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Though the West Coast has no shortage of epic scenery and grandeur, the East Coast also has plenty to offer, often much closer to town than one would assume. Although I reside in Nashville, Asheville is a close neighbor, sitting in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I recently met up with a few friends for a 3-day microadventure that started an hour northwest of Asheville, passed through the city and went up an hour northeast of Asheville in the Pisgah National Forest.
This stunning bald with 360-degree views offers no shortage of gorgeous scenery. It is part of the Appalachian Trail and is arguably the best place around to watch a sunrise, sunset, and stargaze. With unimpeded views for miles around, you can see Mount Mitchell in the east and the Great Smokies in the west.
Duck Dance Farm is a 4-acre sustainable homestead and farm located in Burnsville, North Carolina. From Max Patch to Duck Dance is a 2 hour drive, with an option to drive directly through Asheville if you want to grab a coffee or a bite to eat. The owners of the farm, Andrew and Pat, are so friendly and passionate about educating their guests on ecosystem based aquaculture and the history of Duck Dance. They will also cook dinner and/or breakfast if desired (the duck bacon was amazing). Star gazing is must!
After breakfast at Duck Dance, we drove 45 minutes to Black Mountain Campground, the starting point for Mt. Mitchell. Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi river at 6,684′ in elevation. This hike gains 3600′ in elevation over 5 1/2 miles to reach the summit of the East’s highest peak, making it one of the toughest continuous climbs in the region. The end view is worth the effort!
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