Top 5 Bucket List Hikes to Try in 2020

Whiteside Mountain by Jeff Bean

Top 5 Bucket List Hikes to Try in 2020

Searching for worthwhile hikes to add to your 2020 bucket list? Look no further than the Western NC mountain towns of Jackson County. Covering 494 square miles of mountain peaks and valleys, the county offers hiking trails for every skill level, and they are all worth the climb! Our beautiful mountain towns are located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and coupled with the diversity of trails, sweeping views, and being the most ecologically diverse place in the temperate world, all come together to create epic and one-of-a-kind hikes.

Flush Away the Winter Blues at the Outhouse Races

people having fun and watching the outhouse races in jackson county

Flush Away the Winter Blues at the Outhouse Races

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.

Book Your Next Active Adventure in Jackson County

Book your next active adventure in Jackson County

Book Your Next Active Adventure in Jackson County

With a new year and a new decade underway, many are gearing up for 2020 with a wealth of resolutions for better health and wellness in the coming months. As luck would have it, the Western NC Mountain Towns of Jackson County are the ideal places to kick off those resolutions. After all, the area is home to 494-square miles of adventure and relaxation that will keep you engaged, focused, and motivated to stick to your resolutions. With so many activities available, creating a custom itinerary tailored to your wants, needs and goals couldn’t be easier to do here. Plus, given that it’s our “Secret Season,” the crowds have thinned out, so you have more space to get up and get active, mountain style! Gear up for mountain biking Home to miles of multi-use trails, mountain biking is a great, low-stress way to get the blood pumping and the heart racing as you zip and zoom up and down the mountain. A great place to start is Fire Mountain Trails, just 20 minutes from Sylva in Cherokee. Here, mountain bikers will find more than 10.5 miles of trails featuring fun berms, more than 20 switchbacks in a single run, and exciting elevation changes. Another fun spot for the family is the Jackson County Kids’ Bike Park at Tuck Greenway located along the Tuckasegee River Greenway. The 750-foot bike trail features berms, tabletop jumps, pumps and an inner gravel track for younger kids. Get your hike on Throughout Jackson County, hikers […]

The Best Winter Scenes to Experience in Jackson County

Best Winter Scenes Blog

The Best Winter Scenes to Experience in Jackson County

Nestled in the heart of the Western North Carolina mountains, Jackson County is surrounded by winter scenes and natural beauty that serve as the perfect backdrop for any winter retreat. On even the coldest of winter days, visitors can see miles upon miles of layered, scenic mountain ranges and valleys. The area’s stunning landscape coupled with a calendar full of festive winter and holiday events, makes Jackson County the perfect place to reconnect with nature and celebrate the season. Enjoy the mountains in all their glory this ‘Secret Season.’ When crowds thin out, accommodations are more affordable and you have the trails all to yourself. Breathtaking views Jackson County abounds with scenic hiking trails that lead to some of the most panoramic winter views in North Carolina. In fact, winter offers some of the best hiking due to fewer crowds on the trails and clear skies that allow hikers to see for miles. With the trees void of their leaves, you may even discover some beautiful overlooks along the way that were previously unrevealed. Jackson County also offers an abundance of hiking trails for every skill level. For a trail fit for every family member, explore the sights along the Whiteside Mountain Trail. This path makes a great winter hike because it is not too steep and is set at 4,930 feet in elevation, setting the stage for breathtaking views of the Nantahala National Forest below. Tip: Peregrine falcons soar above you in January to nest on rock ledges, so […]

Christmas in Jackson County: 8 Must-Do’s for the Whole Family

Jackson County Courthouse at Christmas

Christmas in Jackson County: 8 Must-Do’s for the Whole Family

Located in the Western North Carolina mountains, Jackson County overflows with the charm, nostalgia and wonder that help to create wonderful Christmas memories. With the towns of Cashiers, Dillsboro and Sylva decked out in their Christmas decor, visitors and residents alike can enjoy small-town holiday ambience perfect for an intimate, cozy holiday getaway. Teeming with holiday spirit, Jackson County boasts a full schedule of holiday offerings and special events – there’s something fun and entertaining for the entire family. Perhaps best of all, because of the area’s proximity to nearby major cities, Jackson County is exceptionally easy to get to for a quick mountain getaway. To help plan your itinerary, check out these eight must-do’s for the whole family. 1. Choose and Cut Tree Farms Thanks to a combination of elevation, location, quality soil conditions and abundant rainfall, Jackson County couldn’t be more perfect for growing Christmas trees. In fact, our regions landscape is ideal for growing the Fraser Fir which is known as the most desirable species of Christmas Tree. The area is home to many locally- and family-owned Christmas tree farms where visitors will find a gorgeous selection of Fraser Firs of all shapes and sizes. With tens of thousands of trees grown in Jackson County, there are plenty of trees to choose from. You’ll find your family’s perfect holiday centerpiece and make memories for generations to come. 2. Lights and Luminaries Nothing is more wondrous during the holidays than the glow of twinkling Christmas lights. That’s why […]

Discover Rich Heritage in Jackson County

Cherokee Bonfire

Discover Rich Heritage in Jackson County

The Western North Carolina mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva boast a wealth of natural attractions, and beyond the surface visitors will find so much more than just stunning views. These mountain towns are rich in history and heritage from the Cherokee Indians and the Appalachia heritage that runs deep through the region.

