The Catawba Falls trail will close on May 2, 2022, and remain closed until spring of 2023. The popular Old Fort area trail will be closed for 9-12 months to ensure the safety of the public and construction crews building retaining walls, boardwalks, staircases, and overlooks. Click the "Play" icon to find alternative waterfall and hiking trails.

Nov. 28, 2021, 10:26 a.m.

Where to Find Holiday Shopping in the Blue Ridge Mountains


If you’re making your list and checking it twice — and looking for one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family — then search no further than the main streets and markets of our Blue Ridge Mountain communities.

In the 310 District along Main Street in Marion you’ll find an eclectic collection of boutiques, galleries, jewerly stores and breweries, each carrying unique and handmade goods that make great gifts for loved ones.

Now through December 17th, for every $10 shoppers spend at a participating business, they’ll receive a ticket to be entered into a prize drawing in celebration of Marion’s Christmas Fest. Drawings for smaller prize packages will be held on December 3 and 10, with the final two grand prizes drawings happening on December 17. Come out to celebrate Christmas Fest from 5-7 p.m. on December 17th to take a picture with Santa and enjoy the songs of carolers. Details and a list of participating businesses are available on the event’s Facebook page.

Visit the Blue Ridge Artisans Craft Show at the McDowell Arts Council Association to shop the work of local artisans working in pottery, woodworking, jewelry, textiles and other fine arts. Every item is handmade right here in McDowell County! Open Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. from November 26 through Christmas.

Don’t miss Marion’s Shop Small Main Street Crawl on Small Business Saturday, November 27. Peruse displays from 30+ vendors featuring jewelry, pottery, baskets, woodwork, ornaments and gifts. And check out the Historic Marion Tailgate Fall Market on Tuesdays through December 14 where you’ll find locally crafted gifts and wreaths, as well as winter produce.


In Old Fort, stop by the Arrowhead Gallery & Studios to shop handmade items from more than 30 local artists. Check their calendar listings for upcoming workshops where you can make your own gifts! Or stop by Old Fort Outdoors or the Old Fort Ride House for a gift for the outdoors enthusiast in your life.

In Little Switzerland — the Shops at Switzerland Inn close for the season after Saturday, November 27 and Little Switzerland Books & Beans remains open through the end of November.