By Julie McKinney

While the Hickory Nut Gorge is a popular tourist and vacation destination, it is also a fabulous place to live and play. Any full time or part time resident will happily give you a list of reasons they love living here, and why anyone would love the peaceful, easy way of life in the Gorge!

The residents of the Hickory Nut Gorge communities are perhaps the greatest asset. People are friendly, welcoming and many lifetime friendships have been made. There is a remarkable sense of community. When trouble strikes everyone pitches in to make a difference for all. During the 2016 Party Rock fire, the emergency personnel were inspired by the level of community volunteerism and support. More recently the area suffered from the lingering aftermath of subtropical storm Albert which brought as much as 20” of rain to the area causing flooding and mudslides. The raging Rocky Broad River carried unusually high amounts of sediment and large debris into Lake Lure. Volunteers were quick to clean up Chimney Rock Village, and teams of town personnel and volunteers spent days clearing the Lake to quickly restore safety for boating and other water sports.

The breathtaking natural beauty of the area is obvious. Lake Lure, owned and maintained by the Town of Lake Lure, truly is one of the most beautiful lakes anywhere. It is easy to enjoy mountain and lake life at the same time! No matter where you drive, there is always an amazing view – mountains, the lake, rivers, gorges, forests. If you’re an adventurer/hiker/mountain biker, hike one of many area trails or climb to the top of Chimney Rock where you’ll find stunning views in all directions. Another not-to-miss attraction is the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge which crosses the Rocky Broad River, a volunteer created and lovingly maintained project with a multitude of plantings and fun décor. In the evenings, outstanding sunsets are common.

Not too hot, not too cold! The Hickory Nut Gorge enjoys an isothermal climate, providing four distinct seasons and moderate temperatures year-round. Winters are short (avg. high 54⁰ /low 32⁰ December – February), Spring is delightful (avg. high 70⁰/low 43⁰ March – April), Summer is pleasant (avg. high 85⁰/low 62⁰ May – September), and Fall is fabulous (avg high 68⁰/low 44⁰ October and November). Average annual snowfall total is 8”, just enough to make snow-lovers happy and not enough to seriously bother those who’d prefer none! Historic average data obtained from Intellicast.

Last, but certainly not least, there are no stop lights or traffic jams in the Gorge! Travel to and from larger towns and cities is easy, with access to Interstates 40 and 26 just 30 minutes away. If a laid-back, friend-filled lifestyle is for you there are homes available in styles, sizes, and price ranges to meet almost anyone’s needs. The local real estate market is stable with a slightly higher average sales price and 30-day shorter average time on market this year to date, as compared with 2017 (January 1 – June 10 time period). So don’t just come and play, come and stay!

Julie McKinney is owner/broker at Lifestyle Properties, Lake Lure. 828-625-2552 or Julie@lakelurelifestyle.com.