Hiking in Winter

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.

Hot Springs NC Hike at From My Carolina Home

A smaller creek tributary fed into the river, with a small bridge that we walked over.

Hot Springs NC Hike at From My Carolina Home

The water was moving fast, creating some fun areas for kayaking and canoeing.

Hot Springs NC Hike at From My Carolina Home

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.

Hot Springs NC Hike at From My Carolina Home

Climbing higher, the river is seen from above through the trees.

Hot Springs NC Hike at From My Carolina Home

Going a bit higher, the town of Hot Springs was visible on the other side of the river down below.

Hot Springs NC Hike at From My Carolina Home

One more view a bit farther on the path of the town, the river and the mountain.

Hot Springs NC Hike at From My Carolina Home

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.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

Beautiful views from this vantage point.  I am not sure, but the distant lake on the left may be part of Lake Lure.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

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.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

Pretty in its winter drab.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

So, lacking any other destination, we did the back trail hike at the NC Arboretum that day instead.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

These are nice trails with some gravel road areas as well. There are some elevation changes, and we hiked about three miles this day.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

Along the way, arbors of rhododendron arc over small creek streams. These will be covered in flowers in spring.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

Small rock faces in the creek created small waterfalls with the lovely, relaxing sound. We stopped to listen for a moment.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

Back at the main arboretum flower beds, the golden forsythia is starting to bloom, too early.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

A cherry tree (sakura) is blooming in the Japanese Bonsai garden.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

A white forsythia is also beginning to bloom.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

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.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

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.

Winter Hiking at From My Carolina Home

I’ll show you my garden soon.  Are you getting outdoors on warm days?



Take Me Away!

17 thoughts on “Hiking in Winter

  1. Beautiful area for hiking! We’ve been working in the yard since the days are warmer; we lost many plants and bushes due to Irma and the frost. It felt great working in the dirt….now I need to decide what to plant 🙂

  2. I hope that we can get out and do more hiking this summer. I have been pretty lax about walking this winter, since we’ve had more cold and snow than the past few years. I agree, even in winter the mountains can be beautiful though they are quite stark with the bare trees. Your photos really capture that!

  3. Leslie

    Brrr . . . your photos are beautiful. So stark and chilly . . . I found myself pulling my arms into a hug to warm up. You inspire me to find my boots and take a walk. Thank you.

  4. Kristi

    I love hiking when it’s cool! Reminds me of the Northwest where I grew up! 🙂 We had a wonderful patch of warm weather in January, then winter finally decided to come to California! Lots of rain for us the past 2 weeks and snow in the mountains. That’s good, but doesn’t make for much outdoor time! We do have daffodils blooming and some trees flowering. The big oaks are looking like they might bud out, but the rain has held them back a bit.

  5. These look like lovley hikes. I saw one forsythia that was about to bloom yesterday. You are much further ahead into spring than us. We haven’t had much warm weather, but I try to get out and walk anyhow. Plus, it is easier to spot and identify birds when the leaves are not out yet. Have a great weekend!

  6. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole; You are becoming quite a professional photographer! Your pictures are beautiful and I love looking at them, plus with the way in which you give great details about them really helps to make us feel so much more a part of being there. I can understand the joy that you and your husband get out of hiking, at any time of the year. My husband and I used to go hiking all of the time, at so many different areas here in Southern Oregon. Up until about 2 years ago when Hubbies Artery disease started becoming so painful along with my Arthritis due from age and the accident. We still go, just not as far and even Miss Dodger who used to outrun the horses in the Kentucky Derby has slowed down and does not hesitate to lay down when she needs to. I do hope that you and your husband will continue to share your adventures with us. I love waterfalls, streams and rivers out in the woods where the humans do not really seem to touch. I would love to post a couple of pictures of the quilts my Dad had me make on the facebook group. Is it alright to post on the Mystery group? Have a wonderful evening!!!

  7. Irena Mangone

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful walks. It is still very warm/hot here. 30 degrees Celcius in Brisbane Queensland. Although hopefully Autumn is. On its way. We did have cooler weather as in up to 27 degrees C. And they are forecasting rain. Tragically in New South Wales and Victoria they had. Bush fires which damaged homes and farm animals perished. .

  8. Mary Crawford

    Pretty chilly here in SW MN these days. When a sunny day with warmer temps arrives, people are out and about smiling and
    enjoying the day. But again, a little snow is arriving once again keeping the temps on the downside. It will come – lots of patience
    needed for the northerners right now!

  9. Such a beautiful hike you went on! Signs of spring are beginning to pop up! The views were incredible!
    I live in the desert during this time a year. A desert spring is happening right now and truly something to experience!
    I found you through the link up travel party! How fun!

  10. Well, I would be getting outside – if we HAD any warm days! Ugh! This has been the coldest spring ever! Luckily, Friday is supposed to warm up. I love your photos – even on a winter day, you can see the beauty of nature. Thanks for sharing at Take Me Away this month! Always great to see your links!

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