195 Blessed Way
Mills River, NC 28759
*Important: Visit Location/Directions for driving & mapping directions (or you may get lost). The Sanctuary is a public park and open to visitors. We do not have an office located at the Sanctuary so if you need to get in touch with us, please call.
If a death has occurred, please call us right away. If we don’t pick up, leave a voicemail and we will return your call ASAP. For all other inquiries, please leave us a voicemail or use the form below and we will get back to you during business hours.
Monday – Thursday, 10am – 5pm
You may visit the Sanctuary in person anytime during daylight hours.
Book a Tour to Explore Burial of Cremated Remains
If you know that you would like to be cremated (traditional flame cremation or water cremation) and are considering purchasing a spot for burial of cremated remains, we recommend setting up a guided tour so that you can explore the Sanctuary in person. This gives you an opportunity to learn more about our project and ask questions. We love to show people around and know that it’s an important step in exploring burial at Carolina Memorial Sanctuary. Tours generally last 60-90 minutes.
If you are interested in scheduling a tour to explore burial of cremated remains, complete the Contact Us form at the bottom of the page and we’ll follow up with you to schedule an appointment. Currently, we are not offering tours for folks interested in natural burial unless a death has occurred (see below).
Pre-Need Sales for Natural Burial Suspended
The popularity of green burial has taken off and as a result, our Mills River location is running out of space so we are no longer offering pre-need sales for natural burial. We are dedicated to continuing to offer natural burials to our community. We are in the process of searching for a second location, also within 30 minutes of Asheville. Once a second location is found and is available for burial, we will begin selling spots for natural burial at the new location. If you’d like to be informed about the progress of our second location, you can join our newsletter here, which is where we’ll be sharing updates. If you have a strong desire to be buried specifically at our Mills River location, you can join our waiting list here in the event that a person who already has a spot with us wants to sell their spot (please note that people rarely want to sell their spot).
We understand that the lack of availability may cause anxiety for some. Unfortunately, there is no more room for natural burial spots. We ask for your patience as we work diligently to open our second location. We understand that a lot of questions may arise for folks related to the new location. Since our time and energy need to be focused on opening the second location, we will not have time to field these types of inquiries. We will be putting together a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for the new location and you may submit your questions here, which will be addressed on the FAQ page once the second site is open. If you are eager to make burial arrangements now, other green burial options in North Carolina are listed below.
What does pre-need mean?
Pre-need means before the need arises; so anyone who is still living and healthy who is making plans for their burial in advance of their death (re: reserving a spot). If you fall into this category, we don’t have natural burial spots available for you now, but we will at the second location, once it opens.
Natural Burial Spots for Immediate Need Only
We do have spots set aside for people who have just died. It is critical that we keep providing burials for our community before the second location opens up, so these spots are only for immediate need, meaning a person who has just died. If you are interested in purchasing a natural burial spot for a loved one who has died, please call us right away and we will guide you on the next steps (please do not email us or fill out the contact form in the event of a death). If you or a loved one is terminally ill, please call us so we can help figure out the best way forward.
Other North Carolina Options for Conservation and Green Burial
For other green burial options in North Carolina, including Asheville, please check out the Green Burial Council’s green cemetery directory, which is organized by state. Do you live near Charlotte or Durham? There are two conservation burial grounds that are closer to where you live. Kings Mountain Preserve is an hour outside of Charlotte in South Carolina, and Bluestem is near Durham. We encourage you to explore green burial closer to home. Having a cemetery near to where you live makes visitations much easier and is a greener option since you’re not driving as far to get there.