The frontlights of a car illuminate a picturesque road of Asheville during one of its beautiful sunsets Oct. 20. [Oliver Fischer | Contributor]
Students looking for places to take a day trip to have often turned to Asheville. Roughly a three-hour drive, Asheville offers students many activities and events to enjoy the day with.
Maddie Wilkerson, an Asheville resident for seven years, loves the aspects of the city that appeal to students looking for a break off campus.
Some of Wilkerson’s favorite activities to do in Asheville include going to local shops, farmers markets and visiting boutiques in downtown Asheville.
“There’s this one coffee shop called French Broad Chocolate Lounge — that’s a really good place to go and visit to get amazing chocolates made in Asheville,” Wilkerson said. “Another really cool place is a farmer’s market every weekend where you can buy fresh produce.”
Asheville additionally offers scenic drives and hikes off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a route located minutes outside the city.
“My route to school used to be part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a gorgeous drive in the mountains with the scenes of nature and pure bliss,” Wilkerson said. “You can just park your car and just go and see a waterfall 10 minutes off of it.”
The music scene in Asheville has provided Elon University students with concerts and local venues unique to the city.
“There’s a huge music scene in Asheville. There’s always something going on every weekend.” Wilkerson said. “Downtown Asheville has a ton of street performers, but the Orange Peel is also a huge concert venue.”
Hanging Rock State Park is a 7,869-acre state park in Stokes County. [Caroline Brehman | Photo Editor]
Hanging Rock is a popular hiking destination for Elon University students looking to get off campus and do something active.
Sophomore Carson White has been hiking at Hanging Rock twice with his fraternity and plans to do the trail again.
“I think it’s very casual but it has its own difficulties as far as a hike goes. Anyone can do it, but it’s a good exercise in general,” White said.
White believes the hike appeals to students at Elon who are looking to be active and have fun while doing so.
The trailhead is located in Danbury, North Carolina, about an hour-and-a-half drive off campus to Hanging Rock State Park.
“I’d say that students here, a lot of them are pretty outdoorsy. A lot of them like to hike and Hanging Rock is pretty conveniently located, it’s not too far away,” White said. “It doesn’t take too much to get there and when you’re there it has pretty views and the picture at the end.”
The picture he is talking about is one many students enjoy taking. Students can “hang” off of a rock at the end of the hike, making it look like you are dangling off the mountain. Another motive for students to hike the Hanging Rock trail is the aspect of community and friendship it has.
“It’s a hike you can do with other people,” White said. “A lot of other hikes you’re so tired you can’t talk to anyone, it’s a good one to do with someone else.”
Overall, Hanging Rock is known as a hike worth going on and a way to explore areas outside of the Burlington area in a fun and active way.
“It’s a fun hike. If I can find someone who hasn’t been there yet, I’d probably take them out there,” White said. “It’s part of the Elon experience, you have to visit Hanging Rock once.”