View Full Version : North Carolina - any don't miss locations?

07-24-2008, 09:29 AM
My wife and I are trying to work in a vacation sometime soon - the last year or so has been very rough and we need to get back to normal. Does anyone happen to know of any 'do not miss' locations in North Carolina? We're thinking of spending 8-10 days wandering about, no particular plan. I've got books on hiking and waterfalls, but if anyone knows of a particularly good spot I'd love to hear about it in case we happen to wander nearby.

We have no particular plan on what part, or parts, of the state we'll be traveling through, but we'll likely stay out of the Smokies this trip since we've been there so much in the past. Pisgah, Nantahala, Croatan, and Uwharrie are all possibilities, as are any of the state parks.

I'm planning on taking my 4x5 field camera so I can do some hiking, so we'll be fairly mobile and able to reach some of the more out-of-the-way spots. Waterfalls are always good, but so are great rock formations, old buildings, farm equipment, ruins, or other things of that general nature. Probably nothing more than 6 or 8 miles round trip though - I live at sea level and while the mountains are my home, I'm no longer acclimated :p

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

- Randy

Jon King
07-24-2008, 09:57 AM
For waterfalls, don't miss DuPont State Forest (it's fairly new - might not be in all guides), and trails and falls in the nearby Pisgah Forest - US276 towards the Blue Ridge Parkway. Up on the parkway, the Graveyard fields trail includes some very nice falls. I don't know what the water is like in any of those this time of year. All of this is in the vicinity of Brevard, for a town reference.

07-24-2008, 10:18 AM

That place (http://www.dupontforest.com/)looks pretty good - thanks for the tip. When I get home from work I'll check to see if it's in my guides. If not I'll have some printing to do.

- Randy

07-24-2008, 10:30 AM
Randy, you might consider Grandfather Mountain (http://www.grandfather.com/) near Boone, NC. I had planned on going there this Fall based upon some good advice; but things transpire. Alot of rock outcroppings and there is even a camera clinic next month.

07-24-2008, 12:12 PM

I think that I could fit all of their cameras (http://www.grandfather.com/planning_your_visit/events/cclinic.php) inside mine! That's a place that has been on my list of places to visit for some time too. I'll let you know what we found if we get over that way. Looks like it has lots-o-potential.

- Randy

07-25-2008, 07:48 AM
We are heading to Black Forect campground near DuPont Forest for the weeekend, thanks to the tips online. There's a tour guide, Craig Miller at 1-828-884-8982 who will take you to a large number of waterfalls on private land,I think we'll be going on that tour. Theres a link on the Black Forest camground pages that gets to his site. The Black Forest link can be found on the Dupont Forest page that was posted. If anybody is wandering through the area and stops at the camground look us up. We have an Evolution II offroad popup camper, looks like it's on steroids. The campground office can tell you where we are.

07-25-2008, 11:01 AM
My favorite spot in NC is the Outer Banks, the Buxton lighthouse and surrounding nature reserves are nice.

Dan Henderson
07-25-2008, 11:07 AM
I would second dscheller's recommendation for OBX. The obvious beach scenes, a derelict life saving station at Oregon Inlet, the lighthouses, and the wild ponies up around Corolla are good spots.

07-27-2008, 03:05 PM
Just got back from our trip. Craig Miller was worth the money spent for a guide, he took us places we could have never found on private property (with permission of course). The last waterfall we went to we almost drowned in the cloudburst that hit us just as we got to the falls. I did a quick few handheld shots with the 645 from under an umbrella then hoofed it back to the car dodging the rivers of water coming down the trail. By the time we got back to the car it had stopped raining. We didn't feel like going back, we were too drippy and squishy. Never got to DuPont. We were told it was fairly crowded so we decided to take it easy after the tour. Transylvania County and the surrounding countryside is well worth several visits.

07-27-2008, 03:23 PM
Excellent, thanks for the review. I'm not sure when we're going, but I'll keep that in mind when we do go. I've never used a guide before, but considering that he can get to private locations it might be well worth it for us as well.

- Randy

07-27-2008, 03:28 PM
I would second dscheller's recommendation for OBX. The obvious beach scenes, a derelict life saving station at Oregon Inlet, the lighthouses, and the wild ponies up around Corolla are good spots.

The lighthouse is very impressive - I've seen it a few times, but not since they moved it. I'm very interested in the derelict life saving station though - any special directions needed to get there?

- Randy

07-27-2008, 03:34 PM
My favorite spot in NC is the Outer Banks, the Buxton lighthouse and surrounding nature reserves are nice.

Thanks! I've been to the Banks a number of times, and we're not overly interested in the beach (we live 15 minuets away here in sunny Florida), but I have been looking at some of the nature preserves, and at Uwharrie, which is out on the Eastern coast.

- Randy

08-09-2008, 01:28 AM
I am from NC, so I can tell you this:

If you like architecture photography, be sure to stop at some of the small towns between the mountains and Charlotte, or between Charlotte and Winston-Salem. Towns like Lexington (the home of Southern BBQ-worth a stop by itself. Makes you wanna slap your momma!), Salisbury (my hometown--absolutely beautiful downtown area), Albemarle, Concord, Kannapolis (a huge new biotech campus is going up on the site of the old Cannon Mills towel plant), and many others. Also, there's the zoo in Asheboro (about an hour from Charlotte), which is built on the ancient Uwharrie Mountains (Purgatory Mountain to be exact) and is often regarded as one of the better zoos in the country, if not the world.

If you do happen to go to Albemarle, go to Morrow Mountain State Park. It's quite a hike to the top of the mountain, but you can see clear to Charlotte from the top. It is an amazing view.

If you have any more questions from a native North Carolinian, just ask!

08-10-2008, 10:07 AM
Just got back from the trip - lots of fun. It was primarily a vacation, so I only ended up exposing 23 of the 28 holders I took along :) On the photogenic side of things, we hit up South Mountain and Hanging Rock state parks, and Linville Gorge in Pisgah National Forest, all of which were just outstanding. Great camping can be had in Pisgah, and the state parks look great as well (just arrive early since they don't have reservations in advance). I strongly suggest Linville Gorge for anyone in the area who has not been there - it's just breathtaking.

- Randy

08-18-2008, 08:30 PM
There are some*areas between the Townsend and Cades Cove area of the Smokies and I-40 interstate in the mountains that are in N.C. with scenic vistas and great flowing streams.

Also, the Outer Banks has two lighthouses and the inland areas are scenic, too.

08-18-2008, 09:12 PM
I live in western north carolina, i was just in the nantahala region yesturday, its only a few miles from my house, one of my favorite places to shoot is between gatlinburg tn and cades cove, there is a 25 mile stretch of road through there that has a beautiful river with lots of opportunities, i like cades cove but there are usually too many tourists there to get any good shots, really early morning there would be the best time. Brevard is another excellent place as is highlands nc, Transylvania county (not sure if dracula lives there or not) is known as land of like 10000 waterfalls or something like that. good luck