Robert Rankin, Robbinsville, NC

Snowbird Mountain Lodge's Robert Rankin of Robbinsville, NC

About Robert Rankin, Robbinsville, NC

For nearly 20 years, Robert Rankin has owned Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville, NC. Sitting atop 100 acres and nearly 3,000 feet high, this resort provides guests with a one-of-a-kind experience on a secluded mountaintop. During their stay, visitors can look at the waters of Lake Santeetlah or the gorgeous vistas of the Cherohala Skyway. During the day, Rankin brings in a massage therapist or a yoga teacher to host sessions in one of the lodge buildings. Alternatively, people can appreciate North Carolina’s natural features by hiking on trails. Robert Rankin places a significant emphasis on food and wine, with gourmet picnic lunches and four-course dinners.

With a history going back to 1941, Snowbird Mountain Lodge first attracted Robert Rankin when he was 18. He was backpacking through Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest when he entered this Robbinsville, NC, retreat. Its Old South elegance reminded him of his youth in Alabama. He found its most remarkable feature to be the scenery, a view of the 17 peaks comprising the Snowbird Mountains.

A couple of decades later, Robert Rankin was interested in changing his career after spending several years as a financial officer. Interested in owning an inn, he visited nearly 50 locations across the East Coast over 15 months, but none appealed. About to give up, he discovered that Snowbird Mountain Lodge was up for sale. Within six months, Rankin officially became its owner. To learn more about the location or to book a room, log onto

Choosing a Helmet for Mountain Biking

For the last two decades, Robert Rankin of Robbinsville, NC, has owned and managed the historic Snowbird Mountain Lodge. Beyond his activities as head of operations at the lodge, Robert Rankin likes to hike and mountain bike on the many wooded trails around Robbinsville, NC.

A helmet is arguably the most important piece of equipment in a mountain biker’s bag. When it comes time to buy a cycling helmet, there are three primary types to consider. Multi-use sport helmets frequently provide adequate head protection for a mountain biker. They are particularly suitable for recreational and commuter cyclists, while those who engage in more rigorous cycling might do better to consider a more durable type of helmet.

Road bike helmets can serve a mountain biker well, as they have been designed with high performance in mind. A road bike helmet is light, well ventilated, and aerodynamically sound. However, a cyclist who rides off road on single-track trails should consider purchasing a mountain biking specialty helmet. These include ventilation that remains effective at low speeds and provides heavy-duty, expanded coverage around the back of the head. Most importantly, mountain biking helmets provide superior protection if a rider gets thrown off his or her bike when tackling a tough trail or in rocky terrain, which frequently happens.

Outdoor Activities near Robbinsville, North Carolina

Robert Rankin of Robbinsville, NC, owns and operates Snowbird Mountain Lodge, located along the scenic Cherohala Skyway in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Robert Rankin advises his guests to take advantage of the many opportunities for outdoor activity throughout Robbinsville, NC.

Spending time outside provides a person with countless benefits, ranging from healthy physical activity to opportunities for relaxation and self-reflection. When it comes to getting active outdoors around Robbinsville, North Carolina, the nearby Smoky Mountains are a great place to start. In fact, 66 percent of North Carolina's Graham County is comprised of National Forest. For hiking enthusiasts, options abound, though arguably the most popular destination is the Appalachian Trail, which passes through the county as part of a 2,180-mile journey from Maine to Georgia.

For those who prefer aquatic pastimes, more than 75 percent of Lake Santeetlah's shores have been protected against future development. The expansive lake provides peace and quiet even during the active summer months. Fishing enthusiasts, on the other hand, can enjoy the many trout streams adjacent to the lake and spread throughout the county, several of which have earned a national reputation. Additional outdoor activities include ATV adventures, kayaking, and the annual Robbinsville 4th of July Heritage Festival.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Unique Landscapes and Ecosystem

As the owner and operator of Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville, NC, Robert Rankin helps guests disconnect from the hustle of everyday life, experience home-grown cuisine, and enjoy stunning natural landscapes. Robert Rankin and his guests in Robbinsville, NC, are able to hike and explore the outdoors at a number of nearby sites, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains and spreading across 800 square miles in Tennessee an North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers striking landscapes, a thriving ecosystem, and diverse wildlife. The Smoky Mountains represent one of the most ancient mountain ranges on the planet, with gently sloping, plant-covered lowlands and glaciers in the higher elevations. Throughout the park, a high summertime humidity and significant rainfall also create perfect growing conditions. The park features more than 1,500 documented flowering plant species, and approximately 95 percent of the park is forested.

