Cascade Highlands North Carolina:
Cities, Towns, Destinations, Historic Sites, Museums, Blue Ridge Parkway, Fishing, Camping, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation


The Cascade Highlands are located in the Northwest North Carolina and Southwest Virginia. It is in the foothills of the NC mountains. Most of the area is in the Piedmont and the mountains. Cities and towns located in this area include Sparta, Roaring Gap, Wilkesboro, Jonesville, Elkin, Mount Airy, Dobson, Pilot Mountain, Danbury and Yadkinville. The Virginia border runs through the area as does the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Yadkin River, the Dan River and I77. Asheville is 160 miles away. Charlotte is 75 miles away. Greensboro is 60 miles away. Raleigh is 146 miles away.

The Cascade Highlands region of North Carolina offers outdoor adventure, wineries and vineyard tours, festivals, events, music, dance and arts and crafts. There are 4 State Parks here. Go hiking, horseback riding or mountain biking on trails. Fish. Hunt. Swim. Camp. Canoe. Kayak. Enjoy scenic views or watch wildlife. Go rock climbing.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Travel 80 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Cascade Highlands region.

  • Doughton Park, on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Sparta, Roaring Gap, is a 7000 acre park located at milepost 238.5. Explore pioneer cabins. Hike. Camp. Rent a cabins.


Dobson - 3 vineyards.

Elkin - 2 vineyards.

Mt. Airy - historical sites, museums, Andy Griffin hometown, winery, vineyards, world's largest open face Granite Quarry.

Pilot Mountain - hiking, boating, climbing, state park

Sparta - winery with tours and tasting.

Wilkesboro - Frescoes at St. Paul's Episcopal church, W. Kerr Scott dam and reservoir, boating, fishing, Wilkes Community college gardens, museum.

Yadkinville - vineyard - taste wines, tour

State Parks

  1. Hanging Rock State park near Danbury, Mt. Airy, Pilot Mtn. - waterfalls, scenic views, cabin rentals, hiking trails, camping, boating, rock climbing, swimming.
  2. New River State Park near Sparta - trout fishing, camping, picnic areas, birding, scenic trails.
  3. Pilot Mountain State Park - bird watching, camping, fishing, hiking, picnic areas, fishing, rock climbing
  4. Stone Mountain State Park near Roaring Gap, Sparta - hiking, camping, rock climbing, picnic areas, fly fishing.

Trails - Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding

  • Dan River trail, near Danbury, Mt. Airy, Pilot Mountain on the Dan River - Canoeing, rafting, tubing, rentals and guided trips available from local outfitter companies.
  • Dark Mountain Trails near Wilkesboro  - 7.5 miles, steep, mountain bike trails
  • Sauratown trails near Pilot Mtn, Mt. Airy - 35 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking from Hanging Rock state park to Pilot Mountain state park.

Lakes - Reservoir

  • Berlews Lake near Danbury, Walnut Cove
  • Kerr Scott Dam and reservoir near Wilkesboro - fishing, boating, camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, scenic views, wildlife.

Rivers - Fishing, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, float

  • Dan River
  • New River
  • Yadkin river

Museums - Historical Sites

  • Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mt.Airy- statue of Andy and Opie, memorabilia.
  • Home Creek Living historical Farm south of Pilot Mountain, workshops, demonstrations
  • Mt. Airy museum of Regional History - exhibits on And Griffith, Tommy Jarrell, Siamese Twins, Civil War uniforms
  • Moratock Iron Furnace at Danbury - remains of a smelting furnace used to produce iron for Confederate Army
  • Richmond Hill Law School - guided tours of home of NC Chief Justice Richmond Mumford Pearson of late 1800s.
  • Sparta Teapot Museum of Craft and design - collection of crafts
  • Wilkes County Heritage Museum - located in 1902 restored courthouse building, NASCAR memorabilia, exhibits on moonshining, Daniel Boone, Tom Dooley.

Festivals and Events

Maybe subject to change

  • Alleghany County Fiddlers' convention - old time bluegrass competition - July - Sparta
  • Autumn Leaves Festival - 3 days - downtown Mount Airy - October - music, crafts, food
  • Brushy Mountain Apple Festival - October - North Wilkesboro - arts and crafts
  • Kingfest - October - King Central Park King - bike race, music, crafts, fishing tournament, car show
  • Merlefest - bluegrass music - 4 days - Wilkesboro
  • Mountain Heritage Festival - September - Sparta - music, crafts, antique cars, food
  • Stokes Somp Festival on the Dan - Moratock Park on Dan River - September - Danbury - music, crafts, vendors
  • Yadkin Valley Grape festival - October - Yadkinville - wines
  • Yadkin Valley Harvest Festival - September - crafts, entertainment
  • Yadkin Valley Bluegrass Convention - April - bluegrass music competition