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Our Blog: Natural Notes

Top 5 Waterfall and Summit Hike Daytrips near Asheville, NC

a view of a rocky mountain with trees in the background

by Amanda Hastings, former Ecotour Guide for Asheville Hiking Tours Asheville, NC is a hotspot for special occasions, with activities for city-goers and mountain-lovers to enjoy. Asheville, NC has been a tourist destination since just before the 19th century and holds a rich history, from the confines of the city to the Blue Ridge Mountains…

This Bears Mentioning…

a bear that is standing in the grass

by Randy Sarton, Ecotour Guide for Asheville Hiking Tours Usually it only takes a very short while into one of my hikes for Asheville Hiking Tours before a guest poses the question, “Will we see a bear?”  This is not surprising given that black bears sit at the top of the list of charismatic megafauna here…

Planning a Wedding in Western North Carolina

a man standing in a field with a mountain in the background

by Mike Scow, Ecotour Guide for Asheville Hiking Tours – and he planned a successful wedding near Asheville, North Carolina! My wife and I began planning our wedding about a year before we got married. We started with a gorgeous rural location with trees, water, farm, and cows. Then we focused on the cake and…

Orchids Native to the Blue Ridge Mountains

a close up of a rock next to a forest

by Amanda Hastings, former Ecotour Guide for Asheville Hiking Tours Want to observe exquisite orchids in their wild, natural environment, yet not quite ready to book a trip to the tropics or a remote island somewhere? Many may be shocked to learn these enchanting plants live in a variety of environments outside of tropical rainforests…

Birding in and around Asheville, North Carolina

a colorful bird perched on top of a wooden table

by Bill Sanderson, Ecotour Guide for Asheville Hiking Tours, with intro by Owner Jenny Gruhn Birdwatching or “birding” is a popular way to become better acquainted with wildlife, since you can participate in this hobby while eating breakfast at your kitchen window, or waiting to get tires changed at the auto shop! Whether you live…

A Guide Looks Back at His Favorite Hiking Tour Experiences

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by Randy Sarton, Ecotour Guide for Asheville Hiking Tours During much of year 2020, Asheville Hiking Tours and its guides were forced to take a “sabbatical” due to the shutdown caused by the Covid virus.  The breather that stemmed from this extraordinary series of events provided me with the opportunity to review the hundreds of…

Top 5 Inns and Lodges near Asheville

Bliss Farm and Retreat

Photo of Bliss Farm & Retreat; photo credit to Ken Fine Photography. Looking for a mountain get-a-way where you can enjoy both quiet mornings and the restaurant scene of Asheville, North Carolina? From historic guest suites to rustic cabin rentals, we list our favorite retreats near Asheville. Remember to book early, especially on weekends and during…

The Smoky Mountain Elk Rut

Bull and Cow Elk Nuzzle Panorama

by Lee Saunders, Travel Writer You came early to drink and socialize. You look around. The competition hasn’t arrived. Then, there she is. She catches your eye from afar. Petite, gentle, somewhat coy, you approach and see if romance might be in the air. No, we are not talking about a bar in the hopping…

How to Start an Outdoor Tour Company

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by Jenny Gruhn, Owner, Asheville Hiking Tours Launching Asheville Hiking Tours has been a favorite turning point in my life. The tourism industry is a great one to be in, because it attracts fun and positive people, allows for a flexible work schedule as well as endless creativity as you design tours. I was interviewed…