Hendersonville, North Carolina
If a destination with open spaces and outdoor adventure sounds enticing after a topsy-turvy 2020, immerse yourself in nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
The artsy, outdoorsy town of Hendersonville rests in an elevated plateau framed by mountain ridges. Surrounding peaks serve up beautiful sunrises and sunsets, while thousands of acres of national and state forests provide a biodiverse playground.
One of the most undisturbed regions in the Eastern U.S. is the Green River Gorge. Climbing for a cause is on tap at Green River Preserve, a 3,400-acre preserve within the gorge. Adventurers can book four-hour climbing sessions through the Mighty Boots Wilderness Project, which donates a portion of proceeds to the preserve, a youth camp inspiring environmental stewardship.
Zipping through the treetops with spectacular views is alternate option. The Gorge Zipline bills itself as “America’s steepest, fastest zipline canopy tour,” consisting of a 1.25-mile course spanning 11 ziplines.
Outdoor adventure is the hallmark of DuPont State Recreational Forest. Around 90 miles of trails encourage hiking, biking and horseback riding, and several of North Carolina’s iconic waterfalls are located in this beautiful 10,466-acre forest.
A popular trail along Little River reveals three awe-inspiring waterfalls: Triple Falls, High Falls and Hooker Falls. Triple Falls played a starring role in two Hollywood blockbusters – The Last of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games – while the expansive pool below the smaller Hooker Falls is a popular summer swimming hole.
A less intense adventure awaits at Jump Off Rock. This mountaintop outcropping, only five miles from downtown, is the centerpiece of a small park that’s accessible by car and showcases a panoramic four-state view. Visitors often enjoy sunsets from this point, before heading back to town for a farm-to-table meal or a craft pint at one of six breweries in the downtown area.
Even Hendersonville’s Main Street has a park-like feel. Extra wide sidewalks are dotted with brick planters, park benches, shade trees and al fresco dining. The S-shaped design of the street slows traffic and encourages people to walk about and visit the shops, restaurants and pubs.
For information about Hendersonville getaways, call 800-828-4244 or go to: www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org