It is a different world to hike in winter. When it warms into the 40s F, we figure it is warm enough to go on some trails to get a bit of exercise. We have gone several times over this winter, now that DH is retired and has more time to play. We did the Frozen Waterfalls when it was really cold, but these hikes were done when it was a bit warmer. We went about an hour’s drive north of here to Hot Springs, NC, where we hiked along the French Broad River.
A smaller creek tributary fed into the river, with a small bridge that we walked over.
The water was moving fast, creating some fun areas for kayaking and canoeing.
The trail led down a path next to the river, then switched back on the mountainside as it climbed higher. I think that winter is interesting, with the light and shadow play on the ground from the bare tree branches.
Climbing higher, the river is seen from above through the trees.
Going a bit higher, the town of Hot Springs was visible on the other side of the river down below.
One more view a bit farther on the path of the town, the river and the mountain.
Earlier in the year we did the very short walk from the road out to World’s Edge lookout. This view is looking out over the southern plains. It is interesting how the mountain area just abruptly stops, and becomes flat land for miles and miles.
Beautiful views from this vantage point. I am not sure, but the distant lake on the left may be part of Lake Lure.
On a warm day in February, we decided to hike a bit at the North Fork of Mills River. We didn’t get very far as the road was potholed gravel too narrow to turn around, so we decided to go somewhere else. We did stop briefly at a parking area to see the river.
Pretty in its winter drab.
So, lacking any other destination, we did the back trail hike at the NC Arboretum that day instead.
These are nice trails with some gravel road areas as well. There are some elevation changes, and we hiked about three miles this day.
Along the way, arbors of rhododendron arc over small creek streams. These will be covered in flowers in spring.
Small rock faces in the creek created small waterfalls with the lovely, relaxing sound. We stopped to listen for a moment.
Back at the main arboretum flower beds, the golden forsythia is starting to bloom, too early.
A cherry tree (sakura) is blooming in the Japanese Bonsai garden.
A white forsythia is also beginning to bloom.
This is a Corneliancherry Dogwood. I didn’t know that these came in yellow. I thought dogwoods were all either pink or white. Pretty isn’t it, against the blue sky of a warm winter day.
I am looking forward to spring, the colors of the flowers and the warmer days. It has been known to snow here in April, so I don’t want the flowers to come too soon. I had to cover up my hyacinths and irises this past week, to protect the emerging shoots and flowers from the hard freeze we had with temps down to 24ºF (-4C). These little crocuses were peeking out at the Arboretum.
I’ll show you my garden soon. Are you getting outdoors on warm days?