Special Places

The National Forests in North Carolina includes national forest lands from the Southern Appalachian mountains to the marshy coast.  Recreation opportunities abound with the richness of the diversity of the land and its history.

Cradle of Forestry

The Cradle of Forestry offers a snap shot of life at America’s first school of forestry along the Biltmore Campus Trail. You can also take a picturesque walk along the Forest Festival Trail complete with a restored 1915 logging locomotive, or take a ride with firefighters aboard a helicopter on their way to a roaring fire in the wilds of Idaho in the Forest Discovery Center Exhibit Hall.

Scenic Areas

Wild and Scenic Rivers:

Scenic Byways:

  • Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway (Pisgah)

Drive the 79-mile Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway and step back in time. Use your imagination to envision the forest as it was decades ago.

  • Mountain Waters Scenic Byway (Nantahala)

The Mountain Waters Scenic Byway is a 61.3-mile drive that winds through the Nantahala National Forest's two river gorges, hardwood forest and countryside.

  • Cherohala Skyway (Cheoah)

Twisting through scenery that rivals the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Cherohala Skyway crosses through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests connecting Tellico Plains in southeast Tennessee to Robbinsville, NC. The Skyway's name comes from a combination of the two forests (Chero, from the Cherokee and hala from the Nantahala).

Other Special Places

Forest Waterfalls

Image Map for waterfalls tour
Click on a star on the map to view each waterfall area, or follow the links located in the right hand column.

Waterfall Warning

Although beautiful to see, waterfalls can be very dangerous. Every year people fall TO THEIR DEATH after a slip on wet rocks above and around the falls. Never climb around waterfalls or play in the water above a waterfall, or allow pets to roam freely. Stay on the established trails and enjoy the view from the overlooks.

View the Forest

Live Cam At Cold Mountain
Live Cam At Joyce Kilmer