Lake Hiawassee in Cherokee County NC
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Murphy • Andrews • Brasstown • Peachtree • Ranger • Marble
Cherokee County Western North Carolina

Clusters of mountains collide along the western wall of the Blue Ridge Mountains below the southern shoulder of the Great Smoky Mountains. Long and broad valleys gather rivers and waterways together creating a path whose watersheds flow beyond the western horizon. Steep ancient mountains reach to the sky like rugged stair steps to the heavens. Elongated mountain ridges force narrow peaks out of their crest like that of the red timber wolf's powerful jaw protecting its rightful domain.

Cherokee County North Carolina, in the far western reaches of Western North Carolina is a haven of mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes, offering outdoor adventure to all ages. The county is dotted with historic towns and ancient sites longing to be explored. Mountain ways still survive here at a renowned folk school that has been influencing and inspiring thousands for nearly a  hundred years.

Mountain Vista of Cherokee County

Cherokee County was one of the last strongholds of tribal lands belonging to the Cherokee Nation before their final exodus west along the tragic "Trail of Tears." These native lands still echo the language of the Cherokee people in the names of landmarks, waterways and districts. The high mountains of the Nantahala National Forest border the horizons to the north and east, with Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest to the west and parts of North Georgia's Chattahoochee National Forest to the south.

Hiwassee River in Cherokee County North CarolinaThree rivers traverse the county's valley floor, joining together at Hiwassee Lake before making their journey to the western valley lands below. The Nottely River flows northward from neighboring Union County, Georgia. The Hiwassee River flows northwest across Cherokee County, finding its headwaters in the northeast corner of North Georgia's mountain country's western divide. The Valley River, which originates in far eastern Cherokee County, flows westward across the mountainous valley regions uniting with the Hiwassee River before merging into Hiwassee Lake in the northern section of the county. This diverse northern backcountry offers an exciting outdoor adventure escape for those looking to getaway from the congested world out into the open spaces.

For the outdoor enthusiast there's camping, hiking, biking, boating, water sports, canoing, kayaking and fishing, along with plenty of white water adventure close by and did I mention scenic driving tours?

Cherokee County is situated between two major white water river gorges. Just outside the west end of the county is Tennessee's wild Ocoee River Gorge. At the eastern end of Cherokee County is the legendary Nantahala River Gorge with both a lower river gorge for white water rafting and kayaking, plus an upper river gorge ideal for fly-fishing with a waterfall canyon setting that you won't believe.

For those who enjoy the more leisure atmosphere, there are picture book mountain towns and communities offering charm, hospitality, shopping, dining and lodging along with numerous historical landmarks marking the scene for Cherokee County's earlier days.

Cherokee County is the last and by no means the least of Western North Carolina's counties, the region is considered a natural gateway to the west, or for eastward bound travels its an access to North Carolina's high country.

The county was established in 1839 as the door closed on the Cherokee people who were given lands west of the Mississippi in accordance to the Treaty of the New Echota, signed in 1835 by the United States government and a small faction of Cherokee leaders.

Cherokee County Courthouse Overlook

Settlers quickly migrated into the region claiming their new lands by lottery, taking up where the Cherokee left off, temporarily living in some of their homes and harvesting fields planted by the former residents. Most of the new arrivals came from Pennsylvania, Virginia and Tennessee. These early settlers were not the first old world visitors or their descendants to visit the area. Historical markers throughout the county tell their tales and lay their claims to local events, historical events the Blue Ridge Highlander will explore in this Cherokee County profile as we visit each region.

Of our many outlets of choice throughout Cherokee County's towns, communities and local attractions we will begin with the historic county seat of Murphy, North Carolina before reaching into the high country and the valley towns along the local river basins.

Art Galleries in the Murphy North Carolina

Highlander Fine Arts, Authentic Mountain Photography and Fine Crafts

The Highlander Gallery
When you are visiting the Blue Ridge - Smoky Mountains, a stop by the Highlander Gallery is well worth your time. The Highlander Gallery represents some of the finest artists in the mountains.  With a large assortment of Fine Art Photography and Fine Crafts as well.

Here are a sampling of the artists you will find....Anthony Abreu • John Mac Kah • Ruthanne Kah Keith Moore • Michael Bedoian • Teri Jones • Linda Rubenstein • Doreyl Ammons Cain • Francoise Lynch • Juanita Greenspan • Mike Lalone • Tonya Fowler • Jane Burke • Sena King • Rebecca Erickson • Jo Kilmer • Les Smith • Chuck Waldroup • Joe Waldroup • Billy Reynolds • Marshall Peterson • Bob Crisp • Thomas Payne • Sarah Long Dauchez • Jo Kilmer • Jeanie Roche • Neal Hearn • Bobbi Umbach • January Tiberius • Robert Levin

Monday - Saturday 10:00 - 5:00
33 Valley River Ave  •  Murphy, NC  • 828.835.9982  •

World Renowned Folk School in Brasstown NC

Art Gallery in the Brasstown North Carolina

River's Rim Studio & Gallery

River's Rim Studio and Gallery is a working studio and Fine Art Gallery in Brasstown NC, the small town next to the John C. Campbell Folk School. The gallery features the work of Teri Jones and other local and regional artists. Teri also teaches small classes in her art studio in the back of the Gallery and is willing to give art demonstrations to anyone who is interested. Watercolors, Alcohol Inks, Mixed Media, Oils and Acrylics painted by Teri are on sale.

