Photo © Courtesy of Hendersonville, North Carolina
Turn off the noise of everyday life and immerse yourself in nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
The artsy, outdoorsy town of Hendersonville, not far from better-known Asheville, offers a unique location in an elevated plateau framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Surrounding peaks serve up beautiful sunrises and sunsets, while thousands of acres of national and state forests provide a biodiverse playground.
Climbing for a cause is on tap in the Green River Preserve, a 3,400-acre private wildlife preserve in the Green River Gorge. Adventurers can book four-hour climbing sessions through the Mighty Boots Wilderness Project. Mighty Boots accesses spectacular rock formations in the gorge, with part of the proceeds supporting the preserve, a youth camp inspiring environmental stewards through a joyful connection to nature.
Environmental stewardship is also important at DuPont State Recreational Forest, a pristine 10,466-acre forest formerly owned by the DuPont Corporation that once contained a facility for making X-ray film. The forest is now protected in perpetuity by Conserving Carolina, a public land trust. Approximately 90 miles of trails encourage hiking, biking and horseback riding.
Several of North Carolina’s more iconic waterfalls are in DuPont Forest. A trail along Little River leads to three Instagram-worthy waterfalls: Triple Falls, High Falls and Hooker Falls.
Triple Falls played a starring role in two Hollywood blockbusters—The Last of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games—while the expansive pool below the smaller Hooker Falls is a popular summer swimming hole.
Hendersonville’s newest outdoor attraction is Ride Kanuga, a multi-trail downhill mountain biking park at the 1,400-acre Kanuga Conference Center & Retreat.
Ride Kanuga, designed by world-champion downhill racer and NC native Neko Mulally, features 12 downhill trails suitable for all ability levels. The goal is to make mountain biking accessible and fun for people of all ages and abilities. Trails include a mix of natural features and jump lines specifically designed to help riders build new skills.
A less intense adventure awaits at Jump Off Rock. This mountaintop outcropping, only five miles from downtown, is the centerpiece of a small park that is accessible by car and showcases a panoramic mountain view. Visitors often enjoy sunsets from this point before heading back to town for a farm-to-table meal and a craft pint at one of six breweries in the downtown area.
For more info, go to www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org
Escape from life’s hectic pace to the beautiful scenery and southern hospitality of Hendersonville, NC with varied attractions, events, outdoor recreation, family activities, a vibrant art scene, unique shopping and a wide selection of dining options.