While visiting North Carolina, there are a ton of things to do and see. A favorite activity for many visitors and local families is going to a nearby state park. Our staff at The Orchard Inn love spending our free time outdoors and have visited many of our state parks. They are fun any time of year and each time you will find something new and interesting that you may have overlooked the last time. Here are our top 3 favorite Western North Carolina state parks.
The first on our list of Western North Carolina state parks is DuPont State Forest. This is an amazing park for everyone in the family, including your dog. Leashed dogs are welcome throughout the park and will enjoy the sights and sounds of nature just as much as you do. There are over 10,000 acres of forests to explore as well as miles and miles of hiking trails. The trails are enjoyed by hikers, bikers, walkers, and horseback riders so watch out for others while you are out there. If you enjoy looking at waterfalls on your hike, there are many to choose from. There are 2 in particular that we enjoy and the first is a short, level, 3 mile loop that will show you Hooker, Triple, and High waterfalls. For the more adventurous hiker, there is a 7 mile waterfall loop that will show you Triple, High, and Bridal Veil waterfalls and the trip is well worth it. You will get to see the park and waterfalls from varying heights which will leave you in awe of the beauty. If you are a fan of the Hunger Games movies, you might find some of the areas familiar since a lot of the movie was shot at this park.
Another of our favorite Western North Carolina state parks is Pisgah National Forest. This national forest is over 500,000 acres and has been broken up into 4 districts. The closest district is the Pisgah Ranger District and is located near Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The reason why we love this area so much is that there is so much to do. There are hundreds of miles of hiking that all lead to wonderful views of waterfalls. Most people enjoy being there so much they end up camping there so they can take their time. One thing to also keep in mind if you love looking at flowers is not only the wild ones you will see there but also pay a visit to the North Carolina Arboretum. This is a public garden that many love to visit to not only get inspiration for their own homes but also for helpful demonstrations on a variety of topics.
Chimney Rock State Park also has to be mentioned in our favorite Western North Carolina state parks. Just like Pisgah, there are a ton of activities for the whole family here. Besides hiking, you can learn how to rock climb. Chimney Park has amazing partners, Fox Mountain Guides, who will help you learn everything there is to know about rock climbing, on the actual mountain. If you love the water, be sure to spend some time at Lake Lure where there is boating, fishing, and swimming to be enjoyed. Be sure to take the kids to Grady’s Animal Discovery Den where they will learn about the local animals and interact with the park’s animal ambassador, Grady the Groundhog, as well as some other animals.
As you can see, there is always something to do here at our Western North Carolina state parks. When you visit, be sure to rest your body and fill your tummy at The Orchard Inn in Saluda, NC. We are a quaint and beautiful Western North Carolina B&B that enjoys showing visitors what Southern hospitality is all about. Contact our amazing staff today to book your visit to one of our fun parks and a few nights with us at The Orchard Inn.
Photo by: James Willamor