In Transylvania County, more than 111,000 acres, or 46 percent of the county’s land area, is in public ownership. Those public lands include four world-class outdoor attractions: Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest, Gorges State Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Of the amount of public land in the county, roughly 83,000 acres is in Pisgah National Forest, which is comprised of more than 500,000 acres in total. Today, Pisgah National Forest is a destination for people across the country and beyond for its natural beauty. The forest includes including numerous waterfalls; miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding; and the highest mountain peaks east of the Mississippi.
Another of the county’s jewels is DuPont State Recreational Forest and its roughly 11,000 acres. DuPont Forest has slowly grown in size since the state began buying up property in 1995, and now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to see its spectacular waterfalls and enjoy its many trails. Hollywood has also come calling, with movies such as “The Hunger Games” and “The Last of the Mohicans” being filmed in the forest.
Gorges State Park is the “youngest” of the four, having being established in 1999. It is roughly 8,000 acres in size and, like the other two, features miles of trails and wonderful waterfalls. Lastly is the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, which is also called “America’s Favorite Drive.” Of its 469 miles, 16 go through Transylvania County, parts of which sit at 5,000 feet above sea level.
Each of these public treasures is featured in this publication, with lots more information about what each has to offer. For more information about all local activities, go to www.transylvaniaexplorer.com.