For a host of reasons, the Blue Ridge Mountains have become something of a relocation hotspot, partly because Asheville, NC real estate is among the best buys in the country, and also partly because the area offers so very much for so very many different types of people.

Asheville itself is a thriving urban community with a vital arts scene, great restaurants, stunning architecture and a growing job market. But the area also offers a wealth of outdoor recreational activities for those seeking some wilder, more rugged mountain adventure to go along with their mountain real estate.

Hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Hot Springs is a town about 40 minutes north of Asheville, named for the hot mineral springs found in the area (in fact, it is the only place in the Southeastern United States with hot mineral spring water), but for all of the town’s many attributes, perhaps its most exciting is the hiking trails found nearby.

Hot Springs sits at the junction of the Appalachian Trail and the French Broad River, and is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest. Sections of the famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail run through the area, and one can plan a hike of virtually any length, with any agenda: you could go for a picnic, set out to absorb breathtaking mountain views, hike aggressively to cover ground…or just take a leisurely, long afternoon stroll.

Mountain Climbing and Mountain Biking

For those seeking more of an adrenaline rush, the Blue Ridge Mountains—as one might expect—also provide some of the best and most accessible mountain climbing in the country, including guided rock- and mountain-climbing experiences that can be catered to any level of climber: from novice to expert. For those just learning the ropes, many rock-climbing guides will outfit clients in the appropriate gear, so that major expenditures can be avoided—or, at least, delayed, until the novice climber decides it’s time to get serious and buy his or her own crampons, ropes and harnesses.

And, of course, wherever there are mountains and trails, mountain biking can’t be far behind. It’s widely known that the Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the best biking trails, not just in the United States, but in the world. And indeed, the biking experiences offered by the region are as diverse and wide-ranging as the region itself. Looking for a gravel path with scenic views of forest and streams? No problem. Or are you more interested in slaloming down a rugged descent at breakneck speeds? Why, that’s here too. All you need is a bike, a helmet and an open afternoon…or better yet, a whole day.

Kayaking, Canoeing, Rafting and Fishing

Of course, one need not stay on dry land to enjoy the outdoor possibilities of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rafting is one of the most rewarding outdoor activities in which one can indulge; it also offers perhaps the most diverse array of possibilities. One can go for the intensity and excitement of whitewater rafting, or one can simply take out a raft for a calm day on the water, simply by taking a raft out on the French Broad River where all types of rafting experiences are offered. The river is also home to plenty of small mouth bass and catfish, so one can plan a multifaceted day on the water.

Kayaking and canoeing are also to be found in abundance in the Blue Ridge Mountain region—one can go canoeing or kayaking down the French Broad River for any length of excursion, and see any number of sights. There are, of course, wondrous expanses of forest and mountains, as well as Asheville’s magnificent Biltmore Estate: You can take a quiet canoe or kayak ride through the Biltmore Estate property, from where you can witness the magisterial beauty of the 175,000-square-foot chateau.

From Mountain Real Estate to Mountain Living

It should go without saying that this is merely a fragment of the outdoor activities offered by the Blue Ridge Mountains, and those who have only recently purchased Asheville, NC real estate (as well as those who are still in the market for Asheville, NC real estate) have this and so much more to explore. However, it can truly be said that no other region of the country offers such a fine blend of culture, real-estate value and outdoor excitement. And no other place in the world is quite so beautiful.