Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Top 5 suggestions for winter at Healing Springs

We  are open all year long! Here are our top 5 suggestions for what to do in our area during the colder months. 

Do nothing! Relax and enjoy a cozy flame from the fireplaces right inside your cabin. Snuggle with the special someone and enjoy the downtime and peacefulness that this time of the year brings. 

Snow Tubing! No prior skill necessary for this fun activity. Enjoy the largest snow park in North Carolina with Hawks Nest Snow Tubing located just an hour away from Healing Springs with over 30 lanes to enjoy snowy fun in. The offer four different levels of terrain to suit everyone from beginner to advanced. 

More snowy activities are available at Sugar Mountain Resort with skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing and ice skating available. Located two miles east of Banner Elk, Sugar Mountain is open for winter activities November through March with 125 acres of skiable terrain. 

Appalachian Ski Mountain offers skiing, snowboarding and ice skating as well along with lessons for all ages. First opened in the winter of 1962 under a different name, Appalachian Ski Mountain now boasts 12 slopes and two terrain parks along with a 46,000 square foot base lodge and renown ski school - the French Swiss Ski College.  With a base elevation of 3635 feet and peak elevation of 4000 feet, all of the slopes are lit for night skiing, they are open from 9 am to 10 pm during the season. 

Take a hike! Hike up Mount Jefferson, which rises 1600 feet above the town of Jefferson. With five different hiking trails to choose from, the beauty and diversity of the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area can be enjoyed in just an hour or so. Find a list of trails here.

Also located nearby is New River State Park that covers 3318 acres and has 9 different trails, rated "easy" to "moderate"  to choose from at different points in the park. The park also holds regularly scheduled interpretative and education programs and is open all year. 

West Jefferson has a thriving arts community. Stop in at the Ashe Arts Council to see their rotating exhibits, enjoy one of their events or shop their charming gift shop. Dive deeper into the art world by joining one of the varied classes or workshops offered at Florence Thomas Art School. 

Well worth a stop to pause and reflect are the two Churches of the Frescoes as they are known. In West Jefferson at St. Mary's Episcopal Church and in Glendale Springs at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are large, Italian style frescoes painted by Ben Long in 1974. 

Ben Long, a North Carolina native grew up as an artist. After serving in Vietnam as a Marine Corps Combat Officer, Long went to Florence, Italy to spend 8 years apprenticing in the art of fresco painting.  Long also has paintings on display in the Smithsonian as well as frescoes in Italy at the Abbey of Montecassino and 11 other frescoes in the US. 

Whatever your energy level is for the winter months, plan on coming to Healing Springs to rest, relax and rejuvenate!

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