Old Fort, just a half hour east of Asheville, is a tiny mountain town big on scenic, outdoor activities. Surrounded by Pisgah National Forest, Old Fort is overflowing with mountain biking and hiking trails. The history-steeped town is also host to a range of activities and annual events celebrating Appalachian heritage.
Old Fort’s name refers to the pioneer-era Davidson's Fort, constructed to protect area settlers from Native American raids. While the fort no longer stands, its history is shared through a series of downtown murals, The 7 Wonders Trail.
With a population of just under 1,000, Old Fort boasts a range of properties offering space to spread out. Log cabins, rambling ranches, and mountain estates dot the area; for those looking to build their dream homes, lots are plentiful.
The Lure of Old Fort, NC
Old Fort is one of 15 N.C. Mountain Heritage Trout Towns. This designation allows visitors to purchase a special $5, three-day fishing license good for use in any of the state’s mountain trout towns. In downtown Old Fort, the section of Mill Creek bordering Mountain Gateway Museum is a public portion of this stream. The other mountain trout streams in Old Fort are Curtis Creek, Newberry Creek and the upper section of the Catawba River.
Old Fort is quickly gaining a reputation for its exciting mountain biking and hiking trails. Kitsuma Peak/Young's Ridge, Snooks Nose, Point Lookout Trail, Jarrett Creek and Heartbreak Ridge are just a few favorites in the area, boasting long, rugged trails. The Grandfather Ranger District takes mountain biking to the next level, with extreme descents, demanding trails and remote settings. Catawba Falls Trail, Newberry Creek Trail, Huskins Branch Trail, Point Lookout Trail, and Lead Mine Gap offer miles of trails for hikers to take in dense forests, challenging hills and breathtaking waterfalls.
Festival Fun in Old Fort
Old Fort’s Mountain Gateway Museum, adjacent to its visitor center, offers a range of exhibits reflecting the region’s history. It is also host to several popular Old Fort festivals: The museum’s Pioneer Day is held every year on the last Saturday in April. The North Carolina Gold Festival is held the first Friday/Saturday in June; and Old Fort's Chamber of Commerce sponsors Octoberfest, held the first weekend in October.
Downtown destinations include Hillman Beer, Kitsbow's Old Fort Ride House, Old Fort Outdoors, and Arrowhead Gallery. Andrews Geyser and the Arrowhead Monument are also popular attractions. Between August and May, Old Fort's Camp Grier offers day passes for visitors to enjoy a disc golf course, horse-riding, a pump track, and walking trails.
Real Estate in Old Fort, North Carolina
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