Located east of Asheville, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the historic town of Old Fort, North Carolina. What once was the westernmost point for early pioneers is now a hub for trout fishing, outdoor exploration, and biking trails. If you plan on visiting, then here are some of the top things to do in Old Fort.
Along the banks of Mill Creek are some of the best fishing holes to find mountain trout. This delayed harvest creek passes right through the downtown area, and one of the best spots to cast a line is the Mountain Gateway Museum. There you can get a special temporary fishing license with their Tackle Loaner program.
Birding in the Blue Ridge
Keep your eye on the skies while exploring the Old Fort area. The NC Birding Trail passes right through this area and you can catch several rare species traveling along their migratory routes.
At the base of Old Fort Mountain is the trailhead to the Catawba Falls hiking area. This easy to moderate hiking trails leads to the bottom of a beautiful waterfall. For the more adventurous hikers you can traverse an additional portion of the falls by pulling yourself up a rope over steep terrain. It’s hard work, but the payoff is a view of the upper falls. Please exercise caution when visiting waterfalls. Never wade in the pools above, and stay on the trail to avoid slipping on wet rocks. These natural wonders are beautiful, but they can be dangerous.
Old Fort Attractions
Aside from the various exhibits at the Mountain Gateway Museum you can also visit Andrews Geyser, a manmade monumentdedicated to the man who brought the railroad to Western North Carolina. Also check out the Arrowhead Monument, which is nearby in the town square. This 30-foot carved granite statue has stood as a testament to the peace achieved by early settlers with the Native Americans since 1930.
Find a Vacation Home in Old Fort
If you plan on staying in the McDowell County area, check out the Inn on Mill Creek bed & Breakfast. Located two miles into the Pisgah National Forest, this Inn is the perfect basecamp for your outdoor adventure. Hiking and biking trails are nearby, and the Inn is located on the North Carolina Birding Trail so you may catch a glimpse of some of the area’s beautiful native and migrating birds. There are alos he rental homes available through GreyBeard Realty, which offer a number of vacation homes and cabins you can call home during your stay.