George Vanderbilt was instrumental in founding the first forestry school in America when he hired Carl Schenck to succeed Gifford Pinchot as manager of Vanderbilt’s 100,000-acre forest. Known today as the Cradle of Forestry in America, this national historic site operated by the U.S. Forest Service is located about 20 miles southwest of Asheville off U.S. Highway 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Visitors will find a number of hiking trails in the area. Open April 20 through October.
Hiking & Backpacking
Find the best hikes in Hendersonville, NC and Western North Carolina including detailed trail maps, guides, shops, and trail descriptions.
Much of Western North Carolina is covered by national forest, making it a hikerâ€™s paradise. For maps or information on great places to hike, call the National Forest Service.
The country’s most visited national park, offering a variety of trails for hikers of any age or skill level. Trail maps and assistance are available at the Park Visitor Centers.
Wildland Trekking provides adventurous hiking tours throughout the Greater Asheville area. Trip styles range from backpacking to inn-based tours, day hikes, and fantastic kayak camping trips on Fontana Lake. We have over 30 years of experience in adventure travel and we’re the #1 rated TripAdvisor tour company in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. #wildiswaiting
This historic site consists of a 22 room house, barns, sheds, rolling pastures, walking trails, two small lakes, ponds, flower and vegetable gardens, and an orchard. This is where Carl Sandburg felt the peace and solitude he required to write.
Hikes vary from easy to strenuous. Hiking and socializing in the Hendersonville area.
This national scenic trail begins in Georgia and stretches across 2,144 miles of Appalachian Mountain ridge lines to end in Maine. Along the way, it traverses the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and parts of Western North Carolina. For more information on the trail, and day hike suggestions, contact the Appalachian Trail Conference.
Outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities make the Blue Ridge Parkway one of the most visited sections of the National Park System. Split-rail fences, old farmsteads, mountain meadows and scenic overlooks with endless vistas make the Blue Ridge Parkway a popular attraction. The Parkway incorporates numerous campgrounds, picnic areas and trails.
This is a great hike outside the Little Creek Community in Madison County. From the top of this mountain you can see the Great Smoky Mountains and the Foothills of East Tennessee. There is a large open area that is great for flying kites.
Bullington Gardens, once the nursery of Bob Bullington, is a public botanical garden on 12 acres of rolling land providing hands-on education in horticulture and other sciences to students, youth clubs and adults. These gardens incorporate some of the many unusual mature trees that Mr. Bullington collected and introduced to the area. Visitors are welcome to visit and enjoy the gardens and facilities.
The newest addition to North Carolina’s state parks is right here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Gorges State Park has over 80 inches of rain a year making it a temperate rain forest. The plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls, and concentration of rare and unique species makes this a wonderful park to visit.
If you’re ready for some exercise, we’ve got the spot for you. The Park features six different hiking trails, ranging in difficulty from easy-to-moderate to moderate-to-strenuous. Some lead to 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls; others lead through the woods through old growth forests, dazzling displays of wildflowers and interesting rock formations. The Great Woodland Adventure features fun, whimsical sculptures of some of the animals that call the Park home. Guided bird and wildflower hikes are just a few that are offered throughout the season. The Park, a Natural Heritage Area, is located 18 miles from downtown Hendersonville on Hwy. 64 East in scenic Hickory Nut Gorge. Open all year. Live it up!
The eastern United States highest mountain. Experience a wonderful drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Asheville to the Mount Mitchell State Park. A great place to have a picnic and walk on the surrounding trails.
Visit over 250 majestic waterfalls throughout Transylvania County. We’re in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains where the air is cool, the waters are pure, and the welcome is warm!
A 427-acre facility with a Visitor Education Center, state-of-the-art greenhouses, beautiful gardens, and walking trails.
George Vanderbilt created Biltmore Estate in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains more than a century ago as a retreat for family and friends; a place to rediscover gracious hospitality and revel in nature’s beauty. His vision holds true today. Explore Biltmore House, a magnificent 250-room chateau filled with priceless art and antiques. Stroll through century-old gardens designed by America’s first landscape architect. Savor award-winning wines and taste our chefs creations using estate-raised foods. Enjoy our 8,000 acres of forests, farmlands, and rivers on bikes, horseback, and rafts.
One of six educational forests in North Carolina, Holmes was designed as a living environmental education center. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch, but call first if you want to reserve the shelter.
A self-guided walking tour in downtown Asheville, tracing the footsteps of Ashevilleâ€™s historic past. The trail highlights the results of the economic boom between 1880-1930, when the railroad came to the mountains and brought wealth and influence. Twenty seven “stations” are highlighted in this continuous 1.6 mile loop, from churches and buildings to streets and landmarks.