“Nothing happens unless first we dream.” Carl Sandburg was America’s voice. He was an activist, journalist, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, and a symbol of working class Americans in the early and mid 1900s. Originally from the Chicago area, he was able to delve into the masses of capitalism and race riots. He indulged in the evolvement of modern American socialism.
Carl Sandburg and his wife, Lilian, moved to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Flat Rock, North Carolina (30 minutes south of Asheville) in 1945 where they bred and raised prize-winning goats on their farm, Connemara. The goats continue to make offspring, maintaining a nice population of goats on this working farm. Visitors are welcome to freely pet the female goats.
Across the path from the farmhouse is Sandburg’s garden. Walk around and see the large variety of herbs and vegetables growing, but don’t tempt to pick these luscious vegetables because they are part of the property.Near the bamboo forest is Sandburg’s home just the way he left it, inside and out, when he died in 1967.
Tours are daily and last 30 minutes with a small entrance fee. When you go inside the home, you will feel exactly what it was like when they lived there. There are over 65,000 artifacts to help you envision everything they did on a day-to-day basis.With the 264 acres of land they owned, the Sandburg family fancied their hiking trails and ponds. This easy-to-moderate and well-maintained trail system (probably a few miles in total length), is available for your physical and mental fitness and FREE of charge.Most of the trails end up leading to the top of Big Glassy, where you will embrace the serenity displayed by Mt. Mitchell and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Big Glassy is the perfect place to bring a packed lunch while enjoying nature’s soothing sounds on top of a nice smooth rock base. It’s romantic!Carl Sandburg National Park is unique in that it is home to rare species of plants and mushrooms in the Western North Carolina area. Data is still being collected in the inventory, but right now, there are 519 kinds of vascular plants and 14 ecological communities.
Are you traveling solo? You will have no trouble here, especially if you are a woman. You will feel very safe, plus there are park rangers on the property during hours of operation.
The park is FREE for hiking and visiting the goat farm and garden. However, there is a small fee (around $5) for the guided house tour. Park in the main lot, but if full, you can park in the Flat Rock Playhouse’s lot across the street unless otherwise indicated. For more information, visit the Carl Sandburg Home website.