We have compiled a list of fun things to do and see while you are visiting us for your North Carolina Destination Wedding, or if you are coming to the area to view the property in hopes of planning an Appalachian Mountain wedding or event. Our private, 100 acres are located along the SouthFork of the New River, one of the oldest rivers in the world. Get lost on the new and enjoy saying, “I do”.
We are the premier location to host North Carolina mountain destination weddings. You’ll find a host of information on our site about barn weddings and planning your dream outdoor wedding in the Blue Ridge.
Tubing & Kayaking
The New River is a calm river that is perfect for a lazy day of tubing. There are several outposts that offer tubing, kayak and canoe rentals. One popular guide is RiverGirl Fishing Company and Rentals, located in Todd. You will know you are there when you spot antique train cars off to the side of the property.
You can opt for a guided excursion or simply rent the watercraft and have the guides deliver you to their favorite spot on the river where you can put in float downstream. Don’t worry there are no waterfalls and very few low bridges if you opt to find your own tube and head to the river without much of a plan. There are several great spots to put in located all along Railroad Grade Road, and Castle Ford Road.
Fishing on the New River
You need not be an experienced fisherman to enjoy fishing on the SouthFork of the New River. The fish are always biting it seems. You can wade in the New River or enjoy fishing by boat (kayak). You will notice that those wading in the river tend to be fly fisherman, however you can catch fish with any rod and reel. You can expect to find trout around the SouthFork region, although there are smallmouth bass, rock bass (also called Red Eyes), and redbreast sunfish in the river waiting to be caught. The best habitats for finding fish are deeper pools of slow-moving water.
Railroad Grade Road Biking
This road was once a train route if you could tell by its name. It’s a flat, narrow road that traverses between Fleetwood and Todd. It’s almost 11 miles long and is paved the entire route making it a fantastic biking trail for all ages to enjoy. There are no hills, only miles and miles of flat, paved, road that cuts right through some of the most gorgeous scenes in the area. As you bike, you can listen to the sounds of the New River alongside you as the river flows right beside the road all of the way. If you did not bring your own bikes, you can rent bikes from RiverGirl Fishing Company in Todd. They even feature little vented, bike trailers that you can tow your non-biking children along in.
Golf in the Mountains
Golf in the Blue Ridge Mountains is always a spectacular time. Ashe County’s public course, Mountain Aire Golf Club offers 18 holes and can accommodate both small and large groups. The course is located at 1396 Fairway Ridge Drive, West Jefferson, NC 28694.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway winds its way through the county from Milepost 275 to Milepost 255. Along the way are several hiking trails and spots that you can stop and take pictures. Popular hiking spots include E.B. Jeffrees Park, which leads hikers around a looped trail that is easy to hike. You get to view a fantastic waterfall, Cascades Waterfall, halfway before making the trip back up to the picnic area.
The Jumpinoff Rocks Trail is another short, easy hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Ashe County. It leads to a beautiful stone platform overlook with long range views. It’s only about a mile long and is great for stretching your legs and seeing views of the area.
Mount Jefferson State Natural Area
This state park and natural area is accessible from Jefferson and just off the main road. Visitors are treated to a beautiful drive up the mountain, to a location near its apex. There are three overlooks that you can stop at along the way up to the top. Once at the top, some 1,600 feet above the land below, you can see for miles and miles around, and check out bird’s eye views of the towns of Jefferson and West Jefferson. There are five hiking trails on the mountain and a scenic picnic shelter near the top.
New River State Park
The New River was made a National Wild and Scenic River in 1976 and it provides a wealth of things to do and beauty to the area. The state park features two access points, and two of the access points are close by. The closest one is the Elk Shoals access in West Jefferson, located at 349 Methodist Camp Road. This area features a newly created sandy beach where families can access and enjoy. The other access nearby is the U.S. 221 access and visitor center located at 358 New River State Park Road in nearby Laurel Springs.
Todd Mercantile & Todd General Store
At the turn of the last century, nearby Todd, North Carolina was a bustling town where lumber and other goods were shipped via the railroad that traveled right beside the town. It had a population that rivaled nearby, Boone, and as such, you’ll find remnants of what life was once like in Todd throughout this unique little river town today. Todd Mercantile and Todd General Store are two such places. These days both stores offer mountain crafts, artwork, and other goodies and are a central location for folks to meet in the town. Todd Mercantile is the best bakery in the area, and Todd General Store sells delicious ice cream along with amazing works of art.
Breweries & Wineries
If you want to preview the craft beers and wineries in the area, there are some great spots. West Jefferson is located nearby to the Yadkin Valley Wine Region, home to several fantastic wineries. You can take a tour of the area’s wineries if you have a full day of time to kill. For those that like craft beers moreso than wine, there are several great breweries in West Jefferson that you can visit and enjoy different craft beers. Boondocks Brewing Company is located downtown and features a restaurant as well. New River Tap Room is also located downtown and features some yummy eats.
Downtown West Jefferson Shopping
This downtown area is the center of culture and commerce for the area. As you stroll down the streets you’ll find plenty of boutique shops, craft shots, art stores, and historic sites. The Florence Art School is located here, as well as a number of other cool galleries. A must-see spot is the Ashe County Cheese Factory where you can watch cheese being made and sample various cheeses that are made onsite.
The Churches of the Frescoes
North Carolina artist, Ben Long, painted several beautiful frescoe paintings at two area churches: St Mary’s Episcopal Church and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. The churches are open to the public for viewing of the frescoes. Frescoe painting is an ancient art technique where pigment is pressed into wet plaster that stands the test of time. Some famous frescoe paintings are those that were painted on the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel in Rome.