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Natural Heritage

The Natural Heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina

An ancient mountain landscape, varied topography, and a temperate climate have given rise to a wonderland of natural heritage in Western North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains have been a place of inspiration for Native Americans, artists, musicians, writers, doctors, entrepreneurs and many others throughout history.  As a part of Appalachian history, the rich biodiversity makes the forests, rivers, plants, and wildlife here unique in many ways. It is the reason many people visit the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC and never leave.  The natural beauty and heritage in the area make the NC mountains unforgettable for visitors and residents alike.

In the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area you will find the following natural heritage sites:

Watch these interesting videos about the Gold Rush History in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area:

Doug McCormick dredging for gold at Lucky Strike.

Gold mining artifacts Video with Dr. James Haney.

Panning for Gold at the Lucky Strike


Listen to some interesting stories about our Natural Heritage by clicking on the links below:

In light of COVID-19 precautions, some sites may be closed or events canceled. Please check directly with the sites listed for the latest information.