Black Mountain’s Recreation and Parks Division is hosting their annual Cabin Fever Defeater series again in 2023.
Recreation coordinator Clint Bowman said the series began in 2021 when the department began offering outdoor programs.
“Somehow in the midst of COVID we started outdoor programming and we just wanted to keep it going because it was a way to get outside and social distancing,” Bowman said. “We still keep the groups fairly small, and that’s really how it came about when our outdoor program started to just get people outside.”
Bowman said winter is a good time to get outdoors and he hopes to share that with attendees.
“It’s one of the best times to go outside because hiking gives you better views and there are fewer bugs and crowds,” Bowman said. “It’s one of my favorite times to go outside.”
The 2023 Cabin Fever Defeater series begins on January 4th with a Brushy Mountain Hike. Throughout the series, participants will have the opportunity to participate in five different hikes, three river bank clean-ups, two trail building sessions and two indoor climbing sessions. The final event is a river bank cleanup on February 3rd.
Bowman said the activities are designed for everyone, so people of all skill levels can participate.
“We have five hikes for all ages and different levels of difficulty,” Bowman said. “Beginners are generally welcome on almost every hike and program. We have three riverbank cleanups around the Swannanoa River and some trails to clean up as well.”
Bowman said the programs are “very accessible” with all activities other than rock climbing being free. The Recreation and Parks Department has partnered with YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly for the rock climbing and charges $12 per person. Bowman said that cost includes two hours of climbing and all the gear needed. He said the only thing participants need to bring themselves are closed-toe shoes.
For the trail building sessions, Bowman said the department works with G5 Trail Collective. The group has been working on trails at Old Fort and will instruct participants on how to build trails at Black Mountain.
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Bowman said he takes part in almost all of the series’ offerings, but his favorite is probably the winter walks.
He said many of the hikes are already full, as hikes are usually limited to 15 participants and climbs to 10, but those still wanting to take part can sign up for the waiting list. According to Bowman, waiting lists are currently short and should they be removed from the waiting list, attendees will be notified the week of the event.
Bowman said the series is a fun way to get outdoors in the colder months and he hopes residents benefit from it.
“It’s just a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get outside in the winter when it’s harder to get outside at times,” Bowman said. “We try to make it as easy as possible and encourage people to get outside and be active during the cold months. I hope people can see that it’s a good opportunity to do just that.”