The Best Waterfall Hike Near Asheville, NC!
Our favorite place, this week, is... Catawba Falls.
My husband, a native Ashevillian, has taken me, and our children and myriads of friends, on this hike to Catawba Falls many times.
In the past, we would park our car and quickly zip around the gate with the threatening sign. Fortunately, and with many thanks to The Foothills Conservancy, access to Catawba Falls is now officially legal! (Whew!) There is even a yellow lab who sometimes hovers about the entrance of the trail with a collar designating him as the official guide dog for the Catawba Falls.
The trail begins at the end of Catawba River Road, which is a bit hard to find. From Asheville, take I-40 east to exit 73 (Old Fort). Catawba River Road connects to the exit road--you will miss it if you go all the way to the intersecting road (Bat Cave Road). So, before the “exit” ends, look for the sharp right onto Catawba River Road.
Go to the end of this road, park on the left, and look for the guide doggie. If you don’t see him, you’re on your own!
Walk around the gate that blocks the road and continue around the barn and onto the trail. Don’t let the first part of this trail fool you--this hike is no walk in the park.
There is a completely wonderful and refreshing pool at the base of the waterfall--please do not bring children past this point. There are multiple falls beyond, but even my adventurous daughter says that it requires impressive navigational skills. As far as I'm concerned, going farther is just plain dangerous (disclaimer--not that the first part wasn't dangerous...)
And, most importantly--DO NOT bring children who will not listen to you when you tell them to hold your hand!
While you are enjoying that refreshing pool, consider investing in Asheville, NC.
It’s a great time to buy in Asheville--interest rates are still low and there are still lots of great deals out there. Right now, you don't have to be rich or famous to buy property in Asheville, NC...
but that may change :) So, here is your next...
Home Buyer’s Tip:
You have decided to enter into a buyer’s agency agreement with a Realtor and now have a buyer's agent--great decision! And now you are spending all your waking moments looking at a home search website for your dream home. Hold on.... your next step should be to become pre-approved for a loan. Seriously, in this economy, sellers aren’t really interested in an offer from a buyer who has not been pre-approved. This will also let you know how much house you can truly afford (and you don’t HAVE to spend THAT much!) As far as finding a mortgage broker/mortgage consultant/loan officer--the best advice anyone can give you is to find someone you can trust. Ask friends and family... and, learn a bit about mortgages. Go to a website like bankrate.com and put in your info and do a search that will compare rates. Ask your realtor for recommendations and speak to a loan officer at your local bank. Shop around! ...ask if they offer FHA loans and bring your online info to compare what they tell you. They make their living by commission, or by marking up rates, or adding fees... so, be sure to ask about fees as well as interest rates. Also, if you end up unhappy with your loan officer, you can switch--getting pre-approved does not obligate you to work with that person when you find your home.