back to articles | February 02, 2024 | Greg Thibodeau

Categories: Lifestyle

Things to Do in the Blue Ridge Mountains: Virginia's Winter Treasure

The Blue Ridge Mountains are known for their stunning beauty and breathtaking vistas.


The Blue Ridge Mountains are known for their stunning beauty and breathtaking vistas. Their peaks stretch across multiple states, including Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. This region is home to some of the oldest and most diverse ecosystems in the world.

The Blue Ridge Mountains provide a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for camping, fishing, and rock climbing. The region's rich cultural history is celebrated, with historic sites and museums showcasing the heritage of the Appalachian people. Whether it's exploring the vibrant foliage, spotting wildlife, or simply enjoying the tranquility of the mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains offer a truly unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Hiking and Nature Trails

Diverse ecosystems and stunning landscapes are just a few of the reasons why the Blue Ridge Mountains are a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts. With hundreds of miles of hiking trails, visitors can explore the beauty of the region. For a more immersive experience, try a guided hike, where knowledgeable guides can provide interesting insights.

The Appalachian Trail is a must-visit destination for hikers in the region. Stretching over 2,000 miles, this iconic trail offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience diverse ecosystems and breathtaking landscapes. From lush forests to panoramic mountain views, the Appalachian Trail showcases the best of the region's natural beauty.

There is an abundance of hiking trails in the area. Popular destinations such as Clingmans Dome and Mount LeConte offer breathtaking views and a chance to witness the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains up close. Other popular hiking destinations in the region include Linville Gorge and Roan Mountain, known for their stunning vistas and unique geological features.

Whether you're an experienced hiker or a beginner, there are trails suitable for every skill level. Don't forget to pack your camera and binoculars to capture the awe-inspiring landscapes and spot some of the region's diverse wildlife along the way. Whenever hiking, leave no trace to help preserve the beauty of these natural wonders for future generations.

Water Activities

In warmer weather, the Blue Ridge Mountains offer numerous water activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, and whitewater rafting, in the region's rivers and lakes. Numerous cascades and waterfalls, including Linville Falls and Crabtree Falls, offer breathtaking views and tranquil spots for swimming and picnicking. Don't forget to bring your sunscreen and a sense of adventure as you explore the crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The New River, known for its calm and gentle currents, is perfect for a leisurely canoe or kayak trip. As you travel through the crystal-clear waters of the river, you will see stunning scenery filled with tall trees and luxuriant vegetation. Lake James, with its sparkling blue waters and stunning mountain views, offers a peaceful setting for paddleboarding.

For those seeking a more challenging experience, Watauga Lake as well as the Nantahala and French Broad rivers provide thrilling whitewater rafting opportunities. With fast-paced rapids and breathtaking scenery, these waterways will surely satisfy adrenaline junkies and nature enthusiasts alike. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced adventurer, these destinations offer a variety of activities to suit all levels of adventure.


The Blue Ridge Mountains are known for their abundance of pristine lakes and trout streams. The rivers and lakes in the area are teeming with trout, bass, and other freshwater species, making them a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. Crystal-clear waters and serene surroundings create the perfect backdrop for a peaceful day of angling.

Whether you prefer fly fishing in the calm mountain streams or trolling for bass in the deep, clear lakes, the Blue Ridge Mountains offer a wide range of fishing experiences for both beginners and experienced fishermen. For newcomers to the sport, there are plenty of guides and outfitters available to provide instruction and equipment. No matter your level of expertise, the Blue Ridge Mountains promise a memorable fishing experience amidst breathtaking natural beauty.

Wildlife Viewing

The diverse wildlife found in the Blue Ridge Mountains includes black bears, deer, elk, and various bird species. Wildlife viewing areas, such as Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pisgah National Forest, and Cherokee National Forest, offer plenty of opportunities to see these animals in their natural habitats.

Visitors can take guided wildlife tours or explore the numerous hiking trails to increase their chances of spotting wildlife. The best times for wildlife viewing are typically in the early morning or late afternoon, when animals are most active. It is important to remember to observe wildlife from a safe distance and to never feed or approach them.

Cultural and Historical Attractions

Cultural and historical attractions in the Blue Ridge Mountains provide visitors with a glimpse into the rich heritage of the region. The Blue Ridge Mountains are home to old mining towns and Civil War battlefields where visitors can learn about the region's past and its significance in American history. The Biltmore Estate is a magnificent mansion that George Vanderbilt constructed in the late 19th century and is renowned for its grandeur and architectural beauty.

The Cherokee Indian Reservation offers visitors a chance to learn about the traditions and history of the Cherokee people. The reservation is home to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Here, visitors can explore exhibits that showcase the tribe's art, culture, and history.

Other cultural attractions include museums, art galleries, and local festivals that celebrate the vibrant culture of the area. At Gatlinburg's historic arts and crafts district, visitors can witness skilled artisans at work, creating intricate pottery, woodcarvings, and other traditional crafts. The district is also home to numerous galleries and shops, offering a wide range of locally made artwork and crafts for purchase.

Another notable attraction is the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic highway that winds through the mountains and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Along the parkway, visitors can stop at various historical sites and interpretive centers to learn more about the region's history and natural beauty. Find out how can make your next car more affordable and the drive even more enjoyable.