Western North Carolina (often abbreviated as WNC) is the region of North Carolina which includes the Appalachian Mountains, thus it is often known geographically as the state's Mountain Region. The article is about the geographic sense of the term For other uses including Regions and Regional, see Region (disambiguation. North Carolina ( is a state located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the southeastern United States The Appalachian Mountains ( often called the Appalachians, are a vast system of mountains in eastern North America. Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία - geografia) is the study of the Earth and its lands features inhabitants and phenomena It is sometimes included with upstate South Carolina as the "Western Carolinas", which is also counted as a single media market. The Upstate is the region in northwestern South Carolina, United States also known as The Upcountry, which is the historical term South Carolina ( is a state in the southern region ( Deep South) of the United States of America. A media market, broadcast market, media region, designated market area, DMA or simply market is a region where the Population
The term Land of the Sky (or Land-of-Sky) is a common nickname for this mountainous region and has been more recently adopted to refer to the Asheville area. Asheville is a City in and the County seat of Buncombe County, North Carolina, United (Areas in the northwest portion of the region, including Boone and Blowing Rock, commonly use the nickname "The High Country", rather than "Land of the Sky") The term is derived from the title of the book, Land of the Sky, written by Mrs. Boone is a town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Blowing Rock is a town in North Carolina, situated in both Caldwell and Watauga counties The Land of the Sky or adventures in mountain by-ways is a novel by Mrs Frances Tiernan, under the pseudonym Christian Reid. The book often mentions the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, the two main ranges that are comprised by Western North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountains are a major Mountain range in the southern part of the Appalachian Mountains, the second ridge line forming a north-south running mountain The Blue Ridge, or Blue Ridge Mountains, is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division A mountain range is a chain of Mountains bordered by highlands or separated from other mountains by passes or valleys The Asheville area regional government body, the Land-of-Sky Regional Council, utilizes the nickname. The Land-of-Sky Regional Council is one of the 17 regional North Carolina Councils of Governments ( Region B) established by the North Carolina General Assembly
Located east of the Tennessee state line and west of the Piedmont, Western North Carolina contains very few major urban centers. Tennessee ( is a state located in the Southern United States. Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching Asheville, North Carolina, located in the region's center, is the area's largest city and most prominent commercial hub. Asheville is a City in and the County seat of Buncombe County, North Carolina, United The Foothills region of the state is loosely defined as the area along Western North Carolina's eastern boundary; this region consists of a transitional terrain of gentle hills between the Appalachians and the Piedmont Plateau. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have a reservation situated in the Western North Carolina region, adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are a Federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States of America An Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American Tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains
The northern counties in Western North Carolina are commonly known as the state's High Country.  Centered around Boone, the High Country boasts the area's most popular ski resorts, including Ski Beech, Appalachian Ski Mountain, and Sugar Mountain The area also features many attractions, historical sites, and geological formations such as Stone Mountain State Park, Linville Caverns, Grandfather Mountain, Blowing Rock, Tweetsie Railroad, Glendale Springs Inn, Shatley Springs, and Mystery Hill. Boone is a town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, USA. A ski area is a developed recreational facility usually on a Mountain or large Hill, containing ski trails and vital supporting services Beech Mountain is a town in Avery and Watauga counties in the U Sugar Mountain is a village in Avery County, North Carolina, United States. Stone Mountain State Park is a North Carolina state park in Alleghany and Wilkes Counties, North Carolina in the United States. Linville Caverns is a privately owned Show cave located in the Linville Valley north of Marion North Carolina. Grandfather Mountain is a mountain near Linville North Carolina. Blowing Rock is a rocky outcropping at the town of Blowing Rock North Carolina, above a gorge in Caldwell County, in the northwest of that state Tweetsie Railroad is a family oriented railroad Theme park located between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, United States. Education, skiing tourism, and Christmas tree farming are among this area's most prominent industries, although agriculture and raising livestock also remain important. A Christmas tree, Yule tree, holiday tree or Tannenbaum (fir tree is one of the most popular Traditions associated with the celebration Agriculture refers to the production of goods through the growing of plants and fungi and the raising of domesticated Animals The study of agriculture Livestock is the term used to refer (singularly or plurally to a Domesticated Animal intentionally reared in an agricultural setting to produce such as Food 
The westernmost part of Western North Carolina is part of the Tennessee Valley. The Tennessee Valley is the Drainage basin of the Tennessee River and is largely within the U In this area, there are a few hydroletric projects as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority, including Fontana Dam. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA is a federally owned Corporation in the United States created by congressional charter in May 1933 to provide Fontana Dam is a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA hydroelectric Dam on the Little Tennessee River in the U
The Foothills is a region of transitional terrain between the Piedmont Plateau and the Appalachian Mountains. The article is about the geographic sense of the term For other uses including Regions and Regional, see Region (disambiguation. Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching The Appalachian Mountains ( often called the Appalachians, are a vast system of mountains in eastern North America. Cities and towns like Chimney Rock, Lake Lure, Forest City, Rutherfordton, and Spindale have branded the Foothills title to their section of the state. Chimney Rock is a village in Rutherford County, North Carolina, United States. Lake Lure is a town in Rutherford County, North Carolina, United States. Forest City formerly known as "Burnt Chimney" is a town in Rutherford County, North Carolina, United States. Rutherfordton is a town in Rutherford County, North Carolina, United States. Spindale is a town in Rutherford County, North Carolina, United States.
