The highest peak in the eastern United States at an elevation of 6,684 ft, Mt. Mitchell is located in the 1,855-acre Mt. Mitchell State Park. While State Parks are managed separately from National Parks such as the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mt. Mitchell State Park is only accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway by taking NC 128 at Milepost 355.4 to the summit. The breathtaking views and climate at the peak make Mt. Mitchell a popular stop for many Parkway travelers.
Mt. Mitchell State Park includes hiking trails, picnic spots, and an observation deck with 360-degree views. Seasonally in May – October, visitors can enjoy the onsite Natural History Museum, restaurant, gift shop, and camping. Reservations for camping at Mt. Mitchell are managed by North Carolina State Parks.
A variety of historic buildings have been preserved in the valley, including two churches, a school, and several homes and outbuildings. This is the best place in the park to see historic frame buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Cataloochee Valley is nestled among some of the most rugged mountains in the southeastern United States. Surrounded by 6000-foot peaks, this isolated valley was one of the largest and most prosperous settlements in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some 1,200 people lived in this lovely mountain valley in 1910. Most made their living by farming, including commercial apple growing, but an early tourism industry developed in Cataloochee with some families boarding fishermen and other tourists who wished to vacation in the mountains.
Twisted, jagged, rocky “crags” give Craggy Gardens its name, but these high elevation summits are home to the most spectacular floral display along the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway corridor. For generations, visitors have headed for the Craggies in June, typically the prime time for viewing the pink and purple blooms of Catawba rhododendrons that blanket the area.
Chimney Rock State Park is a North Carolina state park in Chimney Rock, Rutherford County, North Carolina in the United States. The 6,956-acre park is located 25 miles southeast of Asheville, North Carolina, and is owned by the state of North Carolina
Not everyone wants their wedding to be an epic Odyssey... some prefer the grace of a perfect Haiku. Haiku I Do provides just that. For the couple looking for something more than City Hall, but not quite the Biltmore Estate, we have elegantly simple wedding packages suited uniquely for you. Whether you need services for an elopement, a pop-up wedding at your favorite waterfall, or full-service wedding venue, we have different options for your perfect day.
Roaring Fork Creek Falls in the Pisgah National Forest is a long cascade of about 100 ft. (about 50 ft. high) in a very beautiful setting. Located just two miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway via NC Highway 80, it's at the base of Mt. Mitchell and next to the Mount Mitchell Golf Club Resort.
In a natural setting of rich meadows of rare moss and heather, surrounded by forests of evergreen balsam, and crowned overhead by the bluest of blue skies, the gardens are breath-taking in their beauty. Towering above the Appalachian valleys, the gardens are often actually above the clouds, giving rise to the name “Cloudland.”
“It is the most beautiful of the high mountains… with Carolina at its feet on one side and Tennessee on the other, and a green ocean of mountains rising in tremendous billows around her.”
-Dr. Elisha Mitchell (for whom Mt. Mitchell is named)
Located between Marion and Little Switzerland (near Linville Caverns) is Tom's Creek Falls. This beautiful, 80-ft. multi-cascade waterfall in the Pisgah National Forest is an easy one-mile round-trip hike. And, the hiking trail is just a 1.2-mile drive from US Highway 221. Since it's so easy to reach and there's a new observation deck, this waterfall is great for children or adults that cannot walk long distances.
For one of the most spectacular views in the North Carolina mountains, head to Wiseman's View on the western side of Linville Gorge (often called the "Grand Canyon of Eastern America"). Find two stone observation areas perched on the cliff at about 3,400 feet elevation. About 1,500 feet below you is the Linville River and directly across the deepest gorge in the eastern USA are the dramatic peaks of Hawksbill and Table Rock mountains.
Pink Beds has been a popular woodland hiking and picnic spot in the Pisgah National Forest for many years. Located four miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway on US 276 (Forest Heritage Scenic Byway), the five-mile loop hike has little elevation change, a rarity in North Carolina's higher mountains. So, it's perfect for all skill levels. The far section of the loop has some uphill sections with some roots and rocks to navigate. Just watch your step. Since there is plenty of shade, it's a great hike on hot summer days. On the Parkway, there is an overlook of this area at Milepost 410.
