Clay County, North Carolina Vacations (NC)

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A Mountain Artisan Community

Clay County provides the vacationer a world of options in a quiet and picturesque mountain community. For the outdoor enthusiast, Clay County boasts more than 64,000 acres of US Forest and miles of breathtaking mountain trails.

A small section of the Appalachian Trail even passes through this pristine mountain haven and Chunky Gal Mountain forms an 8-mile ridge that runs between the A.T. (Appalachian Trail) and US 64. Its name comes from a Cherokee legend about a chubby maiden who fell in love with a young man from another tribe.

Then there's beautiful Fire's Creek, which offers more than 21,000 acres ideal for hiking, backpacking, camping, and hunting. For the fisherman (or woman), there's Lake Chatuge, which was created in 1942 and offers scenic coves along its 133 mile shoreline. The lake, with thirty-two species of fish, encompasses 7200 acres.

Visitors will be sure to enjoy exciting community activities all year round. The warm summer months bring with it the annual Festival on the Square, which includes a street dance on the Town Square on Friday night and the PCA sanctioned Annual Clay County Rodeo on Saturday night.

Handcrafted items from local and surrounding artists are on display both Saturday and Sunday. While you're in the area, don't forget to check out the Clay County Jail Museum, which offers a nice display of what life was like for the pioneer settlers in Clay County.

If you're planning a spring trip, make sure to pack your camera! Spring is when the area's vibrant flowers and trees burst into breathtaking color and lushness. It's also the perfect time to check out one of the Friday night concerts at the JC Campbell Folk School or catch a play at the Peacock Playhouse. Don't forget the Mountain Adventure Artist's Studio Tour. It's a great way to enjoy the work of local artisans.

Fall provides a cornucopia of color with the changing leaves and cooler weather. If it's still more beauty you crave, many of the Artist's and American Craftsmen's studios are open to the public throughout the season. You'll definitely want to visit the John C. Campbell Folk School Gift Shop. It displays crafts taught at the school.

The Hinton Rural Life Center also offers unique gifts from around the world. Clay County's mild winters are perfect for that peaceful getaway when your spirit needs a little "TLC". Whether you want to explore the local craft and antique shops or just settle down in front of a cozy fireplace with a good book, this is the ideal place for your mountain vacation.

For more information on this mountain county, go to the Clay County Chamber of Commerce.