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TOURS & TREKS
 
 
Buncombe County
Asheville
 
 
THE NORTH CAROLINA ARBORETUM   

The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre public garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest. Surrounded by the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, the Arboretum is nestled in one of the most beautiful natural garden settings in America.

Established in 1986 by the General Assembly as an inter-institutional facility of the University of North Carolina, the Arboretum came into existence nearly a century after this country's father of landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, first envisioned such an institution near Asheville.

A center for education, research, conservation and economic development, and garden demonstration, the Arboretum offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages.

(828) 665-2492
 
 
 
Henderson County
Hendersonville
 
 
BLUE STAR CAMP   [Map]

Designed specifically as a summer camp for children 7-17, Blue Star is seven miles from the town of Hendersonville and 27 miles from the resort city of Asheville, North Carolina.

(828) 692-3591
 
 
 
Carl Sandburg National Historic Site - Connemarra
 
CARL SANDBURG NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE - CONNEMARRA   [Map]

The home of America's poet, Carl Sandburg, is quite a baronial estate for an old socialist. It was designated as a National Historic Site in 1968 to honor Carl Sandburg's compelling collection of stories about the American people; their plights, struggles, joys and hopes as told through Sandburg's poetry, prose, journalism and biography.

(828) 693-4178
 
 
 
 
HOLMES EDUCATIONAL STATE FOREST   [Map]

Holmes is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. With rugged terrain, numerous rock outcroppings, and scenic vistas, it also offers a rich mixture of mountain hardwoods, rhododendron, flame azaleas, and a variety of wildflowers. These features are accessible by a series of well-marked trails which are accented by exhibits and displays depicting the ecology of the managed forest.

Forest Features:
Outdoor education
Trails with "Talking Trees" and exhibits
Picnic facilities
Ranger conducted programs
Group camping

(828) 692-0100
 
 
 
 
PERRY N. RUDNICK NATURE AND PUBLIC ART TRAIL   [Map]

The Rudnick Nature Trail opened May 2002 on the 50 acres surrounding the UNC Asheville Kellogg Conference Center and the Craft, Creativity and Design Center. The one mile trail meanders through 3 distinct ecosystems: wetland, hardwood forest and a Replica handbags wildflower meadow. Artwork/sculptures are located throughout the trail to enhance and/or interpret the natural environment on a trail or greeway.

(828) 890-2050
 
 
 
Henderson/Rutherford County
 
BAT CAVE RESERVE   [Map]

Bat Cave is owned by The Nature Conservancy and a private landowner and is accessible only through the North Carolina Chapter's field trip program. For more information on these summer trips, look at the field trips page. Please note: The cave itself is closed to the public.

Hikes begin in June and are every Wednesday & Saturday until August.
Call the Mountain District Office to make reservations.

(828) 749-1700
 
 
 
Mitchell County
Linville
 
 
GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN   [Map]

Grandfather Mountain has been a wildlife sanctuary and nature preserve for over 100 years. It is privately owned and operated as a scenic travel attraction. The Mountain has a nature museum, a mile high swinging bridge, wildlife exhibits and more. There are 11 trails varying in difficulty from a gentle walk in the woods to a rigorous trek across rugged peaks. It is in the backcountry that you come up against the more challenging hikes.

(800) 468-7325
 
 
 
Siever County
Gatlinburg
 
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
 
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK   [Map]

Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles North Carolina and Tennessee. The Park preserves a rich cultural tapestry of Southern Appalachian history.

Biological diversity is the hallmark of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which encompasses over 800 square miles in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Weather plays an important part on whether a particular part of the Park is open to the public. Check before you travel there.

(865) 436-1200
 
 
 
Transylvania County
Brevard
 
Cradle of Forestry, Pisgah National Forest
 
CRADLE OF FORESTRY, PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST   [Map]

The Cradle of Forestry is a 6,500 acre historic site within the Pisgah National Forest.

The Forest Discovery Center features interactive exhibits and a movie about the creation of the school and the history of forestry conservation. The site features a museum, eight historic buildings, a restored portable saw mill and logging locomotive as well as curriculum-based program.

(828) 877-3130
 
 
 
Sapphire
 
 
GORGES STATE PARK   [Map]

Plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and one of the greatest concentrations of rare and unique species in the eastern United States are found within Gorges State Park. An elevation that rises 2,000 feet in only four miles, combined swiss replica watches with rainfall in excess of 80 inches per year, creates a temperate rain forest and supports a collection of waterfalls.

Park hours
November-February, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
March and October, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
April, May, September, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
June-August, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
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Park office hours
8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
Closed state holidays

(828) 966-9099
 
 
 
Transylvania/Henderson County
Hendersonville
 
DuPont State Forest
 
DUPONT STATE FOREST   [Map]

DuPont Forest is made up of more than 10,000 acres of forest, trails, and waterfalls between Hendersonville and Brevard, North Carolina. Horseback riding, hiking, picnicing, mountain biking, boating and swimming available.

(828) 877-6527
 
 
 
Yancey County
Burnsville
 
 
MOUNT MITCHELL STATE PARK   [Map]

Rising more than a mile high, surrounded by the gentle mist of low-hanging clouds, Mount Mitchell State Park is one of these extraordinary places. In the crest of the timeworn Black Mountains lies the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. For those who ascend this mighty peak, what looms in the horizon is a feast for the eyes—breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, rolling ridges and fertile valleys. Forested and forever misty, 1,855-acre Mount Mitchell State Park will provide you with some of the most tranquil moments you'll ever experience.

Park hours
November-February, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
March and October, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
April and September, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
May-August, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day

Park office hours
8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays
Closed Christmas Day

(828) 675-4611
 
 
 
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