Discover Our Parklands

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More than 50 percent of the land in Transylvania County is public forestland. In fact, the word “Transylvania” means “across the forest.”

On the western end of the county, Nantahala National Forest borders Gorges State Park as well as the western reaches of Pisgah National Forest. Pisgah stretches from Brevard to Boone, in the northwest corner of the state. Bisecting Pisgah and bordering the northern end of the county is the Blue Ridge Parkway.

DuPont State Recreational Forest lies on the southern end of the county near the South Carolina state line and has become a major destination for mountain biking due to its easily accessed trail network and purpose built trails. Across U.S. 276, the Headwaters State Forest is currently in development, and the project will ultimately conserve more than 8,000 acres of working forestland. This is the largest tract of privately held land in western North Carolina, owned by former U.S. Congressman Charles Taylor.

Enjoy the public lands responsibly. Many of the trails are multi-use and are open to hikers as well as equestrians. Bikers yield to all other users and extra caution should be used near horses. Proper etiquette has riders dismounting and communicating with horse owners.

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Pisgah National Forest – Ranger District
•Established in 1911
•160,000 acres with 172 miles of mountain bike trails
•Location of the first school of forestry in the country
•More waterfalls than can be listed
•Home to two of the first Wilderness areas in the eastern U.S., Shining Rock and Middle Prong

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DuPont State Recreational Forest
•Established in 1996
•10,474 acres with 80 miles of multi-use (bike, horse, hiking) trails •Spectacular granite domes unique in this part of the country
•Home to rare mountain bogs

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Blue Ridge Parkway
•Most visited National Park in the country, founded in 1936
•469 miles long, runs from North Carolina to northern Virginia
•Spectacular road biking with 360 degree views at times

gorgeGorges State Park
•Founded in 1999
•Named by National Geographic as “50 of the World’s Last Great Places” in 2012 •8,000 acres with over 22 named waterfalls
•Home to the Horsepasture River, a federally designated Wild and Scenic River •Foothills Trail, a 77-mile through hike trails runs through the park •Currently developing trails for mountain biking

Headwaters State Forest
•8,000 acres when completed
•Will protect over 60 miles of headwaters streams that feed the French Broad River •Project currently in development with no set opening date
•Forest has several 19th century home sites including a mill and a cemetery dating to 1876

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