The Transylvania Times -

By Derek McKissock
News Editor 

Pisgah National Forest Offers Something for Everyone

 

SLIDING ROCK IN PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST.

The Pisgah Ranger District in Pisgah National

Forest is a big draw for visitors to Western North

Carolina.

Each year, the district attracts more than one million visitors seeking an outdoor experience. With more than 160,000 acres, the district is known nationally for its outstanding recreation opportunities and spectacular diversity of plant and animal life.

The forest came into being after the Vanderbilt family sold a tract of land from the original Biltmore Estate to the United States government in 1914.

From the Pisgah Forest business community, U.S. 276 winds its way through the district’s heart, going deeper into the forest and stretching roughly 15 miles to connect with the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Part of the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway, it has been named a National Scenic Byway, the highest

designation a route can receive in the United States.

Among the district’s famous natural landmarks is Looking Glass Falls, which stands 60 feet high and 30 feet wide and is a popular attraction year round.

To learn more about the forest’s natural

environment, visitors are encouraged to stop by the

Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Fish Hatchery, offering indoor and outdoor exhibits as well tours of the hatchery.

Key sites throughout the district recently received significant improvements.

The English Chapel Bridge, located near Davidson River Campground and originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, was restored.

There were also improvements to the Sliding Rock Recreation Area, where swimmers enjoy the excitement of the Davidson River’s natural water slide. A lifeguard is on duty from Memorial Day weekend through

mid-August and visitors are charged for use of this developed recreation site.

The district is the home of the first school of forestry in the United States, now preserved at the

Cradle of Forestry in America historic site. Major

additions to the site include a new 1.3-mile paved

accessible trail, which is a third accessible trail on site for families with strollers and wheelchairs.

The installation of a roof over the outdoor amphitheater promotes more enjoyment at the summer Songcatchers Music Series and other events.

Adjacent to the Cradle is the Pink Beds area, a favorite spot for picnicking. Another popular spot is Sycamore Flats, located near the entrance to the forest.

Campers have four developed campgrounds to choose from in the district, including Davidson River Campground, open year round and including 161

developed sites.

The district also initiated and implemented seven vegetation management projects this year.

The projects improve forest conditions by enhancing wildlife habitat, decreasing non-native invasive species, improving safety, and providing forest products for consumer use.

Recently the district received the Regional Forester’s Award for Engaging Urban America for outreach efforts such as: conservation education programming at the Cradle of Forestry; completion of the Estatoe Trail, in partnership with the City of Brevard, to connect the city/county trail system directly into the Pisgah National Forest; hosting Conservation Field Day in association with local school systems; and the annual Kid’s Fishing Day.

» for more INFORMATION:

Contact the Pisgah Ranger Station and Visitor Center.

Location: One mile from the entrance on U.S. 276

Phone: (828) 877-3265.

To make a camping reservation at developed

campsites in Pisgah National Forest:

Phone: (877) 444-6777

Website: http://www.recreation.gov

 
 

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