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Three Easy Trails Near Echo Mountain Inn 

The Hendersonville area of WNC (Western North Carolina) is FULL of beautiful trails. For many of us who are not used to walking in the mountains or hiking lengthy trails, there is still a way to enjoy the beautiful waterfalls and gorgeous scenery in our area.

I love to hike, but we have an 11 year old son, Will, with special needs that has difficulty with trails and sometimes has needed a stroller. Or other times, I'm with friends who are not used to hiking in the mountains and I want to bring them outdoors but not get overly tired.

I've put together my top three favorite hiking trails that are perfect for kids, beginner hikers, or just an afternoon in nature without feeling like you're climbing Mount Everest. I hope this can help you enjoy the outdoors even if you are not an avid hiker!
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Jump Off Rock

The closest to our inn, and only 10 minutes from downtown Hendersonville, we have Jump Off Rock. Even if you don't want to walk the hilly trails, the view is spectacular!

There are 3 trails with one being an easy 5 to 10 minute walk, and the other 2 trails being a little more steep but still short enough that 20 minutes would give you plenty of time to enjoy the hike and then rest on one of several benches with splendid views of the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges.

Our son, Will, loves to sit on the park benches here and feel the ground under his bare feet. The park is free. Click here for directions to Jump Off Rock from the inn. 
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Photo credit: Tryon Garden Club
Pearson's Falls

The cares of this world can be left behind as you walk the trail to Pearson's Falls. A fairly easy 1/4 mile trail next to streams and over small bridges takes you through this gorgeous botanical preserve owned by the Tryon Garden Club.

It is 275 acres of forest, streams, and over 300 varieties of wildflowers and plants. Take your picnic lunch with you to enjoy on any of the tables that can be found all along the path and even at the base of the waterfall.

The details: There is a $5 fee for 13 year old children to adults and $1 for 6-12 year old children. Their hours vary slightly throughout the year, so be sure to look at their website for the most current information. While they don't allow pets, service dogs are welcome.

Click here for directions to Pearson's Falls from Echo Mountain Inn.
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The Park at Flat Rock

If getting into the outdoors is a longing of yours, but you or someone you love has difficulty walking, or if you have children who need a stroller or maybe just a safe place to play, then The Park at Flat Rock is for you.

Sixty-six acres of beautiful flat green space on a former golf course is perfect for walking, strollers, or wheelchairs. Paved parking with all the paved former golf cart trails are now open for the enjoyment of the public. Gardens, ponds and streams next to the meandering walkways provide a restful spot to sit on benches and enjoy the wildlife.

A wonderful playground built into the side of a small hill has rope walkways, swings, and slides for kids. A smaller new playground is nearby for toddlers and young children built more to their size. This park is open year round and is free.

Click here for directions to The Park at Flat Rock from the inn.

These are just a few of my favorite outdoor activities when I'm looking to get away, but not able to do the vigorous mountain hikes.

Oh, if you can bring trekking poles, they are a big help to anyone from 9 to 90 — regardless of the trail difficulty!

If you happen to go on any of these trails, I would love to hear about your time. Send me a note on our Facebook page, or email

Til next time!

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Bud and Jan Innkeepers
Meet the Author: Jan Bonnema

Jan is one of the current co-owners of the inn, along with her husband Bud (pictured with her here), and her son and daughter-in-law, Travis and Becky.

Jan is the powerhouse behind making sure all the day-to-day operations of the inn are in order. From breakfasts to laundry, from housekeeping to landscaping, Jan gracefully leads her team in creating a warm, welcoming, and clean space for people to find rest in. 

And though her background is in the medical field, not hospitality, the warmth and care she exudes make her a natural at welcoming people into our great big "home."