Fall is in full swing in the Western North Carolina mountain towns of Jackson County. That means crisp, cool air, breathtaking fall foliage and the annual return of the Shadow of the Bear. This one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon, an actual shadow of a bear, emerges every autumn on Cashiers Valley from behind Whiteside Mountain.
Once the fall colors descend upon the peaks and valleys of the Western North Carolina mountain towns of Jackson County, there’s no better way to enjoy this kaleidoscope of color than hitting the area’s many scenic hiking trails. Whether trekking up a mountain or leisurely strolling along a short, family-friendly path that includes vistas, waterfalls, old bridges and more, there’s a trail available for every age and skill level.
(Photo courtesy James Leithart) When it comes to enjoying the beauty of fall’s vibrant colors, nothing beats a leisurely road trip through the mountains of Western North Carolina. The crisp, cool air, scenic views and peaceful serenity allow visitors to take in what many say is their favorite time of year. One of the best routes to explore the area’s brilliant autumnal hues is along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Jackson County. Created in 1936 with the final 7.7-mile stretch completed in 1987, the Blue Ridge Parkway was constructed to link the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Today, the road covers 469 miles, stretching from Virginia to North Carolina. More than 40 miles traverse our county, including the highest section of the entire Parkway. As a result, the area attracts leaf lookers each year who come to take in the rich colors of autumn in the mountains. 2018’s rainy summer will bring out warm hazel tones, siennas and golden yellows throughout Jackson County beginning in September. Dr. Beverly Collins, biology professor at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, is predicting peak color around the fourth week of October and expects color to extend through early November. Unlike portions of the Parkway farther north in the state, the section here is generally much less congested, making it more enjoyable to explore. Plus, because the Parkway speed limit is just 45 mph, with some areas seeing even lower limits, it’s easy to cruise along leisurely while taking in theContinue Reading
There’s nothing quite like the excitement that comes with the first feels of fall. You can smell it in the crisp mountain air, you can see the leaves starting to transform from vibrant greens to sunset hues, and you can feel a sense of general anticipation from the people around you when this popular season starts to peek through.
Autumn is nearly upon us, and that means fall festivals are on the horizon. One not-to-miss fall event is Mountain Heritage Day, which is held each year on the Western Carolina University campus. This annual festival celebrates the Southern Appalachian mountain culture that can be found throughout Jackson County and the rest of the surrounding Western North Carolina mountains. Mountain Heritage Day is a prime example of WCU’s community involvement, drawing more than 15,000 visitors to the area to experience continuous live entertainment, more than 130 food and craft vendors, an interactive children’s area, and nonstop family-friendly activities. Both admission and parking for the event are free, with free shuttle service provided.
Do you remember where you were on Aug. 21, 2017? Well if you were in the NC Mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva, you had a front row seat to one of the greatest natural phenomena in your lifetime – the Great American Eclipse. We were in the dark for almost two minutes (or more). Take a peek at our photo and video gallery to commemorate the one year anniversary this Aug. 21. Top photo courtesy Allaire Bartel
Everyone knows that a dog is man’s best friend, so why should they have to miss out on a fun outdoor getaway? According to the American Pet Products Association, 37 percent of pet owners travel with their pets. With countless hiking trails perfect for stretching those two, or four, legs, plenty of creeks to splash around in and multiple pet-friendly restaurants and accommodations, pet owners should look no further than the western North Carolina mountains of Jackson County. With a wide variety of pet-friendly adventures, we are the perfect setting for exploring with your pooch.
Bask in the cool mist of a waterfall, paddle a clear mountain lake, plunge into a swimming hole or float a frolicking river. Sound refreshing? Consider this your insider’s guide for escaping the dog days of August with a getaway to the N.C. mountains of Jackson County.
Anyone who has ever had the chance to visit our incredible mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva can see that there is something special that stands out about us. Whether it is the mass amounts of towering waterfalls that can be easily accessed, the rivers filled with trout and other fish that are there for the catching, the tasty food and craft beer, or the welcoming locals who are just waiting to tell you about the next best spot in town to discover… there are many reasons that people return here time and time again. This one-of-a-kind destination is home to many attractions and hidden gems that can ONLY be found here.
Experience art live and on location with an elevated summer escape to the mountain hamlet of Cashiers, N.C. where visiting artists will crawl the town and countryside with easels and pallets in tow for five days this July. The Cashiers Plein Air Festival is a celebration of art that comes alive before your eyes — on sidewalks and patios, in gardens and pastures, overlooking mountainsides and scenic vistas. French for “open air,” plein air painting is a rare form of spectator art that’s yours to experience during this year’s festival from July 17-21.