In this environment, a large number of animal species also thrive, ranging from mammals to amphibians. The park accommodates 66 different mammal species, 43 varieties of amphibians, and 200 bird species. To emphasize the importance of the park’s natural resources, the United Nations deemed the park an International Biosphere Reserve.

Sommelier John McCune Shares Expertise and Fine Wines

Robert Rankin strives to help people relax and connect with nature as the longtime owner and operator of the Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville, NC. In addition to interacting with his guests in Robbinsville, NC, Robert Rankin helps organize the retreat’s fine dining and culinary events that feature special guests, including John McCune, Advanced Sommelier CMS.

With more than two decades of experience as a sommelier, McCune has traveled to nearly all the major wine regions around the globe to study different wines. McCune’s time in Burgundy most significantly impacted his work as a sommelier. His travels have also given him access to the world’s finest wines from New Zealand, California, France, Argentina, and South Africa.

McCune’s expertise has enabled him to work with renowned restaurants around the United States, such as The Yellowstone Club and the Cloister Dining Room. Earlier in his career, McCune helped open the famed Sea Island Lodge and directed a wine team that achieved the prestigious Forbes Five Star and Five Diamond rating for three consecutive years. While working as the wine director for The Yellowstone Club in Montana, McCune developed unique wine events in partnership with some of the most famous chefs, winemakers, and culinary experts in the world.

Best Times for Visiting the Dominican Republic

Robert Rankin is the owner and operator of Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville, NC. He has been running the North Carolina lodge for more than two decades. When he’s not busy with his responsibilities at the lodge, Robert Rankin travels from his Robbinsville, NC-area home base to such locations as the Dominican Republic.

One of the world’s most affordable tropical destinations, the Dominican Republic has warm weather throughout the year and hotels, and attractions stay open during every season. The country’s high season lasts from January to April. During these months, crowds are heavy and hotel prices typically are at their most expensive. There are also several festivals held around Easter and Carnival, meaning crowds will be even larger. However, airfare is cheaper due to the increased number of flights that go to the Dominican Republic during this time.

From May to August, hotel prices are much lower, though finding a flight going to the area may be more difficult. Although this is often considered the low season in the Dominican Republic, summertime, specifically July and August, draws in travelers from the northern hemisphere of the world. Crowds are slightly smaller during this time than earlier in the year, but the area is not completely empty.

Finally, the shoulder season lasts from September to December. September is prime hurricane season, and the Dominican Republic, due to its location in the middle of the Caribbean’s hurricane belt, occasionally experiences smaller hurricanes during the months following September.

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest: A Draw for Hikers

Robert Rankin, of Robbinsville, NC, is the owner and operator of the Snowbird Mountain Lodge. As the owner of this scenic retreat, he enjoys participating in pastimes unique to the Robbinsville, NC, area. Robert Rankin’s preferred activities include hiking and fly-fishing.

Hiking opportunities abound around Robbinsville, which is known as “the town amidst the trees,” and is surrounded by the scenic beauty of Graham County, North Carolina. Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is a popular draw for hikers looking to experience the area’s virgin poplar stands. These majestic giants sometimes stretch 100 feet into the air and can be up to 20 feet in circumference. Some of the trees are nearly 500 years old.

The Joyce Kilmer trees were set aside by the government as a sort of living memorial to their namesake, a soldier killed in World War I. Kilmer was a poet, and he focused particularly on nature. His most well-known work is called, fittingly, “Trees.”