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Red Spruce & Carolina Flying Squirrel

Red Spruce & Carolina Flying Squirrel

Red Spruce & Carolina Flying Squirrel A 78-Foot Red Spruce from Pisgah Travels to DC as the US Capitol Christmas Tree The assortment of fir trees and evergreens that thrive in the higher elevations of Brevard and Transylvania County is one of the area’s most scenic and treasured signs of life in our mountains.  Among these, the red spruce stands tall and is particularly important not just to our area but to the region beyond. Known as the “Redwoods of the East,” North Carolina’s red spruce is the largest conifer indigenous to the Southern Appalachians. Its spindly, high-reaching branches rise up like an island in the sky over the high tops of the Blue Ridge, providing color and texture to the landscape and a critical pocket ecosystem for flora and fauna, among them Carolina Northern Flying Squirrels, which are listed as federally endangered. These delightful, furry aviators enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the red spruce via a particular underground fungus. These fungi provide water and nutrients for the trees and receive sugars in return. The squirrels then spread the spores through the forest, which helps the red spruce. Many decades of logging and wildfires led to a precipitous decline in the Appalachian red spruce by the middle of the 20th century. In 2013, Transylvania County’s Southern Highlands Reserve (SHR), a nonprofit, high-elevation native plant garden and research center, undertook a partnership with the Nature Conservancy to restore red spruce trees to the Southern Appalachians. Two years later, in 2015,... Read More
Be Waterfall Wise

Be Waterfall Wise

Be Waterfall Wise Waterfalls are part of the identity of Brevard and Transylvania County. There are more than 250 cascades scattered throughout the county, earning us the nickname “Land of Waterfalls.” While we encourage visitors and residents alike to enjoy these natural wonders, we also want to remind everyone to Be Waterfall Wise when you are in their proximity. Every year, people are seriously injured and even die around waterfalls. Over the past several years, the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority has worked closely with our forest and park managers and a variety of public safety organizations to raise awareness about the dangers of waterfalls by creating a campaign to promote safe practices around waterfalls. As a result, the number of injuries and fatalities has been dramatically reduced. But accidents still happen, and we’re committed to sharing our safety messaging to keep you and your loved ones safe. If you’re planning a trip to Brevard – or anywhere near waterfalls – please familiarize yourself with these seven simple waterfall safety tips: OBSERVE all posted signs leading to waterfall areas. DO NOT swim or wade upstream near a waterfall. STAY on marked trails and observation areas. WATCH for slick rocks around waterfalls. DO NOT jump off waterfalls or dive into pools. WATCH your children and pets at all times. DO NOT climb on rocks above waist height. Follow @explorebrevardnc on Instagram and @explorebrevard on Facebook to stay abreast of current conditions and the latest waterfall advisories. You’ll also find helpful... Read More
Winter Weather Checklist

Winter Weather Checklist

Winter Weather Checklist Seven Safety Tips for Winter Adventures Wintertime brings a host of exciting options to adventurers eager to get on the trails in the amazing forests of Brevard and Transylvania County. From more expansive views to ice climbing to a car-free Blue Ridge Parkway, the opportunities for experiencing our natural landscape in a whole new way are many.  Like any season, winter comes with risks as well as rewards. Weather can change quickly. Temperatures drop at higher elevations. Knowing how to prepare yourself for cold weather is a critical component of how you can Leave It Better out on the trail, and it will keep you safe and worry-free on your next cold snap adventure. Here are a few tips so you don’t head out (snow) blind: 1 1 CHECK IT OUT BEFORE YOU GO. Many of Brevard and Transylvania’s public lands operate with smaller staffs during the winter months. That’s why it’s critically important to check on the status of trails, roads and landmarks before you go. Updated information can be found here: Pisgah National Forest       |      DuPont State Recreational Forest Gorges State Park      |      Blue Ridge Parkway 2 2 KNOW THE FORECAST. Understanding the local weather forecast goes a long way in knowing what type of conditions to anticipate. If the forecast calls for storms or dropping temperatures, consider rescheduling a long hike or a camping trip for milder conditions. Waterfalls can be particularly treacherous in winter... Read More
Fifteen fun ways to chase away those rainy-day blahs.

Fifteen fun ways to chase away those rainy-day blahs.

