Historic Trails

Dayton Duncan Presentation

In August 2014, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area hosted Dayton Duncan , author and co-producer with Ken Burns of The National Parks: America's Best Idea. Mr. Duncan's presentation underscored the importance of stewardship and preservation of America's special places, be they national parks, forests, or cultural treasures.

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Cradle of Forestry

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Fontana Dam

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Fontana Dam and Visitor Center

Located in the far western corner of North Carolina, Fontana Dam is the tallest dam east of the Rockies at 480 feet. It was built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in response to an urgent need for electric power during World War II; construction began in 1942 and was finished in just 36 months.

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The Orchard at Altapass

Early History

Perched on the crest of the Blue Ridge atop the Eastern Continental Divide, the Orchard at Altapass occupies a unique spot in both America’s landscape and history. The Orchard has been a vital travel route since the earliest settlers began exploring these mountains. Buffalo and elk traversed here, followed by the Cherokee Indians and eventually European settlers.

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The Orchard at Altapass

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Heritage Tours and Group Receptive Services

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Orchard at Altapass Saved by Carson Family

Master storyteller Bill Carson tells how his family saved a century-old apple orchard from development and turned it into a heritage attraction on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Overmountain Victory Trail

Overmountain Victory Trail as told by Bill Carson Bill Carson of The Altapass Orchard.

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Cataloochee Valley

Cataloochee is a beautiful, fairly remote valley nestled on the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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