Great Trail in Asheville

Our pal, Simcha, said he is visiting Asheville for New Year’s and asked if there are any trails we recommend.  Since Simcha’s blog is titled Red Sibes Rule, our own red heads (from the left, Kodiak, Cheoah and Rusty) have offered to be tour guides.

Red Heads

Asheville is well known for being very dog friendly, as you can see here and here. Very common to see dogs (on leashes) walking among the crowds downtown and many of the stores welcome dogs inside – some even are known for offering treats.  Water bowls are common at store entrances.  (For the record, The Herd does not live in Asheville, but lives in Maggie Valley – about 30 minutes west of Asheville).

While you will find many trails at the web sites linked above, we highly recommend starting out at the Folk Art Center in East Asheville.  A ranger’s station is manned just inside the doors and they have lots of recommendations for great trails, and can also tell you about road closures in the area due to weather (some of the best trails are inaccessible by car in the winter – Call for recorded road closure information at 828-298-0398).  But the humans can also enjoy the displays by the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

Folk Art Center

The Mountain to Sea Trail (more info can be found here too) cuts through the Folk Art Center property and one of our favorite walks start right here.  We do this walk by connecting several trails and using the MST (Mountain to Sea Trail) as the backbone.  Now we have, of course, marked all the turns very well, but sometimes humans can not figure out our pee-mail, so we have attached pictures below of all of the turns so that they will not confuse you, Simcha.  This is about a two mile, mostly flat walk, so easy on their two legs.

Just walk toward the building and you will see a MST marker (the MST marker is always a white dot) on your right.  Here is a close up:

Trail Head

About a 100 yards down this trail, the MST veers to the right.  To help you spot the turn, the MST marker is doubled on a tree and points to the right just like this:

Trail marker

Don’t worry if you miss the turn.  The trail simply circles back to the Folk Art Center and you realize you went on a very short walk.  But making the turn takes you right along the side of the Blue Ridge Parkway and across a small bridge:

Foot bridge

Now here is where we combine trails.  You can, of course, walk as far as you want on the MST and then turn around and come back, but we have turned this into a loop.  Far more interesting for us.  As you are walking down the trail with the Blue Ridge Parkway on your right, you will also notice a neighborhood road on your left.  At any point, you cross up on the road and keep walking in the same direction:

MST to Road

Road

About a quarter of a mile on this road and you will see a gate on your right. 

Gate

Walk around it and you will now be on an abandoned road.

Road 2

Walk to the top – it will take a little while so just relax and enjoy the quiet.  But don’t worry, it is not steep and you usually get to meet a few other dogs on the walk.  We have a couple of Siberian friends we get to meet on this road.  At the very top of the road, it loops around and you just go back down the road.

Cul De Sac

A little Herd trivia for you.  It was on this curve that our humans were able to make the picture that appears as the Header on our website.  That’s right – a Herd Header!  We expect a historical marker will be erected here one day.

Anyway, this is the only back tracking you do, but it is fairly short – maybe 1/4 mile.  On your left on the way back down, you will see a dirt road heading off.  The day we took these pictures, you will notice that the sign was exposed warning of a Firing Range.  Normally that sign is closed up, but we have never, never, never seen anyone using this firing range, so don’t worry.  Besides, you walk up behind where shooters would be (i.e., they would fire the other way) and you could hear them well before you got to it.

Road 3

As you approach the range’s gate, you have to look carefully to the right for the trail.

 

Right Fork 1

Right Fork 2

After a few yards on this spur trail, you come back to the MST trail, turn right and you are headed back to the Folk Art Center.  And, if your humans are tired, there is even a bench to sit and enjoy the serenity (notice Natasha winking at us):

Bench

So, that is one of our favorite walks.  Long enough for us to achieve A Tired Sibe is a Good Sibe, and still not a killer trail.

If you want something steeper, ask the rangers if the road is opened to Mt Pisgah just south of Asheville.  We shared one of our panoramic views from the peak and showed some fall color from there.  The trail does make a dog work a little more, but fun listening to our humans huffing and puffing on the trail too.  And boy do we sleep after that one.

Enjoy your stay in Asheville and tell us where all you go.  And if you see a Herd of Siberians, come say hello to us!

11 Comments

  1. Kodak on December 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Wishing you lots of great hikes like this and a very Happy New Year.

    Hugs, Kodak

  2. Steve & Kat on December 29, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks to you pups, Simcha is going to have a great trip!

    Kat

  3. simcha on December 29, 2008 at 12:19 am

    Haroorooorooo! Thank you for the guided tour and pictures too! This will be so helpful for my mom.

    My Mom has spent the last 4 New Years in Asheville. It’s one of her favorite places on the planet. But this year, for the first time, she is taking along me and my malamute sister Kiley. We’re staying at some fancy resort that welcomes dogs! ( of course they don’t know what their getting themselves into allowing us in! *snicker*) However I promised my human to be on my very best behavior so we don’t ruin the hotel for other doggies coming after us.

    We’ll probably be hiking there on New Years eve and New Years day. Looks like there’s enough exploring for us pups to do two days in a row.

    Thank you Thundering Herd! We’ll be sure to take pictures and update when we get back!

    Sibe-smoooches
    Simcha

  4. The OP Pack on December 28, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    That was great – looks like we may need to push for a road trip to Asheville.

    Woos, the OP Pack

  5. Kayla and Maebe on December 28, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    WOO Thundering Herd, that’s cool of woo to give Simcha a guided tour of your “neighborhood”!! WOO have such pretty places to hike out there.

    WOOO woo rar rar rar,
    Kayla and Maebe

  6. Huffle Mawson on December 28, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    That’s way too far for a little kitty like me to walk. I’ll wait at the shop with the snacks, if that’s okay. Simmie should love it though.

    Huffle Mawson

  7. Thor and Marco Polo on December 28, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    WOO WOO Thundering Herd

    What great tour guides you are! We loved seeing where you go hiking! Mom wishes we were there! RIght now it’s nothing but ice everywhere in Iowa. Our Snow got all melted, then we had a thunderstorm and it’s flooding but Mom can’t go outside because she will fall down!!! We promise to take this hike next time we head east!
    Hugs
    Thor and Marco Polo

  8. Lola on December 28, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Woooo Woooo Wonderful. We have to pull our humans all the way there. That should take forever, but it looks well worth it. Thanks for the tips!

    Maxwell Smart and Jefferson Pagoda
    Fosters at http://www.forgetsitandstay.blogspot.com

  9. The Army of Four on December 28, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Wowzers! I know two OTHER red heads who would love to snoof along that trail! And a couple Oreos, too!
    Play bows,
    Zim

  10. Khyra on December 28, 2008 at 10:24 am

    WOW!

    That was a grrrrreat hike!

    Such beaWOOtiful scenery!

    Hugz&Khysses,
    Khyra

  11. Four Musketeers on December 28, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Looks like you have another fun day .

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