Where to go Stargazing in the High Country

You may find yourself looking for activities to do in the High Country, if you are an astronomy lover or just enjoy spending time under the stars, there are a number of places to enjoy the celestials and wildlife that is native to the High Country.

Julian Price Lake

Bring your telescopes and head out to Julian Price Lake. With a trail that wraps around the lake and sitting-areas to view the stars under, you can enjoy the peacefulness of the lake beside you while viewing your favorite constellations. https://www.blueridgeparkway.org/poi/julian-price-memorial-park/

 

Appalachian State Dark Sky Observatory

Every month the Appalachian State Dark Sky observatory hosts an evening under the stars for astronomy enthusiasts to view the celestials in a group-setting. A telescope is on-site and laser beams are available. Check out the website here for more information https://dso.appstate.edu/

 

Grandfather Mountain presents Grandfather Glows

During Grandfather Glows, you will be able to see up to 10 species of fireflies or luminous insects as well as the stars that light the night sky. Grandfather Mountain provides red flashlights. There’s currently 3 dates for Grandfather Glows: June 28th, June 30th, July 2nd. To purchase tickets, you must enter into the Grandfather Glow lottery held May 20-27th to “win” access to purchasing tickets. To learn more, visit https://grandfather.com/fireflies/

 

Bare Dark Sky Observatory

Located an hour outside of Boone, but still inside the High Country, is the Bare Dark Sky Observatory. Home to the observatory and the planetarium, stargazers can come observe the stars when the observatory is open or after-hours. For more information https://www.mayland.edu/foundation/foundation-events/earth-to-sky-observatory/

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

There are a number of places on the parkway that you can view the stars – one of Abbey’s favorite spots is the Thunder Hill overlook which opens up for prime viewing of the stars above on clear nights or the mountains below. For more places on the parkway, check out the link below: https://www.blueridgeparkway.org/.

 

In addition to spending an evening under the stars, you may be able to view some of the nocturnal wildlife that is native to the area. While North Carolina has a number of nocturnal species, perhaps the most interesting of the bunch are the species below.

Eastern screech owl: Eastern screech owls are abundant in North Carolina and happen to be the smallest resident owl of the native species to the state. A skilled nocturnal hunter, the eastern screech owl rests high above its prey before swooping in. They are able to identify their prey by sight and sound.

Red Fox: While the grey fox is the only fox that is native to North Carolina, red foxes are prevalent in the high country, also. Primarily nocturnal, they come out to hunt at night. Red foxes are beneficial to farmers in that they generally eat mice and other animals that uninvitedly frequent farms.

Bobcat: The bobcat is a species that is found in North Carolina. Coming out at night to hunt, Bobcats are generally solitary animals, unless it is breeding season. The elusiveness of the bobcat draws attention to the species in that they have a cunning nature living close to people, but rarely being detected. While most activity takes place at night, the bobcat does come out during the day.

 

Do you want to experience star-gazing and sighting these amazing creatures on a nightly basis? Consider a home in the High Country. Homes that have views of the stars above and the mountain ranges are available now! We also have homes available that are only minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are many homes for sale in Blowing Rock, Boone, and Banner Elk that can live up to every star gazers dreams. We can help you find yours today!

 

mountain views of stars

stars in the night sky

stars on a cloudy night

stars on a cloudy night

views of the stars

View of the stars from the Appalachian Trail

purple sky full of stars

A purple sky full of stars

Spring in the NC High Country

Spring in the High Country is like no other. Rhododendrons bloom in the brightest pink, covering the mountains in a floral landscape that will last until fall. Sunsets become more dreamy. Sunrises give way to an abundance of birds and other wildlife. The Blue Ridge parkway starts seeing more and more traffic, hikers, photographers, artists, and children discovering a renewed love for the outdoors as the season progresses.
Some of the most popular events happen around this time of year as well. Tweestie Railroad has officially opened for the 2024 season. From music festivals to culinary weekends, there are a variety of events to attend as a family, couple, group of friends, or alone. There’s also quite a few recurring events including the Watauga County Farmers Market. You can find a full calendar of events over at exploreboone.com!
Some of our favorite spring-time trails include: The Boone Greenway, the Boone Fork Trail, Bass Lake, and Otter Falls. These are great trails that are on the easier side to get back into the swing of hiking if you’ve taken a break for the Winter season. Sometimes our local black bears aren’t the only ones who hibernate.
If you’re looking to have an easy-going, chill Spring, you can enjoy more relaxing High Country activities. There are many museums, spa centers, wineries & breweries, and other entertainment shows to see as well.
Whatever your High Country Spring looks like, there’s always something for you. If you’re hoping to make a Spring vacation more permanent, reach out to us! We’d love to help you find Bliss in the North Carolina Mountains.

Home Safety During the Holidays: Keeping Your Family & Pets Safe

It’s that time of year again, when we’re decking our halls, trimming our trees, and spreading Christmas cheer. With an increased risk of fire or other safety issues during the holidays due to lights, candles and holiday cooking, we have put together a list, courtesy of FEMA and the Humane society of safety tips for keeping your family safe and pets safe over the holiday season!

