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5 Reasons to Visit Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina

by Aoife O'Riordan

Aug 25, 2022

Looking Glass Falls © William Fowler | Dreamstime.com


While some of the neighboring national parks such as Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah National Park receive scores of family travelers, Pisgah National Forest, near Asheville, North Carolina, includes many fascinating and fun sites for the entire family to enjoy.


Here are five reasons to venture to Pisgah National Forest this year:


1. Looking Glass Falls

Located near Brevard, North Carolina, Looking Glass Falls lies directly on the side of the main road through the park with clear footpaths to the bottom of the falls. Just less than 70 feet tall, the falls pour into a great plunge pool. Named after nearby Looking Glass Rock, which looks like a mirror of sunlight when water freezes over it in winter, this beautiful waterfall is a must when traveling through the forest.

sliding rock

© Kevin M. Mccarthy | Dreamstime.com


2. Sliding Rock

One of the most popular spots in Pisgah National Forest, Sliding Rock invites thrill seekers and lovers of slides to venture to its top and fly down the smooth stone. This gentle-sloping rock carries sliders 60 feet before ending in a deep plunge pool. Prepare for a shock when landing in the cold water!


3. Moore Cove Falls Trail

Those up for the moderate, 1.2-kilometer hike to the waterfall will be treated to a spectacular view. This quiet waterfall arches over a sheer cliff of rock and the overhanging bluff allows visitors to walk behind the waterfall for a unique view.


4. John Rock

Hike this five-mile loop to reach the top of this rocky outcrop. One of the most Instagram-worthy views awaits, and dogs are also welcome to join in on this hike and view.



© Jill Lang | Dreamstime.com


5. The North Carolina Arboretum

Visit the arboretum’s beautiful gardens and natural areas, including 10 miles of forested hiking and biking trails, garden tours, nature activities for families, and Bonsai Exhibition Garden. Daytime admission to the arboretum is free, but a $16 parking fee applies for personal vehicles.


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