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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

100 County Profile: Transylvania

Posted January 7, 2008 9:15 a.m. EST

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.