1) A dry Christmas tree that is exposed to fire, a short in a cord or Christmas lights can be devastating- be careful to make sure that your Christmas tree is watered daily. Additionally, make sure to keep the tree away from heat sources that would cause increased risk of fire. Examples include baseboards, fireplace, space heaters.

2) Make sure that you blow your candles out. Approximately, 1/2 of all home fires during the holidays have started from candles. Precautions include keeping them away from anything that is likely to burn such as curtains, decorations that hang down or anything that could easily catch fire.

3) Christmas lights should always be checked before putting up to make sure there are not any shorts present in the cord or areas of the cord that have become worn. Replacing Christmas lights that are old and worn with new lights decreases risk of a fire, this includes securing loose strands and buying lights that have safety certifications. Most importantly, don’t forget to turn the lights out.

4) People have a tendency to throw items in the fireplace over the holidays that would not normally go in there, this increases the chance of an accident happening. Always protect yourselves and your family by throwing items safely in a receptacle bin and using a screen for your fireplace.

5) While the holidays can be considered one of the most exciting times of the year, they are also the time of year that an increase in cooking fires are reported. Most instances, can be a grease fire or oven fire, but make sure you know the facts: water can in fact, cause grease or an oil fire to splatter and spread. Baking soda, covering the fire, salt or a fire extinguisher are proven solutions for putting these fires out. If the fire is inside of the oven, opening the oven only feeds more oxygen into the fire and can cause it to spread. Try to turn off the oven completely and call for help.

In addition to increased risk of fire in your home during the holiday season, be careful to keep a close eye on pets who can easily digest unwanted items or get burned playing with your favorite holiday candle.

6) Christmas tree water- Pets are no strangers to drinking water from various sources inside the home, some, not so advantageous to their digestive tract. The water that is in the bottom of the tree can be plagued with unwanted chemicals or shavings that can cause your pet to get sick.

7) While poinsettias, holly and mistletoe are all part of us spreading Christmas cheer, one bite from our pets and they can be considered especially harmful as all 3 plants are poisonous if ingested.

8) Christmas decorations like our favorite holiday candle, tinsel, or even our Christmas lights can be troublesome should our four-legged family members get a hold of them. Burns and accidental ingestion are not uncommon.

 

The Holidays are full of joy and busy schedules. Making sure you and your family are safe looks different this time of year. We hope you are all enjoying this cold Winter season. The greatest gifts of all are the relationships with family and friends. Merry Christmas! We can’t wait to see you next year.

2023 Festival of Trees

Each year, we have had the privilege of participating in the Western Youth Network’s Festival of Trees! This is an annual fundraiser that benefits the children of the North Carolina High Country through the Western Youth Network. There are more than 120 wreaths and trees displayed in the area. We entered the event with our “National Parks and Wildlife” themed tree.

The generosity of a number of businesses adorn our tree and we couldn’t be more thankful for their gracious support. Donations to our tree include: a 4-person ticket pass to Grandfather Mountain, a $58 gift ticket certificate to Apple Hill Farm, and many goods and presents from Common Good Co in Boone! Our tree is also full of special ornaments that center around our theme. There are many trees to bid on this year, but if you’re hobbies include nature, hiking, camping, fishing, or you’re just an animal lover, make sure to take a good look at our tree during the bidding process.

The festival lasts throughout the month of November and includes events such as Wreath making, Hot Chocolate social, Festival Film, WYNter Wonderland Cookie and concludes on November 30th with a one- day fundraiser that raises $20,000 in one day for the Western Youth Network. All proceeds go to helping the children in the High Country! This is certainly a special time of year, especially with the generosity that surrounds our community. The Western Youth Network does the work of angels all year long.

Being able to support a foundation as admirable as the Western Youth Network is truly a blessing. They are such a bright light in our community. Real Estate is what we do, but our community is what we love and support.

Be sure to look-out for other Holiday blogs to follow! We can’t wait to see what’s in store for this Christmas season.

Fall Activities in the NC High Country

Autumn may be our favorite time of year in Blowing Rock. The weather starts to cool down, but doesn’t get too cold. The leaves change into an array of colors. Enjoyable for anyone, there are activities from easy drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway to vigorous hikes where the views are always worth it. Imagine snuggling up next to a fireplace with your hot chocolate or tea smelling the crisp fall air through the windows of the perfect log cabin in the High Country. Surely it doesn’t get better than that. Not only do we take in all things Fall, but this year, we’re counting on snow. We’ve heard theories about the Woolly Worms, Persimmon seeds, and foggy mornings this year: all suggesting that snow will have a big role in the weather in the upcoming months.

 

Autumn is a special time of year, where we get to enjoy the crispness of a new season and show our gratitude for the many blessings that we have. We have compiled a list of things that we
enjoy most about Fall and hope you will too! Maybe after doing all these things, we can help you find your piece of Autumn heaven here in the High Country.

