Wilson Creek: 49,000 Acres of Rugged Wilderness
Forty-nine thousand acres of wilderness comprise the Wilson Creek area, one of North Carolina’s most pristine and rugged terrains. Camping, kayaking, hunting and fishing, waterfall hikes, off-road driving, and mountain biking are available in selected areas. Opportunities for adventure and activity abound for every skill level including the most experienced outdoorsmen.
A 23.3-mile mountain stream, Wilson Creek was added to the National Wild and Scenic River System in 2000. Much of Wilson Creek lies within the Pisgah National Forest. The stream starts atop 5,920-foot high Grandfather Mountain, just 100 yards above the Blue Ridge Parkway. Twenty miles later, the headwaters rush through the Blue Ridge Mountains into a 200-foot deep gorge of granite bedrock.
From its boulder-strewn headwaters, kayakers plunge through rapids with names like “Boatbuster” and “Thunderhole” in what is recognized as one of the most challenging runs in the southeastern United States. Twenty-five miles of wilderness trails offer hikers and backpackers striking views of small waterfalls and forests intertwined with laurel and rhododendron. Pristine trout waters draw avid fishermen while mountain bikers find single-track systems, creating opportunities for all abilities. Thirty-four miles of trails are open to all-terrain and off-highway vehicles in the Brown Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle Area.