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Exploring Natural Heritage

Visit the Great Outdoors of the 彩乐园ll下载安装 Mountains in North Carolina

Visitors seeking outdoor adventure, communion with nature, breathtaking vistas on 彩乐园ll下载安装 scenic byways, wilderness solitude, or simply a relaxed drive in the country will find it in spades in the North Carolina mountains and foothills.

The 彩乐园ll下载安装 Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, scenic byways, and state parks and state forests offer hundreds of square miles of majestic scenery, hiking trails, bike trails, waterfalls, whitewater, and rare and unusual ecosystems.聽

聽National Parks – A Piece of 彩乐园ll下载安装 and Appalachian History

The 彩乐园ll下载安装 National Heritage Area is home to the two most-visited National Park lands in the country:

  • 彩乐园ll下载安装 Parkway – 252 miles of scenic roadway winding through the 彩乐园ll下载安装 Mountains to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park – a half million+ acre park renowned for its biodiversity, old growth forests, historic farm sites, and abundant recreation opportunities.
  • Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site – a 264-acre farm in Flat Rock which was home to the esteemed author and poet.
  • Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail – a 330-mile driving trail which commemorates the marching route of citizen militia to the pivotal Battle of King’s Mountain during the Revolutionary War.
  • – a 2,185 mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains.

Visitor Map Brochure – Get More Information for Free!

National Forests – An Integral Part of NC Natural Heritage

The North Carolina mountains are also home to two National Forests that were some of the earliest forests to be protected by the federal government and which are among the most biodiverse. The National Forests are a part of North Carolina natural heritage and and Appalachian history.

  • The Pisgah National Forest – the country’s first National Forest – was the site of the first forestry school and the early history of forest conservation in the United States.
  • The Nantahala National Forest – is distinguished by its spectacular whitewater, waterfalls, old growth, and the scenic byways that pass through it.

Together, the two National Forests offer visitors over a million acres of protected landscape for an abundance of recreational pursuits – hiking, camping, picnicking, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing, birding, mountain biking, horseback riding, and much more.

Other Federal Lands

  • (near Wilkesboro, NC)

State Parks and Forests Preserve NC Natural Heritage

Nine State Parks, two State Forests and the Green River Game Lands in Western North Carolina protect spectacular natural landmarks and provide outstanding recreational opportunities. These state lands are popular destinations for hiking, camping, picnicking, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, fishing, boating, and swimming.

Many offer special events, including educational and interpretive programs, organized hikes, concerts, fishing lessons, and environmental workshops.

State Parks

State Forests

  • (between Hendersonville and Brevard, NC)
  • (Hendersonville, NC)
  • (Lenoir, NC)

Other State Lands

Outdoor Activities

Visit our Things to Do page where you will discover hundreds of ways to enjoy the natural beauty and heritage of the North Carolina 彩乐园ll下载安装 mountains.

Click on the link below to hear more about whitewater adventures in Western North Carolina

Whitewater Fun in the 彩乐园ll下载安装