The Ultimate Guide To Asheville
and the Western North Carolina Mountains
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Western North Carolina
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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
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.
While statistics show that violent crime is up in Asheville, the number of violent crimes seem to be going down in WNC. Violent crime charges can vary from state to state, so you can read more about this topic on each state's own government website.