The Famous White Squirrels of Brevard, NC

Every town has its quirks and oddities. These are things that often come to represent the city to visitors.

Over the course of generations, the town of Brevard, just outside Asheville, NC, has been defined by one small and clever creature. It is the white squirrel, and it populates the quiet and rustic crossroads of Brevard.

Do you know where to find the white squirrels? Do you know what makes them white? Did you even know they existed? Come visit and get acquainted with the wild and wonderful world of the white squirrels of Brevard.

Where the Famous White Squirrels Came From

According to legend, the white squirrels derived from a carnival. A gentleman who ran a traveling carnival found a pair of the critters on his travels and retained them for his truck show.

After a trade of hands, the pair landed in the ownership of a young family niece, Barbara, who failed to breed them in the 1950s. One of the squirrels eventually escaped and the other was released.

Over the next few years, white squirrel appearances became more and more common until they became a bit of a running joke in the town.

Though the truth of this Brevard NC history can be doubted, the fact is that white squirrels are actually a white version of the well known eastern grey squirrel.

brevard nc white squirrels

They Aren’t Albino Squirrels

It may be easy to assume that these special white squirrels are albino, which is the absence of melanin, but this is not correct. According to studies, the vast majority of white squirrels are not albino at all. Albino squirrels do exist, but they are very rare.

The white squirrels of Brevard are actually eastern grey squirrels with a mutation in their genes that makes their coats white. They have dark eyes and some grey streaks in their white fur, giving them a notable distinction. The squirrels lack the red eye coloration as well as the straight white pigmentation in the skin and fur of albino creatures.

It is usually rare to see them in other parts of the United States because the white coat makes them more susceptible to predators.

However, there are a few places where they have thrived for one reason or another, and Brevard tops the list! They have also appeared throughout New York, South Carolina, Trenton, NJ, and Kenton, TN.


The white squirrel population is likely the biggest in Brevard and it is where eager travelers are likely to see the famed critters.

Keep your eyes peeled around town or venture out to the nearby forests and trails to try to spot one. Franklin Park and Brevard College are also a few of the areas that are good for spotting them.

Brevard is one of the only towns to officially designate and protect the squirrels, with sanctuary protection and regulation in 1986. No one is allowed to take them, kill them, or bother them in any way.

The White Squirrel Festival Event in Downtown Brevard

There is at least one major Brevard event that celebrates the whimsy and charm of the local squirrel population.

It is the White Squirrel Festival and it runs around the end of May (for 2018, the event is May 25th to May 27th). The event incorporates live music, local vendors, food trucks, an assortment of family-friendly activities, and more.

The showcase event is the White Squirrel Derby, where locals craft custom derby cars and race them. White squirrels get their turn in the spotlight at the White Squirrel Photo Contest, the Squirrel Run, and the Memorial Parade, with wreaths, decorations, and vehicles designed with the little critter in mind.

downtown brevard shops

The Town of Waterfalls

As adorable and rare as the white squirrels are, the town of Brevard has a lot more to offer. Take to the mountains and waterfalls right outside the city, including the Pisgah National Forest.

Visit the downtown area for some authentic boutique shopping or find the trails of the Dupont State Forest. Perhaps the only defining characteristic of Brevard that can compete with the white squirrels is the huge number of majestic waterfalls in the surrounding forestry.

You can give us a call at 828-577-3435. We offer spacious and inspiring vacation rentals in Brevard NC so you can have a rustic vacation escape away from the noise and the daily grind. Forget the tropics and come to the wonderful waterfalls of Brevard.

Welcome to our new Site!

Welcome to our new website! This is a major update for us, and it is a great improvement over the old site. In addition to a new look and feel, this site is responsive, meaning it display seamlessly on tablets and phones. Because this is a WordPress site, we should see a marked improvement in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). What does this mean for our users? As an Owner, this means greater exposure through our site. As a Guest, this means you will have an easy way to find properties directly, without having to resort to the big advertising sites that charge high service fees.

Please take some time to explore the site and get to know how it works. We will be building more functionality over time. Feel free to check back often for updates. We plan to add content for monthly rentals, which are popular in the winter months. We will be adding more articles about events, things to do and see, restaurants, attractions and maybe some personal stuff about the folks who work here. Our goal is to create delight for our guests and personal freedom for our owners, and this site is just the first step.

We are also creating a better Facebook presence. We need your help. Like Us on Facebook and give us a Five Star review to receive a special offer! We are excited about the potential of Facebook to spread the word about our growing portfolio of excellent vacation rental properties in Asheville, Brevard and the surrounding communities. We invite you to be a part of it and join our community of supporters.

Thanks for visiting and please feel free to comment on our Facebook page. We would love your input, because more ideas means a better experience for everyone. We look forward to hearing from you!

Pete Kuehne (Pete Key)


Pete Key Properties
26 E. Chestnut Street
Asheville, NC USA 28801

Pete Key Properties
26 E. Chestnut Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-367-7202


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