This waterfall in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard has multiple names: Tom's Spring Branch Falls, Daniel Ridge Falls and Jackson Falls. It’s an easy half-mile hike on the Daniel Ridge Trail to reach the base of this 150-ft. waterfall. As with many waterfalls, it’s most impressive after some decent rain. During summer dry spells, the flow is a tiny stream. You can either hike quick one-mile direct round-trip or the entire four-mile loop that includes the top of the waterfall.
It's just a few miles from the trailheads from two of our favorite hikes, Looking Glass Rock and John Rock. Nearby waterfalls include Cove Creek Falls (less than a mile away), Slick Rock Falls, Cedar Rock Falls, Log Hollow Falls, Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock. It's about 14 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, accessed from the beautiful Forest Heritage Scenic Byway (see directions below), near Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.
Welcome to Canaan Valley Farm, where you can enjoy your own private estate, while only being a couple of miles from Asheville, NC. Drive on in past the rustic 80 year old barn and stocked pond and stay a while.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is an incredible feature of the Blue Ridge Mountains that lets people access an amazing number of hikes and views. If you are a nature nerd like me, it is also a spectacular place to have your wedding or elopement. I believe there is no better place to celebrate love than immersed in wilderness, reminding you to take a breath and enjoy the beauty that exists in this world.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The sprawling landscape encompasses lush forests and an abundance of wildflowers that bloom year-round. Streams, rivers and waterfalls appear along hiking routes that include a segment of the Appalachian Trail. An observation tower tops Clingmans Dome, the highest peak, offering scenic views of the mist-covered mountains.
The Nantahala National Forest lies in the mountain and valleys of southwestern North Carolina. The largest of North Carolina's four National Forests, the Nantahala encompasses 531,148 acres with elevations ranging from 5,800 feet at Lone Bald in Jackson County to 1,200 feet in Cherokee County along Hiwassee River. The Forest is divided into three Districts, Cheoah in Robbinsville, NC, Tusquitee in Murphy, NC, and the Nantahala in Franklin, NC. All district names come from the Cherokee language. "Nantahala" is a Cherokee word meaning "land of the noon day sun," a fitting name for the Nantahala Gorge, where the sun only reaches to the valley floor at midday. The Nantahala National Forest was established in 1920 under authority of the 1911 Weeks Act. This act provided authority to acquire lands for national forests to protect watersheds, to provide timber, and to regulate the flow of navigable streams. In the Nantahala National Forest, visitors enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities from whitewater rafting to camping. With over 600 miles of trails, opportunities exist for hikers, mountain bikers, horse-back riders and off-highway vehicle riders.
One of the most beautiful man-made lakes in the country, Lake Lure is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Located about 27 miles from Asheville, Lake Lure sits in the Hickory Nut Gorge, surrounded by lush mountain tops and sheer granite cliffs. Look up to see the famous Chimney Rock. From the top of Chimney Rock, there are spectacular views of the lake and gorge. It has been a filming location for scenes from the movies Thunder Road, Dirty Dancing, A Breed Apart, The Last of the Mohicans and Firestarter. Don't miss the Dirty Dancing Festival!
Lake Glenville is pristine reservoir located just 8 miles from Cashiers in Jackson County. Located in a beautiful North Carolina mountain rain forest, the lake has 26 miles of shoreline and is the highest elevation of any lake east of the Mississippi (3,494 feet). It offers plenty of things to do for outdoors-lovers, including tubing, skiing, paddle boarding, knee boarding, swimming and fishing. It's about 15 miles south of Western Carolina University.
We are so lucky to have the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville! Surrounded by the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, the NC Arboretum is one of the most beautiful natural garden settings in America. The 434-acre campus in Pisgah National Forest is the ideal place for a sensory-rich stroll or hike while admiring and learning about our natural wonders. Home to many events throughout the year, it is located at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway in south Asheville.
A center for education, research, conservation and garden demonstration, the Arboretum offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. Stop by the information desk at the Baker Exhibit Center to pick up a brochure listing educational programs, tours and events. They also have some great art to admire.
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