A National Heritage Area is something to treasure, and Asheville is in the heart of one of the most beautiful in the country, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. In designating the 25 westernmost counties and Qualla Boundary in North Carolina as a National Heritage Area in 2003, Congress recognized that the cultural and natural resources of the Blue Ridge Mountains have played a significant role in the history of the United States and the State of North Carolina. Some of the defining landscapes include the deepest gorge in the Eastern U.S., Linville Gorge; the oldest river in North America, the New River; the most visited National Park lands in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway; the highest mountain east of the Rockies, Mt. Mitchell; the ancestral home of the Cherokee, and America's largest home, Biltmore.
Western North Carolina is blessed with many beautiful state parks. However, only two were long-time owned and managed by families, and they are still … more