The Region

One of the goals of the community is to be part of the region in which it is located, both to appreciate the assets of the region and to contribute to them. There is a great deal of life and culture in Mitchell County and the surrounding region. As a quick introduction to the region, we have put together the following list. You can also download a PDF version of this list.

Appalachian Trail

Winding along peaks from Georgia to Maine, the trail can be accessed at Roan Mountain. This 6,285’ high peak is home to 600 acres of rhododendron gardens (the world’s largest) which bloom spectacularly in June.

Energy Xchange

The Energy Xchange is a model project that uses landfill methane gas to create glass art, pottery and grow native medicinal and landscape plants.


Held in the Spring & Fall in the Town of Black Mountain, the Lake Eden Arts Festival is a celebration of world music and dance.


Less than an hour away, Asheville, a city of 68,000, has a bustling downtown with over 50 restaurants, numerous antique and handicraft stores and hip hangouts from coffee houses to microbreweries, an art-film theater, great bookstores, a thriving music scene and the famed outfitter Mast General Store. The Asheville Airport is approximately a 11/2 hour drive from High Cove Village.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway links Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountain national parks (with 16 peaks over 6000’, 735 miles of streams and more than 100 species of native trees). The Parkway entrance is less than a 1/2 hour drive from High Cove Village.

Altapass Orchard

Located directly alongside the parkway, just 3 miles north of Spruce Pine, Altapass Orchard grows a dozen varieties of heritage apples and is located directly along the Blue Ridge Parkway, just 3 miles north of Spruce Pine.


Bakersville is the county seat of Mitchell County and gateway to Roan Mountain, “boasts a population approximately 500 hospitable and industrious citizens, a mild and healthful climate, and expanses of unspoiled scenic beauty without parallel.”


Burnsville is a town that dates from the early 1800s and has a population of approximately 17,000 people. Its downtown is designed with a central town square and contains good hardware and supply stores as well as a playhouse and homey restaurants.

Celo Community

A renowned land trust and intentional community established in the 1930s, Celo is home to a health center, food coop, Camp Celo, and the Arthur Morgan School.

Penland School of Crafts

Internationally famous, Penland’s humble beginnings stem from the Great Depression when a teacher organized weavers to help local woman market their handicrafts. Located just 4 miles from High Cove Village, it teaches ten craft media (including glass, clay, and wood) and operates the Penland Gallery.


Skiing is one of the highlights of nearby Avery County. In addition to three ski areas, it is home to Linville Gorge (the deepest east of the Grand Canyon) and events such as the Woolly Worm Festival.

Spruce Pine

Less than twenty minutes from High Cove Village, the town of Spruce Pine (1990 population: 2010) l is home to a great bookstore (Blue Moon), a friendly health food store (Wildflowers), a full-service supermarket (Ingles) and a Super Walmart (which notably buys produce from local farmers). The Spruce Pine Hospital offers complete emergency room and laboratory and medical services.

Mayland Community College

Mayland Community College offers a rich choice of learning opportunities spanning local history, music and archeology to yoga, tai chi and field trips to places of interest both local and far away.

Studios & Galleries

Many local artists and craftspeople invite visitors to their home studios. A map published by a group of potters shows two dozen studios, including a pottery barn (literally) where you can buy on the honor system.

Toe River

Swim, fish, or kayak in the Toe River, which has public access a few miles from High Cove. A few miles north, the placid Toe becomes the Nolichucky, with challenging whitewater rapids.

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