The Catawba Falls trail is closed until spring of 2024. Click here to find alternative waterfall and hiking trails.

Old Fort, North Carolina, is a charming mountain town tucked away in the Pisgah National Forest, and trust us, it's more than just a pit stop. Think pre-Revolutionary War vibes mixed with a ton of outdoor adventures. Need info? Swing by the McDowell County Visitor Center on South Catawba Avenue—they've got the lowdown to make your Old Fort visit epic.

Now, if you're into soaking up some history, the Mountain Gateway Museum is your go-to spot. Dive deep into Southern Appalachian heritage and culture with cool performances and learning opportunities. Feeling artsy? Check out the Arrowhead Gallery and Studios, showcasing the work of over 40 regional artisans and offering classes.

Oh, and you can't miss Andrews Geyser, this man-made water show shooting 80 feet into the air—it's a free spectacle in a park with picnic spots. For a dose of history, the Carson House, a two-story mansion-turned-museum, spills the beans on the past 200 years, covering everything from the Revolutionary War to the N.C. Gold Rush.

But wait, there's more. Old Fort is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The Old Fort Gateway Trail system has 42 miles (and counting) of trails for running, hiking, biking, and even horseback riding. Catawba Falls, a stunning waterfall in the Pisgah National Forest, is a must-see, and the Point Lookout Trail, once a highway, is now a paved path for walkers, runners, and bikers.

After all that adventure, you'll need to hydrate. Hillman Beer’s Old Fort Taproom is a massive 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor chill space with over 30 taps. And if beer is your jam, Whaley Farm Brewery has its own brews using locally sourced goodies.

Old Fort knows how to throw a party too. There's the Pisgah Enduro in August for high-speed hiking and racing fun, Pioneer Day in April for a Revolutionary blast, and an annual Holiday Parade down Main Street every December. Rain or shine, Old Fort is ready to fill your visit with fun and memories.

Download the guide to learn about more ways to explore this hidden gem.

Participating Attractions