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

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Western North Carolina
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Chatlos Chapel at The Cove, pen and ink drawing by Lee James Pantas
To purchase a print of this drawing by author/artist Lee Pantas, visit Cherry Orchard Studio 

Western North Carolina, due in part to its overwhelming natural beauty, is home to a number of religious retreat and conference centers. These are included in this book since you may be interested in visiting one or more during your stay. As would be expected, all are in breathtaking settings and immaculately maintained. The administration at each center has indicated that they welcome all visitors.

Chatlos Chapel at The Cove, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasBilly Graham Training Center at The Cove
Located in a lovely mountain cove just east of Asheville, the Billy Graham Training Center holds year-round seminars and retreats for those seeking in-depth Bible studies, and a deeper experience of God’s love. The Cove features two inns: Shepherd’s Inn and Pilgrim’s Inn. The facilities and grounds at the Cove are especially beautiful in design and landscaping.

Location: Asheville NC
Distance: 15 minutes from downtown Asheville
Address: The Cove, Asheville, NC 28815
Telephone: 828-298-2092, (800) 950-2092
Directions: From Asheville take I‑40 East. Get off at Exit 55 Porters Cove Rd. Center entrance is on immediate right.

Bonclarken, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasBonclarken
Located in historic Flat Rock in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Bonclarken is nestled among acres of tall white pines, hemlocks, spruce and rhododendron. Bonclarken is owned by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and is available for use year-round by any groups desiring to rent the facilities and agreeing to live within the rules and regulations governing its use. Rich in history and tradition, Bonclarken has served the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and others since 1922. The beautiful hotel on the grounds was built in 1886 as a private home Dr. Arthur Rose Guerard, a Charlestonian who came to Flat Rock to build a home for his German bride. He used only the finest materials in the parquet floors and the wainscoting and the mantels were carved in Germany of rosewood, ebony and cherry. Bonclarken today offers a variety of facilities to individuals and groups. Complete dining, meeting, recreational and camping facilities round out the total service offering at Bonclarken.

Location: Flat Rock NC
Address:  500 Pine Dr., Flat Rock, NC 28731
Distance: 1 hour from Asheville
Telephone: 828-692-2223
Directions: From Main Street in Hendersonville go south on Hwy. 25 four miles to Pine Dr. Look for Bonclarken sign on left.

Prayer Garden at Christmount, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasChristmount
Christmount is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and is located one mile south of Black Mountain. The Christmount conference center occupies beautiful mountain land, cooled by numerous springs and creeks, at an elevation of just under 3,000 feet. Christmount is open year-round with a variety of accommodations including the Gaines M. Cook Guest House, the Guest House East, Davis Hall, Holly Park, and camp cabins. Enjoy hiking trails, numerous recreational activities, state-of-the-art meeting spaces, and dining options to fit every palate. A perfect spot for weddings, conferences, retreats, reunions, camps, and meetings

Location: Black Mountain NC
Address: 222 Fern Way, Black Mountain, NC 28711
Distance: 15 minutes from Asheville
Telephone: 828-669-8977
Directions: Exit from I-40 in Black Mountain onto Hwy. 9 (Exit 54). Go south one mile to gate on left.

Antique postcard image of Kanuga Conference CenterKanuga
Kanuga is a year-round conference facility, closely affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Kanuga maintains the following programs: Kanuga-sponsored conferences, two summer camps for young people, parish family weekends, guest accommodations, Mountain Trail Outdoor School, retreats, national and regional programs sponsored by the Episcopal Church, and a special camp session for homeless, abused, and disadvantaged children.
Located near Hendersonville, Kanuga’s extensive conference center and camp facilities are situated on 1,400 acres of woodland, crisscrossed by streams, ridges and valleys. There is an 30-acre lake, ponds and complete out-door recreational facilities and accommodations that range from rustic cottages to the spacious and modern Kanuga Inn.

Location: Hendersonville NC
Address: Kanuga Lake Road, Hendersonville, NC 28793
Distance: 1 hour from Asheville
Telephone: 828-692-9136
Directions: From I-26, take Exit 18 onto US 64 West into Hendersonville. Turn left on Hwy. 25 South (Church Street) and drive 9 blocks. Turn right onto Kanuga Street, go 4 miles to Kanuga triangular sign. Turn right, drive 1˝ miles to Kanuga Entrance Park. Turn right and go ˝ mile.

Wild & Furry Animals of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, by Lee James Pantas

Lake Junaluska, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasLake Junaluska Assembly
Nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina west of Asheville, Lake Junaluska Assembly is the conference and retreat center for the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church, and home of the SEJ Administrative Council. The Assembly provides a wide variety of accommodations and conference facilities which will comfortably support groups ranging in size from 5 to 2,000. The Assembly welcomes individuals, families, church groups, educational organizations and many other groups. The 200-acre Lake Junaluska is surrounded by 1,200 acres of beautiful rolling hills and valleys. Located on the lake is the Cokesbury Gift Shop, which carries gifts, books and crafts.

Location: Lake Junaluska, NC
Address: 689 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745.
Distance: 1 hour from Asheville
Telephone: 828-452-2881, (800) 222-4930
Directions: From Asheville, take I-40 West to Exit 27 to 19/23. Lake Junaluska is a few miles on the right.

Lifeway Ridgecrest Conference Center, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasLifeway Ridgecrest Conference Center
LIfeway Ridgecrest Conference Center began in 1907 as a summer retreat for Southern Baptists. Today Ridgecrest thrives as a year-round conference center, attracting over 60,000 guests a year. While the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention owns and operates the conference center, Ridgecrest attracts Christian groups from diverse backgrounds, as well as nonprofit organizations, school groups, and government groups. Ridgecrest offers over 52,000 square feet of conference space, eighty-one conference rooms, and three auditoriums of various sizes. Outstanding dining and recreational facilities are also available to guests.

Location: Ridgecrest NC
Address: Old Hwy. 70, Ridgecrest, NC 28770.
Distance: 30 minutes from Asheville
Telephone: 828-669-8022, (800) 588-7222
Directions: From Asheville, take I-40 East and get off at Exit 66. At top of ramp, turn left. At the first junction, turn right onto Old US 70 and continue a short distance to Ridgecrest.

Historic Lutheridge Gate, Asheville NC, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasLutheridge Conference Center & Camp
Lutheridge is a 160-acre conference center and camp atop scenic Crescent Hill just south of Asheville. The Center offers an intimate setting that boasts a mix of comfortable adult lodging and rustic cabins for youth, modern conveniences, and beautiful year-round scenery. Lutheridge is owned and operated by the North Carolina, South Carolina, Southeastern and Florida-Bahamas synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Location: Arden NC
Address: 2511 Hendersonville Rd., Arden, NC 28704
Distance: 15 minutes from downtown Asheville
Telephone: 828-684-2361
Directions: Take Exit 9 Airport Rd. off I-26 South. Proceed to Rt. 25, Hendersonville Rd. Lutheridge is located south on Hendersonville Rd.

Montreat Gate, Montreat NC, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasMontreat Conference Center
Montreat Conference Center, a conference center of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is located 15 miles east of Asheville, just outside Black Mountain. Montreat is a special place to meet and enjoy the refreshing sights and sounds of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With 29 meeting facilities, Montreat offers a comfortable environment for conferences, retreats seminars or other special gatherings. Year-round facilities include a number of options available for housing, dining, classrooms, and recreation. Montreat’s beautiful setting makes it the perfect place for all types of outdoor recreation. Hiking on marked trails in the surrounding mountains, swimming in the outdoor Olympic-size pool, and boating and canoeing on Lake Susan are among the many options. Montreat also has superb guest accommodations including Assembly Inn, and the Winnsborough.

Location: Montreat NC
Address:  401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757
Distance: 45 minutes from Asheville
Telephone: 828-669-2911, (800) 572-2257
Directions: Take I-40 West from Asheville. Get off at Exit 64, Black Mountain. Go north on Route 9 through Black Mountain, two miles to the Montreat Gate.

Lee Hall, YMCA Blue Ridge Assmbly, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasYMCA Blue Ridge Assembly
Located in Black Mountain, 15 miles east of Asheville, is the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly. Founded in 1906 as a YMCA student conference center, the Assembly has hosted over half a million people in its rich history. Blue Ridge serves a diverse mix of not-for-profit religious, social, educational and family groups. Nestled on over 1,200 acres of woodlands, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly provides restful surroundings for groups large and small and a variety of comfortable accommodations that range from hotel-style to cottages. Blue Ridge also offers a diverse range of meeting facilities, and numerous recreational options. In the summer, Blue Ridge is known for its plentiful and delicious food served family style.

Location: Black Mountain NC
Address: 84 Blue Ridge Circle, Black Mountain, NC 28711
Distance: 30 minutes from Asheville
Telephone: 828-669-8422
Directions: From Asheville take I-40 East. Get off at Exit 64 and go south on Hwy. 9. Proceed less than ˝ mile and bear right on Blue Ridge Rd. Turn left at the small Blue Ridge Assembly sign.


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