Photos courtesy of NC Dept. of Cultural Resources.
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
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
- Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (1 mile)
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail commemorates the campaign that led to the Battle of Kings Mountain.
- Penland School of Crafts (7 miles)
Penland School of Crafts, in Penland, NC, is a national center for education in contemporary and traditional craft.
- Linville Caverns (8 miles)
Some of the most fascinating geological formations in the North Carolina mountains lie beneath the surface at Linville Caverns.