Central

French Broad River

North Carolina's French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world, older than the mountains it passes through.  It is so old, in fact, that it is practically devoid of fossils.

French and Cherokee History

The river was named the French Broad to distinguish it from North Carolina's other Broad River and because the territory into which it drained was held by the French.  The Cherokees had several names for river, including Tah-kee-os-tee or "racing waters," as well as Poe-li-co, Agiqua, and Zillicoah.

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Devil's Courthouse

The Devil's Courthouse, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, presides over some of the most spectacular views in the Blue Ridge Mountains. From the top of Devil's Courthouse at 5,720 feet, visitors can see into South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee in a 360-degree panorama.

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Craggy Gardens

Winter weather conditions can force temporary and fast-changing closures, stay up to date with the Blue Ridge Parkway road closure map.

Craggy Gardens, just north of Asheville, North Carolina, is one of the most dramatic viewpoints on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Stunning vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains stretch far into Tennessee to the west and toward central North Carolina to the east.

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Chimney Rock State Park

Some of the Best Views in the North Carolina Mountains

Chimney Rock State Park represents the best of the North Carolina mountains in one place. Surrounded by the towering cliffs of Hickory Nut Gorge, the Park offers some of the most amazing views found anywhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

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Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway - One of the Most Popular North Carolina Attractions

Winter weather conditions can force temporary and fast-changing closures, stay up to date with the Blue Ridge Parkway road closure map.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is America's most visited National Park unit and is known as "America's favorite drive." Its 469 miles connect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Bat Cave Preserve

Bat Cave is the largest known granite fissure cave in North America and is home to the endangered Indiana bat.  Located near Lake Lure, the cave and its surroundings are protected by The Nature Conservancy as the Bat Cave Preserve.The main chamber inside the cave is a dark cathedral more than 300 feet long and approximately 85 feet high.

The Nature Conservancy has discontinued hikes on the property due to caution about the spreading of white nose syndrome in bats. 

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Appalachian Trail

Eighty-eight miles of the Appalachian Trail run through the North Carolina mountains.  From through-hikers—backpackers who attempt the trail in its entirety—to hikers out for an afternoon stroll, those who love to walk rugged mountain terrain through dense woodlands find the Appalachian Trail among the most beautiful in the country.

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Folk Art Center

The Folk Art Center, located in Asheville, North Carolina, showcases outstanding examples of traditional and contemporary Southern Appalachian craft and is the most visited attraction on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Folk Art Center houses three exhibit galleries, a craft library, an auditorium, and the Allanstand Craft Shop, the oldest continuously operating craft store in the nation.

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