Brevard is blessed with an incredible amount of public lands with beautiful scenery to explore. From exploring the waterfalls of Transylvania County to enjoying a bike ride on some of the region’s best singletrack, Brevard has a lot to offer. Join us as we take a look at some of our favorite adventures.
Brevard Perfect Weekend Adventure Guide
Explore The Waterfalls: With over 200 waterfalls located in Transylvania County, it’s easy to see why the Brevard area is known as The Land of Waterfalls. Options abound for great hikes with the easiest to approach being Looking Glass Falls (seen at left). This is a great spot to splash in the water and take in the beauty of one of the area’s most beautiful and easily accessible cascades. But don’t stop there! Keep exploring additional options by visiting the Transylvania County Visitor Center to pick up a waterfall map and visitor’s guide to the area with around 20 of the best waterfalls to explore.
Directions from Brevard: The Visitor Center is in downtown at 175 E Main St,. To access Looking Glass Falls, head to Pisgah Forest and travel north from the intersection of U.S. Highway 276 approximately 7.5 miles to the parking area on the right. Other options nearby include Moore’s Cove Falls and Sliding Rock.
Float The French Broad: Explore miles of scenic riverside by taking a paddle or float drop down one of the oldest rivers in the world. The French Broad begins in Rosman and winds its way through beautiful forests and farmlands as it makes its way to Brevard. We recommend taking your pick of either a tube, kayak or canoe and launching in Rosman at the public river access. For a half-day float trip, take out at Island Ford Road or make a full day adventure by paddling down to Hap Simpson Park in Brevard. Link up with Headwaters Outfitters for boat rentals, shuttles and all the gear you need to hit the river in style.Directions from Brevard: We suggest hooking up with Headwaters Outfitters in advance to book your trip. They’ll provide everything you need including gear and shuttle to make sure the only thing you have to worry about is leaning back and relaxing. Take US-64 W out of downtown for 8.5 miles. Turn right onto NC-215 N. Headwaters Outfitters is immediately on the left.
Go Rock Climbing: Whether you’re a novice or an experienced climber, the Brevard area offers ome of the best climbing in the Southeast. Looking Glass Rock, one of the largest monoliths in North America, offers stages from two to eight and up to 600 feet. Another great spot is Cedar Rock, offering climbs with one to three pitches and up to 400 feet. For those looking to stay closer to the ground, explore the bouldering at the North Side of Looking Glass Rock. All you need to succeed is a crash pad, climbing shoes, chalk and a spot from a friend. The Brevard Rock Gym is a great way to get a feel for climbing outdoors with short top rope routes and bouldering opportunities (240 S Broad St). D.D. Bullwinkles offers a limited selection of climbing gear and their staff will be happy to point you in the right direction for a guided adventure.
Get Started: Head to the Visitor’s Center 175 E Main St,. for more info on guided adventures.
Fish The East Fork: Once a closely guarded secret, this roadside stream near Rosman has emerged as the region’s most popular Delayed Harvest stream. The state stocks 17,735 trout along 4.75 miles of East Fork Rd. downstream of the Glady Fork. Catch-and-release regulations apply from October to June. All streamside land is private, so please respect posted signs. There are three cascades that dump into frothy holes brimming with rainbow, brown and brook trout. Catch all three species and claim your Grand Slam!
Directions from Brevard: Take US 64 W through Brevard to a left toward Rosman. Take a right on Hwy 178, then take a left on East Fork Rd. Cross two bridges, then look for the black-and-white Delayed Harvest signs. Visit Headwaters Outfitters for a great selection of flies, fly fishihng gear and guided fly fishing adventures. Take US-64 W out of downtown for 8.5 miles. Turn right onto NC-215 N. Headwaters Outfitters is immediately on the left.
Ride The Blue Ridge Parkway: Climb US 276 through the Cradle of Forestry to gain scenic views of the expansive Pisgah National Forest and the site where forestry first began in the U.S. Head South to gain views of Looking Glass Rock, a towering dome of granite deep in Pisgah National Forest. For those with strong legs, we recommend making the climb up to the parking area for Black Balsam and taking in the views of the rolling mountains below before turning around and enjoying the mostly downhill ride back to Pisgah Forest. For riders looking for a bigger challenge, we recommend continuing on the Parkway to complete a 62 mile loop that climbs to Devil’s Courthouse before dropping down Highway 215 to the Rosman area and riding back on U.S. 64 into Brevard/Pisgah Forest
Directions from Brevard: From downtown, head to Pisgah Forest and turn left onto U.S. 276 and continue to the Parkway or drive to the parkway and leave a vehicle.
