Hiking Whiteside Mountain | Cashiers, North Carolina
This December, my family traveled to a cabin in Cashiers, North Carolina, to spend Christmas in the mountains. It’s a new tradition, and I have to admit that I love being somewhere cold over the holidays. I was really hoping for snow more than anything, and my cousin Hollyn even came up to stay with us for a few days, so we were expecting to wake up to frost covered trees and streets blanketed with snow.
Anything is better than 80 degrees and humidity, but we never had snow even when the temperature dipped below 20. The one benefit is that we had much more time for hiking. Whiteside Mountain was the obvious choice with 700 ft cliffs and gorgeous views of Asheville. The one problem we ran into was that it wasn’t a clear day when we went. It was actually the foggiest day, and we had trouble seeing even a few feet ahead at some parts of the trail. I came prepared for the cold for the most part, but here are a few helpful tips for tackling winter time hike in North Carolina.
3 Things You NEED to Know Before Your Next Hike
1. Wear Ankle High Hiking Boots: This might not seem like an essential, but during the winter the ice at higher altitudes starts to freeze over some of the rocks. Even if you can manage to stay balanced with the fresh snow and ice, you’ll have stronger ankle support and a quicker hike if you get boots with a little more support. Mine are from Timberland, and they seriously been a life saver whether I was in California or North Carolina. Obviously I don’t get to use them quite as much in Florida, but they’re great for traveling and long hikes.
2. Pack Lunch & A Hammock: At the top of most NC mountain peaks, there are flat, spacious rock spaces surrounded by forrest to sit and enjoy the view. If it’s a shorter hike, like this 2.5 mile loop trail, you’ll have time to sit and enjoy the view for an hour before climbing down the trail. At Whiteside Mountain, the trail is a steep climb on the way up and a gentle descent for the second half, so it’s the perfect place to get a workout in and then enjoy the scenery on the way back.
3. Pack Light & Bring Lots Water: I’ve been on more hikes than I can count where I hauled all my camera equipment, books, enos, snack, and thick winter coats to the summit. If you’re going on a short hike or run, there’s really no need for all the gear unless you want be real exhausted by the end of the afternoon.
I I hope y’all enjoyed these tips & get outside for a North Carolina hike real soon!
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