Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Ashe County Studio Tour, Soap Making Demonstrations and Open House!

We are very much looking forward to being on the Ashe County Studio Tour August 3rd and 4th! 

Join us on Saturday between 10 am and 6 pm or on Sunday between Noon and 5 pm. 

We will be offering soap making demonstrations, come to visit Healing Springs and learn about the history behind our property, get free water from the Healing Spring, stroll around our property, or just sit a bit and enjoy the sounds of nature. 


I started making soap back in 2014 as a way to utilize the water from Healing Springs. My soap making has evolved a bit over the years and I am very proud of the wonderful vegan soaps that I now make. These are an olive oil based soap, full of skin loving ingredients. Unlike your typical grocery store soap, my soaps are made with only natural ingredients. There are no fillers or chemicals in my soaps, just pure skin loving oils, Healing Springs water and lye. Some of my soaps have fragrances and colors added for fun, but we also make a pure Bastille soap which has no colors or fragrances added. Try some of our Healing Springs soaps today!

I will be demonstrating how to make soap on both Saturday and Sunday, stop by, ask questions, hang out for a bit, we might even have fresh baked cookies to share!

We are always happy to answer questions about soaps, soap making, the Healing Spring waters, etc. 

We look forward to seeing you this weekend! 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Murals in West Jefferson

If you have been to West Jefferson, you will have seen the variety of murals decorating the sides of the buildings downtown. The mural project began in 1996 and was part of an Arts in Education Residency Grant funded by the North Carolina Arts Council. Additional funding was provided by Handmade in America with the West Jefferson Community Partnership and the Ashe County Arts Council. 

Today the thriving downtown area is dotted with a number of unique works of public art that showcases the history, culture and beauty of our High Country mountain region. 

One of my favorite is the "Angel Wall" next to the Hotel Tavern on the BackStreet. Painted by Raney Rogers. Visitors and locals both enjoy photographing themselves in front of the wall. 

Located on the side of the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce is a mural titled "New River Traditions" and painted by Marianne DiNapoli Mylet in October of 1998.  Also painted by the same artist is the mural titled "Unity in Diversity" 

This mural located on the side of Boondocks Brew Haus and was done in the summer of 2006 with students from Ashe Middle School. They wanted to create a mural that reflects the landscape of Ashe County, the music and people who live and work here. The mural was painted on fabric panels that were adhered to the wall with a special adhesive. 

Painted by Robert Johnson and located on S. Jefferson Avenue is "Spring Wildflowers on Mount Jefferson" 

"Cut at the Devils Stairs" painted by Stephen Shoemaker is located on the Dollar Building at E. 2nd Street. This mural is reminiscent of the time that the railroad was a vital part of Ashe County. 

In 2004 with collaboration from Ashe County High School and artists Earle Klutz Thompson and Raines Thompson painted "Wings and Things" on the wall of the Ashe County Cheese Plant with help from over 125 students and community volunteers. 

Local Ashe County artist Whitney Landwehrmann has recently added the "Tree of Appalachia" to the side of the Third Day Market and her new mural is drawing a lot of attention. 

More information on some of the murals located in the county can be found on the Ashe Arts Council website 

Take a walk through the West Jefferson downtown area, which mural is your favorite? 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Fun on the New River!

Looking for a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours or a day? Float down the New River! You can kayak, canoe or tube down this slow moving, relaxing river.  We have 26 miles of the New River here in Ashe County. The New River is a designated National Wild & Scenic river.

The New River is believed to be the second oldest river in the world. With a gentle, free flowing current and mild rapids, it is perfect for even the inexperienced. Located near West Jefferson and Jefferson and conveniently flowing past New River State Park. Access points to the New River are just a short drive from the Cabins at Healing Springs, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone or Sparta, it is the perfect way to spend a lazy day. 

At the Cabins at Healing Springs, we are lucky to be located near two wonderful river outfitters - Riverside Canoe and New River Outfitters. Both of them offer canoe, kayak and tube rentals. They will transport you to / from your put - in or take - out point and will provide you with everything you need to float or paddle down the river. 

With a variety of trip lengths available, from a short trip that lasts 2 to 3 hours to longer 5 or 6 hour trips to overnight trips, you choose how much time you would like to be on the river. 

We suggest that you wear comfortable clothes and wear shoes with a good gripping sole, such as a tennis shoe or water shoes. Our weather can be unpredictable, expect hot sun and the possible occasional shower. We strongly recommend that you bring sun screen. Bring a small cooler to hold your lunch and drinks an just enjoy the day. 

We are looking forward to seeing you on the New River soon!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A new brewery taproom and eatery in West Jefferson!

We are super happy to have a new brewery right here in downtown West Jefferson! Have you tried New River Brewing? They have opened a Taproom and Eatery at 108 S. Third Avenue, just across from the Parker Tie parking lot. 

Their goal is to provide the freshest, most innovative and consistently delicious beers possible, along with tasty food and they are absolutely hitting the mark!

New River Brewery is a family affair with Greg Hershner and his son Adam Hershner. Greg is a local physician, and was a hobby brewer for years. Adam is the head brewer and they craft a wide variety of tasty beers. 

Beer offerings include a Farmhouse Ale, Bald Mountain Brown, Fresh Hop IPA and some more unique beers such as Gingersnap Cookie, Blue Caboose or Agave Ale with Habanero. 

They have a fun menu with appetizers such as corn nuggets, hush puppies and fried pickle chips. Entrees include tasty burgers, pulled pork and chicken BBQ plates and a yummy smokehouse salad. 

Open Wednesday & Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday & Saturday from 11am to 10pm, and Sunday from Noon to 5pm, we hope you have a chance to visit this new downtown West Jefferson gem!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Stop in and eat at Shatley Springs Restaurant

Located just two miles from our cabins is the iconic Shatley Springs Restaurant. An Ashe County tradition that offers family style, country dining in a casual setting. 

