The 20-mile drive along Highway 276 into Brevard is probably my favorite off-Parkway detour because there is so much to see and do in a short span. It starts with a twisty, curvy, switchbacky steep descent down from the Parkway into a shrouded tunnel in the forest. The first stop to make along this road is at the Cradle of Forestry in America. This heritage area includes a very nice museum to explore, a large giftshop, and three trails to hike. The 1.3-mile Forest Festival Trail includes a walk through the woods to a 1914 Climax locomotive where you can climb on board and ring a bell! The 1.3-mile Forest Discovery Trail begins and ends on the Forest Festival Trail, looping around a deeper section of the forest. My favorite trail, though, was the 1-mile Biltmore Campus Trail. This trail loops beneath the highway and through the former Biltmore Forest School’s campus where you can explore several rustic buildings. A few miles down the road on the right is the popular Sliding Rock. This natural attraction has been used as a summer escape for decades. Bring your swimming shorts and water shoes and slide down the smooth rocks in a torrent of water from the river to a shallow pool at the bottom. Use the embedded handrail to return to the top and do it all over again! Around a bend in the road is Looking Glass Falls, one of the most stunning and easily accessible waterfalls in the state. If you’re heading toward the Parkway from Brevard you can see the waterfall from the road. Coming the other way you’ll need to find a place to park along the road and walk back. You can see the entire waterfall from the side of the road. A staircase leads to the bottom where you can get a better view, set up a chair or blanket, or splash around in the shallow water at the base.