 

Hiking during the autumn season- Favorite hikes include:

Watching college football and NFL – Whether it is cheering on our home team Appalachian State University or sitting down and watching our favorite NFL team, we love football season! Appstatesports.com/sports/football.

Mountain biking –

Kid’s Soccer. The Town of Blowing Rock Kinder Sports lasts year around with various sports for kids! Come out and join us! https://www.townofblowingrocknc.gov/government/parks-and-recreation-and-landscaping-/programs/kinder-sports

New River Corn Maze. With fun for the whole family you can explore the corn maze, visit the pumpkin patch or take a tram ride. http://www.newrivercornmaze.com/

Apple Picking – there are a ton of Apple orchards to choose from in the High Country! https://www.appalachiangrown.org/listing/show/395-coffey-s-orchard-at-coffey-grounds

Our favorite eats- Sweet potato & black bean tacos, Persimmon pudding, Pumpkin muffins, Pumpkin soup, Pumpkin Pie, Chili.

Carving Pumpkins- With Halloween just around the corner, we love pumpkin carving! Some of the best places for picking up your own Jack-o-lantern include: Harvest Farm, New River Farm and C&J Pumpkin Patch. https://highcountryhost.com/High-Country-NC-Mountain-pumpkin-patches-corn-mazes-2023

Taking a walk and enjoying the crisp air

Spending time with family

Bonfires

Taking the dogs to the parkway

Woolly worm festival http://www.woollyworm.com/

Drinking pumpkin spiced lattes from our favorite coffee shops

Thanks for reading! We always love sharing our High Country secrets with you.

Our Favorite High Country Summer Hikes

As Summer quickly approaches, we are all getting our hiking gear ready. Living up in the High Country guarantees a Summer filled with fun, sun, and plenty of outdoor activities. You’ll get the experience you’re looking for whether that is climbing our tallest summit or hiking to find the perfect river to cool down in! Hiking in the High Country is the perfect activity for the whole family and your pets! We’ve listed some of our favorites here. Check them out! You can find all of this information and more on Outdoorish.com and on the National Parks Service website!
  1. Rough Ridge Overlook Trail. Difficulty: Easy. At only 0.8 miles, this trail is easier than some. There is still some uneven terrain and can be steep in some places. You’ll know when you’re at the top when you reach the boardwalks built for the safety of the ecosystem!
  2. Crab Orchard Falls Trail. Difficulty: Moderate. As a 1 mile out-and-back trail, this is a perfect hike that is kid friendly and great for dogs on a leash. There are tons of pools, cascades, and rocks to climb year-round. You will most likely encounter other people and maybe some loose rocks.
  3. Linville Falls Trail. Difficulty: Moderate – Strenuous. While there are multiple different paths and overlooks, the main 1.6 mile Erwin’s View trail offers gorgeous waterfall and river views. Over four different sections of the falls trail show views from multiple vantage points.
Thanks for reading! We’ll make sure to add to this list with any new adventures we come across this Summer.

March Market Update from BHHSVP!

March can be a month full of sunshine, blooming flowers, and rainbows. It can also be a month surrounded by white snow, sledding, and icy mornings. Whether you’re sipping a sweet tea on the green grass or having a hot coffee in your cozy cabin kitchen, March is beautiful in the North Carolina High Country.

Winterfest Recap

We really enjoyed participating in Blowing Rock’s annual WinterFest in January. Our firm was a sponsor of the ‘Ice Stroll’ and proudly displayed a skier ice sculpture (which didn’t last long in the sunshine, but was very pretty while it lasted) in front of our office for festival-goers to admire. The festival offered food, drink, fun, and even a Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake – for those who were brave enough! Consider joining us next year if you’ve never been to Blowing Rock’s WinterFest, and please see below for photos of some of the highlights from this year’s festivities!

Thank you,

Pumpkin Spice and Real Estate Advice

Happy Fall everyone! Our agents have decided to share some of their favorite pieces of real estate advice, and a fantastic recipe for a homemade pumpkin spice latte. Each agent here at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Vincent Properties is knowledgeable, experienced, and ready to help you through today’s hectic market. Below you will find very valuable information that will help you regardless of whether you are in the process of buying or selling. Our agents have left small bits of advice that range from what lenders to use, to how to approach today’s market.If you have any more questions, please feel free to stop by or give us a call!

 

 

Jay, Fall Background, Real Estate Advice

Ben, Fall Background, Real Estate Advice

 

 

Now that you have read some great pieces of advice from our fantastic agents, we hope you feel more prepared regardless of where you are in your real estate journey. Now enjoy the Fall season by making your own homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte! The recipe listed below is our personal favorite,

and we hope you enjoy it!

Office Makeover!

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Vincent Properties is excited to announce that our front office recently had a makeover! We are thankful to Ashe County artist Alfredo Martinez for our beautiful new desks, and Vincent Properties is also sporting a new window display with light-up panels. We are grateful to have been able to update our office and elevate it with rustic and contemporary details. It’s still a work in progress, so stay tuned for the journey!

 

       Before…                                  After!

 

We still have a blank wall that needs some decor! What should we put here? Message us with your best ideas!