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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
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
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