A visionary effort to create a statewide trail has been 40 years in the making. With the path now finished in Western North Carolina and a groundswell of support rising in the East, the completion of North Carolina’s most monumental natural treasure is on the horizon.
The winding route to Plumtree through far western Avery County on U.S. 19 East is the very definition of a road trip. It’s the kind of byway most people would take only if this out-of-the-way hamlet were the destination itself. But for fans of beer and scenic beauty, a thriving brewery and a cluster of outdoor options are enticing reasons to tour the North Toe River valley’s flower-filled fields.
Western North Carolina’s few remaining century-old cabins stand as reminders of the region’s isolation and the Appalachian way of life. Here’s a trio of hikes to historic homesteads that offer insight into the past.