| Outdoors choices

Serious HikesGentry Creek Falls, Shingletown, TN

  • Appalachian Trail: Try tackling only any portion of the famous National Scenic Trail in our area:  from Hampton to the southwest to north of Damascus, Va, to the north.
  • Trails range from gentle walks to navigating rugged terrain  just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina’s High Country and nearby Virginia.
  • Roan Mountain: A bald of 1,000 acres atop Roan Mountain covers the peaks called Round Bald, Jane Bald and Grassy Ridge Bald at the Tennessee-North Carolina border, near Ga. 143.
  • Gentry Creek Trail and Falls – Not for dabblers. Slippery rocks, multiple water crossings, wilderness near the Tennessee-North Carolina – Virginia borders.
  • Link to many local trails, as written by the former mayor:  HIKE/RIDE

Grandfather Mountain

At over a mile high, you can see nearly to Charlotte. The mile-high suspension bridge tests your nerves. Hike the trails, some peaks reached by ladders and cables. The small zoo of rescued native animals provides entertainment. Plan to hike

Families find challenging and easy hiking trails on Grandfather Mountain, Linville, NC

Hiking on Grandfather Mountain

some of the trails in this private Biosphere preserve, the only one in North America. A naturalist is on duty to teach about the native plants found only in these mountains. The mountain hosts the Highland Games in July and nature lovers all year round (except then the wind is too strong — clocked a few times at over 200 mph!) www.grandfather.com

Off-Road/ATV Fun

The inn is the closest lodging to the new Doe Mountain Park with lots of parking for trailers, free hearty breakfasts and wonderful rooms. Here’s the link to the “local’s” way of accessing the park: DOE MOUNTAIN

Pet Care/Pets Welcome at Our Cottage

  • Your pet is welcome at our Cottage in the Woods; only service animals may stay at the inn.
  • Staying at the inn in Mountain City? Valley View Kennels nearby offers boarding and day care facilities for dogs and cats. Kandy Clark has a climate-controlled facility with indoor and outdoor runs. Open 7 days. 423-727-7479.

Mountain Scenery

Boating, fall leaves, TVA lake, Watauga, Butler TN

Restfulness of Watauga Lake in fall.

  • Autumn Only — Fall Leaf Changing — Come see the beauty of the Autumn in the Tennessee and North Carolina mountains. Generally changing in October, the russet and gold hues spread down the mountains surrounding our Inn. It’s a season not to be missed.
  • Foliage reports:  The inn is a contributor. Find out how the color is progressing.  Reports are made about every 3 days.

Birding & Flowers Downy woodpecker with trumpet vine

  • Bird watching in the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia offers a rare treat. Because of elevation changes from low valleys to the mountain tops, you can view birds that would normally range from southern Georgia to Canada all within a few miles. Any season gives you an abundance of birds to see. Migrations of birds in the spring and fall through the mountains offers another excellent chance to see species passing through.
  • Birding Trips with Adventure — Damascus, VA — 888-595-2453 Call for details.
  • Wildflowers abound. Check out this “What’s in Bloom” schedule:  Wildflowers Along the Blue Ridge

Holiday Outings — Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

Christmas tree farm

Select your own Christmas tree – locally grown

choose and cut your own christmas tree in NC

Choice trees being prepped for the ride home at B&D Tree Farm, Todd, NC

Pre-Holiday Getaways – Prospect Hill is open all holidays.

  • The Tennessee and North Carolina mountains are home to Fraser Firs and other types of Christmas Tree farms, offering cut your own outings to build lasting memories. Choose a cut tree or select your own, wreaths and roping, too.
  • Wintergreen Farm — 223 Waddell Road, Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee — 423-727-2593 Cut & Choose, Fresh trees and wreaths, dried wreaths, other plants.
  • J&D Tree Farmoff Hwy. 194 north out of Boone. High mountain location, larger trees, family atmosphere, stunning views. SUV or truck best.  576 Bryan Hollow Road,  Boone, NC   jdtreefarm@gmail.com  828-262-1845
Shady Grove Gardens Nursery and production gardens, Creston, NC

Shady Grove Gardens’ production fields, birding and hayride site. Views all the way to Virginia’s Grayson Highlands Park


Shady Grove Gardens offers tractor pulled hayrides throughout their scenic 62 acres.  By appointment  828-2974098