Other Artists include Charlie Patricolo (Dollmaker), Bobbi Umbach and Karen Reed (Fused Glass) Ronni Harris (Quilted Paintings), Tommy Greiner (woodworking), Nancy Basket (Kudzu Paper Art) and many more ecletic artists.

Small classes are offered throughout the year and Teri will schedule a personal class for you with a few weeks notice.

Wednesday thru Friday 10:30-5:30 • Saturday 9-5 • Sunday 12-4
10950 Old Highway 64  •  Brasstown, NC 28902  •  828.360.2498  •   River's Rim on Facebook

Food & Drink in Murphy NC

Murphy's Chophouse in Historic Downtown Murphy NC
Lunch •  Dinner • Sunday Brunch

Murhy's Chophouse in Historic Downtown Murphy NC

Murphy’s Chophouse is a great addition to Murphy’s “restaurant scene”; it is one of the most exciting restaurants in Murphy North Carolina. Featuring the finest in gourmet cuisine, wines and cocktails, world renowned Chef and Owner, James Reaux provides a fine dining approach and a casual comfortable atmosphere perfect for any occasion.

130 Valley River Avenue  •  Murphy, N.C 28906  •   828.835.3287  •  Chophouse Web Site

Parson's Pub in Historic Downtown Murphy NC
Lunch •  Dinner • Great Beer

The Parson's Pub

We believe in old fashioned, face to face, friendly conversation. You will not find any televisions or loud music. Just a warm place to feel at home and enjoy...

We pride ourselves on our extensive beer menu (over 50!). Talk to one of our "Beervangelists" to help you try a new favorite! If you request a beer we do not carry, we will attempt to get it!

Monday - Saturday    11 am - 10 pm

19 Tennessee Street • Murphy, NC 28906 • 828-837-4151  •  Parson's Pub Web Site

The Daily Grind & Wine...
More than a Coffee Shop!

Known as the"Cheers" of Murphy, this full service coffee shop and wine bar is a favorite of locals and a top choice for seasonal visitors. A delicious menu of Panini grilled sandwiches, wraps, and salads, wine and beer by the glass is served at a beautifully carved Celtic bar! This is the only wine shop in the area and offers a wide selection of wines and specialty beers.

Come enjoy live performances from regional musicians every Wednesday and Friday from 5pm – 7pm! Weekly dart tournaments and frequent wine tastings are some of the fun activities at this must see destination. Located in an historic building in the center of downtown Murphy, NC. The Daily Grind & Wine has been recognized in Our State Magazine and WNC Magazine.

Mon - Tues 8 am - 6ish - Wed, Thurs & Fri 8am - 7pm
Saturday 8 am - 4pm
Check out our Events

46 Valley River Ave • Murphy, NC 28906 • 828-835-7322  •  Daily Grind on Facebook

Shopping in Cherokee County NC

A Jem's Gem

Conveniently located in the heart of Historic Downtown Murphy, Jem's Gem is an eclectic gift shop specializing in quality. You will find beautiful jewelry and everything you need to make your own. We have a huge selection of jewelry supplies for the seasoned jewelry artist as well as the curious beginner. We have all Natural Gemstone Strands, Swarovski, Findings, Wire Sculpture & Cabochons. If you are interested in learning the art of jewelry making, as seasoned professionals we teach classes.

You will also find Bead Embroidery, Fused Glass, Rocks, Crystals, Fossils, Handcrafted, Native American Spiritual & New Age Items, Books, Gifts & Much More! Visit Jem's Gem to find that perfect gift for any occasion. There's truly something for Everyone!

We were Voted "Best Gift Shop" by the Cherokee Scout's Readers' Choice Award. Come See Why!

Mon-Sat: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
36 Tennessee St  •  Murphy, NC 28906  •  828.835.7977  •

Serenity Mountain Gift Shop

Serenity Mountain Gift Shop

Why us? Serenity Mountain is a unique gift shop specializing in Himalayan Salt Lamps and glowing ember baskets ( baskets filled with Himalayan salt chunks and fitted with a dimmer cord). We also carry zen home accents, miniature fairy garden accessories, "hippy" chic jewelry and clothing, Soul Flower Eco-Friendly clothing and yoga wear, incense, sage smudge,Pam's Back to Nature natural skin care products and essential oils, diffusers, oil burners,and many more great gifts with serenity in mind.

