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Welcome to the Blue Ridge Highlander...Your Guide
to the Best the Blue Ridge - Smoky Mountains have to offer
20 Years on-line - 1997 - 2017

Quick links to our NEWSLETTER SIGN Up newsletter sign upand our EVENT CALENDAR  Highlander event calendar  

If you are planning a trip to the mountains and need more information
use this link to let us know what you need...

Highlander Gallery Will be Open...
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10 am to 5 pmHighlander Gallery in Brasstown North Carolina
10079 Old Highway 64 •  Brasstown NC
3/4 miles east of JC Campbell Folk School

Trip Advisor Quote...Finest Gallery within hundreds of miles...

Save the date...October 7th ~ 5 pm
Festival After Hours at the Highlander Gallery

Stop by Saturday evening, October 7th, 5 pm, after John C. Campbell Fall Festival for the 2nd Annual "Festival After Hours Party" at the Highlander Gallery.  Enjoy Wine, Hors d'oeuvres, Music and meet many of our “outstanding” artists and help us celebrate our progress as we renovate this great piece of Brasstown History.

Plein Air Workshop with John Mac Kah on the Historic Bidstrup Acres

Last year due to the drought, the colors weren't very vibrant during the autumn season.  Thankfully, we have had an abundance of rain both spring and summer, so we are anticipating a beautifully colorful autumn.

With these beautiful colors in mind, we planned a Plein Air Workshop with John Mac Kah on the Historic Bidstrup Acres.  John is an accomplished "Traditional American Landscape Artist," and an exceptional teacher and mentor.  The Highlander Gallery is proud to have a large selection of John's paintings.  Come by to see them and you will know why an artist will want to take his class and a collector will want his art in their collection.

I know the photos below aren't of the autumn season, although, they do show the beauty of the property, just imagine it in full autumn colors.

click for more information and a map...

Georgia Mtn Fair - LandfestChimney Rock, North Carolina
Chimney Rock at
Chimney Rock State Park
Take a Child Outside Week
September 23rd - 30th

Too many of today's children spend most of their time inside.  When I was a child I use to explore every inch of the creeks and forests around my grandmother's home in Georgia.  I will always look at that time as the best time of my life.

Take a Child Outside Week is a national initiative created to encourage families to get outdoors.

Chimney Rock celebrates by offering one free child admission with each paying adult all week long.

Special program opportunities will be going on as well so make sure to check back for details!

click for more information and a map...

Calendar GirlsBlue Ridge, Georgia
Calendar Girls
at Blue Ridge Community Theater
Thusday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday,
September 28th - October 15th

When Annie's husband John dies of leukemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow WI members to pose nude with them for an "alternative" calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence.

The news of the women's charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales.

The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie's friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.

Based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund, Calendar Girls opened at the Chichester Festival Theatre and has since become the fastest selling play in British theatre history.

click for more information and a map...

John C. Campbell Fall FestivalBrasstown, North Carolina
John C. Campbell's Fall Festival...
Saturday & Sunday,
October 7th & 8th ~ 10am to 5pm

Golden fall sunlight and brightly colored leaves provide a scenic backdrop for the John C. Campbell Folk School's Fall Festival. This treasured annual celebration of Appalachian culture, held on the Folk School's Brasstown, North Carolina campus, heralds its 43rd anniversary in October.

Visit over 250 fine craft exhibitors tucked along the school's winding wooded paths. Watch more than 30 artisans demonstrate traditional and contemporary crafts. Fill your ears with bluegrass, gospel, folk, and Celtic music on both days. Tap your toes to clogging, Morris, and Garland dance performances throughout the weekend.

Children will enjoy the pony rides, petting the alpacas, and visiting the animals at the Humane Society's pet adoption booth. Face painting and arts and crafts activities will be offered by the Cherokee County Arts Council.

Hungry festival goers can satisfy their appetites with a tasty lunch, dessert, or snack. Vendors' concession proceeds benefit several non-profit and community organizations.

The Folk School's renowned Craft Shop, containing fine crafts from over 300 juried regional artists, will draw visitors throughout the weekend and be offering a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to the Craft Shop.

click for more information and a map...

Skyline TrailChimney Rock at
Chimney Rock State Park
Skyline Trail Reopens...
September 22, 2017

With all the rain we have had, we are expecting a wonderfully colorful fall this year.  We are looking forward to all the beautiful photos we can capture. 

