Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

100 County Profile: Transylvania

Posted January 7, 2008

If I could take today off I would probably head west to Transylvania County. Summer will always be the best time to visit this mountain paradise but a warm day in January should also give you a perfect excuse to enjoy the many splendors of the landscape.

I love the origin of the county’s name. Transylvania may sound like a dark and moody place in a horror movie but the name comes from the Latin words meaning “over the trees” and “across the woods.” 500 miles of trails await you in the Pisgah National Forest here. Transylvania is also very popular for rock climbers.

Transylvania County is probably best known as “The Land of Waterfalls.” There are at least 250 waterfalls in the area including Whitewater Falls, the highest in Eastern America. My father's favorite was Looking Glass Falls. Winter is a perfect time to enjoy this jewel. Water freezes on the sides of Looking Glass Rock. The ice glistens in the wintry sunlight like a mirror or looking glass.

Transylvania County is also home to one of North Carolina's most popular swimming holes. Everyone should enjoy the splashy joy of Sliding Rock at least once in their lifetime.

I also love the sophisticated elegance of Brevard and its rich musical heritage. Hundreds of students study music for seven weeks during the summer.

What else about Transylvania County? Well, it's been called a Fisherman's Paradise with its streams chocked full of brook and rainbow trout.

The county borders South Carolina and an impressive granite outcropping known as Caesars Head.

What else do you know and like about Transylvania County?  Please share.


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  • 4Cats Jan 7, 2008

    I remember visiting Sliding Rock when I was at camp at Brevard one year. That is some of the coldest water I've ever felt! Bill is right though, you should all slide at least once...once was enough, but I'll never forget it!

  • sbest3 Jan 7, 2008

    Brevard is a quaint little town. I went to Brevard College and fell in love with the place. Everyone is so friendly and the mountains and the waterfalls are gorgeous. In fact, my boyfriend and I just got back from there and had a wonderul time there. I hope to live there one day!

  • happy Jan 7, 2008

    Here's the weblink...

    Kids adore going in there!

    As for the squirrels, I've only seen 2 and I've been visiting at least twice a year for well over 10 years! They are a rare find anymore!

  • Riverracer Jan 7, 2008

    OP Taylor's is an old-fashioned kind of toy store. It's the kind of place where you can just browse and reminisce for hours. They also do really great gift baskets for kids in camp in that area.

  • Gerbil Herder Jan 7, 2008

    It's called O.P. Taylor's...get it? They have lots of items like trains, etc. Nothing special...I did by my nephew a real wood gun like we used to play soldier with back many moons ago.

  • bleslie Jan 7, 2008

    What makes the toy store so special?

  • Riverracer Jan 7, 2008

    Happy, you were reading my mind on both counts. I love OP Taylors, and the white squirrels are wonderful to watch. My son went to camp near Brevard for a few years and we really enjoyed being in the area.

  • happy Jan 7, 2008

    What about O.P. Taylor's toy store? Or the native white squirrels running around?

    BUT my favorite is that my father, sister and brother in law live there!

  • bleslie Jan 7, 2008

    Grilled pimento cheese!! I grew up on that Southern staple in Morganton. Thanks for the Rocky's recommendation!

  • Gerbil Herder Jan 7, 2008

    I just got back from there and boy I sure do love grilled pimento cheese sandwiches from Rocky's Soda Shop in Brevard...enough reason on it's own to visit.

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Bill Leslie