Explore Responsibly: 8 Ways to Be a Mindful Traveler While Visiting Brevard and Transylvania County
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Explore Responsibly

8 Ways to Be a Mindful Traveler While Visiting Brevard and Transylvania County

As you plan your travels, have you thought about how you can journey with more intention? There are plenty of ways to reduce your footprint while amplifying your experience. We all carry the responsibility to explore with reverence— to look out for each other, and to cherish our lands.

While you’re here, we invite you to explore responsibly using the guide below.

Leave It Better

Pick It Up.

Bring a trash bag and pick up not just what you packed in, but all that you see.

 Pitch In.

For every 10 hours you spend in the great outdoors give one hour of service or make a donation to an organization that supports public lands.

Prepare Yourself.

Educate yourself on local rules, safety regulations, and trial policies before you visit public lands.

Protect Habitats.

Avoid disturbing any natural habitats or wildlife.

Politeness, Please. 

Be courteous and patient with others you may encounter on the trail with a focus on being a shining example of your user group.

Preach What You Practice.

Teach others to Leave It Better by being an advocate in person and on social media.


To learn more about Leave It Better, click here. Then, explore the 7 Outdoor NC Leave No Trace Principles here.

Support Local Businesses


Seek out local flavors and cuisine at restaurants, bakeries, and food trucks.


Grab a drink at one of our cafes, breweries, taprooms, or lounges.


Check out boutique shops, art galleries, toy stores, and everything in between. When you pick up groceries, opt for independent stores like Food Matters and Nature Hollow, and visit the Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings in Downtown Brevard.


Options are endless, from pottery classes to live music— choose your adventure.


Step into a museum, swing by the Visitor Center, or embark on a history tour.


Discover our destination with a local outfitter or guide.

Stay Where You Play

Staying in overnight accommodation close to where you’re playing makes a big difference in your experience and in the local community. It allows for a closer connection to the unique culture of the community you’re in and often leads to an unexpected discovery. It also negates the impact of your footprint on public lands and other popular destinations through support of the local economy by putting money right back into the community. So, next time you plan your trip, consider staying nearby. It’s a simple way to help preserve these beautiful places for everyone to enjoy! 

Respect the Local Community

Being kind to those you encounter during a visit, particularly locals, is essential to a meaningful visit to any destination. Treat frontline workers with respect by showing courtesy, tipping generously, and being understanding of the difficult and important work they do. Your kindness not only brightens their day but also supports their livelihoods. By fostering a positive relationship with the community, you contribute to a welcoming and harmonious environment for everyone.

Avoid the Crowds

Escape the crowds by opting for off-peak times to avoid congestion and ensure a more tranquil experience.  For our destination, that means planning midweek visits or exploring during shoulder seasons like winter and spring. Additionally, when visiting our public lands and waterways, consider alternative trails or experiences with less demand. If you do visit our most popular spots, aim for days (midweek) and/or times (early morning and late afternoon) that are less busy.  Use these tips to embrace the quieter moments and discover lesser-known gems, which enable a more intimate connection with nature.

Consider Your Footprint

As you plan your visit, think green! Bring reusable items like water bottles and shopping bags, recycle, and conserve resources. Instead of driving, pedal your way along the Estatoe Trail, which conveniently connects Downtown Brevard to the entrance of Pisgah National. It also offers convenient access to all five breweries and the lively shops and restaurants in the Lumberyard District and Downtown Brevard. Enjoy the scenic route while reducing your carbon footprint.

Be Waterfall Wise

Observe all posted signs leading to waterfall areas.

Do Not swim or wade upstream near a waterfall.

Watch for slick rocks around waterfalls.

Do Not jump off waterfalls or dive into pools.

Do Not climb on rocks above waist height.

Watch your children and pets at all times.

Stay on marked trails and observation areas.


Learn more about Be Waterfall Wise here.

Give Back

If you spend time enjoying public lands and waterways, we encourage you to consider giving back to ensure that these cherished natural spaces are here for future generations. Volunteer, donate, or participate in cleanup efforts, whether in your community back home or during a visit to ours. Every contribution counts. Let’s all play a part in protecting and nurturing the beauty of our beloved public lands, near and far.