Biltmore’s historic forests and meadows offer room to roam during fall

The changing leaf color that blankets the grounds of Biltmore during fall offers a gorgeous backdrop for an array of outdoor experiences that allow for social distancing in the Birthplace of American Forestry.

Birth of Scientific Forestry
It was 125 years ago this year in 1895 that George Vanderbilt, founder of the estate, took the advice of Frederick Law Olmsted, his landscape architect, and hired trained forester Gifford Pinchot to develop a forest management plan for his land holdings, which eventually totaled around 125,000 acres.

Pinchot’s scientific forestry plan for Biltmore was the first its kind in the United States, and served as a national model for management and conservation of forest lands. In turn, Vanderbilt was the first American landowner to implement scientific forestry on a large scale.

The result of that work is evident in what Biltmore guests enjoy to this day.

Set in the woods near The Inn on Biltmore Estate, this 90-minute session focuses on the ancient art of falconry. Your skilled instructor teaches you how to work with a trained falcon or hawk, with the session culminating with a bird taking off from and landing on your gloved hand.

Horseback Riding and Carriage Rides
One of the best ways to experience Biltmore is from the back of a horse. Available for guests of all skill levels, guided trail rides traverse along pathways through forests and along scenic ridges. Carriage Rides are also available with tours aboard a surrey carriage.

Hiking and Biking
More than 20 miles of hiking and biking trails are available for explorations of the property, with trails and surfaces for all skill levels. Bike rental is available, or you may bring your own.

River Float Trips, Kayaking and Fly Fishing
The French Broad River, one of the world’s oldest rivers, flows through Biltmore estate. River activities include float trips and kayaking (single and tandem kayaks available). Several types of Fly Fishing experiences are also available, including one for kids.

Sporting Clays Lessons
Biltmore’s expert instructors teach proper gun mount, stance, target engagement, and other fundamental skills in this two-hour session with clay targets.

The Land Rover Driving Experience
The basics of expedition-style driving are taught during this experience, which includes off-road obstacles such as steep ascents, descents, side tilts, log crossings and rock crawls.

With the exception of hiking, all of the above experiences require an additional fee with your day’s admission to Biltmore. More about these activities is available here.

Biltmore gardens and Farmyard visits
The gardens and Farmyard are included in your day’s admission to Biltmore.

Jewel-toned Mums and salvia take center stage in Biltmore’s historic Walled Garden every fall, and this year will be no different. In Antler Hill Village, the Farmyard offers encounters with friendly farm animals such as chickens, roosters, goats, and horses.

Biltmore House Tours
For something indoors, of course, Biltmore House can’t be missed. Self-guided and guided tours are available of America’s largest home.

Staying over
Biltmore has multiple lodging accommodations: the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; the Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate; and the historic and elegant Cottages at Biltmore. More information is available at this link.

For tickets, reservations, and more information about Biltmore, visit

About Biltmore
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; The Inn on Biltmore Estate offering four-star accommodations; Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division. To learn more about Biltmore, go to or call 877-BILTMORE.