The small communities and little towns that are surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest and are found in the Toe River Valley region of the Blue Ridge Mountains are home to numerous North Carolina Mountain Attractions and fun things to do. Of course, this area is extremely rural and perfect for wilderness activities, but there are still a few great Mountain Attractions found in this area as well. Many people who stay in places such as Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, and Linville like to travel to some of these area attractions and enjoy the day. Read on to find out about some of the attractions that stand out in this neck of the woods, and click to see some of the fantastic Mountain Cams that are found in and around the Foothills.
Lake James is a good sized lake that has more than 150 miles of shoreline, and encompasses 10 square miles of surface area. Lake James State Park is located on the lake and is a great recreation area for fishing, sunbathing, swimming, hiking, and even mountain biking. Lake James is a huge asset to the region in the warmer months, providing endless lake recreation.
Linville Gorge Wilderness Area
The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area has been called the Grand Canyon of North Carolina by those who have visited it, and it’s really no surprise, as the area spans more than 11,786 acres around the Linville River. It is the third largest wilderness area in the state of North Carolina and one of the most visited places in the region as it is near Linville Falls and Linville Caverns, as well as Grandfather Mountain, a popular attraction near Banner Elk. The gorge encompasses the Pisgah National Forest and the beautiful river can be seen 1,400 feet below the ridgeline of most of the gorge, which resembles a small, lush canyon. Wildlife flourishes here and activities like mountain trekking, rock climbing, fishing, and hunting are all popular in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area.
Linville Caverns is a major NC Mountain Attraction located near Linville off of US Highway 221. Linville Caverns is open year round to the public as the temperature inside the caves remains a steady 58 degrees. Guided tours depart from the entrance to Linville Caverns and lead you through the different “rooms” of the cave and tour guides relate interesting educational bits while you are free to explore and snap pictures. Visitors are asked not to touch the structures inside the cave as the actively forming limestone can be affected; however, the stalactites and stalagmites are great to photograph. Linville Caverns is open seven days a week from March through November and on weekends only during the months of December through February.
Linville Falls is just one of the numerous North Carolina Waterfalls found in the High Country and surrounding areas, but it happens to be one of the most visited and most photographed in the region, so it is definitely an attraction all its own. Linville Falls is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 316.3. A lookout deck and several trails lead around the falls for different views. The Linville Falls Visitor Center is also nearby and is operated by the National Park Service.
Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Linn Cove Viaduct is a massive concrete bridge that snakes its way around the ridges of Grandfather Mountain and the Blue Ridge Parkway, making most ask the question, “How in the world did they build THAT thing?” The truth is the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway is an engineering marvel that cost around $10 million dollars to build. It has been photographed numerous times by international and national engineering, architectural, and travel magazines and the National Park Service maintains a visitor’s center and museum at the bridge. You can stop and snap pictures of the bridge, learn about its construction and enjoy the hiking and walking trails that that traverse the area around and underneath the structure.
North Carolina Gem Mines
Spruce Pine North Carolina is the gemstone capital of the world and annually hosts the Gem and Mineral Festival, meaning that this area—and nearby communities like Little Switzerland, Lake James, and Morganton—is filled with great gem shops and Gem Mine attractions. Most of the NC Gem Mines are located in and around Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland and offer plume mining for minerals and gems such as rubies, emeralds, quartz crystal, mica, topaz, peridot, garnet, amethyst, sapphire, and other amazing stones.
ResortCams.com is a great directory of shots from the North Carolina Mountain Web Cams that you love so much. Click to see the Spruce Pine Web Cam, and other North Carolina Mountain Cam shots from around this area. We also have tons of great advertising and helpful resources for locals and those that are thinking of visiting the area for a getaway, or are looking for Western NC Real Estate in this region of the Blue Ridge Mountains.