A private arboretum featuring native plants near Lake Toxaway, the Southern Highlands Reserve is a research center dedicated to sustaining the natural ecosystems of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We accomplish this mission through the preservation, cultivation and display of plants native to the region, and by advocating for their value through education, restoration and research. Located in Western North Carolina at an elevation of 4500 feet, the varied topography and forest types found on our 120 acres allow us to emulate many of the plant communities found in the higher reaches of the Southern Appalachians.
The varied terrain and high elevation makes for a moderate to strenuous hiking/walking experience. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes, bring water bottle, camera and bug spray. We also invite our visitors to bring a sack lunch and enjoy lunch in the passive recreation areas around Chestnut lodge following a tour.
Reserve a tour
Staff offers two ways to see the Reserve April – October for the perfect outing for backyard gardeners, plant enthusiasts and professionals in the fields of horticulture, design and ecology. Visitors’ Days, led by a Garden Tour Docent, are held the first Tuesday of each month and are best suited for first-time guests to Southern High Reserve. Reservations are limited to 4 tickets
Cost per ticket is $15. Tours are also available for private groups up to 20 and cost $25/person with a minimum of $250 per group. Tours begin promptly at 10 a.m. and last about two hours.
To make your reservation, visit https://www.southernhighlandsreserve.org/events and select the day of interest.
558 Summit Ridge Road
Lake Toxaway, NC 28747