Appalachian Ranger District


Come join the ARD in celebrating Smokey Bear's 80th Birthday on 8/9/2024

from 11-1 at the Yancey County Public Library!

Located at 321 School Cir. Burnsville, NC 28714

11-1130- Lunchtime with Rangers- Bring your own lunch and meet some of Smokey's helpers!

1130-1230- Smokey's Games and Activities- Gifts, awards, and grab bags for kids and kids at heart!

1230-100 - Cake, Picture opportunities, and story time with Smokey!

 

Open Houses! Join Us To Learn More About Forest Restoration 

and How We Can Reduce Wildfire Risk.

 

Located at 321 School Cir. Burnsville, NC 28714

Wednesday, July 31, 2024

5-7pm

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Current Notes of Interest: 
Operational Hours: 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.   

The district office door is secured, but we are taking face-to-face customers.
Reservations: Campground Reservations must be made in advance.

There are no longer any first come, first serve sites available at Harmon Den nor Rocky Bluff since 2019. Rocky Bluff is CLOSED for the 2024 season.

First Come/First Serve Sites at Black Mountain CG: The only way to know whether one is available is by visiting the location.

Reservations:
Rocky Bluff - Closed for 2024
Harmon Den 
Black Mountain
Carolina Hemlocks
Briar Bottom  
Restrictions: NATIONAL FORESTS IN NORTH CAROLINA Order Number #08-11-37-22-157 
OCCUPANCY & USE GENERAL FOREST ORDERS
(Alcohol, parking, marijuana use, nudity, food storage)
NATIONAL FORESTS IN NORTH CAROLINA Order Number #08-11-37-22-158
NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM ROADS GENERAL FOREST ORDERS
(Vehicle uses on USFS Lands and roads)
Closest Towns: The Appalachian Ranger District is located in Mars Hill, NC. The closest towns this district serves are Mars Hill, Barnardsville, Marshall, Burnsville, and the very northern area of Asheville. This district serves the following counties: Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Haywood, Yancey. The district is separated from the Grandfather Ranger District by the Blue Ridge Parkway. Link to the other Ranger Districts of the NFsNC: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/nfsnc/about-forest/offices
Information Center: Event, Commercial, and Wedding Permits
Dispersed and Roadside Camping Guidelines and Regulations
Target Shooting https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/know-before-you-go/shooting
 ARD does not target shooting ranges. Other ranges available:
  NFsNC List of Available Target Shooting Ranges 
Hunting Website Link   

General Information

Directions:

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.)


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

Reservations can be found at

www.recreation.gov

or by calling 877-444-6777

Rocky Bluff - Closed for 2024
Harmon Den
Black Mountain 
Carolina Hemlocks
Briar Bottom

RV Camping

Recreation areas with activity RV Camping:

Reservation Portals:
Harmon Den
Black Mountain 
Carolina Hemlocks
Briar Bottom

Group Camping

Recreation areas with activity Group Camping:

Reservation Portals:
Harmon Den
Black Mountain 
Carolina Hemlocks
Briar Bottom

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 guidelines and regulations are as follows:

  • Hike ¼ mile from trailhead
  • 100 ft from the trail itself
  • 200 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 – Burnsville

 

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 200 ft from any water source

 

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:

River and Stream Fishing

Recreation areas with activity River and Stream Fishing:

Outside of developed recreation areas, fishing and hunting are permitted throughout the national forests in North Carolina. While the Forest Service manages the habitat and protects water quality in the national forests, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission regulates fishing. Anglers should have a fishing license. For information on licenses and more, contact the Wildlife Resources Commission at www.ncwildlife.org or call 888-248-6834.

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Backpacking

Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

Backpacking trails on the Appalachian Ranger District

 

Big Game Hunting

Recreation areas with activity Big Game Hunting:

 

For all rules, regulations, and permitting- visit www.ncwildlife.org or call (888) 248-6824

 

Accessible Hunting Locations: 

Appalachian Ranger District 

One accessible hunting blind off Cold Springs (Haywood Co., Waynesville). FSR 148 Cold Springs

Two accessible hunting blinds are available at Victor Fields -7 Mile Ridge or Victor Field Road, off of FSR 5511. 


Accessible piers on rivers and streams include the French Broad River at Murray Branch Day Use Area. 

Last Updated 3/26/2024

 

 

Species Deer, Bear
Permit: For all rules, regulations, and permitting- visit www.ncwildlife.org or call (888) 248-6824

Small Game Hunting

Recreation areas with activity Small Game Hunting:

For all rules, regulations, and permitting- visit www.ncwildlife.org or call (888) 248-6824

 

Accessible Hunting Locations: 

Appalachian Ranger District 

One accessible hunting blind off Cold Springs (Haywood Co., Waynesville). FSR 148 Cold Springs

Two accessible hunting blinds are available at Victor Fields -7 Mile Ridge or Victor Field Road, off of FSR 5511. 


Accessible piers on rivers and streams include the French Broad River at Murray Branch Day Use Area. 

Last Updated 3/26/2024

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Viewing Plants

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Plants:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:

Interpretive Areas

Recreation areas with activity Interpretive Areas:

Visitor Centers

Recreation areas with activity Visitor Centers:

Metal Detecting

Recreation areas with activity Metal Detecting:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd529573.pdf

Rockhounding

Recreation areas with activity Rockhounding:

Gold Panning and Rockhounding

Some visitors to the national forest like to try their hands at finding minerals or panning for gold. Visitors are asked to following these guidelines when rockhounding or gold panning in the National Forests in North Carolina.

  • Rockhounding and gold panning may take place on most national forest lands – provided only small quantities of material are removed for personal, non-commercial purposes.
  • Recreational rockhounding and gold panning are not allowed in Congressionally-designated wilderness areas or in the corridors of designated wild and scenic rivers.
  • Recreational rockhounding and gold panning are not allowed in forest areas where mineral rights are owned by a private party, or in an area that is under mineral lease to a private party.
  • Permits are required for removal of mineral materials for scientific and research purposes.
  • Commercial removal of minerals requires a prospecting permit from the Bureau of Land Management.
  • On the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests materials must be removed using small hand tools without mechanical means or motorized equipment. You cannot remove mineral materials with a pick, shovel, sluice box or similar large tools.
  • On the Uwharrie National Forest mineral materials can be removed using small hand tools along with hand-held sluice boxes, rocker panels and shovels. However, suction-dredging and the use of any motorized equipment to remove materials is prohibited.  
  • Gold pans may be used for gold panning in the beds of streams, but the banks of streams cannot be disturbed by digging or removing materials.
  • Any disturbance to or removal of historical or archaeological artifacts is prohibited by federal law

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:

Swimming

Recreation areas with activity Swimming:

The South Toe River area is on the Appalachian Ranger District near Burnsville, NC. This area includes the Black Mountains, the Blue Ridge, and the headwaters of the South Toe River. The Black Mountains, capped with a forest of red spruce and Fraser fir, are named for the resulting dark color. Along the South Toe River, you can camp, picnic, fish, swim, tube, bike, and horseback ride.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recreation/wateractivities/recarea/?recid=49216&actid=82

Tubing

Recreation areas with activity Tubing:

The South Toe River area is on the Appalachian Ranger District near Burnsville, NC. This area includes the Black Mountains, the Blue Ridge, and the headwaters of the South Toe River. The Black Mountains, capped with a forest of red spruce and Fraser fir, are named for the resulting dark color. Along the South Toe River, you can camp, picnic, fish, swim, tube, bike, and horseback ride.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recreation/wateractivities/recarea/?recid=49216&actid=82