You can learn a lot about the Blue Ridge Mountains from our public art, especially our murals – those large format paintings you see on the walls of buildings and bridges. Each mural has a story to tell, but a collective of murals can provide you with deeper insight into the region’s culture and history. The Appalachian Mural Trail is a passion project 30 years in the making, and offers visitors a guide to locating dozens of these murals in small towns across the mountains.
Enjoy Your Journey On the Appalachian Mural Trail
The core essence of the Appalachian Mural Trail’s vision is how storytelling is a vivid part of Appalachian folk tales, Cherokee legends, mountain music and the beauty of nature according to Doreyl Ammons Cain, co-founder of the Appalachian Mural Trail.
Become a mural groupie and discover a collection of hand painted outdoor art murals on the Appalachian Mural Trail. The trail honors the rich mountain heritage through the arts while inspiring travelers and locals alike to engage in the culture and traditions of the Appalachians from Clay County, North Carolina, all the way up into Virginia.
Create Your Own Mural Adventure
Visitors learn more about the region as they travel into charming towns and communities on a cultural treasure hunt for 80 historical murals. You can read about the artists and the story behind each mural on the Appalachian Mural Trail website and then select your favorite ones and create an itinerary with directions to travel to each and every one. Most murals are within driving distance of the Blue Ridge Parkway and directions are based on Parkway mile markers.
Once you create your personalized mural trail route, begin by traversing the beautiful areas in and around historical Western North Carolina towns who have created their own high-quality cultural storytelling murals, including Old Fort, Asheville, Forest City, Rutherfordton, Chimney Rock, Lake Lure, Montreat, Black Mountain, Marion and Marshall.
These murals are powerful ways to tell the story of a community and will open your eyes to the legacy of this Appalachian region. Many of the murals were sketched by the artist with local folks helping to paint the works of art.
These public murals are created for everyone. Feel free to stay as long as you would like and take in what the artist intended. Snap a photo of yourself in front of a mural and upload it to the Appalachian Mural Trail selfie page with any notations you would like to share and receive a free t-shirt!
See The Sights From Heritage Trails
The Appalachian Mural Trail is only one of the many cultural tour available throughout North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and gain a better understanding of its colorful past by exploring the history and traditions that make this region so unique.