Explore the Region on the New Blue Ridge Heritage Trail
The new Blue Ridge Heritage Trail provides travelers and residents with a new and exciting way to learn about many cultural and natural heritage sites throughout the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.
The Blue Ridge Heritage Trail is a collection of special places throughout the North Carolina mountains and foothills that embody the remarkable history and culture of the region. Words and photographs on interpretive signs at each location tell an illuminating story about each site and illustrate many aspects of the region’s natural and cultural heritage including that of the Cherokee, traditional music, agriculture, and craft.
Signs are located along main walkways at historic, natural and scenic sites, attractions, towns and cities, in some state parks, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and at five NC Welcome Centers within the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.
The Trail is not a “Point A to Point B” trail, but rather many stops throughout the region. People can enjoy a single stop or piece together several sites by theme or region. QR codes on each sign will enable people with smart phones to locate other nearby sites.
The goal is to encourage people, both visitors and residents, to discover places they may not know about. For example, most travelers know about Cherokee, but may not know how extensive the Cherokee nation’s land once was. They can learn more on signs in the far western part of the region, in places like Robbinsville, Andrews, and Hayesville.
In addition to the signs, the Trail is enhanced with the installation of five interactive kiosks in NC Welcome Centers at entry points to the BRNHA. The kiosks will help visitors to WNC or people passing through the state to discover someplace interesting to explore along the way, encourage a nearby stop or add a scenic route to their trip.