Pisgah National Forest is a National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. The Pisgah National Forest covers 510,119 acres of mountainous terrain in the southern Appalachian Mountains, including parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Balsam Mountains. Elevations reach over 6,000 feet (1,800 m) and include some of the highest mountains in the eastern United States. Mount Mitchell, in Mount Mitchell State Park, is the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River and lies just outside the boundary of Pisgah National Forest. The forest also includes tracts surrounding the city of Asheville, the town of Brevard and land in the French Broad River Valley.
The Cradle of Forestry (Biltmore Forest School), located in the southern part of the forest, was the site of the first school of forestry in the United States. There are numerous hiking trails, picnic areas, camping sites, and waterfalls in the forest. There are so many waterfalls in this area that Transylvania county is nicknamed as “Land of the Waterfalls”. Pisgah National Forest is extremely beautiful in Fall.
These are some of the attractions of Pisgah National Forest. You can easily spend a day or 2 enjoying the attractions of Pisgah National Forest.
- Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway (NC 276) – Traversing the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania and Haywood Counties, the 79 mile loop winds its way through areas of outstanding natural beauty rich in forest history. You can read more about this scenic byway here.
- Looking Glass Waterfalls – A beautiful 60 foot high waterfall that can be seen from US 276.
- Moore Cove Falls – A 50 foot free-fall in front of a deeply recessed rock cliff, that allows you to walk behind the falls.
- Sliding Rock – A 60 foot natural Waterfall slide where people can slide down the gentle slope of the smooth rock into the pool below. Bathrooms and showers are open during the summer swimming season.
- Cradle of Forestry – A 6500 acre National Forest Historic Site in North Carolina. America’s first school of forestry known as Biltmore Forest School was established over here in 1968.
- Sycamore Flats Area – A large picnic area named for the numerous Sycamore trees that grow along the banks of the Davidson River
- Pink Beds Area – Picnic area located in a high mountain valley. The valley gets it’s name from the beautiful rhododendron, mountain laurel and azalea that bloom in the spring and summer
- Davidson River Campground – A popular campground where you can relax and enjoy the National Forest. There are hiking trails, fishing streams, evening programs and even warm showers.
- Looking Glass Rock – A monolithic piece of exposed Whitesides granite that rises from the valley floor in the midst of the Pisgah Ranger District. There are trails which lead to the top of the rock.
Here are some photos taken during our trip to Pisgah National Forest during Fall 2009. We drove the Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway stopping at different attractions like waterfalls and picnic areas.