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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
Brevard Rocks!

Brevard Rocks!

Brevard Rocks! Big Time Geology in Transylvania County With waterfalls, high peaks, canyons, gorges, and impressive natural rock walls, no matter where you are in Transylvania County, you’re just a stone’s throw away from unforgettable scenery. The area’s unique geology has created a one-of-a-kind landscape, loved by both climbers and hikers, as well as gorgeous views of iconic natural geologic wonders just waiting to be explored. 1 1 LOOKING GLASS ROCK​ The striking white granite face of this 4,000-foot tall pluton monolith in Pisgah National Forest is one of Transylvania County’s most recognizable landmarks. Named for the way its face looks into the sunlight, Looking Glass Rock is visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Black Balsam, and the top of Mt Pisgah. Hikers and climbers eager for a more up close and personal view can access it via a steep and challenging trail (6.4 miles out and back to summit) off the graveled FS 475 just south of Looking Glass Falls on 276. Trailhead parking is .4 miles in on the right. 2 2 DEVIL’S COURTHOUSE The gnarled face and large size of this bare rock profile has inspired folklore for centuries. In Cherokee tales, it is the dwelling place of a giant named Judulla. More recently, tellers of tall tales have speculated that the devil himself made his home at a secret cave within. Whatever the case, it’s a stunning sight from the Blue Ridge Parkway that offers a short, somewhat strenuous hike to a summit with nearly... 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
Tails on The Trail

Tails on The Trail

Tails on The Trail Five Tips for Traveling with Your Favorite Four-Legged Friend Dogs make great travel and trail buddies, and in Transylvania County, we’re particularly fond of Fido and all his furry friends. But before you and your best canine buddy set off on a Brevard and Transylvania County adventure, here are a few tips to make sure that both of you have the safest and happiest experience possible: 1 1 Lead by Example. While dogs are welcome on trails and at campsites in our public lands (and at many businesses in town), it is critically important, for your dog’s safety and that of others, that he stays on leash and under control. Officials in our public lands will enforce this rule. 2 2 Mind the Water. Brevard’s plentiful water features, including its 250 waterfalls, are popular destinations for curious humans and canines. But for everyone’s safety, it’s important to keep a particular eye on your pup whenever the two of you are near the water’s edge, especially the waterfalls. Dogs are allowed in canoes and kayaks on guided trips, however, dogs are not permitted on tubes or to slide down Sliding Rock. 3 3 Pick It Up: Dogs can be great helpers, but they need our help with housekeeping. Please clean up after your dog. It is one of the best and easiest ways to take care of our towns and wilderness areas and truly leave them better. 4 4 Give Your Pooch His Own Space. While... Read More