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Canton and Clyde: Creativity, Hospitality, and Natural Beauty

Located a half hour west of Asheville, both Canton and Clyde showcase rich histories and traditions of life in the mountains. Each of the small towns also carries forward creative heritage into a contemporary Appalachian experience. Flowing through downtown Canton, the Pigeon River has fueled much of the mill town’s history and growth while providing plenty of adventure for those who seek it. Clyde has a long, rich history of providing refuge for weary Appalachian travelers. That tradition manifests itself today in the Southern charm you’ll find around every corner.

These traditions of creativity and hospitality merge on the Blue Ridge Craft Trails.

Ilene Kay has always been drawn to the places where nature and art merge. At Art Jewelry by Ilene, she uses natural inspiration to create one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Ilene has multiple lines of work, and her Blue Ridge Line brings the color and the feel of the mountains to jewelry form.

Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Program has been a central force in the Western North Carolina craft movement for decades. Its programs in a number of craft styles and media have been the training ground for many artists in Western North Carolina and beyond.

Desmond Suarez learned woodworking from his parents. He has shared the craft with his son, who now works with him at Sabbath-Day Woods. They use sustainable Appalachian hardwoods to make Arts & Crafts style items for the home. In addition to clocks, cutting boards, tiles, and more, they also produce a line of wood care products from honey.

Thomas Langan American Folk Art is the life’s work of Thomas Langan. His first carvings were duck decoys, but he expanded his work to cover lifelike and whimsical animals from cats to fish to birds. Visitors can browse through a vast selection of Thomas’ work from throughout his career.

Blue Ridge Music Trails:
Balsam Range is one of the leading bands in bluegrass, and each of its five members calls Haywood County home.
Shaped-Note style of gospel singing has been taking place at Morningstar Methodist in Dutch Cove since 1889! It’s on display at Old Folks Day each September.

Nearby natural sites and trails:
Rough Creek Watershed Trail System
Sam’s Summits Loop Trail
Hyder Mountain Loop Bicycle Ride

(especially for kids and/or family-friendly)
Canton Area Historical Museum
Dutch Cove Christmas Tree Farm (Seasonal Attraction)
Ten Acre Farm (Seasonal Attraction)
Lake Logan, Canton

Buckeye Ridge Hiking Trail
Shook Museum
Fergusons Trout Pond

BearWaters Brewing

Southern Porch Restaurant, Canton
Ferguson Supply & Café, Clyde


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The Regions of the Blue Ridge

In planning the best use of your NC mountains vacation days, know that the region can be divided into three sub-regions for ease of exploration:

Far West

  • Cherokee
  • The Nantahala Gorge
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park


  • Asheville
  • Hendersonville
  • Chimney Rock State Park
  • The waterfalls of Transylvania County
  • Many more highlights

High Country

  • Grandfather Mountain
  • Linville Falls
  • Boone
  • Blowing Rock
  • High northern mountains


  • Mt. Airy
  • Lenoir
  • Elkin