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Four Fantastic Fall Drives

Four Fantastic Fall Drives

Four Fantastic Fall Drives Whether you’re behind the wheel of a fancy convertible or the family minivan, a fall driving tour of Transylvania County is an unforgettable experience.  Sure, you can speed through these routes and see plenty of sights, but the ideal way is to take your foot off the gas and plan to make several stops along the way. 1 1 ​ TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY LOOP (3 – 7 hours, depending on stops) When it comes to driving tours, this is the Big Kahuna. It serves as both a wonderful introduction to the county and a splendid opportunity to see fall color thanks to the dramatic elevation changes along the route. To start, enter Pisgah National Forest on US 276 and begin heading north. You’ll encounter a number of great attractions and stops, including the Pisgah Ranger Station and Visitor Center, Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, and the Cradle of Forestry. Once you’re on the Blue Ridge Parkway, numerous overlooks offer up stunning views of the Blue Ridge mountains and the awesome rock monolith of Looking Glass Rock. We especially recommend Pounding Mill Overlook (Milepost 413.2), Graveyard Fields (Milepost 418.8), and Devil’s Courthouse (422.4). Come off the BRP at NC 215 for a winding trip back down into the valley. This stretch also offers abundant opportunities to discover why Transylvania County is known as the Land of Waterfalls, including Courthouse, Bird Rock, Mill Shoals, and French Broad Falls. Head east on US 64 and you’ll be back in... Read More
Rocking and Rolling

Rocking and Rolling

Rocking and Rolling ​Gravel Cycling in Transylvania County Brevard/Transylvania County is justifiably renowned for its mountain biking and road cycling. But there’s a lesser known – yet equally superb – cycling activity that’s gaining popularity. Best of all, there’s no better place on the planet to try it than right here. The sport is gravel biking. You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers! Q&A Q&A: What is gravel biking? Think of gravel biking as a hybrid between mountain biking and road cycling. In most cases, gravel biking takes place on an unpaved road with bikes that are similar to road bikes, but with wider and/or treaded tires. Q&A Q&A: What’s the point? In a word: fun. Gravel bikes enable you to explore deep in the woods while riding on non-technical surfaces. So, in many respects, you get the benefits of mountain biking without the technical challenges of maneuvering around large rocks and roots. Q&A Q&A: Why is Transylvania County such a great place to gravel bike? Thanks to Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Recreational Forest, there are literally hundreds of miles of well-maintained gravel roads, often referred to as “Forest Service” or “FS” roads. The opportunities for deep exploration into pristine corners of our county are multiplied many times over when your mode of transportation is a gravel bike. Q&A Q&A: What kind of bike do I need? Thanks to the growing popularity of gravel biking, manufacturers offer a wide range of gravel-specific bikes featuring wider tires and a... Read More
Cedar Mountain Cool

Cedar Mountain Cool

Cedar Mountain Cool The Latest Word on a Small Community with Plenty of Big Fun Once a secret gem of a spot, the tiny, scenic hamlet of Cedar Mountain has become one of Transylvania County’s liveliest and most rewarding communities. It’s a great place to kick back and enjoy delicious food and beverages in an area full of art and fantastic hangouts. An excellent day trip while visiting Brevard, Cedar Mountain is perfect for catching your breath on the doorstep of outdoor adventure. Here are a few great places to get a sense of what makes Cedar Mountain so special: 1 1 FALL(s) IN LOVE For many visitors to Brevard and Transylvania County, Cedar Mountain is the entry point to DuPont State Recreational Forest. This beloved 12,500-acre state forest has trails, woodlands, beautiful views, and some of Transylvania County’s most  popular  waterfalls, including High Falls, Triple Falls, and Hooker Falls, as well as Wintergreen Falls, Grassy Creek Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.  Nearby Connestee Falls also offers up gorgeous views of a spectacular plunge from an accessible viewing area. 2 2 THROW THINGS Long known for its pottery studios and local art scene, Cedar Mountain is a great place to check in on what’s coming off the wheel. See what’s new at Studio 276, Mud Dabbers Pottery, Cedar Mountain Pottery, Lezard Brevard, and Hemlock’s Studio, and perhaps get inspired to take up a new hobby. 3 3 SIP AND SNACK Cedar Mountain has a host of delightful and unconventional... Read More
Land of Waterfalls for All

Land of Waterfalls for All

Land of Waterfalls for All 9 Super Attractions for Everyone! If you have limited mobility, it’s still possible to experience many of Brevard and Transylvania County’s most magical natural attractions. Here is a list of nine don’t-miss attractions and activities that are easily accessible if you use a wheelchair, a walker, or need other physical assistance. 1 1 Looking Glass Falls One of the most photographed waterfalls in the country, picturesque Looking Glass Falls is situated just off US 276 in Pisgah National Forest. There is limited parking along a strip leading up to the falls, but the area experiences fairly rapid turnover. While there is no designated accessible parking, there are curb ramps that make it easy for wheelchairs to reach an excellent viewing platform adjacent to the falls. Directions 2 2 Whitewater Falls At 411 feet, Whitewater Falls is the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains and one of the most accessible. There are two designated accessible spaces in the paved parking lot at the south end of the trail. Both are van-accessible with striped access aisles. The trail surface is paved asphalt and smooth. It is wheelchair-friendly to the first observation deck, which affords a nice, long-range view of this spectacular waterfall. Directions     3 3 Sliding Rock Welcome to Mother Nature’s very own Slip n’ Slide. The Sliding Rock Recreation Area includes four designated spaces that are van-accessible with striped access aisles and curb ramps. A paved trail surface takes you to the... Read More
Four Extraordinary Things About Toxaway – Sapphire

Four Extraordinary Things About Toxaway – Sapphire

Four Extraordinary Things About Toxaway – Sapphire Toxaway and Sapphire, in Transylvania county’s high-altitude southwest edge, are A+ destinations whether you want to catch a stunning view at the end of a hike or relax in a place long-celebrated for its beauty and history. Here are a few things to know about what makes this place so very special: 1 1 A GEOLOGICAL MARVEL Toxaway and Sapphire are located along the Blue Ridge escarpment. Called the “Blue Wall” by the Cherokee, the escarpment is the line at which the Blue Ridge Mountains plunge into the rolling foothills of upstate South Carolina. This dramatic drop, created by the movement of tectonic plates and eons of water erosion, is site to some of the most spectacular views around. 2 2 REMARKABLE BIODIVERSITY The unusual topography of the escarpment made Toxaway-Sapphire a rich and unique microbiome, with its own climate (temperate rainforest) and diverse flora and fauna. Many rare species of plant life still grow in, around and along the escarpment. While botanists and conservationists alike have stressed the importance of caring for and preserving what grows in this very special place, there is ample opportunity to observe the wildflowers, the towering trees and the many kinds of living things that make the area home. Toxaway’s Southern Highlands Reserve is always an excellent resource. 3 3 GRAND OLD HISTORY Toxaway and Sapphire have been a storied vacation destination for more than a century. The end of the 19th century brought the railroad... Read More