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Jackson County Blue Ridge Craft Trails Itinerary

Nestled in far Western North Carolina, Jackson County is filled with hospitable small towns and lush natural beauty. The county celebrates its rich heritage and timeless mountain culture with an abundance of artists, studios, and galleries. Start exploring with inspiration from our Blue Ridge Craft Trails.


The Zachary-Tolbert House at 1940 Hwy. 107 South in Cashiers, stands as a beautiful example of Greek Revival-style architecture. Explore the grounds, view fascinating prehistoric archaeology exhibits, and take advantage of the public tours available seasonally.

Owned and operated by a pair of artists, Mountain Mist Gallery is located at 71 Commons Drive in Cashiers. The welcoming space showcases paintings, jewelry, pottery, sculptures, baskets, and fine photography from regional artists.

Celebrated sculptor Wesley Wofford displays his work at his Wofford Sculpture Studio in Cashiers. The 2,000-square-foot barn hosts a gallery, a mold shop, and examples of past creations. Open by appointment only; call 828-547-2452 to schedule a visit.


Discover more about mountain history and culture at the Mountain Heritage Center. Located on the campus of Western Carolina University, the past comes alive with educational programs, a gallery, traveling exhibits, an extensive collection of artifacts, and seasonal events.

Mark your calendars for Mountain Heritage Day, traditionally held on the last Saturday in September. This free event welcomes all ages with its celebration of southern Appalachian music, arts, dance, and culture.

A world of art comes alive in the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University. The space features four galleries filled with 2,000 modern and contemporary works of art by regional, national, and international artists.

Rogers Metals Studio provides the opportunity to see an authentic blacksmith’s forge in action. William S. Rogers’ studio stays busy with restoration services, commissioned pieces, and classes. Open by appointment only, call to 828-293-3777 to arrange a visit.


Beautiful and handmade items made by regional artisans are showcased at Dogwood Crafters at 90 Webster Street in Dillsboro. The cooperative gallery constantly welcomes new and beautiful pieces by regional artisans who carry on old-time Appalachian craft traditions.

Monteith Farmstead at 100 W. Hometown Place in Dillsboro is a historic family home that now houses the Appalachian Women’s Museum. The site celebrates the lives of Southern Appalachian women with programs, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.

A kaleidoscope of arts and crafts collide at Tunnel Mountain Crafts located at 94 Front Street in Dillsboro. This vibrant shop features the work of over 60 artisans, including owner Connie Hogan.

Trash fuels the next generation of art at the Green Energy Park. The park at 100 Green Energy Park Road in Dillsboro utilizes methane from the decomposition of waste to create energy that fires kilns, blacksmith forges, and an art foundry. Enjoy art made on-site and the outdoor Sculpture Garden.


Visit in November to experience the Western NC Pottery Festival. Potters of every genre flock to this event in Sylva to showcase their pieces. The event caters to the curious and collectors, with works from potters across the nation.

The former Jackson County Courthouse now houses Rotunda Gallery. Overseen by the Jackson County Arts Council, the space hosts a variety of exhibits throughout the year.

Artists from Jackson and neighboring counties showcase their pieces at Gallery 1 Sylva at 604 W. Main Street in Sylva. Artists volunteer their time in the gallery, providing a unique opportunity to meet local talent.

The joy of creativity comes alive in the home studio of Gayle Woody at her BarkWood Studio. Admire her artistic process and peruse her latest creations in printmaking, ceramic tiles, and book making. Open by appointment only, call 828-508-0522 to schedule a visit.

Local blacksmith Matthew Shirey forges knives, axes, hatchets, frying pans, and more at Shira Forge. His signature Kephart knife is inspired by the outdoorsman Horace Kephart and is a modern-day heirloom. Schedule an appointment to see him at work; call 828-226-5687.

Not to Miss

Stretch your legs by exploring Jackson County’s expansive hiking trails. Enjoy sweeping mountain vistas and views with three of the area’s most memorable hikes: Pinnacle Park Trails, Panthertown Valley Trail, and Whiteside Mountain Trail.

Biking more your speed? Jackson County’s miles of bike trails cater to all ages and skill levels. Adventure awaits at Fire Mountain Trails, Panthertown Trail Mountain Biking, and Western Carolina University Trail System. Beginners and families will find inviting and easy trails at the Tuckasegee River Greenway and Kids Bike Park at Tuck Greenway.

The Blue Ridge Parkway includes several scenic overlooks in Jackson County. While driving along the parkway, make time to stop at Richland Balsam Overlook at mile 431.4 to take in views 6,047 feet above sea level. Pause at Waterrock Knob Parking Overlook at mile 451.2. The overlook features a visitor information center and offers a four-state panoramic view of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Jackson County is home to 19 scenic waterfalls. Find Instagram-worthy photos at Mingo Falls, Soco Falls, High Falls, and Whitewater Falls.

For dining and lodging information, visit the Jackson County tourism website, DiscoverJacksonNC.com.

Dogwood Crafters in Dillsboro

Dogwood Crafters

Showcasing mountain gifts alongside Dillsboro's railroad tracks Dogwood Crafters showcases handmade treasures created by regional artisans who...

Monteith Farmstead

Appalachian Women's Museum features the home arts The sprawling house that dominates the Monteith Farmstead was once the...
waterfall at Gorges State Park

Gorges State Park

Plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and one of the greatest concentrations of...

WNC Pottery Festival

While festivals featuring craft artists are numerous throughout the region, the Western North Carolina Pottery...

Rotunda Gallery

Picture-pretty courthouse showcases local crafts in Sylva With 107 steps  up to its entrance, the Jackson...

Gallery 1 Sylva

Gallery 1 in Sylva started life in 1989 as the Jackson County Visual Arts Association....

Shira Forge

Shira Forge sits high on a ridge not far outside Sylva. Matthew Shirey first became...

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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