Western Carolina University has three campuses in western North Carolina. Triple Falls is a 125-foot (38 m Waterfall located in the DuPont State Forest, southeast of Brevard North Carolina. DuPont State Forest is a 10000 acre (40 km² tract located in Henderson and Transylvania counties of North Carolina. Western Carolina University (WCU is a Coeducational Public university located in Cullowhee North Carolina. A campus is traditionally the land on which a College or University and related institutional buildings are situated Appalachian State University in Boone and UNC Asheville are the region's other two public universities. Appalachian State University is a comprehensive ( Master's L) public, Coeducational University located in Boone, North Carolina Boone is a town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, USA. The University of North Carolina Asheville is a co-educational four year public Liberal arts university Several liberal-arts colleges are also located in the region. The term liberal arts refers to a particular type of educational Curriculum broadly defined as a Classical education. Mars Hill College, affiliated with the North Carolina Baptist Convention, is located 15 miles north of Asheville. Mars Hill College is a private Coed, Liberal-arts college affiliated with the North Carolina Baptist Convention Baptist is a term describing individuals belonging to a Baptist church or a Baptist denomination. Founded in 1856, it is the oldest college or university in western North Carolina. Montreat College, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, is located 15 miles east of Asheville. Montreat College is a private four year liberal arts Christian college located in Montreat North Carolina. Presbyterianism is a family of Christian denominations within the Reformed branch of Protestant Western Christianity Lees-McRae College, located near Boone, North Carolina, is also affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Lees-McRae College is a private four-year College in Banner Elk North Carolina affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA. Boone is a town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Presbyterianism is a family of Christian denominations within the Reformed branch of Protestant Western Christianity Warren Wilson College, located in Swannanoa, is noted for its strong pro-environment policies and social liberalism. Warren Wilson College is a small Liberal arts college in Swannanoa, North Carolina just east of Asheville, near U Swannanoa is a Census-designated place (CDP in Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States. Social liberalism, also called new liberalism (as it was originally termed high liberalism radical liberalism, modern liberalism, or Brevard College, located in Brevard, North Carolina, is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. History Founded in 1934 from the merger of Rutherford College and Weaver College Brevard flourished as a junior college for many years Brevard is a city in Transylvania County, North Carolina, United States. The United Methodist Church is the largest Methodist denomination and the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States.
Two major Interstate highways cross the region: Interstate 40, which traverses east-west, and Interstate 26, which traverses north-south. The Dwight D Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly called the Interstate Highway System (or simply the Interstate System) Interstate 40 (I-40 is a major west-east Interstate highway in the United States Interstate 26 (I-26 is a nominally east-west (but physically more north-south main route of the Interstate Highway System in the Southeastern United States. Interstate 240 is the only auxiliary interstate route in the region and it serves downtown Asheville. Interstate 240 (abbreviated I-240) is a long interstate highway loop in the U In Road transportation, an auxiliary route is either a spur or a loop of a parent route. A National Scenic Byway, the Blue Ridge Parkway, runs through western North Carolina, ending near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A National Scenic Byway is a road recognized by the United States Department of Transportation for its archeological cultural historic natural recreational and/or scenic The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Two major class 1 railroads run through the region, CSX and Norfolk Southern. A Class I railroad in the United States and Mexico, or a Class I rail carrier in Canada, is a large freight Railroad, as classified This article is about the present railroad formed in 1990 For the former regional railroad in Virginia and North Carolina a small part of the new one see Norfolk Southern In addition, two tourist railroads also operate in the area, the Tweetsie Railroad theme park and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. A heritage railway ( United Kingdom) preserved railway ( United Kingdom) or tourist railroad ( United States and Canada) is a Tweetsie Railroad is a family oriented railroad Theme park located between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, United States. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is a heritage railroad in North Carolina with a depot in Bryson City.
Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) located southeast of the city of Asheville in Fletcher also services the area with non-stop jet service to Charlotte, North Carolina; Newark, New Jersey (New York City); Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; Washington, D.C.; Detroit, Michigan; Cincinnati, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Asheville Regional Airport is a Class C Airport near Interstate 40 and Interstate 26 in the town of Fletcher, nine miles (14 Fletcher is a town in Henderson and Buncombe Counties North Carolina, United States. Newark is the largest city in New Jersey, United States and the County seat of Essex County. Orlando is a major City in central Florida, USA and is the County seat of Orange County Florida. Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D Philadelphia (ˌfɪləˈdɛlfiə
Tourism is the major part of the economy in the area which contains half of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a great deal of area in the Nantahala National Forest. Tourism is Travel for Recreational or Leisure purposes The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who "travel An economy is the realized social system of production exchange distribution and consumption of goods and services of a country or other area Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains The Nantahala National Forest is a national forest located in the American state of North Carolina. There are also several lakes and dams scattered throughout Western North Carolina like Lake Lure and Fontana Dam. A lake (from Latin lacus) is a Terrain feature (or Physical feature) a body of Liquid on the surface of a world that is localized to the A dam is a barrier that divides waters. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water while other structures such as Floodgates, Levees Lake Lure is a town in Rutherford County, North Carolina, United States. Fontana Dam is a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA hydroelectric Dam on the Little Tennessee River in the U Many visitors travel to the region every summer and autumn from major cities like Charlotte, Atlanta and Knoxville, to escape the hot weather and see the leaves change colors. Summer is one of the four Temperate Seasons Summer marks the warmest time of year with the longest days Autumn (also known as fall in North American English) is one of the four Temperate Seasons Autumn marks the transition from Summer The weather is a set of all the phenomena occurring in a given Atmosphere at a given Time. In Botany, a leaf is an above-ground Plant organ specialized for Photosynthesis.
There are several mountain peaks over 5000 feet or 1500 meters in elevation, with a very few over 6600 feet or 2000 meters. A mountain is a Landform that extends above the surrounding Terrain in a limited area with a peak In topography a summit is a point on a surface which is higher in Elevation than all points immediately adjacent to The elevation of a Geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point often the mean sea level. Mount Mitchell is the highest point in eastern North America. Valley locations are typically closer to 2000 feet or 600 meters AMSL. In Geology, a valley (also called a vale, dale, glen or strath and near or in Appalachia, a draw) is The term above mean sea level ( AMSL) refers to the Elevation (on the ground or Altitude (in the Air) of any object relative to the
The French Broad River is the largest river in the region; others include the Little Tennessee River and Swannanoa River. The French Broad River flows from near Rosman in Transylvania County, North Carolina, into Tennessee. "Riverine" redirects here For the use of that term in Maritime geography, see there The Little Tennessee River is a tributary of the Tennessee River, approximately 135 miles (217 km long in the Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern The Swannanoa River flows through the Swannanoa Valley of western North Carolina, and is a major Tributary to the French Broad River. The Eastern Continental Divide runs through the region, dividing Tennessee-bound streams from those flowing through the Carolinas. The Eastern Divide or Eastern Continental Divide (ECD is a Continental divide in the United States that separates the Gulf of Mexico and Tennessee ( is a state located in the Southern United States. A stream is a body of Water with a current, confined within a bed and stream-banks The Carolinas is a term used in the United States to refer collectively to the states of North and South Carolina.
Western North Carolina generally consists of 23 counties, which when combined form a total regional area of roughly 9,700 square miles (25000 square km). The counties commonly included in the region are as follows:
Western North Carolina communities in the region include: