Changing elevation is one way to beat the heat of summer. While you are staying at an Asheville Bed and Breakfast, why not take a day trip to Pisgah National Forest? The Vanderbilt family originally owned much of the forest and sold 500,000 acres of it to the federal government for the purpose of conservation. The Pisgah National Forest was established in 1915 and was one of the first national forests in the eastern United States. It’s approximately a 40 minute drive from downtown Asheville to the entrance of the forest near the town of Brevard by way of I-26 East and NC 280 West. You can also choose to take the scenic route along the Blue Ridge Parkway – which will take an hour and 30 minutes due to the meandering route, beautiful views, pull-offs for pictures, and lower speed limits.
Pisgah National Forest offers many activities. Kids of all ages will enjoy The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. It is open Monday – Saturday, 8 am – 4:45 pm. and features a fish hatchery for the three types of trout stocked in the area. There are fly-fishing guide companies, or bring your gear and you can go on your own. If you prefer hiking, there is multitude of trails in varying ranges of difficulty and with varying features.
From there you can go to Sliding Rock to enjoy a natural rock slide into the cold mountain river (or watch braver souls doing it!). And Looking Glass Falls is an easily accessible 60 foot falls right off the main road into the forest. A great place to enjoy the air by the water and watch kids wading and paddling around. As always, return at the end of your adventure to the respite of an Asheville B&B association inn, where you know the hospitality will be warm, but the sheets will feel cool and crisp after a full day.