apple picking.
jchapiewsky

If you’re looking to take the family on a daytrip, The Orchard at Altapass  should be on the top of your list. Located 55 miles north of Asheville off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, this 105 year old orchard has been converted into an Appalachian Heritage Center, and features live music, barn dances, mountain art and other cultural programs in addition to apple picking. Children can listen to stories of the land’s remarkable history as they enjoy an orchard wagon ride, play an old fashioned game of checkers in the kids corner, hike on the nature trails, or participate in any number of hands-on art programs. Take home a jar of local jam to remember your idyllic day in the countryside.

9. Go Whitewater Rafting

The Nantahala Outdoors Center is the longest continually operated outfitter on the French Broad River.
The Nantahala Outdoors Center is the longest continually operated outfitter on the French Broad River.
Donald Judge

The French Broad River — the third oldest river in the world — is the perfect place to introduce your children to the world of whitewater rafting. A river trip is one of the most enjoyable ways to experience the outdoors on a hot summer day. The Nantahala Outdoors Center is the longest continually operated outfitter on the French Broad, and will provide your family with a safe and thrilling day of class II and III rapids while keeping you entertained with stories of the river’s dynamic history. The full-day trip even includes a plunge down a class VI drop, something your family will be telling stories about for years. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as kingfishers, bald eagles, and even black bears as you glide through a remote section of the Pisgah National Forest.

10. Go For a Hike

The Pink Beds Loop Hike is about 5 miles in total, mostly flat, and surrounded by water,
The Pink Beds Loop Hike is about 5 miles in total, mostly flat, and surrounded by water,
Bad Kleinkirchheim

Pink Beds Loop Hike is a great trail for sturdy young adventurers who already have a bit of experience on nature trails. The hike is 5 miles in total, but mostly flat and surrounded by water, including creeks to cross, streams to splash in, mountain bogs to explore and beaver dams to observe. A series of bridges, boardwalks and foot-logs keep the hike fun and dynamic, and an optional waterfall offers an additional reward. The abundance of pristine water and bogland creates a rich habitat for aquatic species and endangered plants, so keep a sharp eye out for critters.

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Originally written by RootsRated.

Featured image provided by Jessica Reeder

5 Refreshing Trail Runs Near Asheville

The days are starting to feel a little shorter, and the copper-hued afternoons of autumn loom just around the corner. You know you should be logging some mountain miles and soaking up the last leg of summer, but we get it—finding the motivation to run through soaring August temperatures is not easy. To help you get going, we’ve found five of the most refreshing trail runs in the Blue Ridge. Get ready to slosh through streams, run alongside the river, and quench your thirst for summer adventure while you still can.

1. Warren Wilson College River Trail

The peaceful, pastoral campus of Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, is home to one of the most charming trails in Buncombe County. Carved into the banks of the Swannanoa River, the River Trail is a flat, 5 mile out-and-back ramble through idyllic countryside. The gentle current and clear water flowing beside you will prove tempting in these last dry weeks of summer, and there are plenty of pebbly shoals and deeper pools to take a post-run dip.The varied terrain of the River Trail includes working farmland, swathes of pastel meadows, shaded forest and even a small bamboo grove. The path is foot traffic only, and you’re likely to encounter a handful of fellow runners and barefoot college students out for a stroll between classes. Dogs are welcome but must be kept leashed at all times, a policy that is strictly enforced. Trailhead is located at Charles D. Owen Park, 875 Warren Wilson Road in Swannanoa, NC. 

2. Vineyard Gap and Riverside Trail

For more experienced runners, the Vineyard Gap Trail in Pisgah National Forest climbs 2.3 miles up and over Forge Mountain, then descends into the South Fork of Mills River. Here you will meet up with the Riverside Trail, which will eventually loop back to the parking lot, totaling 7.4 miles of sweet mountain running. As always in Pisgah, roots, rocks and ruts will keep you on your toes, but the remote landscape and cool, quiet forest make for a pleasant and absorbing experience. The trail crosses the river several times, and these invigorating interludes will cool you down and keep you running strong. The water is knee-deep at times, so be mindful of slippery rocks and river levels, and do not attempt to cross at high water.

Access from the Turkeypen Gap Trailhead Parking area on Turkeypen Road (FS 297).

