Pisgah National Forest

Half a million acres of natural delight

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The Pisgah National Forest is one of four national forests in North Carolina and occupies most of the eastern edge of the Western North Carolina area. (The other is the Nantahala National Forest that is in the western mountains.) More than half a million acres of land have been set aside; some of as wilderness.

Pisgah is a favorite for hikers, bikers and runners because of its hundreds of trails and waterfalls, more than in the the neighboring Nantahala National Forest. The Pisgah National Forest was the first woodlands to be purchased under federal legislation approved in 1911 for that purpose. It is also home of the first school of forestry in the U.S., the Cradle of Forestry in America.

The most popular area for outdoor recreation within the Pisgah National Forest is the lands that lie within the Pisgah Ranger District. The most popular and most accessible within this favorite tract of forest is in Transylvania County, known as the Land of the Waterfalls because it is home to 250 of them. One of the most accessible trailheads is at the Davidson River, just outside of Brevard, which is also home to the very popular Davidson River Campground, which is open year-round. The 30-mile long Art Loeb Trail begins at the Davidson trailhead. The trail is a memorial to an area outdoors activist.

The Forestry Service lists more than 200 trails for day hikes in the Pisgah National Forest and another 40 or so for backpackers. Mountain bikers can choose from about 100 trails.

The forest is named for Mount Pisgah, a high peak in the area which gets its name from the mountain where Moses allegedly saw Israel. Perhaps the Pisgah National Forest will be your promised land, too.

At A Glance

Pisgah National Forest

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