North Carolina - Nature and Scientific Wonders

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian Mountains
Find out why the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the country’s most visited national park. Covering some 800 square miles of the Appalachian Mountains, the park, which straddles the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, encompasses a rich diversity of wildlife and spectacular views of rolling hills. Break out your boots, and visit the Appalachian Trail nearby.

Blue Ridge Parkway
If hiking isn’t for you, take a leisurely drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway, 469 miles of scenic roadway that stretches from the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Go in the fall to enjoy the foliage’s reds and yellows and the breathtaking views from the many overlooks.

The Ocean
More than 300 miles of sun and surf await you in North Carolina. Go hang-gliding in Nags Head, try fishing at Emerald Isle, or relax to the serenity of Topsail Beach.

Great Outdoors
Hiking, boating, hang-gliding, fishing, biking, whitewater rafting—the list of outdoor activities is abundant. A state of natural beauty, North Carolina is home to national parks, 1.1 million acres of national forest and some of the highest mountains east of the Mississippi. (For the last ten years, the White House Christmas Tree has been harvested in the mountains of North Carolina.) In central Piedmont, visit the Uwharrie Mountains, at 500 million years old, the oldest mountains in the U.S. Or travel into the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains to Translyvania County to see more than 200 waterfalls. Enjoy the outdoor activities, and feast your eyes on Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall on the East Coast.

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