3. Reasonover Creek Trail to Lake Julia

Lake Julia awaits at the end of the Reasoner Creek Trail.
Lake Julia awaits at the end of the Reasoner Creek Trail.
Melina Coogan

This beautiful singletrack trail rises and falls over moderate hills for 3.27 miles, all within the shade of a dense hardwood canopy. Toward the beginning of your run, make your way carefully across a wide creek by hopping across twelve neatly positioned rocks, or wade through the shin-deep water for an initial cool down. You will splash across the creek a few more times before getting your first glimpse of Lake Julia, smooth as glass and glinting through the trees. Although accessible by forest roads, Lake Julia is remote enough that it remains relatively quiet and calm, a novelty for most DuPont swimming spots. You may share the lake with other runners, mountain bikers, and stand up paddlers, but there is generally a corner of solitude to be claimed. When you’re ready to turn for home, head back on the same, scenic trail that you came in on. As always in DuPont, be on the lookout for bikers.

Park at the Fawn Lake Access area on Reasonover Road. On foot, turn right after the gate for 0.1 miles. The trailhead is located at the intersection of Conservation Road.

4. Stone Mountain Falls

The view from Stone Mountain.
The view from Stone Mountain.
bobistraveling

Nothing epitomizes the beauty and grandeur of the Blue Ridge Mountains like a waterfall, and nothing could be a more welcome and refreshing site at the culmination of a hot summer’s run. The Stone Mountain Loop trail in Stone Mountain State Park is a super fun, 4.5-mile adventure that will lead you to a 200-foot granite monolith of cascading water on Big Sandy Creek. Explore the pool at the base and exult in the mist before tackling the man-made staircase that climbs the east slope of the Mountain to the top of the falls.

Stone Mountain State Park in Roaring Gap, NC, spans across Wilkes and Alleghany counties. Access the trail at the park’s lower trailhead, 2.5 miles down the road from the visitor center.

5. Bent Creek Trail

Azaleas in bloom alongside the Bent Creek Trail.
Azaleas in bloom alongside the Bent Creek Trail.
Erin Brierley

This is a perfect option for beginners, or anyone looking to sneak in a run before work. Bent Creek trail meanders on even ground for 1.3 miles through the North Carolina Arboretum , alongside the diamond clear waters of its namesake creek. It even passes through a portion of the National Native Azalea Repository, making for a brief but stunning loop that is guaranteed to make your short-list. The trail parallels Bent Creek Road, where you will find several intersecting trail and road options to explore beyond the Arboretum and the adjacent Pisgah National Forest.

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Originally written by RootsRated.

Featured image provided by Julia Pethtel

Mt. Pisgah Campground

Intro

Mt. Pisgah Campground is located high atop the Pisgah Ledge at Flat Laurel Gap off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Centered amongst the wonders of the Pisgah National Forest, at an elevation of 5,000’, the Mt. Pisgah campground is ideally located for a ridgeline retreat. This mountain top campground is home to 70 tent and 70 RV sites, restroom and shower facilities, as well as several handicap accessible sites. Pack up all the luxuries car camping affords and reserve a spot in the heavenly confines of Mt. Pisgah Campground for your next adventure vacation!

What Makes It Great

The true beauty of this campground lies in its unique location along the Blue Ridge Parkway. A 20 mile drive along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway takes visitors high atop the prominent Pisgah Ledge on its way from Asheville to the Mt. Pisgah campground. The campground is nestled amongst some of the finest outdoor recreational opportunities around. With little more than a short drive campers have access to the Big East Fork and Black Balsam trailheads, Mt. Pisgah, Looking Glass and Sliding Rock as well as the famous mountain biking trails of the Pisgah National Forest! An elevation of 5,000’ ensure cool summertime temperatures! The campground also has access to a picnic area and nature trails that leave directly from the grounds.

The world famous Pisgah Inn sits directly across the parkway and gives visitors unique access to the finer things in life as they camp in the wilderness. The dining room at the Pisgah Inn is lined with glass and overlooks the pristine Pisgah National Forest below. A delicious array of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner items are served to patrons as they enjoy the finest view available from a dining room table! The Pisgah Inn also offers a Country Store, for those last minute camping supplies, and access to laundry facilities to refresh your wardrobe on prolonged outings.

Who is Going to Love It

The Mt. Pisgah campground and its surroundings amenities combine to form an outdoor oasis that “glamping” dreams are made of! Take advantage of the drive-up campsites by bringing your luxury list of camping items! Venture out on an epic Pisgah adventure during the day then return to camp for a shower. Next, cap off your epic day with a beverage and the delicious fare at the neighboring Pisgah Inn; camping never tasted so good.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

The Mt. Pisgah Campground is located at milepost 408 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Gather your gear at Diamond Brand Outdoors, conveniently located right beside the Parkway!

