Valle Crucis NC “Gateway To The High Country”

 


Town of Valle Crucis North Carolina
Valle Crucis has transformed from a little-known rural community in western Watauga County to a popular destination for vacationers and new residents. The valley’s scenic beauty and situation in the Blue Ridge Mountains have been major factors in the recent growth of Valle Crucis. Where crumbling buildings or open pastureland were once located in the 1970s, one can now find new and revitalized businesses catering to visitors, including beds and breakfasts and restaurants. The Mast General Store, located in the heart of the Valle Crucis community, is now a major stop for visitors to the area.

 

 


History of Valle Crucis NC
There was scattered settlement in the region in the 1840s when an Episcopal missionary, William West Skiles, came to the area. He founded the first Episcopal church in the region, “Easter Chapel”, and lived in the area for the remainder of his life. While there, he founded the Valle Crucis Mission School, which has had several purposes throughout its history and currently serves as a conference and retreat center in the area today. Skiles also founded the first monastic order within the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross. The Holy Cross Episcopal Church, located in Valle Crucis, is a direct successor to Easter Chapel. The church building, in 1926, is modeled on a now-defunct medieval monastery in Wales and is noteworthy for its architecture. Regular services are still held at the church. The region was a significant missionary area for the Episcopal Church in the nineteenth century. This brought some degree of outside influence and progress to an area that was otherwise isolated from the rest of the state and world. Valle Crucis has become an upscale community that many visitors stop by when in the high country to go horseback riding, see the original Mast General Store, or stay at one of its romantic bed and breakfasts.


 


Mast Genral Store

The Original Mast Store location features mercantile items that you may remember from your grandma’s house like jams and jellies, real maple syrup, stoneground cornmeal, comfortable rocking chairs, sturdy hiking boots, comfortable casual shoes, and Chacos. Located along the Mission Crossing Scenic Byway, this mountain tradition will greet you with the warmth of its potbellied stove and its people. Now, the Annex is filled with casual clothing with a mountain outfitters shop, and over 500 different old fashioned type candies at the candy barrel.

Some candies just to name a few:
Chocolate Covered Peanuts & Raisins • B.B. Bats Rocky Candy • Horehound • Rootbeer Barrels • Chocolate & Caramel Bullseyes • Candy Buttons • Candy Necklaces • Chich-O-Sticks • Coconut • Flags • Maple Nut Goodies • Sanded Drops • Fireballs • Jordan Almonds • Orange Slices • Cow Tales • Toblerone • Giant Jaw Breakers • Boston Baked Beans • Pecan Divinity • Charleston Chews • Smarties • Bit-O-Honey • Peanut Brittle • Mary Janes • Wax Bottles • Sen Sen • Zagnuts • Gummi Bears • Necco Wafers • Kits • Wax Lips & Fangs • Chocolate Non-Pareils • Peanut Butter Bars • 1lb. Mega Jawbreakers • Circus Peanuts • Licorice Crows • Salt Water Taffy & More!


 


Valle Crucis Country Fair
The Valle Country Fair located in Valle Crucis is an overgrown church bazaar set in the center of one of the most picturesque valleys in the North Carolina mountains at the peak of the fall color season. All monies raised go to fund High Country organizations which serve people in need. Each year over 20,000 people attend the third saturday in October for 150 booths of arts, crafts, freshly pressed apple cider , live bluegrass music, hot-out-of-the-kettle apple butter, homemade jams & jellies, Brunswick stew, chili, and great tasting barbecue. Admission is free but parking is $5 per vehicle.

This country fair is a large fundraiser for the follwing charities:

  • Avery County Senior Center Caregiver’s Haven
  • Children’s Council of Watauga County
  • Edgar Tufts Memorial Association
  • Grandfather Home for Children
  • Green Valley Elementary School, Together to Learn
  • High Country Caregiver Foundation
  • High Country Relatives as Parents Program
  • High Country Prison Ministry
  • Hospitality House
  • Hunger and Health Coalition
  • L. Dawn Franklin Memorial Fund
  • New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae College
  • Parent to Parent Family Support Network – High Country
  • Reaching Avery Ministry Emergency Food Pantry
  • Watauga Basic Skills/Family Literacy Program
  • Western Youth Network


 

Valle Crucis Bed and Breakfasts
Valle Crucis is not a place full of high end hotels but more a quaint little town suiated in a beautiful setting with a lot of things to do in the surrounding areas. Mostly couples and families stay in the area at one of the uniqie bed and breakfasts that Valle Crucis has to offer. Valle Crucis bed and breakfasts are more personal and couples come back year after year to meet old friends and to make some new ones.


 


Music in the Valle

Music in the Valle begins in mid June and runs through early September. It is supported by donations from those in the community and from the groups and individuals that find it a beautiful site to enjoy. The Valle Crucis Community Park contains 23 acres of natural beauty with park amenities including a children’s playground, soccer fields, picnic shelters, and a one-mile paved loop trail for walking, roller blading, or running. It is also a great place for birdwatching in the early morning.

If you would like more information on the Valle Crucis Park, you can visit their website at ValleCrucisPark.org or call the Park Office at 828-963-9239.


 


Blood sweat and Gears

The Blood Sweat and Gears is a challenging to strenuous full English century – 100 mile loop ride starting and ending at the Valle Crucis Elementary School, approximately 5 miles south of Boone, North Carolina. The route roughly circles Boone through the outskirts of Watauga County, the heart of North Carolina’s High Country. The terrain is constantly changing with hills of all lengths and curves too numerous to count. The cumulative climbing elevation is 13,000+ feet, with the climb up to the gap at Snake Mountain, milepoint 63, reaching an 18-20% grade near the top. Blood Sweat and Gears offers a demanding route, which showcases the mountain communities of Watauga County, North Carolina; highlights of the route include a 21 mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a strenuous climb over the 4,500 foot gap at Snake Mountain, and a 10 mile “flat” on old US 421.

A 50 mile “Half Century” is available for those who prefer the sanity of a challenging, but shorter route. Both rides are fully supported with aide stations and SAG support. Proceeds from the ride will benefit the Jeremy Dale Fisher Fund and The Russell Fund, established by the Watauga County Chapter of the American Red Cross , which provides assistance to local families that are displaced by fire, flood or similar disasters.


 


Valle Crucis Punkin Festival

The Valle Crucis Punkin Festival is held the fourth Saturday in October and is a fund raiser for the Western Youth Network, an organization serving youth and parents in Ashe, Avery, and Watauga Counties. It is hosted by the Mast General Store in the yard by the Annex and is all about fun for all ages … especially kids. You’ll find old-fashioned games like Apple Bob, Hoop La, and Punkin Sack Races in addition to “no mess” Punkin Carving. Live music and a bake sale round out the activities for the day.

 

 


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