Find Your Perfect Holiday Centerpiece: Choose and Cut Guide to Jackson County

family with their dog picking out the perfect Christmas tree in jackson county

Find Your Perfect Holiday Centerpiece: Choose and Cut Guide to Jackson County

The return of the holiday season means reminiscing on years past, spending time with loved ones and sharing in traditions that are carried on through generations of families year-after-year. One such tradition that we enjoy being a part of in Jackson County is to choose and cut your own Christmas tree. Thanks to our county’s elevation, location, quality soil conditions and abundant rainfall, the county is perfectly situated for growing beautiful Christmas trees. In fact, genetics show our trees are the fastest-growing, most aesthetically pleasing trees in the region. As a result, Jackson County is home to many locally and family-owned Christmas tree farms offering a gorgeous selection of these holiday decoration centerpieces.

Why You Should Visit Jackson County, NC During Secret Season

waterfall surrounded by heavy snowfall in jackson county

Why You Should Visit Jackson County, NC During Secret Season

We all vacation in hopes to find a secret escape where we can experience our own little piece of paradise that is away from the large crowds. During the winter to early-spring months, the Western NC mountain towns of Jackson County, NC offer just that! Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva come alive during this ‘secret season’, offering visitors a wide array of hidden benefits to traveling during this less crowded and more affordable time of year. Within driving distance of many of the Southeast’s biggest cities, Jackson County is bustling with activities for every kind of traveler, including winter hiking to frozen waterfalls, scenic drives through the rolling mountainsides, quality shopping, a thriving culinary scene and much more. Winter – particularly midweek – is the ideal time to enjoy the best of winter travel without the crowds and the most affordable accommodations. Unplug, unwind, sit back and relax. The downtime you’ve starts here. Your adventure awaits When visiting Jackson County during the secret season, you’ll love being able to take advantage of front row “seats” at the prime scenic viewing spots, have the best photo backdrops all to yourself, or the grab the best seat in the house at the county’s most popular dining spots. Traveling during secret season provides visitors a chance to try the best eats in the county.  Plus, with minimal to no wait, you can select the best seat in the house for the perfect secret season dining experience. Another bonus? The potential of a snowy vacation. […]

Top Foodie Favorites in Jackson County

Top Foodie Favorites in Jackson County

A growing trend, food travel is becoming increasingly popular as travelers seek out the tastiest eateries and dishes across the country. In the towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva, which make up Jackson County, you’ll find a true haven for all things delicious, making it the ideal spot for a culinary adventure. From barbecue to fresh farm-to-table cuisine to handmade chocolates, Jackson County has everything needed for a foodie’s perfect getaway. Proving that food really is the way to a person’s heart, a recent survey showed that dining at unique non-chain restaurants was the No. 1 activity people said they loved doing while in Jackson County. People value exclusive cuisine you can’t try anywhere else, and, with locally sourced ingredients from area farms, Jackson County is chock-full of options for every palate. Plus, with the Jackson County Ale Trail and cocktail lounges, visitors can find the perfect hand-crafted pairing for every meal. Where to Go Plenty of locally loved, award-winning restaurants are found throughout the county. While just a start, the restaurants below can serve as the perfect starter guide on where to dine and what to order when visiting. Sylva Named Southern Living’s “Favorite Restaurant in the Region,” Lulu’s on Main specializes in items that are both certified hormone-free and humanely raised. To dine like area residents, start with the Szechuan salad and the salmon, then wrap up the meal with the delectable peanut butter pie. Rated by Gourmet magazine as one of “America’s Best Farm to Table […]

Best Views for Experiencing Fall in Jackson County

Best Views for Experiencing Fall in Jackson County

Autumn has finally arrived in the Southeast, bringing with it cooler temps and spectacular fall foliage. Known for sweeping mountain views, the Western North Carolina mountain towns of Jackson County are expecting spectacular color this year. Whether this is your first or hundredth time visiting Jackson County, now is the best time to plan a trip to enjoy all the beauty the region has to offer. The best time to experience the fall colors with lighter crowds is during the week. Monday through Wednesday is the ideal time to plan your stay to receive the lowest rates, experience smaller crowds and have the colorful views to yourself thanks to the lightest foot traffic of the season. In addition, there will be low wait times at resident favorite restaurants, less traffic resulting in shorter drive times between attractions and more one-on-one time with the people that make Jackson County so special at locally-owned businesses. So, go ahead and take advantage of those unused vacation days to get the best out of the fall season here! Due to Jackson County’s geographic location between 2,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level, fall’s colors last well over a month here, ranging from early October to mid-November. Plus, the area’s mild temperatures lend themselves to a very vibrant season, with prolonged color in the lower elevations. Best views for fall hues Throughout Jackson County, you’ll find a wide array of opportunities to experience the brightest fall color. Whether biking, hiking or driving, you’ll find elevated […]