We first visited Chimney Rock on July 5th, 2008, and the above photo is from that trip.  This trail was closed for reconstruction shortly after we visited.  Since that day, we have been back to the park many times, and have written many stories about Chimney Rock.  We are honored to have been invited to walk the trail prior to the official re-opening.  We are excited about photographing and writing about our new experience.

The Skyline Trail across the mountain to the viewing area above Hickory Nut Falls was officially reopened on September 22.

It is a beautiful trail which begins at Exclamation Point. From there, you meander another 1.1 miles through rich forests and over the creek before reaching the end of the trail. There you'll be in for an awesome view of Hickory Nut Gorge.

In the foreground, you'll see the cascades that tumble over the mountain side to become 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls.

Halfway out, you can stop and rest, have a picnic or a snack, at a new lookout, Peregrine's Point. If you're lucky, you may see a Peregrine Falcon riding the thermals high above the cliffs.

for more info

Pickin in the Park at Horse Shoe BendMcCaysville, GA
This is the Last Thursday
to Enjoy Pickin in the Park
at Horse Shoe Bend
September 28th

Pickin in the Park is held every Thursday, 6:00 PM to dusk, May through September.

Live music jams and pickin' on the banks of the Toccoa River at the Horseshoe Bend Park in McCaysville.

The park is wheelchair accessible. Come out, bring the whole family to enjoy the experience. Picnic tables available, nice grassy lawn but you are also welcome to bring a blanket or chair.

click for more information and a map...

Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway

Take a trip on the Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway. and it is mobile ready. The Cherohala Skyway’s 36-miles of scenic mountain views rival any scenic byway in the eastern United States.  Mountaintops, waterfalls and waterways joined together with wildlife and giant trees, adorn this high country of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.  I was very impressed with Spirit Ridge Overlook with an elevation of 4,950-feet. This is by far the best handicap access location along the Cherohala Skyway.

The average trip over the Skyway takes 2 1/2-hours, if you just want to drive and view scenery.  I would recommend setting aside the best part of the day to enjoy some of the bigger than life features the Cherohala Skyway and Unicoi Mountain Wilderness have to offer.

Read more.. A day trip on the Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway

Blue Ridge Parkway...from Cherokee to Asheville

One of the special wonders in these mountains is the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The Parkway begins or ends on the edge of the Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia the Blue Ridge Parkway travels 469-miles southwestern along the high ridges and over the tall mountain peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains ending or beginning at the southern gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

To get the most out of your scenic road trip the Highlander suggest starting out early and begin your journey from the town of Cherokee where the Blue Ridge Parkway officially ends at the southern entrance gateway into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Read more.. A day trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway...from Cherokee to Asheville

The Highlander is celebrating 20 years on-line this year

Moving to these mountains in 1995, and seeing the wealth of healthy resources available to everyone led us to wanting to explore more That exploration led us to wanting to share that information. Having a history in marketing and publishing and the desire to publish a magazine about these mountains led us to research the Internet and its potential in 1995.

We started developing in 1996, and launched it in 1997. Our next biggest challenge was to go around the mountains and explain to many what the Internet was and the value it had as a communication medium. Today 88.5% of the US population uses the Internet regularly.

The Highlander has been redesigned and re-programmed many times over the years. We are always looking into new ways to benefit our readers and sponsors, and are working on new benefits to add this coming season. We know you are going love the new additions and changes as we continue to grow out of the box.

We would love your input as to what you would like to have in the Highlander, after all, we are doing this for you, our readers, as a way to enjoy and plan your trips to the mountains.

Use this link to share your ideas of what you would like to see added to the Highlander. Continue to check out the progress, each week you will see something new...enjoy..

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Travel and Real Estate Guide to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, including North Georgia, Western North Carolina, Tennessee River Valley and Up Country South Carolina
The Blue Ridge Highlander logo, all photography, design, graphics, artwork, writing, digital images, etc are the Copyright © of C. Wayne Dukes and Sherry Bell Dukes.  1996 - 2017, except where otherwise stated. All rights reserved, reproduction, downloading, and/or duplication of any sort is strictly prohibited, all violations will be prosecuted. Legal Policy.  If you have any questions, or comments, regarding this site, e-mail the Highlander.