Appalachian Ranger District

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Welcome to the Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest. The Appalachian Ranger District consists of Pisgah National Forest lands that stretch westward from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park's eastern boundary to Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Roan Mountain near Tennessee. Elevations range from 1,900 feet at Max Patch to 6,684 feet at Mount Mitchell. Our district office is located at 632 Manor Road, Mars Hill, NC 28754. The phone number is (828) 689-9694. Our fax number 828-689-9762. The phone office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00a.m.-4:30p.m

At a Glance

Current Conditions:
  • Seasonal Road Closures have all opened for 2021
    • Roan Mountain Day Use Area¬†will open May 28, 2021
    • Stackhouse opened April 1, 2021
    • Poplar Boat Launch will open June 1, 2021
    • Murray Branch Picnic area opened April 14th, 2021
  • The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) is open. Trail shelters located in the Pisgah National Forest are available. Hikers are advised to bring a personal tent and face coverings. Shelters might not be frequently maintained at all locations. Dispersed camping is also available. Not all privies are open or maintained. Guidance is available on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) website for trip planning, hiking safety and COVID-19 precautions.
Operational Hours: Routine and public access to our facilities are temporarily suspended to help protect the public from the spread of COVID-19. Critical mission operations are being conducted online, by email, and phone. Please call 828-689-9694 or email     

Some sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway may be closed due to hazardous travel conditions. See the BRP website for more information   

Reservations: Reservations must be made 4 days in advance.
Rocky Bluff-5/28
Harmon Den-6/1
Black Mountain -4/16
Carolina Hemlocks 4/16
Permit Info: Forest Product Permits (Non-Timber) will only be sold through mail beginning 6/3/20. Purchases can be made by money order or by check through the mail, using the address below. 

Appalachian Ranger District

632 Manor Road

Mars Hill, NC 28754

Please Provide: • Name • Address • Mailing Address for the permit • Phone Number • Driver's License Number or National ID Number • Payment (Money Order or check) Checks payable to: USDA Forest Service

  • $20- Firewood
Galax season is closed between April 15th and June 15th.  Permits will not be issued and harvesting is not permitted during this period.
  • $35 Galax 2 Weeks
  • $70 Galax 1 Month
After your purchase is complete, you will be mailed your permit, restricted areas map, and policies.This process is temporary until operations return to normal.
Restrictions: Other Current Road Closures:  South Toe River Road (472)Southern section from 2 miles south of Black Mountain Campground to the Blue Ridge Parkway remains closed due to storm damage Flat Top (278): Open on the Spivey side. Closed at Harmiller Gap.
Information Center:

General Information


Driving Directions from Burnsville:

Go West on Highway 19E toward Asheville, NC (16 mi.)

Just before the intersection of future I-26 turn left onto Crossroads Parkway (.8 mi.)

Turn right onto Parkway View Road (.2 mi)

Take the next right onto Manor Drive. The Appalachian Ranger Station is located at the end of the road (.4 mi)

Driving Directions from Hot Springs:

Take Highway 25/70 to intersection with Highway 213 (16 mi.)

Turn onto Highway 213 going towards Mars Hill, NC (7 mi.)

At the intersection of Highway 213 and Main Street turn left onto North Main Street (1 mi.)

Turn right onto Parkway View Road (.9 mi.)

Turn left onto Manor Drive. The Appalachian Ranger Station is located at the end of the road (.4 mi.)



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Camping & Cabins

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Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

RV Camping

Recreation areas with activity RV Camping:

Group Camping

Recreation areas with activity Group Camping:

Dispersed Camping

Recreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:

Backcountry/Dispersed/Primitive Camping

If you are seeking to disperse/primitive camp other places, there are no permits nor costs required. This is also referred to as “dispersed” and “primitive”. It is “first come, first serve” basis. The rules and policies are as follows:

  • Hike ¼ mile from trailhead
  • 100 ft from the trail itself
  • 100 ft from a water source
  • ¼ mile away from any developed rec area
  • Keep campfires small, confined, and never unattended. Do not bring in outside wood. Be sure to completely and safely extinguish flames and coals before departure.

Roadside/Dispersed Camping

On the following USFS Roads, you may ONLY park in designated spots – these are denoted by a small brown wooden sign with a white triangle (representing a tent)

  • 148 Cold Springs Creek Road- Hot Springs 
  • 74 Big Ivy- Barnardsville
  • 2074 Neals Creek- Burnsville
  • 472- South Toe River Road (Southern) – Burnsville (Closed due to storm damage)


Roadside camping is allowed along any other FS road as long as:

  • The vehicle is completely off of the road
  • You are not imposing any natural resource or archaeological area
  • You do not stay longer than 14 days
  • You are at least 100 ft from any water source



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Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Water Activities

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