Photos courtesy of NC Dept. of Cultural Resources.

Sights & Sounds

Activities & Interests

Mountain Gateway Museum

The Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center, located in Old Fort, North Carolina, provides an excellent introduction to mountain lifestyle and history.

Old Fort has long been considered a "gateway" to the Blue Ridge Mountains and was the site of the westernmost pioneer outpost in North Carolina prior to the Revolutionary War. The Mountain Gateway Museum's exhibits, artifacts, photographs, and video interpret life in Western North Carolina from the earliest inhabitants through the settlement period and into the 20th century.

Housed in a beautiful 1936 WPA stone building on the banks of historic Mill Creek, the Mountain Gateway Museum offers many educational programs, including the history of handmade instruments and homemade music of the mountain people in Old Fort. Many events take place in the museum's outdoor amphitheater beneath large shade trees. Picnic tables are available.

A short walk from the Mountain Gateway Museum is the recently renovated Old Fort train depot, where visitors can view an exhibit of the extraordinary railroad history in the area.

Hours of Operation

The museum is open year-round.

Monday 12 pm to 5 pm
Tuesday - Saturday 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday 2 pm to 5 pm

Admission Fees


Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.


From I-40, take Exits 72 or 73 and head to the center of Old Fort. The museum is located downtown at the corner of Water and Catawba Streets.

Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center
102 Water Street
Old Fort, NC 28762
(828) 668-9259


Mountain Gateway Museum

102 Water Street
Old Fort, NC 28762
Mountain Gateway Museum

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Also Nearby

Historic Carson House (4 miles)

The Historic Carson House in Pleasant Gardens, NC was built in 1793 and was home to the Carson family until well after the Civil War.

Black Mountain (8 miles)

Before the railroad arrived in town, Black Mountain  was known as "Grey Eagle,"

Swannanoa Valley Museum (9 miles)

The Swannanoa Valley Museum reflects the history of Western North Carolina through local artifacts and exhibits.