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The Approach Road: Biltmore Estate

A three-mile wonder! A Drive That Improves Your Wellbeing!

by Susan Marie Ward

Trees along the winding Approach Road to Biltmore House. A museum worth visiting.
Biltmore Estate Approach Road. A museum worth visiting.

When I drive up the Approach Road to Biltmore House, cars behind me get annoyed. And I don't care!

I meander slowly. I stop frequently. I take pictures! I imagine being a guest of George Vanderbilt's, winding my way up the three-mile road in a horse-drawn carriage. I notice the tiny meandering stream, the brick work, and the stone benches. Ah, the benches! Places for Mr. Vanderbilt's guests to stop and admire the landscape textures along the way up to the 250-room mansion. Every time I drive the Approach Road, I look with new eyes and notice new things. Even after all these years.

From Nothing

When Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect for Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, began the project, the land was over-forested and barren. Mr. Olmsted took a land with nothing and filled it with evergreens, mountain laurel, yews, oak, and more.

Even in the Winter

Mr. Olmsted even considered the Approach Road's aesthetics during the winter. He added plants that would provide color and texture during the winter. And he even considered the winter views that would occur from the trees without leaves along this winding road.

Have you traveled up the Approach Road at Biltmore Estate? I hope you drove slowly, even if it annoyed the cars behind you, so you could recognize and absorb the genius of Frederick Law Olmsted.

2 則留言


I worked there for several years doing various different jobs on the estate. I always told people that when I drove onto the estate going to work, I always felt as if I was driving into the garden of Eden.

Susan Marie Ward
Susan Marie Ward

The Garden of Eden... love it!


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