The Mountains, The Music, The Majestic River and More
This Blue Ridge gem in Western North Carolina — just 20 minutes from Asheville — is home to over 55,000 acres of National Forest providing a majestic backdrop to the world’s third oldest river—our mighty French Broad. Our timeless tradition of musical history which is known worldwide will accompany you as you share the majesty of nature and the rural abundance of our small town heritage. Plan to visit us–one of the nineteen Madison Counties in the United States. We offer outdoor sports for all enthusiasts whether a rafting trip suits your fancy, a cycling adventure along our country roads or a good horseback ride. Better yet—experience our natural hot springs, one of only two east of the Mississippi. Come and you’ll see. Life in Madison County is the way life should be…easy living with a song in the air.
Madison County on the Blue Ridge Music Trails
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership and the North Carolina Arts Council has reissued The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina book. The trails are designed to promote the rich traditional music heritage of western North Carolina. Marshall in Madison County (one of twenty-nine counties on the trails) is the geographic epicenter of the Trails. Two of the stops on the trails in Marshall are Zuma Coffee where there is a free bluegrass jam every Thursday evening and The Depot where traditional musicians play every Friday night. Find other places and events in Madison County that are featured in the Trails.
Upcoming Events in Madison County, NC
- Continuing “Interwoven” Rural Life Museum Exhibit
- May 2 – 4 French Broad River Festival
- Sunday, May 4 John McCutcheon in Concert
Or just enjoy the beauty of the outdoors…………
100 Ways to “Play with Us”
For the third year, the May “Make Madison Memories” insert of the News Record and Sentinel, includes a list of 100 ways to spend your time in Madison County. Located in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina with the scenic French Broad River running through it, Madison County offers countless ways to enjoy the experience of visiting our area. Whether your interest is in the outdoors, visual or performing arts, traditional music, history, architecture, or agri-tourism, we have something that will make your visit a memorable one. Browse through the website or stop in at The Madison County Visitor Center when you come to visit our area.
A World Made Straight Filming Here
The novel by Ron Rash includes ties back to the Shelton Laurel Massacre during the Civil War is being filmed in Madison County. The massacre is the classic brother v brother story which takes place and continues to influence families even into the twenty-first century. So, it was only natural that the independent movie should be filmed in our county. The movie will star Minka Kelly, Noah Wyle and Jeremy Irvine. Residents were treated to star sightings and welcomed the crew and cast in warm Madison County fashion.
Rural Life Museum’s exhibition entitled, “Interwoven: Coverlets, Ballads, and America’s Discovery of Madison County Folklife” continues. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
“Interwoven” tells the story of the Allanstand Cottage Industries, developed by Presbyterian missionary Frances Louisa Goodrich. Allanstand formed the beginnings of what would become a great revival of handcrafts in Madison County and would eventually lead to the creation of one of America’s oldest and most renowned craft associations, the Southern Highland Craft Guild. This exhibit will run through the summer of 2014. For more information, http://www.mhu.edu/ramsey-center
17th Annual French Broad River Festival features some of the best music in the area and a number of outdoor events in celebration of this beautiful river and setting– at the Hot Springs Campground & Spa, at the intersection of the French Broad River and the Appalachian Trail in historic Hot Springs, NC. In addition to music, there are surprises such as a juggling fire show, kid’s parade, trapeze artists, fireworks, late night acoustic jams, and watch out for flying marshmallows. And don’t forget the biggest mass start whitewater raft race in the southeast and the 25 mile mountain bike race (both at 10am on Saturday). And if you’re not feeling too competitive, you can take a nice hike on the AT or just hang out by the river, listening to the music. Something for all ages.
Since John McCutcheon learned the old songs in the 1970s in western North Carolina, he has recorded 36 albums which have garnered 6 Grammy nominations and is a repeat performer at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough. Johnny Cash called John the best instrumentalist he ever heard. And, you can see him in a special “Sunday Set-In” at the Madison County Arts Center on May 4, at 4:00.