With a new year and a new decade underway, many are gearing up for 2020 with a wealth of resolutions for better health and wellness in the coming months. As luck would have it, the Western NC Mountain Towns of Jackson County are the ideal places to kick off those resolutions. After all, the area is home to 494-square miles of adventure and relaxation that will keep you engaged, focused, and motivated to stick to your resolutions.
With so many activities available, creating a custom itinerary tailored to your wants, needs and goals couldn’t be easier to do here. Plus, given that it’s our “Secret Season,” the crowds have thinned out, so you have more space to get up and get active, mountain style!
Gear up for mountain biking
Home to miles of multi-use trails, mountain biking is a great, low-stress way to get the blood pumping and the heart racing as you zip and zoom up and down the mountain. A great place to start is Fire Mountain Trails, just 20 minutes from Sylva in Cherokee. Here, mountain bikers will find more than 10.5 miles of trails featuring fun berms, more than 20 switchbacks in a single run, and exciting elevation changes.
Another fun spot for the family is the Jackson County Kids’ Bike Park at Tuck Greenway located along the Tuckasegee River Greenway. The 750-foot bike trail features berms, tabletop jumps, pumps and an inner gravel track for younger kids.
Get your hike on
Throughout Jackson County, hikers of all skill levels will find a variety of trails to enjoy. Take a leisurely stroll to take in the views, or tackle an exercise challenge that will get the blood pumping. Start off small with a mild hike like the path to Silver Run Falls. This 500-foot trail takes hikers across a footbridge to the base of the waterfalls, resulting in a picture-perfect moment to commemorate your journey. For those looking to kick it up a notch, try the 2-mile loop on the Whiteside Mountain Trail. This moderate trail takes approximately 90 minutes and is a fun and scenic way to get you started on your fitness resolutions.
For a smaller trek, but close to your homebase, check out the WCU Multi-Use Trail system. It is 6.8 miles of narrow single-track trail designed for foot traffic and mountain bike use. The trail is intermediate in difficulty with steep mountainside terrain. Riders enjoy a nice flow with multiple jumps, pumps, and berms. Although the elevation change from the trail’s highest to lowest point is just a few hundred feet, there are lots of ups and downs for bikers to enjoy.
Center your body, mind and soul for the new year through a forest therapy walk with Pinnacle Forest Therapy. Forest therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing.” This is an ideal way to clear the mind and get in touch with nature in 2020.
Hit the slopes
Popular with locals and visitors alike, Sapphire Valley Resort is the go-to spot for snow enthusiasts who love a casual day on the slopes. Ski, snowboard, tube and more at this Jackson County hotspot. Unlink the larger ski resorts, Sapphire Valley is less crowded and extremely family friendly, making it the perfect place for learning a new skill. Here you can skip the lines for the chairlift and spend more time on the slopes enjoying a snowy, fun adventure.
Keep calm and “ohm”
Thanks to Jackson County’s serene mountain surroundings, you will find plenty of perfect places to lay down a mat and do yoga on your own. In addition, you will find several places around the county to practice this healthy exercise. Both Sylva Yoga and The Meditation Center offer regularly scheduled classes to get your “ohm” on. You’ll also find that many of the local breweries also offer yoga classes – the perfect complement to your favorite craft brew.
Before you plan your trip, check out upcoming wellness events and activities available around the county to find out what’s going on during your visit.
Get a little cozy
With many relaxing accommodation options, Jackson County is the perfect mountain oasis for an active adventure. Here, your “work out” doesn’t feel like work. Afterward, you can catch up on your rest and relax by the fire in one of the area’s many cozy accommodations.
January 28 is National Plan Your Vacation Day, so get planning and find the most bang for your buck on your vacation to Jackson County by checking out our Lodging Specials & Deals page. To help you craft the perfect trip, download a free visitor guide today.