Breakfast served at Shatley Springs is renown for being hearty and having traditional country food. Biscuits, all warm and fresh from the oven, crisp bacon, tasty sausage and fluffy eggs, along with pancakes, are just a few of the items offered. The offer a family style "all you can eat" option for $12.50 per person, or you can order off the menu - $4.95 to $6.50 per plate. They open at 7 am on the weekends, and we always suggest getting there early!

The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner as well. Renown for their fried chicken, the family style meal is $18.95 per person, or you can order off the menu for between $5.95 to $10.95. If you are a fan of fried chicken, it is well worth stopping in for lunch or dinner! 

Shatley Springs' history is very similar to our history here at Healing Springs in that the property was built around a natural spring discovered in 1890 by Martin Shatley.  Mr. Shatley testified to the curative powers of the spring and in the 1920's, cabins and a tearoom were built and the name was changed to Radium Springs as a result of a chemical analysis revealing a trace of Radium in the water. For a short time the water was bottled and sold; one truckload in 1927 brought a price of $840 for 600 gallons. The current owner, Lee McMillan has owned and operated the restaurant and cabins since 1958. 

People often ask if the water from Shatley Springs is the same as the water from Healing Springs? While the historical documents showing the analysis of the waters list similar minerals in both waters, they are not identical. Healing Springs was discovered in 1883 and for a long time had a sign on the spring house that said "the original Healing Springs". We always suggest that folks try the water from both springs and taste for themselves.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Sharing our favorite hikes at Grayson Highlands State Park!

We love the fact that our cabins are only 18 miles from Grayson Highlands State Park, located in nearby Virginia. Start the day with the beautiful scenic drive through fertile farmlands passing by some beautiful vistas on the way to the State Park.

You can choose from the number of moderate trails in Grayson Highlands State Park ranging from 2 to 29.9 miles and from 1,955 to 5,482 feet above sea level. Established in 1965, this mountain park is next to Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in the Jefferson National Forest.

One of our favorite hikes is the Rhododendron Trail. This is a very popular hike at the park because it leads to where you can frequently see the Grayson Highlands wild ponies. These wild ponies live year -round at 4,000 foot elevations and there are about 110 of them at Grayson Highlands. The easy hike up to the see the ponies is just a bit more than .6 miles one way. It is mostly uphill, but with switchbacks making it a relatively easy hike with nice view out over the Appalachians.  Please note that these are wild ponies and they may kick or bite if they feel threatened. Views from the trail over the Appalachian mountains are lovely!

Another favorite hike is the Cabin Creek Trail - an easy 1.8 mile hike along a series of small waterfalls through the woods. While this is a fairly easy hike, you will have to step over rocks along the trail.

The Twin Pinnacles Trail, located behind the visitor's center is a loop of 1.6 miles with spectacular mountain views. This trail goes through a section of boreal forest, a type of forest normally found in Canada or Alaska, thriving here because of the high altitude and subsequent lower temperatures.

For a more challenging hike, try Wilburn Ridge via the Appalachian Trail to the top of Mount Rogers!

Grayson Highlands State Park hosts two different festivals every year, the Wayne Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition in June and ever popular Grayson Highlands Fall Festival featuring live music and pioneer living demonstrations.

Visit the park for yourself and let us know what you think :)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Weekend suggestions for a great getaway!

We are having unseasonably warm weather for January, but we still have loads of great "winter" activities to suggest for your next weekend getaway to the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Our renovated cabins are located near West Jefferson and just a short drive from Boone and surrounding areas. 

We love snow tubing! Hawksnest Tubing park is the largest snow tubing park on the East coast with over 30 lanes and four different tubing areas for all skill levels. Just a quick 60 minute drive from Healing Springs, it makes a fun day trip. They even have conveyors to get you back up to the top of the mountain!

Are you looking for something a bit more romantic? Then why not try ice skating at Appalachian Ski Mountain? They have a scenic outdoor rink that overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains that is fully lighted for skating under the stars. They offer skate rentals, refreshments and even have a bonfire available!

Another fun activity to enjoy our beautiful area is snowshoeing. We have several great areas that are just perfect for a day snowshoeing: Mount Mitchell has lower elevation trails like Camp Alice or the Mount Mitchell Trail, as well as a great trek from the Black Mountain Crest Trail across the ridge to Mount Craig for a solid tour and great views!  Elk Knob State Park, just outside of Boone, is another great place with trails for every ability level. Additionally, weather depending, you can also snowshoe Moses Cone Memorial Park, near Blowing Rock -  the carriage roads leading down to the lake from the Manor are very beginner and family friendly making it a great excursion for first time snowshoers. If the weather doesn't provide for snow, it still has lovely walking / hiking trails around the lake for everyone. 

For those who are looking for a slightly slower pace to their day, what about a visit to a local farm? Apple Hill Farm offers a picturesque farm tour where you get to meet llamas, alpacas, donkeys, goats and more on their farm in Banner Elk. Closer to home, Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy offers tours of a working goat dairy. 

If you haven't visited West Jefferson lately, we highly suggest it! This charming little town has several new shops filled with local arts and artisans, we highly suggest Love For The Mountains store and Rabbit Trails, both are wonderful new additions to our town. Stroll up and down our main street with art galleries, antique shops, restaurants and lovely boutiques. While in West Jefferson, make sure to stop into Bohemia for coffee, or enjoy a yummy meal at the Hotel Tavern

Our renovated cabins help set the stage for a relaxing getaway. Plush beds, modern comforts and cozy fireplaces help to make The Cabins at Healing Springs a perfect weekend escape! Come for a visit, the mountains are calling!