The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook
 

Susanna Pantas, Artist

 Happy Valley

Pen & Ink Drawings of Biltmore Estate, by Lee James Pantas

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From Patterson to the Wilkesboro Reservoir, this rural route follows NC 268 along the upper Yadkin River from the mountains to the gently rolling foothills of the piedmont. Historically a farming region, today travelers acres of horticultural nurseries and turf farms alongside more traditional crops. This road twists and turns through a river valley dotted with historic homes and old barns. Around Happy Valley, visitors can stop at the Chapel of Rest, a restored Episcopal Church that served The Patterson School in the early 1900s; and Fort Defiance, the 18th century home of Revolutionary War hero William Lenoir. Driving towards Wilkesboro, history buffs will find Whippoorwill Academy and Village where a replica log-cabin village has been reconstructed or they can find Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir, a 3,754-arce recreational area for camping, fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, or camping.

As you drive along this scenic 28-mile stretch of road, listen as valley residents describe the area's musical traditions, stories, legends, and traditional farming practices. They're captured in the world-famous ballad, "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley," and brought to life in Charles Frazier's award-winning book, Cold Mountain. They're recalled in tales of frontiersman Daniel Boone, who lived here with his wife and six children in the mid-18th century before settling in Kentucky.

Location: North of
Lenoir, NC Highway 268 between Patterson NC and the Wilkesboro Reservoir
Distance: 1 hour and 45 minutes from Asheville
Directions: From Asheville take I-40 East to Exit 100 towards Jamestown Road. Turn left at Jamestown Road for 2 miles and then right at Carbon City Road. Go 1 mile and turn left at US-64 Bypass W. Go 2.7 miles and turn left at NC 18N/US 64. Continue 14.5 miles and turn right at Harper Avenue and then quick left at US 321. Continue for 5.8 miles and turn right at NC 268. Follow 268 North to Happy Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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