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Each trip up to Maggie Valley always turns up something new and here it is: Barber Orchard. We decided to go to the Barber Orchard and Fruitstand just outside of Waynesville on Hwy 441 - about a 15 minute drive from The Mountain Landing. If you prefer, you can drive the Blue Ridge Parkway over and it puts you out about a mile above it (now that's a nice drive). Tons of orchard apples and there was a line at the front to get in and buy some of their homemade apple delights - apple pies, cakes, turnovers, fritters, cider, and cider slushies. We bought some turnovers, fritters, and a pie (couldn't contain ourselves). They are to die for! You have to go! It has to be one of the best kept secrets around!
We also took some of the apples we bought and made homemade caramel apples - and I'm not talking about caramel wraps in a box or melting caramels. We cooked brown sugar, butter, and condensed milk until it made the real deal and then we hand dipped the apples into the caramel. Wow - talk about delicious!
We set up our traditional fall scene in front of the house, including scarecrow, hay, corn stalks, and a pumpkin. Kona as usual had a blast running around and climbing up to the top of the mountain and back down. Don't forget hot boiled peanuts from The Grey Mare across the street! Goes great with beer while sitting on the upper deck overlooking the beautiful mountain scene. Finally, don't forget to cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can go from our house to Cherokee, which is the official end of the parkway or to Waynesville and beyond. Both are excellent drives. Ah - so nice!
Here are some photos of the trip. Don't forget to mouse over or click for a larger image.
Spring Break in Maggie Valley!
Our next adventure took us to the Cataloochee Valley to see the Elk! It’s but 26 miles from The Mountain Landing; however, it takes a good 40 minutes to get there as the last 5 miles or so is a small, winding, dirt road going over the mountains and then back down into the valley. The valley is actually a national park, complete with not only Elk (duh), but plenty of hiking trails and old buildings built back in the 1800’s you can tour. We rode over early morning and saw several Elk. Elk are also active during the late afternoon, so a recommendation would be to head over around 1:00 (after lunch), do some hiking and site seeing, and then pick a spot to see some Elk. They had shed their antlers so we didn’t get to see them fully crowned. The antlers grow back by October just in time for the mating season.
Finally, we found two falls to check out. The first was Soco Falls which is a mere 3 miles from The Mountain Landing! In fact, it’s right off Soco Hwy (19) and there are signs in both directions showing the location. You simply pull off the road, jump the guard rail, walk about 50 yards to an observation deck and there it is! It’s actually two streams that individually fall into a single stream. Very cool! The second fall was Mingo Falls in Cherokee (www.ncwaterfalls.com/mingo1.htm). You hit the Blue Ridge Parkway and take it into Cherokee (which by the way is the starting point of the Blue Ridge Parkway). Once in Cherokee you get over to Big Cove Road and take it to Mingo falls. The access is about 150 steps up to the fall and it’s a big one – 120’ – 200’ high. We went the day after it rained so the water flow was quite spectacular.
A quick take on dining out options: The Sweet Onion is a new restaurant in Waynesville that is absolutely delicious! Joey’s Pancake House re-opened for the season while we were there and it’s always a good choice for breakfast.
Did we mention spring cleaning? Take advantage as The Mountain Landing is squeaky clean from top to bottom, corner to corner.
Here are some photos and a video of the trip. Don't forget to mouse over or click for a larger image.
Skiing Cataloochee over Valentine's Day!
Here are some photos during the weekend and some videos.Don't forget to mouse over or click for a larger image.
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Last updated May 9, 2012