New balusters for a very old railing

The 100-ft. railings on our front porches have been looking a little snaggle-toothed lately, with a baluster missing here and there. The hand-turned pieces aren’t easy to replace, so we had to search around, and fortunately we found Maik Fayad, an accomplished wood turner based in Hickory, NC. Here’s a look at one of the railings – which has propped up many feet and more than a few little girls over the past century – our fresh new balusters nestled in their box (with an original sample), and a view inside Mr. Fayad’s shop, courtesy of our friend Philip Buchanan, who will install the new...

2013 Fourth of July picnic!

Each year, the inn hosts a picnic for residents of Balsam and inn guests just after the annual Balsam community 4th of July parade. This year’s parade will begin between 11:30 and noon, with the picnic to follow. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the inn (no ticket sales on Thursday), and a $5 ticket covers a lunch of hot dogs, slaw, chips, drinks and dessert. Parking for residents is in the overflow area at the bottom of the hill below the inn. Call us for more information!...

Hikes we like: Waterrock Knob

Located a short nine miles south of the inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Waterrock Knob is the highest peak in the Plott Balsam mountain range. Popular for the dramatic views from its parking lot – it’s a great, driveable place to see sunsets and shooting stars – Waterrock Knob also offers a nice hike. It’s a moderately difficult 2.4 mile round trip to an elevation of 6,292...