Mcdowell County, North Carolina Vacations (NC)

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Home of Linville Caverns

Care to solve a mystery? For centuries, on certain clear evenings, residents of McDowell County have watched as small spherical lights seem to bob up and down, now disappearing, then reappearing, over the mountain - and known as the Brown Mountain Lights. This is a phenomenon that scientific research has been unable to explain, so you may want to investigate these strange incidents for yourself.

For visitors who'd rather just enjoy nature than question her mystery, there's all of McDowell County to explore. Pack a picnic and head to Lake James State Park, which offers 565 acres for swimming, canoeing and hiking.

The county also boasts two other major natural attractions. The first is Linville Caverns, which are the only show caverns in the Carolinas with striking stalagmites and stalactites.

Then there's the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, which is known as "The Grand Canyon of the East" and offers primitive recreation in a wild and isolated terrain. Visitors can enjoy activities such as strenuous hiking, rock-climbing and trout fishing. Both attract visitors from across the country and are considered awe-inspiring vacation destinations.

If you're looking for a challenging outdoor adventure, a visit to McDowell County should be at the top of your list! The area provides excellent examples of Pioneer and Early American history.

The Carson House, build around 1793 was once a stagecoach inn that welcomed many important historical figures such as Davy Crockett and Andrew Jackson. The Old Fort's Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center displays exhibits of mountain lifestyle and history dating to the area's earliest inhabitants. Items include handmade musical instruments, artifacts used during the expansion of the railroad, and two 125 year old log homes.

Both the Carson House and the Old Fort Museum are listed as certified NC Civil War Trail destinations. McDowell County is rich in natural resources, local culture and historical importance, so there's no "mystery" about why so many people call this place home. P

For more information on this mountain county, go to the Old Fort Chamber of Commerce or  McDowell County Chamber of Commerce.