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Northwest Communities

Northwest Region

 

This 12-county region rolls through the foothills and the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Locals interact with the tourists that enjoy trekking through the cities and towns of the Northwest region.  Take in the beautiful architecture while having a great locally sourced meal in one of the casual downtown restaurants. This region, originally home to textile and furniture industries, has produced artists, craftspeople, and other makers.  Their talents are reflected in a vast array of locally owned shops that offer such products as wood furniture and textile art pieces, handcrafted cheese, ice cream, brews, honey, and more.  Explore some of the state’s best apple orchards, take home a fresh cut Christmas tree, or try the local spirits, including a little North Carolina moonshine. Appalachian State University alums and fans are everywhere, and as much as they love football, they also enjoy hiking, rock climbing, road cycling, and mountain biking from spring through fall, and skiing and snowboarding in the winter months.  The Northwest region is for exploring, so plan on taking it all in!

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NC Main Street Communities
Northwest Region

Northwest North Wilkesboro

1. North Wilkesboro

NC Main Street Designation Year:  2000

Wilkes County

Downtown North Wilkesboro

208 9th Street

North Wilkesboro, NC 28659 

 

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Northwest Lenoir

3. Lenoir

NC Main Street Designation Year:  1984

Caldwell County

Downtown Lenoir

801 West Avenue

Lenoir, NC 28645 

 

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Northwest Newton

5. Newton

NC Main Street Designation Year:  1990

Catawba County

Downtown Newton

31 N. College Avenue

Newton, NC 28658

 

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Northwest Morganton

7. Morganton

NC Main Street Designation Year:  1982

Burke County

Downtown Morganton

102 E. Union Street

Morganton, NC 28655

 

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Spruce Pine

9. Spruce Pine

NC Main Street Designation Year:  1991

Mitchell County

Downtown Spruce Pine

165 Locust Street

Spruce Pine, NC 28777

 

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Boone

2. Boone

NC Main Street Designation Year:  1993

Watauga County

Downtown Boone

567 W. King Street

Boone, NC 28607 

 

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Northwest Hickory

4. Hickory

NC Main Street Designation Year: 2006

Catawba County

Downtown Hickory

Union Square

Hickory, NC 28601

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Northwest Valdese

6. Valdese

NC Main Street Designation Year:  2015

Burke County

Downtown Valdese

400 Main Street West

Valdese, NC 28690

 

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Northwest Marion

8. Marion

NC Main Street Designation Year:  2003

McDowell County

Downtown Marion

21 S. Main Street

Marion, NC 28752

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DISCOVER
Additional Trails In Our
Northwest
NC Main Street Communities
Trail and Outdoor Recreation Links
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After 10 years of research, the Appalachian Mural Trail (AMT) came alive in 2016 at the hands of Doreyl Ammons Cain and her husband Jerry Cain. The project has now blossomed into a viable, expanding success with over 100+ North Carolina and Virginia historical murals on the trail. The honoring of our stories through the arts is the core essence of the AMT's vision. 

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The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies, and thousands of volunteers.       

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Welcome to a region rich in craft traditions and brimming with craft artists. Travel along the Blue Ridge Craft Trails to visit with artists in their studios, shop galleries full of local, handmade artwork, and discover scenic treasures and cultural gems along the way.  This landscape is legendary in the history of the American craft movement and it continues to promote and cherish both traditional and contemporary work of great depth and imagination.  With roots embedded in the early 20th century, the diverse theater of Western North Carolina craft showcases virtually every imaginable kind of handmade art, objects brought to life by more than 4,000 makers.

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The 25 westernmost counties of North Carolina were designated by Congress and the President in 2003 as the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA). This honor was bestowed in recognition of the unique character, culture, and natural beauty of the region and its historical significance not only to North Carolina, but also to the nation.

 

The Blue Ridge Heritage Trail features a collection of special places throughout the North Carolina mountains and foothills that embody the remarkable history and culture of the region. At each location, you will find an interpretive wayside sign that tells the stories of the people and places that have shaped our distinctive heritage.

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The Blue Ridge Music Trails is your guide to finding great musical experiences in the mountains and foothills of North Carolina. As you explore the Music Trails, be sure to pick up a copy of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina guidebook which makes a great travel companion, souvenir, or gift. Traditional music is flourishing across many parts of America, but in the mountains and foothills of North Carolina, more so than elsewhere, the music is part of the fabric of community life. 

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Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you explore the hiking and mountain biking trails that weave through nearly 70,000 acres of Pisgah National Forest. Enjoy stunning views and breathtaking waterfalls, as well as treks through lush Appalachian forests and alongside clear mountain streams. From family-friendly greenways and easy, well-trod paths to strenuous backcountry trails, there’s a hiking adventure perfect for every Blue Ridge traveler.

