Great Outdoor Towns for Families

Asheville, North Carolina
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"I want to take her home!" our daughters pleaded at the end of our overnight llama trek in the North Carolina mountains. Us, too. Who could resist the banana peel ears and dark, soulful eyes of Fluffy, our new
four-legged friend?

It was the culmination of an action-packed visit to Asheville, North Carolina. Surrounded by more than a million acres of national forests and the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain ranges, this down-home southern belle is a natural for outdoor adventure. Fall season is our favorite time to visit; bring your hiking boots for treks into the blazing foothills, your bike helmets, and climbing shoes. Come winter, there's ice skating on frozen mountain ponds, and cross-country and downhill skiing. For information, call (800) 257-1300 or visit

Don't Leave Town Without:

1.  Taking a fall llama trek into the Pisgah National Forest with English Mountain Llama Treks (423-623-5274, While the kids lead the lovable llamas (carrying all the necessary gear), parents can take in the lush mountain landscape. You'll meander low mountain paths through color-splashed forests, along pristine lakeshores, and fall asleep to the sound of tumbling waterfalls.
2. Taking a hike on the kid-friendly Graveyard Fields Trail to pretty Yellowstone Falls, or hitting the Skyline Trail to Hickory Nut Falls. When the mercury drops, explore area trails on snowshoes or cross-country skis. Or, head to one of the four small downhill ski areas nearby.
3. Hitting off-road trails on a guided mountain bike excursion with Falling Creek (828-254-9726, These folks are the best with kids! Then, get on some rock by signing up for one of their Looking Glass Rock climbing adventures.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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