If adventure is in your blood and nature is your calling, you might want to head to Bent Creek and enjoy the rolling trails, beautiful Powhatan lake and creek, and the awe inspiring scenery of some of Vanderbilt’s original 1,100 acres of prime south Asheville forestry. Adjacent to the NC Arboretum, this stretch of land is right out of a story book in the full blush of summer with its lush greenery, lazy river, and shaded trails to explore. It really is one of those classic Asheville destinations that never gets old.

A favorite spot for locals, the trails that surround Bent Creek range from the easy to the expert. I’m not much of a hiker by my lonesome and sweating in the hot afternoon sun is not my thing, so I decided that the best course of action was to enjoy the water instead. I have to say that spending a day splashing around seems like a great way to while away a few hours. I grabbed an old tube and headed to the head of the creek with the intention of letting myself be carried down river on the gently moving water to the campground (two bucks a night, if you’re interested) where my pickup was waiting.

I definitely wasn’t the only with the idea and I was soon floating along with a few fellow tubing enthusiasts as we lazed down the river. If you have little ones too small for tubing, no worries. There is a shallow beach area nearby that will allow for fun water activities that won’t require hyper vigilance from concerned parentals. If water isn’t your thing, there is a camping area set up for a fun night in nature, plenty of trails to explore, and photography encouraging views to keep you occupied.

While I’m all about relaxing on vacation, a lot of people who visit our mountains are into more physical activities and bike riding along one of the trails surrounding Bent Creek is a common occurrence. Strap on your Go-Pro and hit the trails, as I said, they range from the easy to the expert and every shade in-between, ensuring everyone can enjoy this little section of Pisgah Forest heaven 15 minutes from Downtown. There is a little something for everyone at Bent Creek, so get back to nature and enjoy!

Bent Creek