Nature's Cathedral in the Sky

Here, the congregation of trees and plants and flowers sings an ancient song. We are all connected, just like the earth to the sky and the sky to the earth, just like the roots of trees that will outlive us by centuries. The red spruce grows here like home long lost and shelters wayfarers of the sky. The maple grows here defying what we know and holds wisdom in every cell. The azalea grows here in abundance, in colors wild and mysterious. Here, life is uncaged, free to astonish us.

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A Mountaintop Forest Garden

High above the lakes of Western North Carolina — with a stunning panoramic view of the mountains spanning the Blue Ridge Parkway — Southern Highlands Reserve showcases native plants and the rare ecology of high-elevation Southern Appalachian forests. The garden, part of 120 acres protected by the North American Land Trust, is designed to uphold and honor the spirit of the land. Our work, research, and partnerships help preserve threatened species. Visit the Reserve and return to a sense of peace as you watch the forest grow.

Southern Highlands Reserve - Chestnut Lodge Rooftop Garden

Get Lost in Nature


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Research is part of who we are at Southern Highlands Reserve. Come take a walk through our extraordinary and ever-changing forest laboratory.

Get Involved

Volunteer to work with us in our mountain garden and rejuvenate your connection with nature.

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