The winter blues may be in full effect now that we’re getting closer to the warmer months of spring. However, don’t discount February just yet.
Jackson County, located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, is the perfect combination of small-town charm and outdoor adventure surrounded by majestic mountain vistas, filled with gorgeous waterfalls and overflowing with friendly ambience. The county is conveniently located just a short drive from Charlotte, Nashville and Atlanta.
Sapphire Valley Resort, a haven for outdoor recreation in the winter complete with skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing and even zip lining, is also located in Jackson County. Known for its exceptional skiing for beginners and families, Sapphire Valley offers everything you could need for a great winter escape without the crowds.
Sapphire Valley is also home to one of the quirkiest and most hilarious events around: The Sapphire Valley Outhouse Races.
Unique to Jackson County, the Outhouse Races feature—yes, you guessed it—outhouses secured to a pair of skis (which can be provided by the Sapphire Valley Ski Area). Two members push the outhouse down the race course, which is while a third team member “sits” inside. Every year, dozens of teams and their outhouses compete in this drag race filled with lots of creativity and humor.
Contestants use a variety of materials ranging from wood, cardboard and plastic to any other handmade items to construct the outhouses. Each one is fully equipped with a seat and at least one hole, plus a roll of toilet paper or alternative wiping tool.
Once they’re ready to compete, the teams line up on a two-lane track of packed snow or ice, with two teams going head to head down the 120-foot track. For the first 30 feet, two team members push the outhouse, but the remaining 90 feet is finished under the outhouse’s own gravitational power. Not surprisingly, hilarity ensues during this quirky event.
And did we mention the team members are encouraged to wear their most creative, crazy outfits? Past participants have incorporated such themes as “Who Cut the Cheese,” “Redneck Wishing Well” and a clown dressed up in an outhouse named “Party Poopers.”
Taking place on Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Outhouse Races begin with a parade to see all of the outhouses prior to the start of the event. Free to watch, all proceeds raised at the event benefit local charities. It’s just one more reason why Travel + Leisure named Cashiers and the Outhouse Races one of “The Best Places to Travel in the U.S. in February” and the Southeast Tourism Society named the Outhouse Races a “Top 20 Event” in the Southeast for February.
While attending the Outhouse Races certainly provides a day full of unrivaled entertainment, why not make it a weekend getaway and explore all that Jackson County has to offer? Spend some extra time at Sapphire Valley Resort and hit the slopes. Check out some of the most popular waterfalls or head out on a hike. Explore the area’s culinary and brewery scene, or relax in your choice of lodging, from comfortable hotels to cozy B&Bs to vacation rentals. Request a free Visitor Guide and start planning your visit today.