Picture this: the slow rustle of leaves as the wind finds the trees along a trail, the vast expanse of peaks sloping into valleys stretched out before you like the strokes of a painter’s mountain landscape, the sprinkle of water on your skin as it cascades down a waterfall and flows into a calm pool of water.
What was just described is something like the setting of a storybook fantasy, yes, but it is also the reality you’ll come across in Brevard, North Carolina. Nestled into the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Transylvania County, Brevard, North Carolina—as its county’s namesake suggests—offers its guests the opportunity to escape into nature, and experience the sites where storybook settings gained their inspiration from.
When the opportunities to explore are so vast, where do you begin? If you wish to experience all of the gems of Brevard’s nature in one place, Pisgah National Forest is the one-stop-shop you’re looking for.
Comprised of over 500,000 acres—and once a part of the prestigious Biltmore Estate—Pisgah National Forest is home to roaring whitewater rivers, an intricate system of trails, and a vast array of waterfalls. Hike up the hills or cycle down the curves of Pisgah’s mountainous landscape, and all the while enjoy the scenic views that nature has to offer.
If you’re one for adventure, Pisgah National Forest offers opportunities to rock climb, zip-line, and raft. Join the ranks of professional climbers up Looking Glass Rock’s 4,000-foot climb, or feel the rush of adrenaline as you race down the third oldest river in the world, the French Broad.
For a more relaxing experience, the calm, shallow waters of the Davidson River allow visitors to lazily tube between its banks, kayak around its corners, and canoe around its bends. These two rivers also boast a variety of marine life, such as largemouth bass, brown, brook, and rainbow trout, catfish. Swim among them, or relax with the catch-and-release fly-fishing that attracts so many to the area.
Around the water, enjoy the scene of other families picnicking, fishing, and even horseback riding along the river’s banks. If you wish to swim around different scenery, Pisgah National Forest also houses a number of impressive waterfalls to swim in or relax by. Splash around the water of Looking Glass Falls as its 60-foot waterfall cascades down around you, or use nature’s own water-slide at Sliding Rock to slip down the waterfall into the pool of water below.
For more waterfall action, Dupont State Forest, just a short thirty minutes drive from Brevard, offers hikers amazing vantage points to view four impressive falls including Hooker, Triple, Bridal Veil, and High Falls , a 125-foot spectacle.
Finally, after a long day of picnicking along the river’s shores, riding horses along Pisgah’s guided horseback trails, or backpacking up and across the landscapes of the forest, if your need to experience nature isn’t satisfied, Pisgah National Forest also affords visitors with the opportunity to camp on the grounds overnight, and enjoy the quiet sounds of nature and the clear view of stars that only these types of heights allow. For those who love to look at nature, but not necessarily become one with it, the Pisgah Forest’s surrounding businesses provide vacation rental homes that place you in the middle of nature’s scenic views, but provide the comforts of four walls.