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BRP with a toddler

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Marlborough...
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BRP with a toddler

my husband and i and our 16 month old daughter will be visiting his sister and her boyfriend in Asheville at the end of next month. our daughter will be just turning 17 months and is just starting to figure out this walking thing.

while we are there i have a couple of stops on the BRP i want to go to but im wondering how toddler friendly they are.

mainly i want to know how safe it would be for an adult to hike to these places with a toddler in a carrier on their back. we're not bringing a stroller since we almost never use one anyways so we will be carrying her.

i just want to make sure i dont have to do any crazy climbing or stepping on slippery rocks.

Linville Falls & Gorge

-how far is it to the falls?

-can you see the gorge in the same general area?

Graveyard Fields

this appears to be a 4 mile loop?

thank you!

Chapel Hill, North...
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1. Re: BRP with a toddler

Personally, I would not do the hike to the base of Linville falls with a toddler in a backpack. It is steep and rooty and rugged. This page has some views of the trail with the kind of rooty terrain you could expect: www.romanticasheville.com/linville_falls.htm .

I would have some hesitation about doing the upper hike to the overlooks, but if you're really comfortable with the backpack it would probably be okay. There are steps which can be wet and narrow. Less rocks and roots, but there are be some. If you didn't have a baby in a backpack I'd say it's a moderately easy hike. There is an incline and it's not paved, but it's not too bad. This is the view from the upper falls (more popular) hike: http://www.ncwaterfalls.com/lin1.htm

The Gorge is just the valley. You can see it best from the upper trail to the overlooks since you're down in the bottom of it on the lower trail to the base.

I don't know Graveyard Fields well enough to comment on that so will leave that to some of the Asheville regulars. I did just hike Linville Falls about 1 month ago.

Melbourne, Florida
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2. Re: BRP with a toddler

If I remember right Graveyard Fields at the beginning is sets of steps going down, then levels out to a walkway crossing a bit of water, then a trail down to the bottom. If would not be an easy hike with a toddler on your back but you may not mind it since you are probably used to carrying the little one (I'm too old for that stuff nowadays!). Coming back up would really be the challenge! However this one does not have huge drop offs along the trail, not that I remember (its been a couple of years since we were there). I think its relatively safe in that respect.

The only hike that I know of that is stroller friendly is Laurel Falls which is paved a good part of the way. Its located over in the National Park and quite a drive from Asheville. I know you said you are not bringing a stroller, my point is most trails are rough land, narrow at times, some with mountain drop offs. At the falls ones I have done there is no place that is safe to let you toddler loose to run around. Someone lost a child over the side of the mountain at Clingmans Dome a few years ago.

Many of the scenic pull offs on the BRP have high walls but there is a lot of traffic usually so you would still have to keep a good hold onto the little one. If you get over to the Brevard / Highlands area Dry Falls is a short hike down some steps and you can walk behind the falls. Its really pretty there.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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3. Re: BRP with a toddler

The Linville Gorge can be quite rugged, especially the falls. Like the previous poster said. The upper trail would be more ideal for you.

Chapel Hill, North...
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4. Re: BRP with a toddler

We go to the Boone/Blowing Rock area more than the Asheville area. (Have a family home in Boone.) There I would recommend stopping at the Moses Cone Manor along the BRP. There is an extensive network of carriage trails with that offer some great views and hikes.

I'm sure there must be something similar around Asheville, but I've never had a reason to look down there. My 75 yr old mother-in-law is with us in Boone so we know the easier trails around Boone/Blowing Rock pretty well.

I'd suggest maybe Max Patch as an alternative. It's gorgeous and as far as I know there's not any crazy climbing or stepping on slick rocks. When you get to the bald, if she's walking by then you could let her run around. Great place for kids. alltrails.com/trail/…max-patch-trail romanticasheville.com/hot_springs_hikes.htm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBEhjDPxGtA

There is a local Asheville group dedicated to hiking with babies. Check their calendar for other stroller & carrier friendly hiking locations near Asheville. http://hikeitbaby.com/hike-it-baby-asheville/

Edited: 22 August 2014, 14:43
Asheville, North...
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5. Re: BRP with a toddler

The loop trail around Graveyard Fields would be fine...its not too steep, the trails are not too broken up with roots, and even if you stumble, your not going to fall over a cliff or into a river. Instead, you can take off your shoes and wade in a mountain stream that is only 6' wide, 6" deep, the bottom is gravel. The trail down to and around the falls is another matter..it is steep, the steps are too big and the terrain is very slippery around the falls//I avoid it, myself.

Lots of toddler-friendly trails around., e.g., ..the trail at DuPont State that allows you to see Hooker Falls, triple Falls and high Falls is a wide gravel , maintained trail, with well-maintained wooden steps with sturdy hand rails down to Triple Falls. Likewise the Hard times Road trail and other trails at NC Arboretum/ Bent Creek Forest.

No matter where you hike : stay a safe distance away from waterfalls..they are slippery. 2) wear boots or sturdy trail running shoes, not ordinary running shoes for pavement and certainly not sandals.

Marlborough...
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6. Re: BRP with a toddler

thanks for all the replies. ill talk to my husband and see what he says. sounds like Linville Falls might not be the best idea. we've both hiked with her on our back so the roots and stuff dont bother me but slippery rocks i would not do with her on my back. walking next to any sort of drop off with her on my back would also be far too scary for me!

thanks for the hike it baby link! i will check that out closer to our trip.

my sister in law also suggested a couple places.

she said Black Balsam was good (easy) and they hadnt done Sam Knob yet.

though actually it looks like Black Balsam is closed????

Asheville, North...
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7. Re: BRP with a toddler

Black Balsam is another good suggestion, an easy 2 mile loop trail with great views, and it is open now.

Marlborough...
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8. Re: BRP with a toddler

according to the romanticasheville.com page it will be closed when we are there.

"Update: Black Balsam Road is closed September 2 through early October 2014 for resurfacing, so trails will be closed."

9. Re: BRP with a toddler

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