There is nowhere else in the world that offers as many fun and exciting outdoor activities as the High Country, even in the winter. While many may think the winter is the season for staying in and hunkering down by the fire, it can also be a season of exploration, adventure and memorable outdoor fun.

The High Country is famous for its hiking opportunities, from the intense Profile Trail to the Greenway in the middle of Boone. While not all hikes are suitable for the winter, not all of them are off limits. With the proper preparation and some common sense, hiking in the winter opens the door to a whole new world and seeing nature in a unique state when compared to the rest of the year.

Winter hiking is also an excellent opportunity for nature photography. With Mother Nature using a season-exclusive palette on her canvas, there is no other time to get shots like the winter.

The High Country is also famous for its abundance of skiing, snowboarding and tubing options. With Appalachian Mountain Ski Resort in Blowing Rock, Sugar Mountain Resort in Banner Elk and Beech Mountain Resort located on Beech Mountain, you can find whatever winter activity best suits you.

The resorts are never one-trick ponies, however, with each carrying bars, restaurants, breweries and other amenities that will help you warm up after a day on the slopes.

The beauty of the High Country comes down to its connection to the nature around it. Towns like Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock were built into the mountains, with the natural curves defining the shapes of the cities.

Even the roads are miniature scenic drives, while the Blue Ridge Parkway trumps them all.

For those wanting to explore the great mountaintop road, check this website for information on road closures during the winter months: www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm.

While all of this may sound fun and exciting, ultimately how you enjoy the winter season is up to you. There’s nothing wrong with spending the day in a trout river, fly fishing to your heart’s content, or going for a walk in nature, but you can also keep it simple and take the kids to the front yard and enjoy the snowfall.

Whatever you decide to do, the High Country will be sure to make it memorable.

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