advertisement

Bicycling -- The Asheville area is terrific for mountain biking. Bicycle shops and outfitters can provide trail maps and bike rentals. Call the chamber of commerce at tel. 828/258-6101 or visit www.ashevillecycling.com for a complete list.

Fishing -- Best for lake fishing is Lake Julian, south of Asheville, which is well stocked with bass and bream. Canoes and picnic facilities are available. Lake Powhatan, on N.C. 191 in the Pisgah National Forest, has a sand beach, swimming, camping, and picnicking in addition to fishing. No boats are available, however. Lake Lure, on U.S. 74 about 30 minutes southeast of Asheville, has trout, bass, bream, and watersports; motorboats are available. An abundance of well-stocked rivers and highland streams are also within easy reach of Asheville. For more information about fishing in the area, contact the Hunter Banks Store (tel. 828/252-3005; www.hunterbanks.com).

Golf -- The rolling terrain of the mountains around Asheville presents golfers with hundreds of uncrowded fairways. There are more than 50 golf courses in the state's western region. Our favorite is the course at the Grove Park Inn Resort, 290 Macon Ave. (tel. 800/438-5800 or 828/252-2711; www.groveparkinn.com). Open daily throughout the year, the par-71 course is steeped in tradition, having first opened in 1899. It was redesigned in 1924 by master golf architect Donald Ross. The oldest operating course in North Carolina, it evokes memories of Harry Vardon, Bobby Jones, and Ben Hogan. Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus are only two of the great golfers who have played here. Greens fees are $50 for 9 holes and $85 to $149 for 18 holes.

Hiking -- The famous Appalachian Trail (www.appalachiantrail.org) passes through a large section of Pisgah National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Greater Asheville area is a hiker's paradise, with trails in almost every direction and in every major park. You can purchase the booklet 100 Favorite Trails at the visitors bureau (tel. 828/258-6101). You can also contact the North Carolina division of the U.S. Forest Service (tel. 828/257-4200; www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc) for trail maps and more information.

Horseback Riding -- Stables in the area offer trail riding with experienced guides. Some stables also offer pack trips in the surrounding mountains. The visitors bureau keeps a complete list; or contact Rock 'n' Water Outdoor Adventures (tel. 828/689-3354; www.yearroundadventures.com).

Rock Climbing -- Based in Brevard, near Asheville, Fox Mountain Guides, 3228 Asheville Hwy., Pisgah Forest (tel. 888/284-8433; www.foxmountainguides.com), is the only outfitter in the Southeast accredited by the American Mountain Guide Association. Experienced guides take families climbing in the Pisgah National Forest. The outfit offers everything from international mountaineering expeditions to teen rock-climbing summer camps. Kids 6 years old and up can participate in a 2-hour Intro to Climbing Class for $40. Groups of seven can go on climbing expeditions at a cost of $70 per person for a full day, and a family of four can experience "top roping" -- requiring no previous experience -- for $320 per day, including all equipment. Camping and individual instruction in rock climbing are also available.

Tennis -- The Grove Park Inn Resort, 190 Macon Ave. (tel. 800/438-5800; www.groveparkinn.com), leads not only in golf, but also in tennis. The resort has been ranked as one of the 50 greatest tennis resorts in the U.S. by Tennis magazine. It offers three outdoor courts and three indoor courts. Rates per hour range from $20 outdoors to $25 indoors.

White-Water Rafting -- You can choose a raft, kayak, or canoe to ride the white-water rapids. The rivers of western North Carolina and the Tennessee border offer rapids of Class I-V difficulty. Outfitters offer trips ranging from a half-day to a full weekend. Try the Nolichucky and French Broad rivers to the north or the Nantahala, Ocoee, Chattooga, and Green rivers to the west and south. Call the chamber of commerce or Rock 'n' Water Outdoor Adventures (tel. 828/689-3354; www.yearroundadventures.com) for more information.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.