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.

Sightings

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.

CONTACT

Pete Key Properties
828-577-3435
26 E. Chestnut Street
Asheville, NC USA 28801

Pete Key Properties
26 E. Chestnut Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Email: info@petekey.com
Phone: 828-577-3435
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