Sites range from $16-$19 and the campground is open spring through fall.

Check Recreation.gov for more details on availability and reservations. For more information on the campground’s rules and regulations and a detailed map of the grounds click here.

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Featured image provided by Steven Reinhold

Hiking Craggy Gardens

Intro

One of the closest hikes to Asheville with the best long-range views is Craggy Gardens at Milemarker 364.1 off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Because of its easy access, this is a popular spot and although its never exactly ‘crowded,’ you won’t be alone during the summer or fall. Come at sunset for unobstructed views over the Black Mountains.

Craggy Gardens is the go-to spot for a quick weekend hike that’s accessible and generally pretty easy, if a bit steep. But it’s only a 1.4-mile loop, so it’s a moderate hike even for families with children.

What Makes It Great

If you’re coming from downtown Asheville, the first thing you’ll notice is that the temperature here is usually at least 5 degrees cooler than it is at lower elevations (and sometimes as much as 20 degrees cooler), so be prepared and bring warm clothing, even if its summer. There’s a slight lag in the seasons at this elevation, too, so you may not see leaves on the trees until May.

The Craggy trail is carved through a rhododendron thicket, so its especially beautiful around mid-June when the flowers are in bloom. The trail is a little steep, but shouldn’t prove too challenging even for children. There are several overlook spots along the trail.

In the summer, slabs of slate gray rock and bright pink rhododendron blooms create a vivid landscape, surrounded by panoramic 360 views of Asheville, Mt. Mitchell, and the endlessly undulating Blue Ridge Mountains.

Who is Going to Love It

This is a great starter trail for kids: quick, steep without being overly demanding, with a dramatic mountain top finale that’s perfect for picnics. This hike could be combined with other attractions on the Blue Ridge Parkway such as Graveyard Fields and Skinny Dip Falls for a full day of warm weather exploration.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway only about 30 minutes from downtown Asheville, the Craggy Gardens Trail starts at the Craggy Pinnacle parking lot at milemarker 364.1 (just beyond the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center at 364.6).

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Featured image provided by Selena N. B. H.

Donate Your Eclipse Glasses

As Monday’s total solar eclipse passed through Western North Carolina, it offered a rare moment for friends and families to collectively enjoy an unique outdoors experience. In the days leading up to the big event, eclipse glasses were the hottest item in town. Now that the event has passed, we’re collecting your used eclipse glasses and donating them to Astronomers Without Borders and local schools. The glasses do not need to be those sold by Diamond Brand Outdoors.

Bring in your solar eclipse glasses by Monday, August 28, and we’ll give you a coupon for $5 off any purchase of $25 or more. Astronomers Without Borders has announced a program to collect the used glasses and distribute them to schools in South American and parts of Asia, which will experience their own eclipses in 2019.

Since we’re local, we’re also working with local school systems interested in used glasses for astronomy activities and experiments. If you’re an interested local educator, shoot us an email.

The lenses on eclipse glasses expire after three years, meaning they’re not safe to use when the next solar eclipse moves through eastern Canada, the central United States, and part of Mexico in 2024. Many locals are framing or preserving them as souvenirs of the celestial experience. Paper frames can be recycled, but you’ll need to remove the lenses. Specialty recyclers like camera stores may accept solar filters for recycling. Glasses with plastic frames are likely not recyclable.

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Events

Sherpa Night: Celebrate Nepal

Sherpa Adventure Gear weaves together the latest designs and technology with the rich heritage and time-honored beliefs of Nepal. The company was founded by Tashi Sherpa as a living memorial to the unsung heroes of Mt. Everest. For decades, climbers have always been grateful for having a Sherpa companion on the treacherous slopes of the Himalayas. It is the Sherpa who makes the route, carries the load, and sets the ropes to the top and back.

Join us to experience Nepalese culture through sight and taste. We’ll show a short documentary focusing on Nepalese culture and enjoy authentic food samples and traditional tea. Mark Johnson of Hobnail Trekking Company will present information about expeditions from the USA to Nepal. You might be inspired to experience it firsthand!

We’ll have some giveaways for all and a special gift with any Sherpa Adventure Gear purchase that evening. For every piece of Sherpa Adventure Gear’s purchased, a donation is made to provide scholarships to children who grow up in remote Himalayan villages, bringing the spirit of the Sherpa full circle.

RSVP on Facebook

This free event is open to the public. Kids and well-behaved pets with owner on leash are welcome.