The Catawba Falls trail is closed until spring of 2023. Click here to find alternative waterfall and hiking trails.

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Outdoor Adventure

Join us on a trail! We are a mountain community with elevations exceeding 3,000 feet above sea level inside the Pisgah National Forest where our northern boundary is the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Winter Hikes

Sweeping mountain views everywhere you look.

Where to Explore
Wisemans View in Linville Gorge

Top 25 Things To Do

Explore all there is to see and do in the mountains.

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High Spirits Trail

Visit 11 uniquely crafted tasting experiences along the Blue Ridge Traveler’s High Spirits Trail to experience the craftsmanship of local brewers, vintners and distillers using ingredients grown right here in Western N.C.

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Get your free Travel Guide

A travel guide for Marion, Old Fort, Lake James, Linville Falls and Little Switzerland, NC.

Book Your Stay

Find lodging in and around McDowell County for your vacation. Browse hotels, campsites, rentals, and more.

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Sign up for the Blue Ridge Travelers Newsletter to get updates on news and events in McDowell County.

Experience the Blue Ridge

Hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains
Jan. 31, 2023, 2:21 p.m.

Our Five Favorite Trails To Celebrate Year of the Trail 2023 NC

2023 has been designated Year of the Trail in North Carolina. To celebrate, we're sharing 5 of our favorite local trails you should explore this year.

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Jan. 26, 2023, 3:07 p.m.

New Experiences Coming to McDowell County in 2023

2023 brings exciting new projects and celebrations to McDowell County, NC!

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Jan. 19, 2023, 1:59 p.m.

Blue Ridge Day Trip: Spruce Pine, NC

Learn about the mineral history of the region & explore the charming main streets of Spruce Pine.

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Your Travel Guide To Little Switzerland, Lake James, Marion, Old Fort & Linville Falls

Welcome to the Blue Ridge Traveler's Towns and Trails! With mild weather, warm Southern hospitality and mountain vistas that stretch for miles, winter is the perfect season to plan your next vacation to the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina.

Cozy up beside the fireplace in a picturesque mountain cabin, lakeside vacation rental or one of our numerous local lodging options. Enjoy the warm welcome of small-town main streets in Marion and Old Fort, where you can stop for a cup of coffee or peruse the craftsmanship of local artists in shops and galleries. Check out the events calendar for a full line-up of happenings throughout the season.

Winter is the season for breathtaking mountain views! Hiking trails like Newberry Creek and Catawba Falls are beautiful in the winter months. Take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway (weather permitting) for unforgettable vistas! Check out our top winter hiking trails.

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.

As you plan your 2022 mountain vacation, be sure to take a look at our Blue Ridge Traveler’s Visitor Guide. Add some of our historic attractions to your itinerary to get a glimpse of mountain life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and find fun things to do for the whole family. If you’re already planning for spring and summer, don’t miss the alpine charm of Little Switzerland, the laid-back vibe of Lake James or the adventurous spirit of Linville Falls.

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.

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