Barbara Singleford is a freelance writer who finds respite hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her favorite activity is wildflower hunting during the spring. You’ll often catch her on a paddleboard during the early morning.
Give me some space! How many times have you shouted that after dealing with crowded highways, restaurants, or theaters? The need for privacy and alone time is now more important than ever with the nation in the middle of a public health crisis. Once this is all over, you'll find the perfect outdoor solace and unparalleled privacy in a Western North Carolina mountain town. The Highlands-Cashiers Plateau has fewer people, cool breezes, more space, and a small-town atmosphere.
The Highlands-Cashiers Plateau rests off the beaten path atop the Blue Ridge Mountains between Knoxville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C. The area includes the towns of Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire, Glenville, and Lake Toxaway, to name a few. The popular recreation and brewery town of Asheville is just a 90-minute drive to the northeast. Western North Carolina has a literary history, as well. Its serenity inspired such famous writers as Thomas Wolf and Deanna Klingel. The unparalleled privacy still serves as an inspiration to writers, journalists, and novelists.
You'll find attractive retirement communities for people wanting to escape the heat of the Eastern Seaboard. With an elevation of more than 4,000 feet above sea level, the Highlands-Cashier Plateau earned its nickname of the “Land of the Waterfalls.” With plenty of rainfall, geological spires, and mountains, the plateau creates spectacular cascades. You can duplicate the peaceful feeling of the waterfalls in your own backyard by installing a rain garden or fountain.
You can already imagine sitting on your back porch in an evening breeze, enjoying your garden after an afternoon shower. Rain gardens are popular in Asheville and in the higher elevations to prevent your lawn from becoming a soggy mess. Combined with water-friendly plants, it works with nature instead of against it.
With summer temperatures averaging 78 degrees, it's not surprising to see the population in towns such as Cashiers temporarily swell to 25,000. As for the rest of the year? These small towns are sparsely populated, leaving plenty of elbow room. Tourists come here to get away from the crowds and you’ll enjoy the same solace when you move here. You’ll have easy access to hiking and biking trails, and rock climbing. Head to Lake Glenville to fish for small and large-mouth bass, rainbow trout, and walleye. You’ll also enjoy the solitude of Lake Fairfield and Lake Chattooga.
Finding privacy is essential right now, and Western North Carolina has plenty of it. So with interest rates at some of the lowest levels in the past decade, now's the time to consider ways to practice social distancing … but with a little more distance.