Forest Trail Explorer

US Forest Service and Southern Research Station


Lands Managed for Recreation

Western North Carolinians are currently negotiating a balance between the development and conservation of our unique natural resources. If development increases, there will be less open space and more fragmented natural environments. The region needs more and better paying jobs and faces significant challenges in meeting the costs of growth. An important expanding growth sector is tourism and outdoor recreation.
Scenarios that portray conservation versus development are not always the best... more »


Who recreates here and why?
A 2008 study completed in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA) counties found preferences of visitors differ with demographic and socioeconomic factors. It was discovered that a large portion of the visitors to the region come from those living nearby in North Carolina or from surrounding southeastern states. Of the 4,125 respondents, 23 percent identified themselves as day trippers, and 77 percent as overnight visitors. The average age of day trippers is 50... more »