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Soak Up These Scenic State Parks Around Western N.C.

Living in Western North Carolina means you’re never too far from a scenic state park. Whether it’s an exhilarating hike to a picturesque pinnacle, a relaxing boat ride on a placid lake, or a refreshing day of waterfall spotting, Western N.C.’s state park perks never disappoint. Here are a few to visit around the nine counties Mosaic Realty serves.

Lake James NC Real Estate

Lake James State Park – Straddling Burke and McDowell counties, this state park located on the southern shore of picturesque Lake James serves up swimming, fishing and boating opportunities galore. In 2004, the 605-acre park was expanded by 3,000 acres, making it the largest waterfront state park in N.C. The surrounding terrain is covered with hardwoods, pines and hemlocks, as well as mountain laurel, rhododendron and flame azalea along the hilly terrain. Paddy’s Creek, one of the park’s main recreation areas, features a large, sandy beach and swimming area, along with a pavilion, restrooms and concession stand; it also offers 15 miles of mountain biking trails. Hiking and camping spots – including boat-in camping – are also plentiful. 

Chimney Rock State Park – Activities at this state park in Rutherford County, named for the famed granite outcropping that overlooks the area, range from panoramic hiking and rock climbing to animal encounters and bird watching. Hike the fee-based Hickory Nut Falls to an elevator to the top of the 315-foot Chimney Rock.

Gorges State Park – This park in Transylvania County near the point where North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia meet is brimming with waterfalls, river gorges and breathtaking hikes. Visitors can enjoy everything from horseback riding to backpacking, all while taking in the wide-ranging biodiversity of the park. 

DuPont State Forest

DuPont State Forest – This 10,000-acre destination in Transylvania County is overflowing with waterfalls and almost 90 miles of hiking trails. Other popular activities in the forest include hunting, fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding. The 3-mile round-trip hike to Hooker, Triple and High Falls is a family favorite, replete with calm swimming holes in which to cool off. 

Mount Mitchell State Park – At 6,684 feet, the mountain anchoring this state park in Yancey County is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. Some 40 miles of hiking trails in and around Mount Mitchell State Park – from easy exploratory paths to challenging climbs – lead to an observation deck boasting stunning 360-degree mountain views. Backpacking, camping and picnicking (there is a restaurant and concessions opened seasonally) are all popular activities at this renowned destination.

South Mountains State Park – Located in Burke County, South Mountains State Park sits at the crossroads of the Appalachian Mountains and the Foothills. With some 50 miles of trails climbing up to 3,000 feet, this state park is a haven for hikers, mountain bikers and horse-riding enthusiasts. Fishing is another popular pastime at South Mountains State Park, which features designated trout waters in the Jacob Fork River. Tent sites and equestrian campsites, as well as trailer and RV sites, give visitors the opportunity to spend extended time enjoying the park’s beauty.

Looking for a home with easy access to one of these state parks? Mosaic can help! For more information about properties near state parks, or anywhere in Asheville or Western N.C., please contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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