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Highlands Newspaper – Thursday, October 4, 2018

Investing at 4,118 Ft.

When I moved to Highlands 24 years ago, I was focused on the bed and breakfast inn we were opening in October. Little did I know about the crowds of leaf lookers that would emerge! It was all I could do to keep up as other innkeepers recommended us since they had been full for months!

We lived our dream for seven years and made cooking classes a sought-after event for locals and tourists. During that time, I was pretty much “married” to the inn with little time to venture out and learn more about other areas other than Highlands proper. We were ecstatic to find help that allowed us to take a break that involved dining out twice a week at one of the many great restaurants in the area. That was our exposure to Highlands.

One we sold the inn, I became a real estate broker which allowed me to explore all of the area surrounding Highlands and Cashiers as I became involved in the community. I am delighted to be part of what I call my little “Hallmark” town.

But downtown is not for everyone and since I have written so much about Highlands in the past, I want to acquaint you with other less exposed areas that surround us but keep with “the mountain feel.”

An area that needs exploring is passed through by almost every motorist from all of the southern states on the way up the mountain. I still remember the sign, “Ski Scaly,” and all eyes turned to see the lines of those awaiting their chance to venture down the mountain as we drove past. That would be Scaly Mountain. Most people are in such a hurry to get to Highlands They travel through this area quickly. It’s time to explore Scaly Mountain and all it has to offer!

Scaly Mountain offers high elevations (surprising to most) and some of the most beautiful vistas of numerous mountains that allow glorious and mesmerizing sunsets. The cool mountain breezes of fresh mountain air are unpolluted by car fumes and the sounds of traffic disappear. The land itself is still pure with majestic trees that tower above the green space they adorn. Butterflies are free and fireflies can light up a jar and thrill your children or grandchildren. The feel of nature is real with wild turkeys that roam and unpolluted creeks running through meadows that allow for natural spring water to be your water of choice. Back to nature allows children to play outdoors (as remembered in my own childhood) and encourages them to put down their cell phones and go for a hike on the many trails that surround them.

Put you toes in the creek, picnic on a blanket with nothing but the sounds of birds and katydids surrounding you as you actually communicate with those you are with….not checking texts or emails. Engage in life as it used to be. Many professionals including doctors and celebrities have discovered the tranquility and privacy it offers.

My friends opened the zip-line in Scaly Mountain that allows you to sail through the crisp mountain air above treetops and lets you soar like the eagles and hawks seen there. This is a fun activity for families or couples to experience the mountains in a different way that is sure to please all and keeps you wanting more.

Other friends, after a trip to France and numerous vineyards, fell in love and decided to try their hand with grapes!

After purchasing 20 acres in Scaly Mountain, they have created an artist’s masterpiece with one of the most beautiful settings I have ever seen. They converted the old barn into bedroom suites and remodeled the old cottage that used to be a condiment shop on the old road to Highlands — and it is adorable! They also built a lovely home with a view of the vineyard. The dahlia garden that overlooks a pond stands majestically above the vines. A fully equipped and covered pavilion is perfect for weddings, corporate retreats or family gatherings. Wine dinners are a favorite there and I try to attend each one!

You can’t judge Scaly Mountain by what you see on Highway 106. You need to venture off the beaten path and take the roads less traveled. You will appreciate what you see. We will be delighted to help you explore and discover the beauty and serenity of Scaly Mountain, NC. After all, you’re only 15 minutes from the “hustle and bustle” of Highlands!

Pat Allen

Broker in Charge

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