U.S. National Forest Campground Guide

Pisgah National Forest

North Carolina

Custom Search

Forest Information

The Pisgah National Forest, located in southwest North Carolina near Asheville, is comprised of 504,181 acres. There are eight developed campgrounds, all of which met the selection criteria.

The area of North Carolina where the Pisgah National Forest is located is rich in natural beauty and geographic diversity. Although probably the easiest way to reach the Forest is using Interstate 40, the most attractive route is the Blue Ridge Parkway. Each Fall the Parkway becomes the route of choice for visitors to the Pisgah National Forest who wish to enjoy the autumn colors. Springtime finds the Parkway lined with flowery clouds of soft white and rosy pink from the hundreds of blooming dogwood and red bud trees. Soon the rhododendrons start blooming throughout the Forest. Considered a most annoying plant by early foresters of the area, the rhododendrons, with their large creamy white flowers, grow to amazing heights along the roads and the many hiking trails. When not covered with blossoms, the rhododendron's large, dark green, leather textured leaves add color and contrast to the Forest's foliage.

The Pisgah National Forest is the "Cradle of Forestry." Concepts, philosophy and practices used today can be traced back to this area and the early efforts of men like George Vanderbilt, Gifford Pinchot, and Carl Schenck. To provide visitors to National Forests a better idea of how forests and the Forest Service work, the Forest Discovery Center at the Cradle of Forestry in America was opened in the Spring of 1997. This is a Must see! The extensive interactive exhibits provide young and old some insight into the evolution of the Forest Service and the ecosystem of the Pisgah, and similar, National Forest. Of particular fun for visitors of all ages are the "helicopter ride" to a forest fire and getting down into the underground homes of several forest residents. The Forest Discovery Center is Located northwest of Brevard, NC off State Rt 276.

Adjacent to the Forest Discovery Center are two interpretative walking trails. One, the Biltmore Campus Trail, gives visitors an idea of the community that was formed by the unique Biltmore Forestry School. Founded by Dr. Schenck, formerly the Biltmore Estate Forester, in 1898, this school laid the foundation for the theories and practices used today by the Forest Service. The second trail, Forest Festival Trail, follows the path Dr. Schenck used to demonstrate his theories and practices to businessmen, lumbermen, politicians, and educators.

If visitors to Pisgah National Forest prefer to explore the forest in a less controlled environment, there are hundreds of miles of trails throughout the forest. There is, of course, the granddaddy of hiking trails, the Appalachian Trail (AT) along with less challenging trails, such as those around Black and Laurel Mountains and Wilson Creek area.

Although hiking is a wonderful way to explore the Pisgah National Forest, there is something about this Forest that makes you want to just sit back and enjoy the lush woods, abundant wildlife and breathtaking beauty. Lake Powhatan campground, while one of the largest in the Forest, is a perfect place for a more-then-a-weekend-visit to the Forest. With a number of comfortably challenging hiking trails, swimming beach, dump station, and hot showers, Lake Powhatan is very popular. But than, so is the even larger Davidson River campground. For those who enjoy smaller campgrounds with a slightly more rustic feel, Black Mountain campground with its Briar Bottom Bicycle trail and Setrock Creek Falls would be the place. But if one is looking for a convenient location for sightseeing (historic Hot Springs, NC is a short drive away), stream fishing, and exploring a portion of the AT, the Rocky Bluff campground is ideal.

History, natural beauty, abundant wildlife, hiking, swimming, fishing, camping, biking, and just plain old exploring, the Pisgah National Forest is a great location for a family camping vacation or finding a little peace in a glorious forest environment. Come and discover the Pisgah National Forest, the cradle of forestry, for yourself.

SUPERVISOR ADDRESS 160A Zillicoa St. Asheville, North Carolina 28801 828-257-4200 RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES Appalachian P.O.B. 128 Burnsville, North Carolina 28714 828-689-9694 Grandfather 109 E. Lawing Dr. Nebo, North Carolina 28761 828-652-2144 Pisgah 1001 Pisgah Hwy. Pisgah Forest, North Carolina 28768 828-877-3350

Fred and Suzi Dow