At Serenity Mountain, we are focused on providing you with a wide selection of unique gifts  to support a serene lifestyle. We pride ourselves in giving you the highest levels of customer satisfaction & we will do everything we can to meet your expectations. If we don't carry something you're looking for, we will do our best to get it!   With a variety of gifts to choose from, we're sure you'll be happy working with us.  We hope to see you soon!

Tues-Thurs. 10-6  •  Fri. 10-7  •  Sat. 9-5  •  Sun and Mon. CLOSED
35 Tennessee St  •  Murphy, NC 28906  •  828.361.7543  • 

Appalachian Outfitters of Murphy

Appalachian Outfitters in Murphy North Carolina
Appalachian Outfitters pride ourselves in customer service. As soon as you walk through our doors you are greeted by our store mascot, Koko...which means we are pet friendly.  Our staff lives and breathes the outdoors and is willing to pass all their information onto you as our customer. Whether you are a local, vacationing or part time resident, our staff is willing to accommodate your every need when you visit AO.

Everything for the Outdoors...Indoors

Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm • Sat - 9am - 5pm.
104C Tennessee St • Murphy, NC • 828.837.4165  •

Party Outlet of Murphy

Party Outlet in Murphy North Carolina
Party Outlet is committed to providing you the best service and selection of party supplies in the Tri-State area. You can rely on Party Outlet to have the latest party trends available to inspire ideas that will make your event the best it can be. Party Outlet also has a huge selection of Wilton cake decorating supplies and even offers cake decorating classes! We provide a fun and friendly atmosphere to make your party planning easy and affordable.

Party Outlet also has a full line of wedding and bridal accessories, and customized invitations. We rent tables, chairs and more, call for availability.

1178 Andrews Rd • Murphy, NC 28906 • 828.837.2700  •

Boating & Marinas in the Mountains

Mountain View Marina at Bear Paw Resort in Murphy NC

Mountain View Marina at Bear Paw Resort in Murphy North Carolina
Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Lake Hiwassee is one of the most picturesque lakes in the southeast, with most of its 163 miles of shoreline preserved by the Nantahala National Forest, its breathtaking beauty remains unspoiled.   To enjoy Lake Hiwassee, visit Mountain View Marina, our full-service marina offers boat rentals, paddle board rentals, long and short term slip rentals, gasoline, boat ramps, fishing licenses, bait, boating supplies, snacks and drinks.

Open Daily 9 am to 7pm  •  •  828.644.5451

200 Dean Aldrich Drive  • Murphy, NC 28906  •

White Water Rafting Mountains

Rafting on the Ocoee River

White Water Rafting on the Ocoee
The Ocoee River is often described as the roller coaster of the southeast. Come experience what has been called the greatest white water center in the world.

Professional river outfitter with over 30 years experience. Our safety record is unsurpassed in the industry. We believe our staff is simply the best in the business. Guides are chosen for their character and enthusiasm for sharing the outdoors with you.

Call today to start your adventure...828-835-3275  •

Rafting on the Nantahala River

White Water Rafting on the Nantahala

Experience this unforgettable whitewater adventure through the gorge. The Nantahala is exciting, and a great time, but not as wild as the Ocoee.  This is a river that you can bring children on as young as seven years old.

Experience the excitement of Patton's Run, the fun and splash of Tumble Dry, the rush and roar of riding Class III Nantahala Falls. For a bigger thrill, try taking one of our Duckies down the river!

Call today to start your adventure...828-835-3275  •

Zipline Canopy Tours

Zip Line Canopy Tours...Nantahala Gorge • Chattooga Ridge • Asheville • Pigeon River

Canopy Tours on the Nantahala Gorge, Chattooga Ridge and Pigeon River

Whichever course you choose you are sure to enjoy the newest outdoor adventure to hit the US.

All our courses offer a soaring and gliding experience naturally fueled by a gradual drop in elevation. All trips offer fully guided tours with 2 or more Rangers on at least 10 zips, 4 bridges beginning with a training course at each location.

Call today to start your adventure...828-835-3275  •


Adventure Camps in the Mountains

Guided Fishing Trips

Real Estate & Property Management in Cherokee County North Carolina

Property & Cabin Rental Management

Great Mountain Properties & Cabin Rentals in now accepting additional cabins in Murphy North Carolina

Great Mountain Cabin Rentals

Whether you purchased your mountain home as an occasional getaway, an investment, or the destination of your future retirement, we realize the importance that it be respected as your home first and foremost.

It is our objective to provide you with both quality property management as well as a rental program to help offset some of the expense of owning a 2nd home. Through the combined knowledge of all of us at Great Mountain Cabin Rentals, we have the expertise to help you understand and create a Great Mountain Cabin Rental.

46 Valley River Ave  •  Murphy, NC  • 828.835.3275  •

Cabin Rentals & Lodging in Cherokee County North Carolina



Residential and Commercial Builder


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