The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook
 

Susanna Pantas, Artist

Western North Carolina
Cities & Towns

House Portraits by acclaimed NC Pen & Ink Artist Lee James Pantas

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Golf in the Mountains  

Outdoor Recreation in WNC, from golf to whitewater rafting   Western North Carolina Cities & Towns    Attractions in the Mountains 

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Western
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All About Western NC
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Golf in the Mountains
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 All about coral reefs and the oceans

All about rain forests of the world

  

 

 

 

 

Major Western North Carolina Cities & Towns
See Cities-Towns-Villages in right column also
 
Andrews Chimney Rock Hayesville Mars Hill Spruce Pine
Asheville Claremont Hendersonville Marshall Sugar Mountain
Bakersville Clyde Hickory Morganton Sylva
Banner Elk Columbus Highlands Murphy Tryon
Beech Mountain Connelly Springs Hildebran Newland Valdese
Black Mountain Conover Hot Springs Newton Valle Crucis
Blowing Rock Cullowhee Hudson North Wilkesboro Waynesville
Boone Dillsboro Jefferson Old Fort Weaverville
Brevard Drexel Lake Lure Robbinsville West Jefferson
Bryson City Flat Rock Lenoir Rutherford College Wilkesboro
Burnsville Fletcher Little Switzerland Rutherfordton Woodfin
Canton Forest City Long View Saluda  
Cashiers Franklin Maggie Valley Sawmills  
Catawba Glen Alpine Maiden Sparta  
Cherokee Granite Falls Marion Spindale  

 

   Western North Carolina, the region of North Carolina that includes the Appalachian Mountains, is blessed with towering verdant mountains, lovely gentle valleys, flower-filled coves, virgin stands of untouched forest, crystal clear lakes and streams, and vibrant cities and towns. The mountains are generally separated into four distinct zones or regions. The Western Mountains, extending from Andrews and Murphy in the far western corner to Waynesville, the Central Mountains from Waynesville through Asheville to the Burnsville area, the Northern Mountains from Burnsville to Sparta, and the Foothills, extending along the full length of the mountains from Columbus to North Wilkesboro.
    The major cities with populations over 10,000 are
Asheville (73,000), Boone (15,000), Hendersonville (10,000), Hickory (40,000), Lenoir (17,000), Morganton (17,000), Newton (13,000) and Waynesville (10,000). Asheville is the hub city, home to the famous Biltmore Estate, America's largest private residence and the major tourist attraction. The other major attraction in Western North Carolina, in terms of visitors, is Harrah's Cherokee Casino, located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in the western part of the mountains.
     Tourism is the major industry in Western North Carolina, with millions of visitors each year flocking to the mountains for outdoor recreation. The area includes the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Nantahala National Forest, the Pisgah National Forest and numerous State Forests. Most of Western North Carolina is wilderness and offers an abundance of recreational opportunities from mountain climbing to whitewater rafting. Other major natural attractions include the Appalachian Scenic National Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway, both of which pass right through the mountains.
    The unique character of the Western North Carolina mountains is such that Congress has even designated them a National Heritage Area, and the region is now officially recognized as the 
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. There are 24 counties in Western North Carolina with a total population of over 1,000,000. The region covers approximately 11,000 square miles and is roughly the size of the state of Massachusetts. There are over 80 mountain peaks between 5,000 to 6,000 feet in elevation, and 43 that rise to over 6,000 feet.


View Larger Map
Map of the Western North Carolina Mountains

Western North Carolina Counties (with County Seats and Seat Elevations)
Alleghany,
Sparta
2,927 feet
Ashe,
Jefferson 2,920 feet
Avery,
Newland 3,589 feet
Buncombe ,
Asheville 2,216 feet
Burke,
Morganton 1,182 feet
Caldwell,
Lenoir 1,168 feet
Catawba, Newton
1,001 feet
Cherokee,
Murphy 1,535 feet
Clay,
Hayesville 1,893 feet
Graham,
Robbinsville 2,150 feet
Haywood,
Waynesville 2,635 feet
Henderson,
Hendersonville 2,146 feet
Jackson,
Sylva 2,047 feet
Macon,
Franklin 2,113 feet
Madison,
Marshall 1,650 feet
McDowell,
Marion 1,437 feet
Mitchell,
Bakersville 2,550 feet
Polk,
Columbus 1,145 feet
Rutherford,
Rutherforton 1,096 feet
Swain,
Bryson City 1,736 feet
Transylvania,
Brevard 2,230 feet
Watauga,
Boone 3,266 feet
Wilkes,
Wilkesboro 1,047 feet
Yancey,
Burnsville 2,817 feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Content Copyright by Lee James Pantas
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Jackson County NC, in the heart of the Great Smokies
 
Cities-Towns-Villages
Almond

Andrews
Arden
Asheville
Bakersville
Baldwin
Balsam
Balsam Grove
Banner Elk
Barnardsville
Bat Cave
Beech Mountain
Bethel
Biltmore Forest
Biltmore Village
Black Mountain
Blowing Rock
Boone
Boomer
Bostic
Brasstown
Brevard
Brookford
Bryson City
Burnsville
Cajah's Mountain
Candler
Canton
Caroleen
Cashiers
Catawba
Cedar Rock
Cherokee
Chimney Rock
Cliffside
Clyde
Columbus
Connelly Springs
Conover
Claremont
Crossnore
Crumpler
Cullowhee
Deep Gap
Dillsboro
Drexel
Edneyville
Ellenboro
Elk Park
Elkin
Enka
Ennice
Etowah
Fairbrook
Fairview
Ferguson
Flat Rock
Fleetwood
Fletcher
Fontana Dam
Forest City
Foscoe
Franklin
Gamewell
Gerton
Gilkey
Glade Valley
Glen Alpine
Glendale Springs
Glenville
Grandfather
Granite Falls
Grassy Creek
Hayesville
Hazelwood
Hendersonville
Henrietta
Hickory
Highlands
Hildebran
Horse Shoe
Hot Springs
Hudson
Icard
Jefferson
Jonas Ridge
Jonesville
Lake Junaluska
Lake Lure
Lake Santeetlah
Lake Toxaway
Lansing
Laurel Park
Laurel Springs
Leicester
Lenoir
Linville
Linville Falls
Little Switzerland
Logan
Long View
Maggie Valley
Maiden
Marion
Mars Hill
Marshall
Mill Spring
Mills River
Montreat
Mooresboro
Moravian Falls
Morganton
Mountain Home
Mountain View
Murphy
Nantahala
Nebo
Newland
Newton
North Wilkesboro
Old Fort
Pineola
Piney Creek
Pisgah Forest
Plumtree
Purlear
Rhodhiss
Roaring Gap
Ronda
Robbinsville
Rosman
Ruth
Rutherford College
Rutherforton
Saint Stephens
Salem
Saluda
Sapphire
Sawmills
Scaly Mountain
Seven Devils
Sparta
Spindale
Spruce Pine
Stecoah
Sugar Grove
Sugar Mountain
Swannanoa
Sylva
Tapoco
Thurmond

Todd
Topton
Traphill
Tryon
Union Mills
Valdese
Valle Crucis
Vilas
Watkins Mill
Waynesville
Weaverville
West Jefferson
West Marion
Whittier
Wilkesboro
Woodfin