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Where Altitude Affects Attitude

Questions? Please contact at:

John Nowak

Telephone: (828) 257-4326
E-main: jnowak@fs.fed.us

Day Trips:

Biltmore Estate

Explore the wonders of Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC for a day or a week. Discover America ’s largest home, magnificent gardens, award-winning winery, great shopping and delicious dining and a four-star escape at our inn.

Directions: located just north of I-40 on US Highway 25. From I-40 take Exit 50 or 50-B.


Blue Ridge Parkway

The 469-mile parkway intersects Asheville at US 25, 70 and 74, and NC 191. The Linn Cove Viaduct (MP 304) is an engineering marvel that wraps around Grandfather Mountain.

Directions: The Parkway intersects Asheville at US 25, US 70, US 74 & NC 191. The Parkway's Folk Art Center is located five miles east of downtown Asheville at milepost 382. http://www.nps.gov/blri/pphtml/maps.html

Parkway Highlights

Linville Falls - Linville Falls is a beautiful series of dramatic falls that drop to a deep gorge, accessed by a trail lined with rare virgin stands of white pine and hemlock. The area around the Falls is one of the few places in these mountains where the Rosebay, Catawba, and Carolina Rhododendron grow side by side. A campground and picnic area along the Linville River are among the most popular on the Parkway. 

Craggy Gardens - June and July are the months to visit this spectacular showplace of Catawba rhododendron and other late-blooming wildflowers. Long after the blooms have been spent on the lower elevations, the violets, blackberry, May-apple, and Turkscap lily come into their own in this high-altitude portion of the Parkway. This heath bald is only one of many throughout the Southern Appalachian Mountains ; the name refers to the bald appearance of the mountaintop, which is in reality covered with grasses or mountain shrubbery.

Mount Pisgah - In the late 1800's industrialist George Washington Vanderbilt, while building his grand Biltmore Estate in Asheville, purchased Mount Pisgah and thousands of surrounding acres for a private hunting retreat for family and friends. The nearby 16-mile Shut-In Trail (a National Recreation Trail) is part of a longer route that Vanderbilt originally created for his hunting parties. Today the area adjoining the Parkway is part of the Pisgah National Forest and is still playing host to nature enthusiasts. Mount Pisgah has the distinction of having by far the highest elevation of any developed area along the Parkway. Be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions.

Also check out Mt. Mitchell (highest point east of the Mississippi river ) and Graveyard Fields.


Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

This National Park Service site honors the accomplishments of American poet Carl Sandburg. Take a guided tour of the historic home; visit the farm and trails. Free for farm and trails. Fee for house tour; cash and check only.

Directions: From U.S. Hwy 26: Take exit 53 and turn onto Upward Road; left traveling west; right traveling east. At intersection with Rt. 176/Rt.25, continue straight to N. Highland Lake Road. At light, turn left onto U.S. Hwy. 225 south. At light take right onto Little River Road. Visitor parking on left.



Cradle of Forestry

Home of the first forestry school in America, this historic site offers guided walks, historic buildings, living history interpreters, outdoor fun, antique equipment, an old logging train, and the Forest Discovery Center.

Directions: From Asheville, take I-240W to I-26E towards Hendersonville. Take the NC-280 exit # 40 (old exit # 9) Asheville Regional Airport/WNC Agricultural Center. At top of ramp, go right on NC-280W toward Brevard. Go through Mills River and as you come into Pisgah Forest, turn right (by Pizza Hut) on Hwy. 276 into Pisgah National Forest. It is 11 miles up on the right, located near Looking Glass Waterfall and Sliding Rock.



Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa

The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa is one of the South’s most venerable and famous grand resorts. Built in 1913 from granite stones mined from Sunset Mountain, the resort overlooks the Asheville, North Carolina skyline and provides guests with majestic views of the legendary Blue Ridge Mountains.



North Carolina Arboretum

A 426-acre public garden offering 65 acres of cultivated gardens and 10 miles of hiking/biking trails, a greenhouse complex and the Southeast’s finest bonsai collection. Group activities, gift shop and food service are available.

Directions: Located south of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 393, or take I-26, Exit 33 (formerly Exit 2) and proceed 2 miles south on Highway 191/Brevard Road.



Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site

Novelist Thomas Wolfe’s boyhood home and setting for his 1929 novel Look Homeward, Angel. Visitor Center offers multi-media presentation and exhibits. Tours of the historic house are offered hourly.

Directions: This is located in Asheville at 52 N. Market Street, next to the hotel.



  The Asheville Tourists will be playing at home the week of the meeting. ( www.theashevilletourists.com).
Adventure Trips:

French Broad Rafting Expeditions

Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on Asheville 's own French Broad River, just 30 miles from Asheville. We provide a guide in every raft guaranteed! 5-mile or 9-mile calm water trips available.

Directions: From Asheville: Take I-240 to Exit 4-A. This will put you on I-26 North going toward Weaverville. Stay on I-26 North for approximately 8 miles. Take the Marshall exit (19-A) onto Hwy. 25/70 North. Stay on 25/70 North for approximately 12.4 miles. French Broad Rafting Expeditions is on the left.

Reservations: Call our 24 hour reservation line at 800-570-RAFT.



Nantahala Outdoor Center

World class rafting, paddling school with NOC since 1972 on the Nantahala, Ocoee, Pigeon, French Broad, and Nolichucky Rivers. Biking, hiking, climbing, group adventure programs. Dining, retail stores. It is located at 13077 Hwy. 19 West, Bryson City , NC

Reservations: Taken daily from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Call toll free at 888-662-2199.

Shopping :

Grove Arcade

One of Western North Carolina’s most historic buildings located in downtown Asheville featuring local crafts, fresh food and an array of restaurants representing the area’s distinct mountain heritage. Public market open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Sunday hours vary. It is located at 1 Page Avenue .



Historic Biltmore Village

One of the Carolinas ’ most fascinating, unique and enjoyable shopping environments, Historic Biltmore Village features more than 40 shops, restaurants and galleries, each housed in historic 1900-era homes and buildings.

Directions: Biltmore Village is adjacent to the entrance to the Biltmore Estate, about 2 miles from downtown Asheville. It is 1/2 mile north of the I-40 exit to Hwy. 25 (exit 50) and 3/4 mile north of Hwy. 25-A exit (exit 51).



Interiors Marketplace

Interiors Marketplace provides retail shopping of more than 180 merchants and artists with unique and diverse furnishings, art and accessories. Come, enjoy and express the spirit of your home. The Marketplace Cafe serves lunch Monday through Saturday. This is located near Historic Biltmore Village at 2 Hendersonville Road.


Mast General Store

Restored to its 1940s heyday, this grand emporium features vintage housewares, quality outdoor gear, and comfortable clothing for every mountain season. Mast General Store, is an Appalachian Mountain tradition since 1883. It is located at 15 Biltmore Avenue.



Over $30/person




Under $15

Useful Links:


Robert N. Coulson
   Texas A&M University

  Contact for Program
    Kier Klepzig
    USDA Forest Service

Fred Hain
   N.C State University

Rusty Rhea
   John Nowak
   USDA Forest Service




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