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Chimney Rock Park 
You can ride an elevator, or take a hike to the top of this unique granite formation that overlooks Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure.  This park is 1,000 acres and also contains a moonshiners cave and picnic sites.  It also contains three trails leading to Hickory Nut Falls. 
It is located on US 64/74 SE.  For more information call 1-800-277-9611. 

Cradle of Forestry 
This park contains of several paved trails winding through it.  Guided trails are offered with forestry demonstrations, historic buildings, and many other events.  This park is located on US 276, Pisgah Forest.  For more information call 877-3130. 

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
828-479-6431
Dedicated in 1935, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest offers beautiful scenery.  The forest is located 15 miles from Robbinsville in western Graham County.

Lake James State Park
Highway 126, Nebo. 6500 acre lake; 500 acre park.  Features primitive tent camping, hiking trails, canoe rentals, swimming area.  A 720 foot trail and adjoining fishing dock are also accessible.  Free to enter, fee for camping. 828-652-5047

Mount Jefferson State Park
1481 Mt. Jefferson State Park Rd.
West Jefferson, NC 28694
336-246-9653

Mount Mitchell State Park
Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.  The 6,684 foot mountain was named for Dr. Elish Mitchell, who fell to his death trying to measure the mountains height.  This 1,677 acre park includes an observation tower, museum, and observation lounge.  For more information call 828-675-4611.

New River State Park
1477 Wagoner Access Rd.
Jefferson, NC 28640
336-982-2587
 
Pisgah National Forest
Approximately 500,000 acres of forest land, the Pisgah National Forest stretches over 12 Western North Carolina counties.  The Blue Ridge Parkway seperates the forest in half.  Waterfalls, rockslides, swimming holes, fishing, hiking, camping, and picnic areas are available.  Open year-round.  Major entrance near Brevard where NC 280 intersects US 276.  For more information call 828-877-3350.

South Mountain State Park 
This undeveloped park has some of the most diverse plants in the Southeast.  It provides hiking, camping, horseback riding and trout fishing.  The 18-mile mountain bike loop and the beautiful High Shoals Falls are just two of the highlights offered at this park.  This park is located 18 miles south of Morganton on Old NC 18.  For more information call 433-4772.

Stone Mountain State Park
This park is most known for its 600-foot granit formation that is three miles in circumference at the base.  Fishing, hiking, and nature study are available.  Located in Allegheny County.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The nations most popular park extends 70 miles along the North Carolina-Tennessee border.  Crossing the park is 200 miles of roads, gravel and paved.  US 441 cuts right through the middle of the park for 32 miles.  Maps and information can be found at the Oconaluftee Visitors Center at the parks main North Carolina entrance near Cherokee.  For general information call 423-436-1200.

                           Points of Interest within the Great Smokies
Cades Cove
This 11-mile loop winds around the restored 19th century farm buildings valley.  Information is available at the Cades Cove Visitors Center.  Ranger-led walks and lectures are held daily in the summer season.

Clingman's Dome
This seven-mile spur off of US 441 leads to the highest peak in theh smokies, (6,642-foot) Clingman's Dome.  Many of the trails including the Appalachian Trail can be picked up here.

Nantahala National Forest
Over 500,000 acres of National Forest.  Between Waynesville and Murphy, this forest ranges in elevation from 1200ft. to 5800ft.  In the Southern Appalachians, it offers visitors, pristine, old-growth forests, waterfalls, hiking trails, and numerous lakes.

 

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