Category: Events

Funnest Sledding Hill in North Carolina is Back with New Upgrades

Yippee! The Beech Mountain sledding hill — one of my favorite town traditions — is open and ready for the kiddos.

The free youth sledding hill is a one-of-a-kind experience that our friendly town is proud to offer to locals and guests. This past offseason, the town made improvements to the hill, so it’s even more fun (and safe) this winter.

Grading work provided a longer place to stop at the bottom. New pads, like the ones used over at the ski resort, eliminate any bump ups along the sides or at the base of the hill.

The hill now has two lanes, one for tiny tikes and one for older kids. I’m still working on getting a lane just for squirrels!

This year the hill will have more consistent snow coverage thanks to a better water supply from the town’s snazzy new water treatment plant. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that good ole Mother Nature keeps piling on the white stuff, too.

Kids need plastic sleds for the sledding hill. They can bring their own or buy or rent one from a local store.

Parents are allowed to accompany younger kids on the hill. Once the kids have the hang of it, observers can watch from the seats in the Visitor Center lobby.

If you get chilly, step across the street to the pizzeria for a cup of hot cocoa. Or warm up in the Visitor Center, use the restroom and post those sledding hill photos to Facebook and Instagram using the complimentary Wi-Fi. Make sure you tag Beech Mountain. We love seeing all the kids’ smiling faces.

As weather allows, the sledding hill will be open until late February or early March. Check conditions anytime by calling 800-468-5506. Weekday hours are 1 p.m.-5 p.m., and weekend hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Bundle up the kids and grab the sleds, a snowy afternoon of fun and laughter awaits up here on Beech Mountain!

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel

Beech Mountain Resort’s 50th Ski Season Opened Nov. 24

Hey Beech fans, start spreading the news. Beech Mountain Resort opened for the 2017-18 season on Black Friday, Nov. 24.

We’re even more excited than normal about this winter’s ski season because it’s the 50th anniversary of skiing at Beech Mountain. The resort has sweet deals in honor of its golden anniversary, and our lodging friends do, too.

Special promotions throughout the season include 1967 lift ticket prices. Tuesdays are $9 for ladies’ night, Wednesdays are $9 for men’s night, and Thursdays are couples’ night: $16 for the first ticket and $8 for the second ticket.

Lodging properties have created the 50th anniversary $50 lodging special. Stay at one of our cozy inns, cabins or chalets for $50 per person Sundays through Thursdays (other lodging packages are available by clicking here).

And, of course, we party animals on Beech Mountain are going to celebrate in style. For New Year’s Eve, there will be three parties on Beech Mountain. The ski resort throws two parties, and the Buckeye Recreation Center hosts one!

At Beech Mountain Resort, the whole family is invited to the Lodge for bingo, party tunes and late-night ice-skating and fireworks. Meanwhile, at the resort’s Beech Tree Bar & Grille, an adults-only soiree includes drink specials, dancing and live music. Everyone can enjoy the fireworks show when the clock strikes midnight.

My cousin Darryl from Raleigh and my other cousin Darryl from Charlotte are leaving their nests to come celebrate New Year’s Eve the Beech Mountain way. Come join us in a chorus of “Auld Lang Syne.”

The fun continues January 25-28 when the ski resort hosts a multi-day 50th anniversary celebration. The big day is Saturday, Jan. 27, with an oompah band during the day and fireworks at night. Break out the lederhosen!

If Mother Nature cooperates, we’re going to make the most of this 50th season for four solid months — from opening day on Nov. 24 till closing on Mar. 24.

Think snowy thoughts and meet me on the mountain!

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel

Fly a Kite a Mile High on Beech Mountain this Labor Day Weekend

When is the last time you flew a kite? I don’t mean on a video game or an app on your smart phone. I mean standing in a field and watching the string stretch higher and higher as the colorful vessel soars into the sky.

Sounds magical, doesn’t it? Each Labor Day weekend, Beech Mountain hosts the Mile High Kite Festival. And it is pretty magical!

This year’s festival is Saturday, Sept. 2, and Sunday, Sept. 3, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free and the first 150 kids each day receive a free kite. Parking is $5.

The “mile high” part of the festival is no joke. With our town’s lofty elevation of 5,506 feet, you can easily fly a kite more than a mile above sea level.

