Black Mountain

Neighborhood Spotlight on Beautiful Black Mountain

Black Mountain sunset

Black Mountain, a town of about 8,000 residents, lies just to the east of Asheville.  It is nestled at the southern end of the Black Mountain Range, a part of the Southern Appalachians.  It is the first small town that you encounter coming West from the foothills of the Piedmont region of North Carolina.

There are so many reasons that Black Mountain is a special place to both visit and reside.  Despite its close proximity to Asheville (it is actually part of the Asheville metropolitan statistical area), it has a flavor entirely its own.  Locals cite its small town feel as a major draw.  With little traffic and lots of charm and friendly faces, it is easy to understand.  Here are some of the reasons that we find this neighborhood so appealing.

Natural Beauty in Black Mountain

MontreatThe town of Montreat lies just to the north of Black Mountain.  At the base of the mountains near the back of Montreat community are many trailheads that you may take for stunning mountain views such as the one at Lookout Mountain.  The Swannanoa River flows from East to West through the Swannanoa Valley and Black Mountain.  

Trails at Warren Wilson College meander along the river, and picnicking along rocky outcroppings is a popular year-round outing. Explore the stunning Point Lookout Greenway Bike Trail by starting in Old Fort and climbing 3.6 miles and 900 feet to Ridgecrest.

Black Mountain Cultural Highlights

Camp Rockmont LEAF FestivalA hub of the community is the Black Mountain Center for the Arts.  Located in the renovated Old City Hall, it hosts exhibits on music, visual and performing arts on a monthly basis.  The area’s dedication to fine art is exhibited by the Ben Long fresco gracing the walls of the Montreat Conference Center.  The Swannanoa Valley Museum in downtown Black Mountain interprets and preserves the cultural, natural and social history of the Swannanoa River Valley.

Each August, thousands of people fill the streets for the annual Sourwood Festival.  This free festival is in its 39th year and features music, dancing, arts and crafts in a family-friendly environment.  Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) is held on the campus of Camp Rockmont and draws a sell-out, arts-loving crowd twice a year.

Black Mountain Public Spaces

Black Mountain’s city park is located just outside of the town center at the lovely Lake Tomahawk.  A half mile loop encircles the lake at the foot of the Seven Sisters Peaks and Greybeard Mountain.  

Montreat Park is a favorite area destination for families.  A wonderful playground sits on the banks of a babbling creek among the laurel thickets where families can all enjoy the lush mountain scenery.

Local Black Mountain Businesses

Pisgah BrewingBlack Mountain is renowned for its crafters and artists.  Check out the gorgeous Seven Sisters Gallery, Song of the Wood Musical Instruments, Black Mountain Ironworks or Black Mountain Quilts. 

Enjoy tea at local teahouse Dobra Tea or coffee at Dripolator Coffeehouse.  A long-standing casual restaurant is Our Father’s Pizza and Pasta or enjoy the country elegance of the Red Rocker Inn. 

For nightlife, you can always join a rowdy crowd at White Horse Black Mountain bar and music venue or journey east a few miles through the Swannanoa Valley to Pisgah Brewing which marries craft beer with nationally touring music in their gorgeous outdoor venue.    

For more information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at mike@mymosaicrealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Explore the Serene Swannanoa River Valley in Asheville

Swannanoa River Valley Asheville

To the east of Asheville, stretching out between the mountains of Asheville and Black Mountain, lies the gorgeous Swannanoa River Valley. Through it winds the Swannanoa River, flowing west from its headwaters in Black Mountain and the slopes of Mount Mitchell to eventually become a major tributary of the French Broad River in Biltmore Village.  Though it is just outside the small city of Asheville, this valley has a peaceful, rural feel and a growing hub in downtown Swannanoa.  

History of the Swannanoa River Valley

Warren Wilson CollegeFor nearly 12,000 years, the Swannanoa Valley has been inhabited.  The Cherokee Native Americans hunted along the banks of the river for thousands of years.  By the late 1700s, European settlers began to make permanent settlements.  Subsistence farmers scraped together a difficult mountain lifestyle throughout the next hundred years.  

Sweeping changes came to the valley in 1879 with the arrival of the railroad to Western North Carolina.  Logging and development of major religious retreats such as Montreat changed the landscape of the valley greatly.  In the 1920s, E.W. Grove, developer of the Grove Park Inn, built Lake Eden near Black Mountain which was to have a country club built around it.  He passed away before the project was completed, but it became the site of Black Mountain College in 1940, and many of Grove’s original buildings are still in use today.

Farmland and manufacturing played important roles in this area in the past century, but these are diminishing presences today, and many of the residents in the valley now commute to Asheville for work.

Hiking along the Swannanoa River

Warren Wilson Trails AshevilleWarren Wilson College, located in the heart of the valley, is a nationally renowned liberal arts college with an emphasis on work and service.  Many Warren Wilson graduates have become successful entrepreneurs in the Asheville area.  They also host several wonderful farmer's markets throughout the year.

The college has been kind enough to welcome the public to enjoy some of its many beautiful and well-maintained hiking trails.  They are a short 15 minute drive from Asheville and feature both easy hiking trails with entry points along the river and trails with significant elevation gain.  A map of the trail system may be found here.

On the Western end of the valley, the Blue Ridge Parkway crosses highway 70. The Mountains to Sea Trail runs along the Parkway here, providing another easily accessible hiking experience.  You can also check out the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitors Center and Folk Art Center after your hike.

Activities in the Swannanoa River Valley

Beer Tasting PisgahSwannanoa Valley Museum and History Center is a fantastic resource for Buncombe County history.  It is open seasonally but events continue year round.  The museum is located on West State Street in Black Mountain in a building built in 1921 by famous architect Richard Sharp Smith.  Find history tidbits there and join in their hiking programs with gorgeous vistas and invaluable historical information.

Pisgah Brewing Company is an organic microbrewery located in the heart of the valley.  It has a large outdoor stage and field, perfect for hearing music with children.  Music and beer appreciators bring blankets and chairs for a festival-style listening experience in warm weather.  Enjoy the indoor stage and tasting room in cooler weather.  This venue not only has some of the best microbrews in the region, they also draw nationally touring bands.

Just off of 70, near the old Beacon Mill Village homes of the 1920s, is a downtown area of Swannanoa that is ripe for revitalization.  The Native Kitchen and Social Club are two local businesses that have started to pick up steam in the area and become community hubs.  The Root Bar has become a favorite of locals as well.  With the smattering of mom and pops businesses along highway 70, easy access to I-40, and gorgeous natural surroundings, this area is becoming increasingly popular.

For more information on our community or on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville

Sources and Further Reading: Swannanoa Valley Museum

Comments

  1. Adam Donkus on

    I had not been to Asheville since I was a teenager. It does seem to have a lot going on. I may have to schedule a vacation to Asheville.