Burnsville, NC Ranks #18 in Country Living’s 20 Small Towns Perfect for a Summer Vacation

This is an aerial shot of Burnsville's Town Square
Enjoy this aerial shot of Burnsville’s Town Square.

Burnsville is often described as a “Norman Rockwell” kind of town, and that is truly the best way to describe this quaint locale that centers around a grassy town square.  Catch some zzzs like a star at the Nu Wray Inn, the oldest operating inn in western North Carolina, which has counted Elvis, Mark Twain, and Jimmy Carter among its guests. For one heck of a view, hike to Mount Mitchell’s peak (the tallest east of the Mississippi); don’t miss the Toe River Studio Tour  in June, when 100 artists open their studios along the scenic mountain back roads (there’s also the Mt.Mitchell Crafts Fair in August).  The Terrell House Bed and Breakfast is a great place to stay when in Burnsville for the Burnsville Metric Bike Ride, Parkway Playhouse, TRAC Studio Tour, Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair and much more.

For more information, visit exploreburnsville.com.

Play in the 828 – Scenic Cycling: The Burnsville Metric

23rd Annual Burnsville Metric Offers Two Options

Listen to a segment about the Metric April 12th on “Breakfast with The 828” on Rewind 100.3.

Scenic Cycling: The Burnsville Metric

23rd Annual Burnsville Metric Offers Two Options

It’s known for being one of the most scenic rides in the state, and every mile you pedal makes a difference for local heroes. Mark the start of the spring and summer cycling season with the 23rd annual Burnsville Metric, April 29 through Yancey and Mitchell counties. This year’s event includes the usual 60.7-mile loop, as well as a shorter 43-mile ride.

The ride, which is casual and not considered a race, begins and ends in downtown Burnsville on the historic Town Square. The route heads west on US 19E toward Asheville, turns north as it follows the Cane River, heads east to Bakersville and then winds its way south down NC 80 along the Toe River before returning to Burnsville.

The shorter ride splits off at mile 30, heading back to Burnsville along Jacks Creek Road.

“It’s exciting to get out first thing on a cool spring morning,” says Van Roldan of the planning committee and owner of Solstice Cycles. “People ride around Town Square to warm up. The event brings together a lot of old friends and different organizations that ride together.”

The ride is organized by a small group of volunteers who promote bicycling in the scenic northern mountains, and the event supports several nonprofits in the area. In the last five years, the Burnsville Metric has raised nearly $25,000 for local volunteer fire departments and rescue squads, along with Hospice, Healthy Yancey, Mountain Heritage Eco Club and others.

Scenic mountain roads and low population density make the area ideal for cycling.

“We love riding these mountains,” Roldan says. “And we love to share that with others. We look forward to bringing people up here to ride.”

Three well-supplied rest stops will be located along the route. Roving SAG support vehicles will patrol the course to provide mechanical assistance.

After the cyclists return to Town Square, the Nu Wray Inn will serve a post-race meal on the deck. Barbecue plates consist of pulled pork, bread, potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans. Blind Squirrel Brewery, a Plumtree-based brewery that opened its Burnsville Outpost taproom and restaurant this past summer, will provide craft beer.

Early registration, through April 15, is $45 for adults and $35 for full-time students, age 22 or younger. All registrations after April 15 are $55. The post-race meal is included in the registration fee; additional plates may be purchased for $12 each. Day-of registration and packet pickup begin at 7:15 am at Burnsville Town Center. The ride starts at 9. You can sign up here.

Christmas Among Toe River Artists

Visit Stay at the Terrell House for tour information.Beginning Friday Dec. 2, the landscape of Mitchell and Yancey counties changes for a weekend. As if blooming from beneath the muted grays and shadowy rusts of fallen leaves, hundreds of big red and white “Studio Tour” signs will dot the roadways, intersections, and front and side yards. All lead the way to a magical tour of arts and artists.

Each day through Sunday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. determined visitors will travel the highways and back roads in search of a piece of art and the creative artist behind it. The second of two open studio tours that the Toe River Arts Council sponsored this year, the event has been happening for over two decades in the beautiful Toe River Valley.

People plan their vacations around these TRAC fall tours, seeing artists they’ve gotten to know over the years. Many people will embark on the tour for the first time this year. Studio tour signs will help them navigate the new territory and give them comfort in knowing they are on the right path. Still others will continue to marvel at the numbers of artists who live and work so close to the Swannanoa Valley.

The signs point to studios of new, established and visiting artists working in clay, glass, fiber, wood, metal, photography and paint. Many mix media. Some make jewelry, craft soap or weave blankets. All open their studios every year for one magical weekend in December.

The tour – as much or as little as you want of it – is an adventure. And it’s free. There are excellent restaurants and hotels in the area, and gorgeous scenery to be seen.

The Toe River Arts Council hosts a reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at its Spruce Pine gallery, 269 Oak Ave. There one will find works from the participants, displayed geographically to make the tour easy to plan (the work will be on display through the end of the year). There are too many artists to visit in a day, but with the tour guide brochure, available at TRAC galleries in Spruce Pine and Burnsville, will give visitors directions.

The Toe River Arts Council, a 40-year-old, not-for-profit organization, can be contacted at toeriverarts.org, 828-682-7215 and 828-765-0520.

Leaf Season

This year’s leaf season is extending. It is still beautiful in Burnsville, and on the Blue Ridge Parkway and it is supposed to be a high of 75 degrees all week. So come on the one of the prettiest parts of the world you can imagine.

Let us know you're coming and we'll leave the light on.