Blue Ridge Parkway Access
Blue Ridge Parkway Access follows the mountain ridges from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. The Parkway’s 469 toll-free miles combines natural beauty, mountain forests, wildlife, wildflowers and magnificent views. There are numerous scenic overlooks, parking areas and 100 trails ranging from short walks to the Appalachian Trail. For information and road conditions call (828) 298-0398.
The tour starts at the Visitors Center, 201 South Main Street. Proceed north on Main Street, approximately 1 mile, to Hwy. 191 North and turn left, at Rite Aid. Continue on Hwy. 191. N (Haywood Rd.) for approximately 10 miles until you reach a dead end in Mills River. Turn right at the light onto Hwy. 280 (Travel approximately 1 mile to the third stoplight and turn left back onto Hwy. 191 (Old Haywood Rd.), continue on 191 approximately 8 miles. Turn left onto the Blue Ridge Parkway; there is a light at the intersection, also the entrance of the NC Arboretum. The NC Arboretum offers is a 434-acre natural treasure with 65 acres of cultivated gardens and 10 miles of hiking and biking trails. The Arboretum offers a variety trails rated Easy to Moderate, and Moderate to Difficult. 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC (828) 665-2492
Blue Ridge Parkway Loop Tour
The Blue Ridge Parkway Loop Tour starts at the Visitors Center, 201 South Main Street. Proceed north on Main Street, to 7th Ave./Hwy 64 W.; turn left at Bank of America. Travel approximately 18 miles on Hwy. 64 W., through the communities of Etowah, Horse Shoe, & Penrose. At the intersection of Hwy. 64 & Hwy. 280 go straight thru the traffic light onto Hwy. 276 N, entrance to Pisgah National Forest. Follow Hwy. 276 N. for approximately 10.5 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway and turn right. The Pisgah Inn is located 3 1/2 miles on the right between miles marker 409 & 408, open April – October.
Make a loop tour on the Parkway and return to Hendersonville on Hwy. 191 S. Exit at mile marker 393, continue on Hwy. 191 S. approximately 8 miles, until the road dead ends, at the light turn right onto Hwy 280/Hwy 191. Travel approximately 1 mile to the third stoplight and turn left back onto Hwy. 191 S. (Haywood Rd.), continue on 191 approximately 8 miles to the junction of Asheville Hwy, (Hwy. 25 S). to Downtown Hendersonville.
The North Mills River Recreational Area
The North Mills River Recreational Area is part of Pisgah National Forest is located in Henderson County, just 13 miles from Downtown Hendersonville. North Mills River Recreational Area picnic sites, campsites, hiking, mountain biking trails, river fishing and tubing.
The tour starts at the Visitors Center, 201 South Main Street. Proceed north on Main Street, approximately 1 mile, to Hwy. 191 North and turn left, at Rite Aid. Continue on Hwy. 191. N (Haywood Rd.) for approximately 10 miles until you reach a dead end in Mills River. Turn right at the light onto Hwy. 280, travel to the third second stoplight and turn left onto North Mills River Rd. Follow North Mills River Road to the campground. For information call (828) 877-3265.
Dupont State Recreational Forest
Dupont State Recreational Forest encompasses 10,268 acres in Henderson and Transylvania counties. It is situated in the Little River valley and includes waterfalls and 80 miles of roads and trails wandering through mountainous terrain. Dupont State Recreational Forest is open to the public for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Many scenes from the movie, The Hunger Games, were shot in Dupont State Recreational Forest. The Hunger Games were filmed entirely in North Carolina Fishing is allowed with a valid NC fishing license.
The tour starts at the Visitors Center, 201 South Main Street. From the Visitors Center turn right onto Main Street to the second stop light and turn right onto Caswell Street. When crossing Church Street the road becomes Kanuga Road; follow Kanuga Road, which becomes Crab Creek Road, approximately 12 miles to Dupont State Recreational Forest. Turn left on Dupont Road just before the Transylvania county line. Follow Dupont/Staton Road for 3.1 miles, the Hooker Falls parking lot will be on the right just before the Little River Bridge. You may continue on for another 1 mile to High Falls parking area on left. For information call (828) 877-6527. High Falls Access parking lot, 1300 Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC. GPS Coordinates: 35.18856,-82.632936
Holmes Educational State Forest
Holmes Educational State Forest offers a series of well-marked trails, accented by exhibits and displays depicting ecology of a managed forest. Picnic sites with tables and a spacious picnic shelter (with grills ) are also available. Holmes Educational State Forest is located about 8 1/2 miles from downtown Hendersonville. The forest is open Tuesday-Sunday from mid-March to late November. For information call (828) 692-0100. 1299 Crab Creek Road, Hendersonville.
The tour starts at the Visitors Center, 201 South Main Street. From the Visitors Center turn right onto Main Street to the second stop light and turn right onto Caswell Street. When crossing Church Street the road becomes Kanuga Road; follow Kanuga Road, which becomes Crab Creek Road, approximately 8 1/2 miles to Holmes Educational State Forest. Turn left into the entrance of Holmes Educational State Forest.
Jump Off Rock
Jump Off Rock is a scenic overlook, which provides a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges. Jump Off Rock also holds an Indian legend that has been passed down for many years. A young Cherokee Indian maiden received word that her young Indian Chief had been killed in battle, so she climbed to the edge of the rock and jumped off. Indian legend has it that on moonlit nights you can see the ghost of the maiden on Jump Off Rock.
The tour starts at the Visitors Center, 201 South Main Street, turn left onto Main Street to Fifth Avenue West and turn left, and it becomes Laurel Park Highway, the road dead ends at Jump Off Rock.
There are three hiking trials at Jump Off Rock, varying in length and difficulty. Blue Trail – easy trail, takes about 8 minutes, Yellow Trail – moderate trail, takes around 15 minutes & Red Trail – is the most difficult and the longest. See the sign at the entrance to the walkway leading to Jump Off Rock.
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site Hiking Trails
Carl Sandburg, American poet, historian, author, and lecturer spent the final 22 years of his long and productive life at his estate, Connemara, in Flat Rock. Today this National Historic Site offers a keen insight on Mr. Sandburg, his family and their 264-acre working farm. The Sandburg Home houses his collection of 10,000 books, notes and papers. Home tours are offered daily tours. There are numerous hiking trails and a functional goat barn, where Mrs. Sandburg raised her prize-winning goats.
The tour starts at the Visitors Center, 201 South Main Street. Proceed south on Main Street to Highway 225 South to Historic Flat Rock. Turn right onto Little River Road, go approximately 100 yards to the parking area of the Carl Sandburg Home.
Walk to the park’s information station below the parking lot, cross the bridge and walk up the hill to the main house. The trail ascends 100 feet, the height of a 10-story building, a moderate climb. If you are unable to walk to the house, use the phone at the information station to call for assistance (in season).
There are five miles of hiking trails located on the Connemara property. Each trail is easy to moderate, with Glassy Trail being steep in only one place. It takes is about 35 minutes at a steady walk to the top of Glassy. Trail maps located at the main house or click for a trail map. For information call (828) 693-4178. 81 Carl Sandburg Lane (located off Little River Rd.), Flat Rock, NC. www.nps.gov/carl