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Headwaters State Forest: Go Wild

Headwaters State Forest: Go Wild

Headwaters State Forest: Go Wild ​Headwaters State Forest A Conservation Laboratory North Carolina’s newest state forest was founded in 2018 and represents another iconic destination in Transylvania County. In terms of beauty and features, it’s on par with Pisgah, DuPont and Gorges. However, its remote location and limited access make it a more appropriate destination for adventurers with good wilderness and map-reading skills. We caught up with Assistant Regional Forester Michael Cheek, who oversees this 6,730 acre mountain wonderland for the North Carolina Forest Service to help us understand the importance of Headwaters and the opportunities for visitors to enjoy its unique topography and features. Q&A Q&A: Michael, what’s distinctive about Headwaters? “Headwaters is located right along the edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment and the South Carolina border.  It’s very remote and has a very “back country” feel to it. You’ll find plenty of trails and lots of solitude.” Q&A Q&A: What’s the key mission of Headwaters State Forest? “Certainly, recreation is a part of it, but our primary focus is on the conservation of the headwater streams that feed into the East Fork of the French Broad River. There are over a dozen named streams feeding into the East Fork, totaling some 50 miles. That’s where our clean drinking water comes from, and these headwater streams are key to that. Part of our mission is also to demonstrate good forestry practices – to show the public the best way to manage this important resource. This land has... Read More

Gears and Gills

Gears and Gills Double your fun by combining two favorite outdoor activities. The public lands in Transylvania County serve as the backdrop for myriad outdoor activities. For many, it means an opportunity to combine their favorite hobbies. Here are three great starter tips. ​ 1 1 KEEP IT SIMPLE Brevard resident Christian McLauchlin is a passionate mountain biker. But he also enjoys wetting a line from time to time. He likes nothing better than to combine his two passions, especially in the summer. “In the summer you don’t need boots and waders,” McLauchlin says. “So, all you really need is your flies, rod and reel and a pair of good sandals.” The minimal gear can easily be carried in a small backpack. What McLauchlin likes most about using his mountain bike is that it can take him to places he wouldn’t fly fish otherwise. “It allows you to get into places that people can’t get to from their car or that would require a long hike,” McLauchlin says. The appeal is obvious: fewer people, more fish and a more enjoyable experience. 2 2 DISCOVER TENKARA If you want to go super minimalist on fly fishing gear, Kevin Howell at Davidson River Outfitters suggests looking into the art of tenkara. Originating in Japan, this ancient form of fly fishing relies on very simple equipment that can easily be broken down or telescoped to fit in a small backpack. In Japanese, the word “tenkara” translates into “fishing from the skies.” Tenkara... Read More
4 Tips From A Fly Fishing Champ: Get Hooked

4 Tips From A Fly Fishing Champ: Get Hooked

4 Tips From A Fly Fishing Champ: Get Hooked There are 500 miles of fishable trout waters within a one-hour drive of Brevard. No wonder avid anglers come from every point on the compass to test their skills here. We sought out Kevin Howell, past National Fly Fishing Masters Champion, to offer some tips on the best places to test your fly fishing prowess. A Transylvania County native, Kevin knows most of the fish on a first name basis. 1.)  “To fly fish in North Carolina, purchase a North Carolina State Fishing license and a Trout Stamp. Both can be bought here. For more detailed advice, instruction and gear, check out Headwaters Outfitters and Davidson River Outfitters.” 2.)  “If you’re a beginner, I would recommend heading over to the East Fork of the French Broad just outside of Rosman or to the Little River in DuPont State Recreational Forest. Both of these are delayed harvest streams. From October to June, the state of North Carolina stocks these waters, so if you can get a good drift, you’re gonna catch a fish. Both streams are catch and release, artificial lure only.” Directions to East Fork: From downtown Brevard, go 7.8 miles on US-64 West and take a left on US-178 South/Pickens Highway. Go approximately 2 miles, then take a left on East Fork Road. After less than a mile, the road and the stream will converge and run roughly parallel for several miles, with several pull-offs along the way. A... Read More