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Mountain Light Sanctuary is a spiritual retreat center near Barnardsville, NC thirty-five minutes north of Asheville. It is located in a remote area of The Pisgah National Forest just below Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This unique, magical place has a number of enchanting, primitive to rustic accommodations, including Polynesian-style bungalows and a semi-underground" grotto with fireplace known as Frodo's. A large creek runs along one edge of the property and a small stream runs past the sauna right through it. Nearby are two spectacular yet seldom-visited waterfalls, one over seventy feet high. Scenes from The Last Mohicans were filmed here.

These woods are one of Alan's favorite places, where he has been mushroom hunting for nearly twenty years, and where he first taught with herbalist Frank Cook fifteen years ago. Hidden in these coves are reishi, ginseng, and over twenty other rare and endangered plants. This is also home to some of the last and largest old growth stands in North Carolina, with some trees over 350 years old. Over a dozen of the images on this website were taken over the years by Alan here.

The place is just magical. They literally have fairies there and photos of them (albums full of “orbs”). There’s a horse-riding outfitter that takes people through the woods as well.

For reservations and more information, see here.