The Highlands Nature Sanctuary is the Arc of Appalachia's oldest and largest preserve. The heart of the 2,600-acre preserve is the breathtakingly beautiful Rocky Fork Gorge, a 100-foot high steep-walled canyon renowned for its stunning rock formations, ancient white cedars, spectacular wildflower displays, grottoes, springs, and stone arches. The Nature Preserves features a Forest Museum, open free to the public, 7 days a week, from April through October. The Forest Museum features large artistic murals depicting the world significance of our backyard forests for those of us living anywhere in the Eastern third of the United States. The Museum strives to raise our appreciation for America's Great Eastern Forest and the many ways our “home-sweet-biome” influences and inspires our lives.The Forest Museum serves as the trailhead for two beautiful loop trails, also open free of charge to the public every day from April through October. Both of the trails wind into the Rocky Fork Gorge, offering splendid views of the geological scenery of the region. Visitors can gain access to all of the Sanctuary's 16 miles of hiking trails by obtaining a ONE DAY hiking pass at the Appalachian Forest Museum or becoming an Arc of Appalachia member.
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