About the Area

Ashe County, North Carolina

Ashe County is the most northwestern county in the State of North Carolina. Surrounded by the mystical beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ashe County has only 27,000 full-time residents. Though its population may be small, it offers an abundance of rich culture both in its renowned annual events and variety of activities and things to do.

It is a place of scenic beauty, well known for unsurpassed long-range views, tall mountains, green meadows, and pastoral rolling hills. There are hundreds of miles of scenic back roads, sparkling mountain trout streams, small villages and historical farmlands. Country barns dapple the landscape displaying the mountain’s newest art form, the barn quilt, and antique lovers delight in the variation of crafts and goods from the past. Ashe County is welcoming; a place where good country people still smile and wave.

The Blue Ridge Parkway makes its way through Ashe County availing both day trippers and seasoned vacationers the natural wonders of North Carolina’s mighty Appalachian Mountains. Marked by countless overlooks, hiking trails, camping and historical sites, the Blue Ridge Parkway is more than just a road, it’s an American experience.

The famed New River, believed to be one of the two oldest rivers in North American and designated as a Heritage River by the US Environmental Protection Agency for its historic, cultural and scenic significance, attracts thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each year. Whether fishing, rafting, canoe or kayaking, the New River boasts a beautiful vantage point of Ashe County.

Ashe County’s heritage extends through its cultural events such as West Jefferson’s Christmas in July Festival, Jefferson’s annual Fiddler’s Convention, and Lansing’s Ola Belle Reed Music Fest. The Ashe County Civic Center, a county facility managed by the Arts Council, is home to Ashe County Little Theater, musical events, community events and many performing arts presentations. Recognized for its growing art communities, Ashe County is home to many fine, folk, primitive, and craft galleries showcasing multiple mediums and treasurers of the high country.

For the avid golfer, Ashe County touts two exceptional courses each providing a beautiful mountain setting for a challenging round regardless of skill levels. Enjoy the cool weather and amenities offered at either the Jefferson Landing or Mountain Aire Golf Resorts.

Traveling to and from Ashe County is an easy, less than two hour, drive from either the Charlotte or Winston-Salem International Airports. For even easier convenience, Ashe County Airport accommodates small private and corporate jet services.

West Jefferson, NC

Incorporated in 1909, West Jefferson is steeped in historical significance having been a major depot for the Norfolk and Western Railroad during the height of textile industrialism. Revitalized over the last several decades, West Jefferson has quickly resurged to offer a renewed mountain culture holding fast to its traditional roots. Roots such as Ashe County Cheese, North Carolina’s oldest cheese plant in operation for 85 years. This charming mountain town is lined with unique restaurants, galleries, quaint shops and boutiques. The town is pedestrian friendly with a designated arts district, operating art-deco theater, a back street park, mural art and green spaces.

The town itself sponsors “Music in the Park” every Friday evening during the summer months and the Ashe County Arts Council supports a “Gallery Crawl” throughout the arts district one Friday evening each month. Annual events abound such as the Christmas in July Festival, Antiques Fair, and Antique Car Shows, to name a few. Local establishments provide weekly music and entertainment venues both inside and out.

Jefferson, NC

Noted as having been one of the first towns in the United States to bear the name of Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson was created by special commission of the NC General Assembly in 1799 with the purchase of a 50 acre tract of land to form the town. Now the seat for Ashe County government and its municipal centers, Jefferson is home to the Ashe County Historical Museum as well as Ashe Memorial Hospital, significant for its award winning facilities and medical services. Jefferson offers unique shops, dining, State Parks and recreational facilities for all ages.

Glendale Springs, NC

Just a short drive from West Jefferson and adjoining the Blue Ridge Parkway, sits the small village of Glendale Springs. The famous Glendale Springs Inn, listed as one of the registered Historic Places in Ashe County, is located nearby off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is one of the few Victorian Queen Anne homes still standing in North Carolina. The Inn has served many famous people including former U.S. Presidents, Vice-Presidents and dignitaries. Also of significance are the renowned frescoes of Ben Long featured on the walls of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Glendale Springs. His works can also be seen in St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in West Jefferson.

Todd, NC

Todd, now a sleepy little crossroads town, is situated at the South Fork of the New River and was known as the Queen City of the Mountains in the 1800s due to its booming logging and timber industry. It’s an adventure all its own to take the short drive to this small community where you will find the clock has turned back time. Todd General Stone, said to be the oldest general store in the State of North Carolina, is still open for business each day of the week. Here, you will find the oral traditions of mountain music and storytelling is still a weekly event. View the “Virginia Creeper” Railroad car which welcomes visitors to the quaint village and harken back to the era when the Carolina-Virginia Railway brought a boom to the community. The New River October Festival, biking on Railroad Grade Road, the on-going free summer concert series and many Todd Island Park activities are but a sampling of the events highlighted in Todd each year. Todd is the official mailing address for the residents of Stonebridge.

Lansing, NC

This rustic small town exudes the charm and warmth of old-time North Carolina. Lansing is located in the northwestern section of Ashe County and offers dining and downtown shops filled with local arts and crafts, antiques and sundries. Surrounding Lansing is remarkable for its scenic landscape especially Pond Mountain with its spring fed ponds that rise on the mountain’s ridges. Lansing is home to the annual and well-known Ola Bella Reed Festival showcasing musical performances from renowned local and visiting Country, Bluegrass, Celtic, Folk and Old-time artists.

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