Drovers' Trail - The Road to the Market

Long before 1827 when the state constructed the Buncombe Turnpike, drovers had discovered that the easiest route to get their livestock to markets in Asheville and points south was along the French Broad River.

The Drovers’ Trail would have thousands of hogs, turkeys and cattle driven by at least two men—one in the front and the other leading up the rear. These men usually relied on young boys to help in this process. This created the need for “stands” along the way to serve as stopping points to rest at the end of the day. As hogs were the most numerous along this road and could only travel six to eight miles a day, that fact determined the placement of such stands.

It was not uncommon for ten to twelve droves, numbering from 300 to 1,000 to stop overnight and feed at one of these stands. David Vance had a stand at Lapland (now the town of Marshall) and he claimed to feed 110,000 hogs during one especially busy month. During the months of October, November, and December, there was almost a continuous string of hogs between the state line with Tennessee and the city of Asheville. Map included was created in 2007 by the Madison County 4-H GeoTech Club.

Featured Businesses in Madison County

Little Creek Cafe

Little Creek Cafe

Mars Hill
(828) 689-2307

Little Creek Cafe

Toops Photojournalist Services

Toops Photojournalist Services

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-3276

Toops Photojournalist Services

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-3464

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

Marshall, North Carolina
(800) 570-7238

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Hot Springs, North Carolina
877 530-7238

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Mars Hill, North Carolina
(828) 689-4119

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-2489

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Walnut Creek Gallery

Walnut Creek Gallery

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-0568

Walnut Creek Gallery

Mad Co. Brew House

Mad Co. Brew House

Marshall, North Carolina
828-649-8600

Mad Co. Brew House

The Berry Farm, LLC

The Berry Farm, LLC

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 656-2056

The Berry Farm, LLC

Madison County Tourism Development Authority

56 South Main Street
Mars Hill, NC 28754

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Contact
 

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Local: (828) 680-9031

Toll Free: (877) 262-3476

Mailing Address: PO Box 1527
    Mars Hill, NC 28754