Stories by Mark File

10 Stories Posts
Mark File Headshot

An avid hiker and waterfall hunter, Mark has been photographing our mountains since childhood. His love for sharing images and travel tips with others led to the creation of RomanticAsheville.com Travel Guide in 2003. Today, his online travelogue is a favorite “insider’s” guide for visitors and local alike.

Visit his website at www.RomanticAsheville.com.

Looking Glass Falls

6 Drive-By Waterfalls: A Windshield Tour for All to Enjoy

Easy-to-see cascades in the Blue Ridge Mountains The Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Asheville are home to thousands of beautiful cascades . While most are in remote areas or require a hike to see, here are half a dozen waterfalls that you can easily enjoy from the road. And they are all free to visit! Looking Glass Falls This 60-foot beauty in the Pisgah National Forest is one of the most

Winter Hiker with Dog

Warm Up! 5 Great Winter Hikes Near Asheville

Warm Up On These Top Winter Hiking Trails Taking a winter hike offers many rewards! First of all, you’ll appreciate the refreshing temperatures as you climb a mountainside. Often, you’ll have the trail all to yourself since there are fewer fellow hikers. In addition, see the best views of the year thanks to leafless trees and deep blue skies. While the higher mountain peaks often have

Family Making Smores at Winter Lights

Festive Happenings for Your Holiday Getaway

Holiday magic for all ages Asheville is well known for extravagant  Christmas celebrations at Biltmore  and sweet  gingerbread displays at The Omni Grove Park Inn , but the season also offers many holiday events and tours for the whole family. Here's just a sampling to get you started: Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum is one of the newest holiday traditions in

Rhododendron in bloom at Craggy Gardens near Asheville

Seven Spots for Beautiful Blooms

See why our mountains create the biggest bouquet of flowers you may ever find. The lush forests and temperate weather of Asheville's mountains create a mind-boggling kaleidoscope of flowering plants. And many of them cannot be found anywhere else in the world! Here are some of my favorite spots for eye-popping blossoming beauties. Don’t forget your camera. Biltmore One of the most

Looking Glass Rock with wildflowers

Doing Pisgah Perfectly

A Fun-Filled Day in Pisgah National Forest The Pisgah National Forest is home to mile-high peaks, countless waterfalls, rushing rivers, endless trails and rich forests covering a mind-boggling half million acres. This vast preserve reaches north and west of Asheville and includes the first tract of land purchased under the Weeks Act of 1911 that led to the creation of national forests in the

An Evening with the Elk

An Evening with the Elk

Pack a Picnic for Cataloochee Valley A quick trip to the gorgeous Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains offers big rewards. The biggest is getting a close-up view of the majestic elk that weigh up to 900 pounds, making them the largest animals in the park. The large meadows by the roadside allow for easy watching as the elk roam, graze and interact. Elk roamed the Appalachian Mountains

A Day on the Asheville Urban Trail

A Day on the Asheville Urban Trail

Walking through History on Asheville’s Urban Trail Asheville loves to do things differently. So it’s fitting the city’s history museum is outdoors along the sidewalks of downtown . Take a self-guided “scavenger hunt” to learn about tidbits of Asheville’s fascinating past . With the help of a map, walk 1.7 miles to 30 stations, each with a piece of art and a

High Falls

10 Waterfalls You Want to Find Now

Waterfalls for All Occasions With hundreds of beautiful cascades near Asheville, where do you begin? Here’s a quick sampler to get you started. These 10 locations represent a diverse range of options, so there’s something for everyone.    Tallest: Upper Whitewater Falls Walk a quarter-mile paved trail (accessible for wheelchairs or scooters) to see the mighty Upper Whitewater

Craggy Gardens Picnic

Super Scenic Picnics with 360-Degree Views

Pair Your Picnic With Delicious Vistas Feed your eyes with spectacular views and your ears with serene sounds of nature with an al fresco meal that you will never forget. Before you head out for a picnic, pick up some seasonal goodies at a tailgate market or the WNC Farmer’s Market (open every day). Also, many local B&Bs and hotels will help you with a picnic to go. Check out my favorite

Sliding Rock

A 60-Foot Natural Waterslide & Other Water Adventures

10 Ways To “Wet” Your Appetite for Fun While you’ll find many beautiful rivers, lakes and waterfalls to see in the mountains, we suggest doing more than looking. Experience them first-hand with a big variety of options. From high adventure water thrills to leisurely boat rides, there is something fun for everyone! Waterslide Au Naturel A perennial favorite way to beat the summer