I love sitting in my tree and watching all the kites waving in the breeze. It’s a beautiful sight and peaceful, too. Before we head into the busy fall season — you hustling around getting kids to school, me working my fuzzy little tail off collecting acorns — it’s nice to spend a weekend enjoying simple pleasures.

On Sunday afternoon, two kite clubs – the Richmond Air Force club and Charlotte’s Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society (WACKOS) – put on kite-flying demonstrations. Boy, can they do some fancy tricks!

Also on Sunday, prizes will be given for the best-decorated kites, most original kites and kites flown the highest.

The festival has all sorts of other activities for when you need a kite-flying break. There will be rides and face painting for the kids, and food and crafts vendors.

On Saturday night, don’t miss the all-ages street dance in the Visitors Center parking lot from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. It’s always fun to see the parents embarrass their kids with their best dance moves.

For more details about the Mile High Kite Festival, click here.

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel

 

Buckeye Rec Center Provides Outdoor Family Fun for Free!

Family outings can be mighty expensive these days. But up here on Beech Mountain, we make it as affordable and simple as possible to get outdoors, laugh and bond with the people you care about most.

One of our Beech Mountain treasures is Buckeye Recreation Center. With a park, lake and trails, talk about a squirrel’s paradise! The center also has an indoor facility with a gymnasium, tennis courts, track, fitness area and a playroom for little ones younger than 12.

One of the coolest things to do during the summer is to go canoeing, kayaking or pedal boating on Buckeye Lake. The rec center has everything you need — canoes, paddles, kayaks, pedal boats, life jackets — all for free. Cruise across the lake, pull over at the picnic tables for lunch or take a break by the fire pit and roast a toasty marshmallow.

Beech Mountain recently became an NC Mountain Heritage Trout City. That special title means that anyone can purchase a three-day trout-fishing license for only $5. The folks at Buckeye Recreation Center have all the fishing gear you need, and it’s free to borrow. If you’re new to fly-fishing, we have classes on July 12 and 25 that will teach you how to tie a fly and avoid the tangles.

As a squirrel, I’m so proud of programs that help humans learn more about their outdoor neighbors. On July 27 we have a class about smelly skunks. Learn about their habitats from a North Carolina Wildlife officer and why they emit their funky odor!

If you have an athletic family, bring the gang to Buckeye Recreation Center to play tennis, ride bikes along the trails or give pickleball a try (spoiler alert – it’s a lot of fun and doesn’t involve pickles).

No matter what you choose — balls, boats or bikes — the most important part of a Beech Mountain vacation is the time spent together as a family.

To learn more about the Buckeye Rec Center, visit www.BeechRecreation.org or call 828-387-3003.

See you outdoors!
Boomer the Squirrel

Mile High Fourth: 5 Days of Sizzlin’ Cool Fun in the High Country

It’s hard for me to pick my favorite time on Beech Mountain, but the Fourth of July might be it. Families come for a relaxing long weekend. They enjoy cool temperatures and plenty of activities for all ages.

For the second year, we’re joining our neighbors over in Banner Elk for five days of Independence Day fun with the Mile High Fourth of July celebration, June 30-July 4.

We will be groovin’ up here on the mountain with the fourth annual Blues on Beech, Saturday, July 1. Rhonda McDaniel, followed by the Part-Time Blues Band, will crank out the smooth tunes at Fast Eddie’s. On Monday, July 3, a talented regional band called The Rockabillys will play an outdoor concert at the Beech Mountain kite field, which is especially nice because all my squirrel buddies and I can enjoy the music, too.

Oh, and don’t miss the 47th Annual Hog Roast at Beech Mountain Resort on Saturday, July 1. They serve up some of the tastiest pork and turkey in the High Country. The kids will enjoy games and face painting — and maybe some adults, too. I say you’re never too old to show your patriotism with an American flag on your cheek! Once it gets dark, we’ll all watch the fireworks.

On Tuesday, July 4, head over to Banner Elk for the Fourth of July Parade. It’s a sight to see as all the folks in red, white and blue march down Main Street. Banner Elk’s Party in the Park follows that afternoon with lawn games and a rubber duck race on the creek. Go ducks!

For a full schedule of events across the five days, click here.

Our great lodging folks have all sorts of options for families, couples or groups of friends. Choose from comfy lodges, chalets or cabins.

I invited my cousin Darryl from Raleigh and my other cousin Darryl from Charlotte. We already booked our favorite treetop, but you guys better hurry to make your reservations for the big weekend.

See you soon for fireworks and fun!

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel


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