Fifteen fun ways to chase away those rainy-day blahs. Inclement weather put a hitch in your outdoor plans? Not to worry. Here are fifteen “satisfaction guaranteed” ways to enjoy yourself in Brevard while you’re waiting for the sun to reappear.Have fun! 1 1 VETERANS HISTORY MUSEUM OF THE CAROLINAS Filled with unique and historic military artifacts, this free museum honors our country’s military history and celebrates the contributions of men and women from every branch of service. In addition to a collection that includes WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and War on Terror artifacts, the museum mounts regular temporary exhibits.  Click here, for location, times and information. 2 2 CO-ED CINEMA Since 1934, the Co-ed Cinema has been Brevard’s go-to destination for first-run movies. Step back in time at this classic old-fashioned theatre and sample the latest films from tinsel town. Find out what’s showing here. 3 3 TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY LIBRARY There’s always something fun happening at this state-of-the-art facility located in downtown Brevard. Whether you want to find a good book to snuggle up with or take part in one of the regularly scheduled events (story times, music performances, craft classes), the Transylvania County Library is a great place to relax and explore. 4 4 TRANSYLVANIA COMMUNITY ARTS COUNCIL (TCArts) If you love art, TCArts is the place for you. Here you’ll find a regular rotation of exhibits by local and regional artists. If you’re inspired to create works of your own, TCArts offers pottery classes and other opportunities... Read More
8 Great Holiday Tips

8 Great Holiday Tips

8 Great Holiday Tips For Having A Cool Yule in Brevard Whether it’s waterfalls, white squirrels, or a warm spot by a glowing fire, Brevard and Transylvania County have just about everything you need to make this holiday season unforgettable. We take “jolly” to a whole new level with charming, small-town magic, festive events, and plenty of opportunities for you to get out and explore acres of winter wonderland, jingle bells optional. 1 1 HAVE A THRILL ON THE HILL  What could be more fun than an evening snow skiing or snow tubing with the family (weather permitting) at the Ski Sapphire Valley? They will be open Dec 17-Jan 1, then on weekends, Fri-Sun, after the holidays. They will also be closed on Jan 16th and February 20th  for national holidays.  2 2 EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY Special holiday menu offerings from our local restaurants and seasonal selections from our extraordinary craft brewers and tap rooms give new meaning to the term “holiday cheer.” No matter what your taste buds fancy, we’ve got a table (or a bar stool) with your name on it.   3 3 GO TREE CRAZY. For many of us, Christmas is best evoked in the heady scent and furry limbs of a fresh evergreen tree decked with tinsel, lights, random ornaments both grand and sentimental. And then there are some of us who just can’t feel the holiday spirit until they bask in the glow of a neon pink, metallic tree. Fortunately, Transylvania County offers a little bit of... Read More
Something’s Brewing

Something’s Brewing

Something’s Brewing What’s on tap at Brevard’s local breweries The clean, clear and chilly water that runs down the mountains and fills Transylvania County’s streams, rivers and lakes has long been one of our greatest local resources. Water is also a critical component of excellent beer, which you can find on tap at all five of Brevard’s local breweries. These run the gamut in size, shape, and flavor profile, but all are must-stops for fans of a delicious pint, a welcoming atmosphere, and anyone curious to get a taste of what Brevard’s storied waters can do. 1 1 BREVARD BREWING Opened in 2012, this family-owned local brewery is Brevard’s oldest. Brewmaster Kyle Williams specializes in handcrafted lagers and pilsners, which are rare among North Carolina’s microbreweries. Using imported German barley, hops, yeast, and Brevard’s soft brewing water, he creates delicious beers. Brevard Brewing is in the heart of downtown on East Main Street. Truly a business with deep roots in the community, the brewery is located in the former Trantham’s Department store building, which was owned and operated by the family and their predecessors for three generations. Learn more about Brevard Brewing. 2 2 ECUSTA BREWING The Cherokee word “Ecusta” is what Transylvania County’s indigenous population called the Davidson River, which flows through Pisgah National Forest. Technically, the word means “Get Distant,” which Ecusta Brewing hopes will spur many adventurers to take the trail less traveled and drop by for one for their excellent lagers, ales, sours, porters and... Read More