Western North Carolina's Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains are flowing with rivers loaded with rainbows, browns and brook trout. Waterfalls aerate plunge pools teeming with fish making a serene backwoods retreat for fly fishermen. The Pisgah National Forest has 500,000 acres of forested mountainsides and cascading streams. These wild woods draw hunters to abundant whitetail deer, roughed grouse and wild turkeys.
The city of Asheville, North Carolina, is known as a top-ranking U.S. city for year-round outdoor recreation. Asheville is a stone’s throw from winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and year-round backpacking. Majestic scenery, wildlife and wilderness are always at your back door in Asheville, with a convenient transition from city life to wilderness adventure.
Moving east from the mountains, peaks become hills and hills level off into the Piedmont Plateau region. Rivers like the Dan and Catawba flow down from the western mountains, carving deep ravines and valleys into the landscape. Places like Hanging Rock State Park showcase the beauty of central North Carolina. Just east of the Cherokee National Forest, parks like Hanging Rock promise wonder and adventure, not just in the western areas of this southern state, but throughout North Carolina.
Further east toward the Atlantic and onto the coastal plain is one of the country's best areas to hunt black bear. Hyde County, North Carolina, has more black bears per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Huge, fertile fields of corn and soybeans mixed with dense, marshy forest make the perfect habitat for these record-setting, world-class bears.
The state's coastal plain also features the rich organic soil needed to make North Carolina the No. 1 tobacco-growing state in the nation. A long history of tobacco farming and distribution dates back to pre-colonial times. North Carolina also produces cotton, peanuts and has the nation-leading sweet potato industry.
As you reach the eastern edges of the state, its diversity is visible. North Carolina’s sandy beaches are perfect for revitalizing vacations on the seashore. After a day of offshore fishing for marlin, mahi-mahi or other sought-after saltwater trophies, spend a night out on the sand gazing up at the Milky Way and hunting for crab. Beyond these beaches, there's North Carolina's celebrated Outer Banks. These barrier islands protect the coast, separating the often-harsh Atlantic from the mainland. State Parks, sites for diving on shipwrecks and white-sand coastlines make this a special place for unprecedented recreation.
Mountains and beaches, with forests and farms in between, make North Carolina the perfect place to realize your dreams in nature's beauty.