Attractions

Blue Ridge Parkway

Outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities make the Blue Ridge Parkway one of the most visited sections of the National Park System. Split-rail fences, old farmsteads, mountain meadows and scenic overlooks with endless vistas make the Blue Ridge Parkway a popular attraction.

Hop on the Parkway for a scenic drive; take a picnic and enjoy at one of the many scenic overlooks along the way. Day trips on the Parkway inlude:

  • Linville Falls 30 minutes
  • Blowing Rock 90 minutes
  • Asheville 2 hours(one hour back on main roads)

For more information on activities and sights along the way,visit www.blueridgeparkway.org

Penland School of Crafts

Penland School of Crafts is a national center for craft education dedicated to helping people live creatively. Located just 30 minutes from Springmaid Mountain, Penland offers workshops in books and paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles and wood. The school also offers artists’ residencies, community collaboration programs and a gallery and information center.

For more information, visit http://www.penland.org.

Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine

Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine is one of North Carolina’s most enjoyable attractions and it is located right here in Spruce Pine. If you like gem mining, you will love Gem Mountain. Find treasures that will last a lifetime and have an experience to match. Visit Gem Mountain and share the history, tradition and excitement of gemstone mining.

For more information, visit www.gemmountain.com.

The Orchard at Altapass

10 minute drive - Located just off the BRP at MM328; open mid-May through October and just minutes from the resort, the Orchard offers historic storytelling, multiple easy trails, live local music, dance, crafts and, of course, apples!

For more information, call 888-765-9531.

Thrifty Adventures 

Thrifty Adventures is a wilderness guiding service based in western North Carolina that provides experiences in a variety of outdoor activities including climbing, boating, mountaineering and canyoneering. 

For more information, visit www.thriftyadventuresnc.com.

Riverside Park

10 minute drive - Dowtown Spruce Pine on the North Toe River, Beach area for swimming, fishing or picnicking; paved trails along the river and playground for kids.

Chestoa Overlook

10 minute drive - located at MM320 on BRP; very flat, easy loop with great views of Table Rock mountain across the gorge.

For more information go to: www.alltrails.com

 

Linville Falls

20 minute drive - enjoy an easy to moderate hike from the Visitors Center with multiple views of the falls (more strenuous hike to the Plunge Basin at base of falls.

For more information go to: www.nps.gov

Linville Gorge Wilderness Area

20-45 min - multiple, longer, more strenuous trails for the more experienced hikers; includes Table Rock & Hawksbill mountains across the gorge.

For more information go to: www.ncnatural.com

Grassy Creek Falls

20 minute drive - just off the BRP at Little Switzerland; moderate 2 mile hike to these beautiful, little-known falls.

For more information go to: www.romanticasheville.com

Crabtree Falls
 

30 minute drive - MM339 on BRP, moderate 1 mile hike to the falls; the full loop hike is 2.5 miles and is more strenuous than the out-and-back.

For more information go to: www.visitnc.com

Upper Creek Falls

30 minute drive - Gorgeous falls just off NC181; moderate hike with multiple swimming holes and natural waterslide from THE LOWER FALLS ONLY; do not climb onto rocks at the upper falls.

For more information go to: www.alltrails.com

 

Wilson Creek Wilderness Area

30-45 minute drive - multiple trails of varying lengths; several beautiful falss & swimming holes all located off Forest Service Road 464 (long, gravel road).

For more information go to: www.hikewnc.info

Flat Rock Loop

30 minute - MM308 on BRP, easy 3/4 mile loop with outstanding views from rock outcroppings.

For more information go to: www.alltrails.com

Beacon Heights

35 minute drive - MM305 on BRP, moderate 2 mile hike with incredible views from Rocky Top.

For more information go to: www.alltrails.com

Linn Cove Viaduct

40 minute drive - at MM304 on the BRP, this is the iconic bridge featured in all BRP publications; park at the Visitors Center to acess trailheads in either direction, including the Mountains-to-Sea trail in either direction (trails are moderate to strenuous).

For more information go to: www.romanticasheville.com

Grandfather Mountain

45 minute drive - the par requires an entrance fee of $22 per adult (discounts for seniors & kids) and features mile-high swinging bridge, wild-life habitats, museum and multiple trails of varying distance/skill level; free access via the Profile Trail (very difficult).

For more information go to: grandfather.com/

Julian Price Park

45 minute drive - MM297 on BRP, offers multiple length hiking trails, canoeing, fishing & picnicking; be sure to visit Hebron Falls for some fun buldering while here.

For more information go to: www.nps.gov

Moses Cone Manor 

50 minute drive - MM294 on BRP, this historic property features a museum/art gallery, home tour & easy trails.

For more information go to: www.southernhighlandguild.org

Roaring Creek Falls

45-50 minute drive - just off NC80, this easy 2 mile hike will take you past some historic buildings to a beautiful waterfall.

For more information go to: www.alltrails.com

Mount Mitchell

45-50 minute drive - MM355 off BRP, this is the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi River at 6684 ft; no fee to use the trails, which vary in distance and skill level.

For more information go to: www.ncparks.gov

Roan Mountain

45-50 minute drive - on the  TN/NC border & part of the Appalachian Trail, easy hike 360 degree views; hike as far as you'd like along the AT (can be more strenuous).

For more information go to: www.romanticasheville.com

Elk River Falls

45-50 minute drive - off NC194, easy hike to this beautiful waterfall; huge swimming hole at the base BUT DO NOT JUMP from the top and dont swim during high/swift water conditions; many people have died here and you will see others jumping; DON'T DO IT!!!

For more information go to: www.romanticasheville.com

Craggy Gardens

50 minute drive - MM364 on BRP, multiple trails of varying length & difficulty; gorgeous views and access to the Mountains-to-Sea trail in either direction.

For more information go to: www.blueridgehertiage.com

 

Catawba Falls

50 minute drive - off I-40, easy 2 mile hike through lush forest and building relics to the falls; very nice swimming hole at the base of the falls.

For more information go to:  www.hikewnc.info

Lost Cove Colony

50 minute drive - this is a very strenuous 5 mile hike to an old moonshining, ghost town with lots of historic relics; worth the effort, but be sure to factor in the time for the climb back up.

For more information go to: brendajwiley.com/lost_cove.html

*REMEMBER, LEAVE NO TRACE! Take your trash with you, be respectful of wild animals and plant life and DON'T light fires of any kind, Take photos & leave your footprints only.*