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Experience the Blue Ridge
Stay Cool in the Blue Ridge Mountains This Summer
As the summer heat arrives across the country, it’s the perfect time to escape to the cool breezes and welcoming towns …
Coming Soon: New Blue Ridge Trails Under Construction
Three new trail systems are in development that will add nearly 200 miles of trail access to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Three new trail systems are in development that will add nearly 200 miles of trail access to the Blue Ridge Mountains.Read More
The Blue Ridge Parkway
Little Switzerland, Linville Falls, The Orchard at Altapass, Crabtree Falls, and spectacular views! Year-round access to trails and the Parkway.A Photographer's Dream →
Blue Ridge Views! The best views come from the hardest climbs.
With elevation ranges from 1,100 feet above sea level to 4,000 feet above sea level, you'll find a variety of trail conditions and challenges.Trails for beginners to experts. →
Hike into Pisgah to find amazing waterfalls, the region boasts over 200 waterfall trails.Western NC Waterfalls →
Your Travel Guide To Little Switzerland, Lake James, Marion, Old Fort & Linville Falls
Welcome to the Blue Ridge Traveler's Towns and Trails! With beautiful weather and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, spring and summer are the perfect time to plan your next vacation to the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina.
Check out our guides to top local hiking trails and breathtaking waterfalls. Keep an eye open for native wildflowers as you hike, bike and explore the region. Take a drive on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping to take pictures of mountain vistas and experiencing regional heritage at museums and historic attractions along the way. Or cool off at Lake James State Park where you’ll find fun for all ages including hiking, kayaking, biking and a swimming beach.
Step back in time and imagine life in the Blue Ridge during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when you stop by the Historic Carson House, Emerald Village Museum, and Mountain Gateway Museum. Each site interprets different pieces of our region's historic puzzle.
Stroll the small-town streets of Marion, Old Fort, Little Switzerland and the Linville Falls community, where you will encounter the craftsmanship of local artists in shops and galleries. Check out the events calendar for a full line-up of happenings throughout the season.
When it’s time for a bite, pull up a chair at one of our delicious local restaurants. From barbecue to bakeries, burritos to bubble tea, and plenty of scrumptious Southern fare, you’re sure to find the local flavor you’re looking for. Enjoy a pint of locally brewed beer at one of several craft breweries, and look for local wine, coffee, mead and spirits, too.
At the end of the day, choose from numerous lodging options ranging from rustic campgrounds and mountain cabins to lakeside vacation rentals and national brand hotels.
Note: All images are property of the McDowell Tourism Authority or tourism partners and are not to be copied, duplicated, re-printed, or shared electronically.