From Asheville to Chile: Hiking around the World

Filed under: About Asheville, Carolina Bed and Breakfast, Hiking, Outside Asheville

If you are a follower of our blog then you will know that January and February are slow months at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast.  While there continues to be plenty to do in town and in the surrounding countryside,  it is understandable that people may choose to put off their visits until Spring.  You should also be aware that this is the time to benefit from reduced rates at many of the sites and also at our B&B.  Here at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast we have opted to close on Monday-Thursday in order to make improvements on our property and to get some much needed rest. ( We are open on the Friday through Sunday Night and offer 20% off on all of our rooms for stays of two nights or more.  Please visit our specials page for more details).

In addition, this is the time when James and I are most free to travel and have our own adventures.  This February, we will be traveling to Patagonia in Chile to hike the Circuit in the Torres Del Paine!  I have to admit that we are both feeling some trepidation about this.  The company we have booked with has made it quite clear that one should not view this as a trek on which to get in shape but rather one should be shape to begin with. Apparently, at times the wind can gust up to 100 miles  an hour and that would stop me cold in my tracks!  It’s a 52 mile 10 day hike through what is supposed to be one  of the most beautiful areas in the world.

Working at our bed and breakfast here in Asheville is sometimes hard work but even then we obviously  need to do some preparation before taking off so James and I are trying to do at least one 10 mile hike a week in addition to our regular training.  One would assume that we would do this in the mountains and we are, but this past week we decided to do something different and take a hike through the hills and streets of Asheville.  The general reaction of most of our friends and family to this idea was “Why would you want to do that?”.

I’ll tell you why:  anyone who runs will tell you that there is a lot you don’t see when driving in a car which might be noticed when traveling on foot.   And when you hike through an area you will notice even more than you will when speeding past at a 10MPH

University of Asheville Housing

You would probably miss this if you were in a car!

jog.  For example, I had no idea that there were so many tree houses in Asheville. On our hike, we saw deluxe tree houses and ones in need of urban renewal, tree houses with suspension bridges and tree houses with rope ladders, tree houses in need of some love and some which need a little more child input.  There were tree houses in the high end neighborhoods and tree houses in the lesser ones.  Lots of tree houses. During the rest of the year these must be hidden by the leaves but in the winter all sorts of things show up for viewing.

James and I were joined in our hike by our youngest daughter, Abby, who was on break from college.  He and I dressed in full-on hiking gear, boots and backpacks included and Abby came along in more regular walking clothes.  I am sure we looked a sight, but hey, it’s Asheville!  We turned left out the door of the Carolina Bed & Breakfast and walked up to Chestnut Street where we turned left again and then took an immediate left down a small alley which runs between Chestnut and Magnolia so that we could survey the hole in our friends’ roof occasioned by a tree falling on it during the Christmas Night Storm.  Once on Magnolia we headed down to the new Reed Creek Greenway.  The Greenway is not fully finished but one is able to walk along a grassy path away from Broadway almost all the way to the Botanical Gardens.

After a detour through the Gardens we continued along W.T. Weaver Boulevard below the University of North Carolina Asheville until it ended at Merrimon Avenue.  Here we crossed over behind Luella’s BBQ(a possible lunch spot) and walked up through the Grove Park neighborhood.  This part of our hike took us through some of the older neighborhoods of Asheville. Many of the homes here were built at the same time as the Grove Park Inn but there are also a number of newer constructions.  It’s a prosperous, pleasant area with

Abby found a lucky penny!

quiet streets and wide sidewalks. We continue to ascend  until we reached the Grovewood Cafe next to the Grove Park Inn itself.  The Grovewood is a small cafe which offers some excellent food at a reasonable price.  They didn’t bat an eye when we dropped our backpacks behind our seats and the soups, salads and sandwiches were delicious.  After lunch we crossed over behind the Grove Park Inn and retraced our steps to W.T. Weaver Boulevard where we head up behind the University.  This area is largely student housing and small home rentals and while the quality of the homes vary they are certainly interesting!  Walking along the ridge high above the University, you will have an amazing view of the town of Asheville about three miles away with the mountains in the distance.  The hike ends with a walk up Montford Avenue through the historic district and back to our Asheville Bed and Breakfast, The Carolina Bed & Breakfast.

I made a Google map to show you our hike.  It’s my first time to try creating one and it’s not perfect but it should give you the idea!  Just Click Here.

For our next challenge in our training, James and I will be running in the Hot Chocolate 10K on January 26th.  Billed as the “Flattest 10K in Asheville”, it starts and ends a short walk from our inn.  Come and cheer us on, or join us in the race!


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