Visit the High Country in Ashe County, North Carolina
Ashe County and West Jefferson is located in what has been historically referred to as the "lost province" due to the geographical location. Our county is situated in the northwestern corner of the state of North Carolina and is the gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Cabins at Healing Springs are conveniently located close to everything that Ashe County has to offer. Start with visiting West Jefferson where one will find a growing art culture. There are many art galleries, and the town features murals painted on the downtown buildings. There are antiques and charming shops, a history museum, boutiques, and emporiums, coffee shops, and great restaurants. Make a point to visit the Church of the Frescos with work by artist Benjamin Long and the Museum of Ashe County History.
Every Saturday between April and October, we highly recommend a visit to the Ashe County Farmer’s Market, conveniently located in downtown West Jefferson. Don't forget to stop by the Ashe Cheese Company and sample homemade cheese or take some home to enjoy with friends. There is also a hometown movie theater - the Parkway if you want to take in a current movie at only $4.00 on Sundays.
From scenic drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway or our High Country backroads, to viewing Ashe County Barn Quilts or visiting some of our charming nearby towns such as West Jefferson, Lansing, or Sparta, there are so many things to see in Ashe County. A little further afield are Todd, Boone or Blowing Rock, all full of wonderful shops and great restaurants. Be sure to stop by and explore Thistle Meadows Winery, Banner Elk Winery, and Grandfather Vineyard Winery while on your drive. If the outdoors is calling you, a wealth of hiking can be found in our many parks.
For great views locally, visit Mount Jefferson State Park and take in the gorgeous vistas. While you can drive to the top of Mt. Jefferson, you can also hike from the bottom or mid-way up the mountain all the way to the top.
The Cabins at Healing Springs is centrally located to many fabulous hikes. Take in several easy to moderate hikes at Grayson Highlands State Park and see the herds of wild poinies. Hike a portion (or more!) of the Appalachian Trail while in Grayson Highlands State Park or venture into the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Lewis Fork Wildnerness for loads of great hiking choices. We are only 16 miles from Grayson Highlands and 30 miles from Mt. Rogers which makes us a perfect spot for some gorgeous day hikes.
A little further afield are some great hikes in Grandfather Mountain, Pond Mountain, Bluff Mountain Nature Preserve, Doughton Park, along with nearby Stone Mountain State Park, Three Top Mountain and Moses Cone Park.
The Virginia Creeper Trail stretches 35 miles from Abingdon Virginia through Damascus Virginia to the NC State Line near Whitetop Virginia. The Virginia Creeper Trail is open to hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The former rail bed passes through the back country of Southwest Virginia. We highly recommend this for a day's adventure! You don't even need to bring your bikes, there are great outfitters in Damascus or in Whitetop who rent bikes and arrange to take you back to your car. We recommend Adventure Damascus, Sundog Outfitter, Shuttle Shack or Creeper Trail Bike Rental. More bike riding can be found along the Railroad Grade Road, a 10 mile stretch that runs between Todd and Fleetwood, River Girl Fishing & Rentals has bike rentals or if you brought your own bikes try the Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park just outside of Boone.
For the golf enthusiast, there is Mountain Aire Golf Course and Jefferson Landing, both located in West Jefferson. Even disc golf can be found at High Country Disc Golf Club. Additionally, there are great courses nearby at New River Country Club or Stone Mountain Golf Club in Sparta, and Boone Golf Club in Boone.
Ashe County offers a wealth of Fly-Fishing opportunities. March through November is the high fly-fishing season on the New River in North Carolina. You can hook a great deal of varieties including small mouth bass, rainbow trout, brown trout, mountain trout, muskellunges, carp, flathead and channel catfish. Nearby, Lansing offers several great fishing places at the State Road 1361 Bridge to Tuckerdale, and the Big Horse Creek, well-known for its amazing fly-fishing opportunities. Several fly-fishing guide services are available - Rock On Charters, Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing, and River Girl Fishing all here in the High Country or try your hand at the Grandfather Trout Farm in Banner Elk.
Believed to be one of the oldest rivers in North America, the New River was dedicated as a National Scenic River in 1976. It is the centerpiece of the New River State Park. Three areas with access to this waterway make up more than 1,500 acres of the New River State Park and provides spots for camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, picnicking and fishing. Several local outfitters are ready to help you plan your trip down the New River. Choose from nearby New River Outfitters, Zaloo’s Canoes and Riverside Canoeing.
Horseback riding is available at Burnt Hill Stables in Laurel Springs, Appalachians by Horseback in Boone, Dutch Creek Trails in Valle Crucis and Vines Trail Rides in Blowing Rock.
For a slower pace, visit one of our local farms: Landmark Farm Alpacas, Heritage Homestead, Old Orchard Creek.com, and Foxfire Holler Farm. All welcome visitors, however, some are only open seasonally. Please check their individual websites for farm tour information. For a more artistic approach, take a class at the Florence Thomas Art School located in downtown West Jefferson.
Ashe County is well known for its Christmas trees. We are the largest producer of Christmas trees in the nation. Nothing beats a fresh cut tree in your home for the holidays! We have many nearby "choose and cut" lots. Ashe County Christmas Trees has a list of all the local lots you can visit to find just the right tree!
We are close to Appalchian Ski Mountain and Sugar Mountain for winter sports or try zip lining or snow tubing at Hawks Nest.
Ashe County has a variety of festivals to interest everyone! Join us for Christmas in July, the OlaBelle Music Festival, the Appalachian Summer Festival, Wayne Henderson Music Festival, MerleFest, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games or the Wooly Worm Festival.