Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

Mountains with a blue tint with a sunset in the background.
Iconic Sunset

Bill Lea Photo

Quick Facts
North Carolina
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is home to the rich cultural heritage of the Cherokee Indians as well as some of the oldest mountains on the planet.
National Heritage Area
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is a place unlike any other on Earth, where ancient landscapes enchant the eye and age-old traditions warm the heart. The distinctive landscape of the North Carolina Mountains and foothills combined with the region’s living traditions of craft, music, agriculture and Cherokee heritage create a wealth of natural and cultural treasures unmatched in our country.

The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina are among the oldest mountains on Earth. The landscape is full of superlatives: the highest mountain (Mount Mitchell), deepest gorge (Linville Gorge), and highest waterfall (Whitewater Falls) in the eastern United States; and the oldest river in North America (the New River); and the two most visited National Park lands in the country (the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park). The region is also blessed with a stunning diversity of plant and animal life; more, in fact, than the whole of Europe.

This Heritage Area includes the following sites:

Last updated: April 30, 2019