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WHAT MAKES THE WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS SO SPECIAL?

BY: Lynda Bennett


The answers are easy to find. Since the days then the locomotives first chugged up the

Saluda grade to destinations such as Flat Rock, Lake Lure, Black Mountain, Dillsboro and Asheville, "summer people" have been visiting the mountains. They may have come for different reasons such as the lack of air conditioning or the fear of mosquitoes laden

with disease in the sultry southern lowlands, or a family connection brought them home. The original reasons varied from person to person.

The reasons they found to return year after year - and to love these mountains - can still be found here today.

All age groups will find a reason to come to the mountains "¦ and to come back year after year. Each visit brings new discoveries and a return to many places that have become favorites over a lifetime.

One reason that the connection is so special is that people begin to develop "Roots" in the mountains that last through the generations. The connection brings people back and they in turn bring family and friends with them to share this special place. In time, many folks come to call these mountains "home" (or second home).

So what have all these summer people been doing with themselves?

What makes these mountains so special?

The Scenic Beauty:

Shining Rock Wilderness area

Water Rock Knob - a short climb

Blue Ridge Parkway - drive the top of the mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Maggie Valley - view from Hwy. 19 past Ghost Town

The Cultural Attractions:

Cherokee Indians - museum, basket making tradition, Unto These Hills

Handicrafts - local potters, quilt makers, wood working, and more

Mountain Music and Dancing

Local HART Theatre

Local Craft Shows

The Historical Aspects:

Cataloochie Valley - Elk preserve and old Mountain Heritage community

Historic Downtown Waynesville - for food, shopping and fun

Shelton House Museum

Canton Paper Museum and Opera House

The Great Outdoors:

White Water rafting, kayaking, and floating

The Southernmost Ski Slope on the East Coast

Waterfalls and Sliding Rock

Hiking

Mountain Biking - see Tsali Trails

Horseback Riding

Trout fishing in Jonathan creek, Maggie Valley

Is it too much to say - "˜perfect weather' in Four Seasons.

The Quiet Culture:

We call ourselves the "˜Quiet Side of the Mountains"

Read a good book about the region

Sip on a mug of tea

Play games

Chase butterflies

Identify song birds and raptors, wild flowers and trees

Build a fire and sit around it

Play in a creek

It will not take long before you will be planning to move here or at least to come back for your next visit.

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