Fall Hikes for People With Braces and Artificial Limbs

Fall Hikes for People With Braces and Artificial Limbs

Monday, 09 August 2021 17:13

Summer in the mountains is certainly not as grueling as it is down south. However, Asheville is still much warmer than higher elevation areas like Boone and Blowing Rock. By the time we reach August and September, residents are ready for a break from the heat and humidity here in the French Broad River Valley. 

Fall is almost here. Soon the days will get shorter, the temperatures will be cooler, and the leaves will begin their incredible display of color. We will welcome thousands upon thousands of tourists to our area. 

Fall colors are not just for tourists. Western North Carolinians want to explore the beauty of Autumn as well. One of the best ways to see the leaves is to go on a hike; however, if you are wearing an orthopedic brace or artificial limb, you want to make sure to minimize the risk of injury. 

We want to help make sure you are prepared for enjoying our area and aware of some of the best places to get out and about. 

Tips for Hiking With Your Orthopedic Brace or Artificial Limb

Before you hit the trail, it is important to make sure you are prepared to have a great, safe hike. A few tips for hiking with your brace or prosthetic device include:

  • Make sure you know your limits. You do not want to discover you have exceeded your comfort level while you are still far from your vehicle. 
  • Talk with your doctor or rehabilitation team before you head out. They will be able to advise you on how much hiking you can safely do. 
  • Be aware of the terrain. Trails of the same length can vary tremendously in terrain and elevation. Pay close attention to traill details about rocks, roots, and other challenges. 
  • Remember that hiking is not simply walking in the woods. It can be quite challenging. You may need to do some stretches and workouts beforehand, per your doctor’s guidelines. 
  • It may not be as hot as July, but you still need to bring plenty of water and possibly some snacks. 

Now that you are prepared, here are some great hikes that you will likely be able to do with your brace or artificial limb. 

Hikes You Can Do With an Artificial Limb or Orthopedic Brace

You can expect relatively easy access to great fall colors on these trails:

Craggy Gardens:

  • 2 miles
  • 575-feet of elevation gain
  • Loop

Craggy Gardens is one of the highest points on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors are treated to spectacular views of vistas, mountains, and valleys. If you want to see the leaves, however, it is important to remember that they will change here earlier than lower elevations. 

Mount Mitchell:

  • .5 miles
  • 100-feet of elevation gain
  • Out-and-back

While the Mount Mitchell trail is not especially strenuous, it is among the most accessible trails on this list. If the sky is clear, you can see for many miles from the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River. 

Natural Garden, Bent Creek, and Carolina Mountain Trails:

  • 2.7 miles
  • 285-feet of elevation gain
  • Loop

This loop is a combination of trails located at the North Carolina Arboretum just outside of the city. Even though it is close to Asheville, it plunges into beautiful forests and portions of it follow beautiful Bent Creek. 

If you are ready for more mileage, there are plenty of other trails. If you need to do a little less, you can easily shorten this hike. 

Rainbow and Turtleback Falls:

  • 3.5 to 4 miles 
  • 750-feet of elevation gain
  • Out-and-back

Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls are going to take your breath away any time of year, but when they are surrounded by fall colors, you may never want to leave. It is less than two miles to Rainbow Falls from the parking lot, but if you made it that far, Turtleback Falls is only another quarter of a mile away. 

There is some elevation gain on this trail, so make sure you’re prepared before you head out. 

Greenways and River Arts District

For a safe option in town, the French Broad River Greenway that stretches from the park by that name to Carrier park is a great option that will feature plenty of fall color in late October. There are also pedestrian greenways throughout the River Arts District near world-class art galleries and restaurants. 

Orthopedic Appliance Company 

Asheville is an amazing place to enjoy autumn. We want to make sure you are as mobile as possible and able to make the most of our beautiful area. If you need an orthopedic brace or artificial limb, we are here to help. 

We have over sixty years of experience providing residents of Asheville, western North Carolina, and the foothills with the highest quality prosthetic and orthopedic devices. Contact us for more information