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wisconsin_fan81
OK, so as we rapidly approach summer here in the big NC, I thought I would take the time to go over some of the cooler things to do in my personal favorite-as well as one of the most popular-regions of NC: the Appalachian mountains!

First, a visit to Transylvania County is a must. First, it is a county named Transylvania- how cool is that? Second, it has more waterfalls in one area than I have ever seen. Just driving through Pisgah national forest, you go through all kinds of twisting mountain roads (we take the route that goes from a small town named Canton, where my wife's family has property) and these roads will literally shoulder off, you park and there it is- waterfalls! Looking glass falls is probably the most popular straight up "waterfall" but by far the most fun it Sliding Rock! Yes, the name says it all: you drive into this one area of the national park, park in the parking lot, and there is a changing area. so you get ready, walk down some steps, and there is a waterfall at about a 45 degree angle, that you can slide down into a pool of water- all natural, not man made at all (although there is a lifeguard). It is such a rush, and although it may sound hokey the way I'm explaining it, trust me it is nothing short of thrilling fun! My wife and I went a couple years ago, packed a picnic basket, and went waterfall hunting through the park- including an extended trip to Sliding Rock!

Speaking of "hunting", total subject change, but has anyone else from up north ever heard of morel mushroom hunting? Apparently it is this ultra rare and deliciously tasty mushroom that only appears by certain kinds of dead trees (usually elm and oak I believe) and only in the spring for a couple weeks. I mention this because apparently the NC mountain region is supposed to be amazing ground for this artisan culinary treat! I am going to the mountains next month, and although it is a little late in the season, I am going to check for some (I am a chef at heart). Well, that's another different but potentially fun thing to do in the mountains!
starlagurl
I have never heard of these mushrooms. Do you know what they taste like?
wisconsin_fan81
A friend of mine in Wisconsin said "if portabella is filet mignon, morels are like ground beef", not implying quality, but maybe a more well rounded meaty taste. They have found a ton in the NC mountains this year! I found about 6 pounds worth while in Wisconsin last year, and the local restaurants buy them for up to $125/lb!! We ate them though, I'll take food over money any day!
starlagurl
I'd be afraid to be poisoned, I guess you really have to know what you're doing, right?
wisconsin_fan81
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wisconsin_fan81
my friends up north are more crunchy nature lovers, and I'm kind of a city slicker by comparison, so they are getting me used to what to look for to avoid getting poisoned!
starlagurl
Ohhhh wow... looks good to me! What do you do with them? Put them in a salad?
wisconsin_fan81
My friend Nick chopped them up, sauteed them in butter, and cooked them with scrambled eggs over a campfire!
starlagurl
MMmmMMmm nom nom nom!
wisconsin_fan81
If anyone is looking to vacation way, way up in the mountains this summer, check out the Nantahala area. My wife's Grandmother has property about 30 min from there in a small town named Canton (10 min from Asheville) so we go there fairly often. This area has some of the highest elevations in NC, has several beautiful national parks and forests (Nantahala, Pisgah) and actually Nantahala itself is not so much a town but a unincorporated region in a national forest, a river, and a group of cabin rentals and whitewater rafting companies (lol....seriously though, it is). Necessary when visiting the area are whitewater rafting down the Nantahala river, a train ride up to the river from Bryson City on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, A long, pointless drive through the mountains and all the small towns (this may be the most relaxing part of your whole trip as long as you are not afraid of heights) and if you are feeling lucky, a trip to Harrah's casino on the Indian reservation in Cherokee (seriously, a huge Harrah's in the middle of the mountains). Here is where we stayed when we took an extended trip a couple years ago and a link, in case anyone needs a starting point. Happy Hiking!
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and here is the link to the company we used to rent the PIMP cabin in Nantahala:
Nantahala Mountain Resort

wisconsin_fan81
More mountain stuff people (can you tell where my favorite area of the state is???).
I just got back from a trip to Canton, NC.....don't worry, no one else has heard of it either. It is a SMALL mountain town in Haywood County, about 20 min outside of Asheville, NC (Think Rockefeller and Vanderbilt...they pretty much created it). There is nothing especially spectacular in Canton- no must see landmark or monument, no knockout 4 diamond, michelin star restaurant, heck, there's not even a Walmart. what there is though, is quite easily the most beautiful view of the Appalachian Mountains in all of NC. Yes, I know this point will be argued among fairweather and experienced mountainfolk alike, but keep this in mind: Haywood county has the highest elevation in NC...do the math, this equals what? Sweeping views, dramatic valleys and breathtaking heights. Cold Mountain? Haywood County. Maggie Valley? Haywood County. Blue Ridge Parkway? Runs right through it. So do the Pigeon River, Lake Junaluska, and countless heartbreakingly beautiful natural wonders. Here's some pictures from near my Wife's Grandmother's (lovingly referred to as "mamaw"...how much more mountain do you get? lol) house in the Dutch Cove area of Canton:




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aopaq
Looks like a great place for hiking! Is there lots of wildlife?

BTW, maybe you will have to change your username to NC_fan! wink.gif
wisconsin_fan81
Yes it is great for hiking. Me and a buddy of mine from (you guessed it) Wisconsin, have been meaning to take some time off and walk my state's part of the Appalachian trail. And reference to the name, I know it seems a bit off, but I spent half of my life in each place, and it is more in regards to the sports teams- I am a DIE HARD UW Badgers fan.
aopaq
QUOTE(wisconsin_fan81 @ May 30 2009, 08:39 PM) *

Yes it is great for hiking. Me and a buddy of mine from (you guessed it) Wisconsin, have been meaning to take some time off and walk my state's part of the Appalachian trail. And reference to the name, I know it seems a bit off, but I spent half of my life in each place, and it is more in regards to the sports teams- I am a DIE HARD UW Badgers fan.



Alright! I am a fan of the Badgers football team!
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