We asked Joe Miller to pick his favorite mountain destinations. He is the author of “Adventure Carolinas: Your Go-To Guide for Multi-Sport Outdoor Recreation,” to be published in May (UNC Press; $45 hardcover, $20 paperback).
Whitewater activities at Nantahala Outdoor Center. “NOC ( www.noc.com) is remarkable – really a one-of-a-kind – with pretty amazing opportunities. There are whitewater kayaking classes that range from one-weekend to an intensive five-day course.”
Mountain biking in Pisgah National Forest. “It’s hard to pinpoint a particular area: There are so many good places in this forest ( http://1.usa.gov/1k7Ktts) that have a national reputation among hardcore bikers. There are hundreds of miles of mountain-bike trails. People come and spend a week here.”
Backpacking in Shining Rock Wilderness. “Backpacking is a huge draw here for church groups and Scouts doing wilderness programs. You can spend a week here. There are so many places you can go in Shining Rock ( http://bit.ly/1o6IgMG), and there’s breathtaking scenery.”
Best for families
Davidson River Campground. “It’s near Brevard, and a river runs through it ( http://bit.ly/1mCzQ0E). There’s good tubing on the river – that’s popular – and lots of great day hikes. You can rent mountain bikes: there are good trails there. You’re also fairly close to some good whitewater opportunities. All in all, it’s a great base cam for a lot of family fun.”
Nantahala Outdoor Center. “There are many family programs – not just paddling, though it’s the big thing. NOC also has mountain biking, tours, rentals and great hiking. There are family programs, including those for whitewater rafting. There are a couple of Class III rapids in that part of the Nantahala River.”
Ziplines. “There are so many of them out there, and it’s a huge family thing. One I’ve heard a lot about, Navitat ( www.navitat.com), in Asheville, is opening a new line in May.” John Bordsen