Old Fort

North Carolina

Old Fort, the name acknowledges the pioneer-era when Davidson's Fort was constructed to protect area settlers from Native American raids. At that point in time, the area was known as the westernmost North Carolina settlement. The "Old Fort" no longer stands, however, the history is shared through a series of downtown murals, The 7 Wonders Trail.

Today's Old Fort community is changing and has become known for epic mountain biking and hiking trails. Kitsuma Peak/Young's Ridge, Snook's Nose, Point Lookout Trail, Jarrett's Creek, Heartbreak Ridge, and coming soon a section of multi-use trails accessible from Curtis Creek Road as part of the Old Fort Trails Project.

This section of Pisgah provides remote and rugged riding on long climbs with harrowing descents deserving of its world-class reputation. Riders venturing into the depths of the Grandfather Ranger District need to be prepared for demanding trails, tricky route-finding, and remote settings far from assistance.

Hikers favor Catawba Falls Trail, Newberry Creek Trail, Huskins Branch Trail, Point Lookout Trail, and Lead Mine Gap. If you're looking for a serious challenge, Mackey Mountain Trail meanders 8 miles through a true wilderness section. Bring a paper map and compass before exploring this trail!

Old Fort is a designated North Carolina Mountain Trout Town. Mill Creek, a delayed harvest stream, runs through downtown bordering Mountain Gateway Museum. Beginners will find an easily accessible entry point on these banks. Check out the N.C. Wildlife Commission website for details.

Looking for a great place to stay? You won't find hotel chains here. You WILL find individually owned vacation rental homes, cabins, two B&Bs, public campgrounds, and privately-owned campgrounds. Check out the "STAY" section of the website or call 828-668-4282 to request a free visitor guide.

Between August and May, Old Fort's Camp Grier (June and July are reserved for kid's camp) becomes an outdoor attraction. Pick up a day pass and spend it on the disc golf course, learn to ride a horse or book a group guided horse ride, maybe challenge your skills on the pump track, walk the trail to the fire tower, or pop into your tree hammock for a nap. With over 600 protected, forested acres it's a peaceful place to be.

Camp Grier hosts a range of outdoor events and races. One of their frequent and important activities is the volunteer trail maintenance weekends. Their G5 Trail Collective dedicates hours of trail maintenance and repair inside the Grandfather Ranger District. Free camping/group lodging and food in exchange for hours of trail work. Take a look at their event calendar.

Day-trippers, stretch your legs, and enjoy a walk around downtown. Stop by Hillman Beer, Kitsbow's Old Fort Ride House, Mountain Gateway Museum, the Blue Ridge Traveler Visitor Center, Old Fort Outdoors, Arrowhead Gallery, and other downtown shops. Still have questions, call us. 828-668-4282


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