Hike, Run or Bike Bracken Preserve: For a leg-burning trail run, check out the loop at Bracken Mountain Preserve that clocks in at approximately 6 miles, with 1000’ of elevation gain. Bracken Mountain Preserve is a beautiful 395 acre section of public land, and the trail winds through a great section of forest that has only been open to the public since July of 2012. Starting on the Bracken Mountain Trail and doing the loop clockwise, you’ll stay to the left where Brushy Creek Trail comes in. At the back end of the loop, you can take a right on Mackey Ridge Trail to cut over to Brushy Creek trail, which is a short cut that knocks off 0.14 miles. Or, continue on past Mackey Ridge to take a right on Brushy Creek Trail to head back to the parking lot.
Directions from Brevard: From downtown, take West Main Street for one block to a right on Caldwell Street. Take the next left onto Probart Street, towards Brevard Music Center. Continue on Probart Street for a mile to a right onto Music Camp Road. Follow into the gravel to the end, at the parking lot for Bracken Mountain Preserve.
Discover The Cradle Of Forestry: The 1.3 mile long Forest Festival Trail blends Dr. Schenck’s forestry experiments with forest work today while allowing for discussions on many topics, including how plants grow, decomposition, forest issues, and past transportation methods. Highlights include an ozone garden, antique portable sawmill, and a 1915 Climax locomotive. Climb aboard and ring the bell! Afterwards, explore inside the Discovery Center where guests can browse the interactive exhibit hall, the Giving Tree Gift Shop, and the Hob Nob Cafe. Outdoors, additional walking trails, seven historic buildings, a 1915 Climax logging locomotive, an old sawmill, and numerous crafters all bring western North Carolina’s past to life.
Directions from Brevard: Take NC 280 towards Mills River, and make a left at the stoplight onto Hwy 276. Continue until you arrive at Cradle of Forestry.
Swim The Davidson River: There are lots of nice swimming holes and sliding rocks on Davidson River to explore. We recommend this family friendly spot due to safe access to the river, the nice picnic spots and flush toilets (always a plus when in a national forest). After a dip in the river, check out the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education where guests can feed the fish, explore great family-friendly hiking trails and learn more about the wildlife found in the Pisgah National Forest. Wildlife education programs for the public and groups are also available. Admission is free to explore their various mountain wildlife exhibits. (828-877-4423).
Directions from Brevard: Head to Pisgah Forest and turn left on Hwy 276 for 5 miles to the Coontree Picnic Area on your left. If you want to stop by the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, head up Hwy 276 another 0.5 miles. Bear to the left onto Forest Service Road 475 for 1.5 miles to the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.
Local Brew: Head downtown to sample Brevard Brewing Company’s specialty lagers at 63 E. Main St. in Brevard. The Oskar Blues Brewery (tours available) and Taproom resides in a warehouse just a couple miles from downtown Brevard and a quick pedal from Pisgah Forest at 342 Industrial Drive, Brevard.
Head Downtown: A trip to Brevard wouldn’t be complete without a stop into Rocky’s Soda Shop. A staple of locals and tourists alike, hungry folks flock to Rocky’s for their famous hot dogs, grilled sandwiches, fresh salads, and tasty hamburgers for an experience like none other. This traditional soda fountain mixes up favorites such as flavored cokes, root beer and coke floats. For those with a sweet tooth, the assortment of thick and creamy specialty milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, and waffle cones are sure to please. With great food, ice cream and plenty of souvenirs, Rocky’s is sure to make a trip to Brevard a lasting memory. Afterwards, check out the many shops in downtown and be sure to stop into the nearby O.P. Taylor’s toy shop, a place named one of the top ten toy stores in the world.
Live Music: Head over to 185 King Street in the up-and-coming Lumber Arts District to hear some of the region’s most well-known musicians taking the stage to deliver their sounds in one of the area’s most acoustically-pleasing listening rooms. Food and craft brew round out the offerings to make this a great spot for a night out. Get There: explore the up-and-coming Lumber Arts District where you’ll find the music venue at185 King St., Brevard, NC.