Getting To Know…Allen de Hart
Known For: Author, educator, philanthropist
About: The author of numerous hiking books and trail guides, Allen de Hart grew up exploring
woods near his dairy farm home. After moving to North Carolina in the 1950s, he and his wife began turning their land into a beautiful botanical garden, eventually adding trails, benches, bridges, stone steps and signs labeling flora and fauna. They also kept buying surrounding acreage. Last spring, the former professor of history and psychology donated his family's 91-acre de Hart Botanical Gardens and estate to Louisburg College, where he taught for 52 years. This year he donated the other de Hart Botanical Gardens, a 172-acre wilderness preserve near his Virginia mountains birthplace, to his alma mater, Ferrum College. The energetic preservationist also founded Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, a non-profit organization that designs, constructs and maintains North Carolina's longest trail. De Hart, 86, lives at his home at the Louisburg gardens, and still oversees garden upkeep.
De Hart Botanical Gardens
Description: Open to the public. Prominent granite rock, deciduous and evergreen forests, cascading streams, 1.5-acre lake, and more than 375 flora species and 100 fauna species. Rare wildflowers. Two trails. Maps at entrance's gazebo.
Often spotted there: De Hart and his walking stick.
3585 US 401
Louisburg, NC, 27549