Boone United Trail
Boone United Trail

Boone United Trail is a 2.5-mile loop through a hardwood forest that begins behind the Boone United Methodist Church, rambles halfway up the summit of Howard’s Knob and returns to the church. 

 

The route includes a series of many switchbacks to maximize the conservation land on which it sits and provide a beautiful trail experience.

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Boone Trails

This fully accessible trail is either paved or gravel surfaced and mostly flat. The Greenway welcomes walkers and runners, cyclists and wheelchairs, strollers and hikers. It follows and crosses the South Fork of the New River through open meadows and colorful forests. There's a historic ruin, plentiful resting benches, picnic tables and shelters, and interpretive signs about natural and human history. Two easy loops invite a quick stroll, one of them, with great bird-watching and flower viewing. 

The trail may be a little tame for serious hikers intent on high adventure, but it's perfect for novice hikers, families or anyone wanting to sample the beauty of the Boone Area without going to extremes. 

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Fonta Flora State Trail

Authorized in 2015, the Fonta Flora State Trail will connect Morganton to Asheville with a hiking and biking trail. Included in the trail is a loop around Lake James. The trail will traverse Lake James State Park, part of Pisgah National Forest and Fonta Flora County Park in Burke County. It will also connect to the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail.  When it is complete, the Fonta Flora State Trail will be approximately 100 miles long.

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Lenoir Outdoors

When you visit Lenoir & the NC foothills, you won’t find yourself lacking in outdoor recreation options. Among the choices are canoeing, kayaking, biking (regular and mountain), off-road driving, watersports, hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, golf, waterfall hikes, and more. Even better is that we have one of the most pristine and rugged terrains in which to enjoy them. That may be why we have more than 20 walking areas and plenty of hiking trails to choose from.

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Morganton Greenway System

The Morganton Greenway System is currently comprised of the Catawba River Greenway and the Freedom Trail Greenway.

The Catawba River Greenway offers 3.8 miles of paved, fully accessible walking trail. The National Park Service formally certified the Greenway as part of the Overmountain Victory Trail. The Park Service placed historical markers along the Greenway walking trail commemorating the historic King's Mountain March.

The Freedom Trail Greenway extends .6 miles from the Freedom Trail Access Point adjacent to Freedom Park and is highlighted by a 226-foot, 10-foot wide pedestrian bridge that crosses the Catawba River. The bridge links the northern and southern sides of the city providing access to an extensive pedestrian and bikeway system along the southern side of the Catawba River. Approximately 17,000 people use the Catawba River Greenway trail each month. 

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Mountains to Sea Trail

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a simple footpath stretching almost 1,200 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks.  More than just a walk in the woods, the trail traces the diversity that is North Carolina. Experience ancient mountains and small Piedmont farms, coastal swamps and colonial towns, changing textile villages and barrier islands. Almost 700 miles of footpath are now completed. With temporary routes on backroads and bicycle paths, hikers can now follow the trail on an adventure across North Carolina.

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NC Birding Trail

The North Carolina Birding Trail serves as a driving trail to link birders and nature-based tourists with great birding sites across the state and the local communities in which they are found.

Each of our locations are their own entities. From state parks, to greenways, to arboretums, to game lands, our sites are each their own prime spots for engaging with nature.

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NC Scenic Byway

North Carolina's 61 scenic byways allow motorists to experience a bit of the state's history, geography and breathtaking scenery while raising awareness for the protection and preservation of these treasures.  Travelers can get to know North Carolina's people and communities and see the diverse beauty the Tar Heel state has to offer – from the high peaks of the Appalachian Mountains to the fertile hills of the Piedmont to the marshes, sounds and beaches of the coast.

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Overmountain Victory Trail

Stretching 330 miles through four states (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina) the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail traces the route used by patriot militia during the pivotal Kings Mountain campaign of 1780. Follow the campaign by utilizing a Commemorative Motor Route which uses existing state highways marked with the distinctive trail logo, or 87 miles of walkable pathways.

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Yadkin River Greenway

The Yadkin River Greenway was created through the cooperative efforts of citizen volunteers, landowners, and the governments of Wilkes County, North Wilkesboro, Wilkesboro, and the State of North Carolina. The effort began in 1994, and the first phase of the greenway became a reality and was opened May 18, 2002. The Yadkin River Greenway Council, a non-profit community organization, provided coordination and leadership.

This Greenway is a natural area between urban communities where wildlife, vegetation, and streams are preserved and enjoyed. Greenways also provide transportation, recreation, and exercise opportunities for the community.

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