Pisgah National Forest offers a variety of hiking locations to get your blood pumping and bring your family together for a day of fun and spectacular views! Discover half day or full day adventures during your stay at Lake Junaluska.
Beginning in 1888, railroad magnate George Vanderbilt began purchasing large tracts of forest land specifically to experiment with new European ideas of applying science to forest management and preservation. Seven years and 80,000 acres later, Vanderbilt established Pisgah Forest. Visitors with children should pick up scavenger hunt and fact finding activity sheets indoors before heading on either the 1-mile Biltmore Campus Trail to view school structures such as residences, the blacksmith shop and commissary; or the 1.3 mile Forest Festival Trail depicting different stages of forestry management, including a seedling nursery, portable sawmill, and real logging train with giant loader.
Approximately three miles from the Cradle of Forestry, you will see parking for Sliding Rock. Follow the short 200 yard paved walkway to view—or ride—this combination waterfall/natural water ride. The cool waters of Looking Glass Creek slope gently into an 8 foot deep pool. Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day through Labor Day. Observation deck and restrooms on site.
One mile further on 276 S you will see a long line of parallel parking along the left for Looking Glass Falls. These stunning 30ft wide falls drop down a sheer cliff for 60ft. Enjoy the view from the overlook, or walk down the concrete steps toward the bottom of the falls.
Located on 276 between Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls, visitors to Moore Cove will see a 50ft cascade that drapes over a stunning striated rock ledge. Park near the concrete bridge and cross the adjoining wooden bridge for an easy 0.7 mile hike upstream.
On 276 approximately 1.5 miles south of Looking Glass Falls, make a left onto FS 475 . The parking lot will be on your left in 2 miles. Walk through the state’s largest fish hatchery composed of 54 outdoor raceways and housing brook, rainbow and brown trout. The Center’s mountain wildlife habitat exhibit offers a look at live native animals such as toads, salamanders and snakes.
Continue along FS 475 to the second road gate and park in the lot provided. Multiple cascades of 100ft are visible at the end of the half-mile walk along the logging road. When you’ve finished, simply reverse your course, following FS 475 back to 276 N.