Hiking, biking, and horse back riding on designated trails is permitted within the boundaries of the experimental forest. Trail maps are available to download here. Signs are located at trailheads stating designated trail usage. Please follow the rules and remember that the Bent Creek Experimental Forest is designated for research on forest ecology and management, and research study sites must not be disturbed.

Information about interpretive hikes →

Hunting and Fishing

The experimental forest is designated as game land and a bear sanctuary. Hunting and fishing is allowed. Please visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website for more information.

Hunting Safety Information →

Camping and Swimming

The Lake Powhatan Recreation Area is located in the center of the Bent Creek Experimental Forest and is administered by the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest.

The campground and swimming areas are maintained by the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association. Camping is only allowed at the Lake Powhatan Recreational Area.


The North Carolina Arboretum is located within the boundaries of the Bent Creek Experimental Forest.

Front view of the NC Arboretum

Front view of the NC Arboretum.


On-site educational tours and programs are available with a reservation. Learn more →