Ashvegas Hot Sheet: Visitors are swamping DuPont State Forest


Some of what’s going around:

-David Dye, the host of NPR’s World Cafe, and his crew was making the rounds in Asheville Monday in advance of a show Dye is hosting Tuesday at The Grey Eagle. The show will be a recording for a segment of World Cafe’s “Sense of Place” show featuring local bands Jon Stickley Trio and The Honeycutters. On Monday, the World Cafe crew was hanging at Echo Mountain Studios and recording more Asheville musicians: Tyler Ramsey, a solo artist who also plays with Bands of Horses; and River Whyless; and The Get Right Band.

-Musician Jaye Bartell, formerly of Asheville and now living in Brooklyn, has a song featured at Flood magazine. He’s getting ready to release Light Enough, his third full length and first since landing in New York, according to the magazine. “While his press material suggsts that the title is almost certainly a nod to Eileen Myles’ Chelsea Girls (“A war is storming and it is behind me and I am moving my forces into light”), it seems like it’s also a self-deprecating reference to his mobile lifestyle.”

-DuPont State Recreational Forest is becoming over-run with visitors. reports that attendance to DuPont jumped 54 percent in 2015 with a total of 683,000 visitors. That number is double their 2013 attendance. RomanticAsheville offers several tips on how and when to visit.

DuPont State Forest in Transylvania County is relatively new, having opened in 2000. It features stunning waterfalls fairly easy access, with more than 80 miles of trails and roads, all open to hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and hunters and fishermen. It is perhaps most well-known for being the location for the filming of several scenes of The Hunger Games movie.

-Asheville Regional Airport served a record number of passengers in calendar year 2015, according to a press release. Some 392,713 passengers enplaned at the airport in ’15, while 394,324 passengers deplaned, which is an overall 4 percent increase compared to the previous record calendar year.

-Mission Hospital is updating its infant abduction prevention system. Here’s a look at the “Hugs” security system.

-Asheville Music School is hiring a new executive director. Send resume, cover letter, and references by March 4 to The job is a full-time, salaried position.

The Asheville Hour podcast features local musicians.

-Chef Kim Lloyd has taken over Celine and Company Catering, a restaurant and catering business that was founded in Asheville in 1993 by Celine and Michael Lurey. The couple opened their restaurant, 23 Page, at 23 Page Ave. that year when great downtown food options were few and far between. They moved to the Broadway Arts Building on Broadway in 2001.


The Real World February 26, 2016 - 11:10 pm

Wow, Ben — we need a few million more like you around. I know plenty of people but could probably count on 2 fingers how many would be big enough to stand up and take responsibility for thoughtless behavior. Refreshing.

Ben February 23, 2016 - 1:30 pm

“DuPont State Forest in Transylvania County is a relatively new state park.”

And thus the line between well-edited journalism and news blogging is drawn. Referring to DuPont as both a State Forest and a state park in the same sentence is a mistake that any editor worth his or her salt would correct immediately. In North Carolina, state parks and state forests are not even managed by the same department: parks are under the Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources, while the forest service is under the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Hunting and timber harvest are allowed in state forests (including DuPont), but not state parks; camping is allowed in state parks, but not state forests.

The erroneous assumption that DuPont is a state park is a perception that the Forest Service staff at DuPont have to contend with all the time, unfortunately. It affects visitors’ expectations of the kind of amenities that will be provided, and foresters at DuPont have to spend much of their time educating the public about how recreation looks different in a forest than in a park. The amazing Friends of DuPont Forest non-profit organization also provides invaluable support for recreation by producing trail maps, funding trail maintenance projects, and providing volunteers that staff the visitor center and make additional recreational opportunities like the annual Tour de Falls possible. This short piece on Ashvegas could have been a small opportunity to assist with that educational effort, but it instead deepens the confusion.

chris February 23, 2016 - 4:07 pm

And you’re here to set him straight in the most dickish way you know how.

Jason Sandford February 23, 2016 - 4:16 pm


Ben February 23, 2016 - 6:13 pm

Chris, you’re right. I appreciate you pointing out that my comment was too harsh and personal. I think I’m guilty of the two things that I accused Jason of: not carefully editing my writing, and not using this as an opportunity to educate. The unfounded and needlessly personal attack on Jason’s journalism credentials undermined the very point I was trying to make.

More importantly, what I wrote was hurtful, which I really regret. I sent a private apology, but also wanted to post one publicly, since my original comments were public. Jason, I’m sorry to have made an unfounded personal attack on you and your writing. I appreciate the work you do to bring news to our community, and this mistake of mine is a good reminder to take care of that community instead of undermining it. My sincere apologies!

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