Buncombe County’s primary museum of general local history, the Swannanoa Valley Museum is located in the historic Black Mountain Firehouse, designed and built in 1921 by Richard Sharp Smith, supervising architect of the Biltmore Estate. The collection interprets the story of the settlement and development of Western North Carolina, as accessed by people arriving through the Swannanoa Valley. Open Seasonally Tuesday – Saturday Admission is free with donations kindly accepted.
The museum offers hikes and events throughout the year, including two popular hiking series. The exclusive Swannanoa Rim Hiking Series grants experienced hikers the opportunity to explore remote and little traveled territory while learning about the history, geography, hydrology, and environment of the Swannanoa Valley. The eleven hikes of the series take place on a Saturday from February through December. The museum also hosts the Valley History Explorer Series of moderate 3 mile hikes on select Saturdays, March – October, which uncover the past of the unique communities that compose the Valley. Other regional excursions include an annual caravan along the Old Mount Mitchell Toll Road and a historic haunted house tour. For more information about our events visit: www.swannanoavalleymuseum.org/