The Highlands Plateau
This picture perfect mountain oasis, so reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting, had its humble beginning back in 1875, when as legend has it, two Kansas developers drew intersecting lines on a map from New York to New Orleans and from Chicago to Savannah. They theorized that the point where these lines met would one day be a great trade center and the hub of commerce. Fortunately, they missed their calculations by approximately 120 miles (Atlanta Georgia) and this rich and fertile mountain village was able to develop as a health and summer resort town on the highest plateau of the Southern Appalachian Mountains in Western North Carolina. The year round population of the Highlands area is about 4,500, but the summertime temperatures draw visitors from around the southeast who come to enjoy the cool days and brisk mountain evenings.
Unlike most resort towns, the majority of our summer visitors are also homeowners and the town has created a community of concerned citizens and cultural organizations with many diverse activities. This community atmosphere makes for an ideal relocation to Highlands. Within the four blocks of Main Street and adjacent streets that make up the center of town, Highlands is a delightful blend of country and city cultures. Rarely is it possible for such a small town to offer the array of services found in Highlands. Medical needs are met with a full-service hospital and a staff of general practitioners and specialists.
The cultural amenities include professional theatre, chamber music concerts, cabarets, art exhibits, galleries, a fine art center and other special events. A variety of educational classes and informative seminars are also available. Highlands gives you a range of choices and somehow manages to nurture your spirit at the same time.
For those who possess a more adventuresome spirit, nature is always calling and beckons you to spend time away from the harried cares of your world. Take a long walk or an invigorating hike to a nearby waterfall; go mountain biking or stroll the sidewalks of Main Street. There is championship golf, tennis, swimming, fly-fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, and even whitewater rafting in the rivers nearby. Spring, summer, fall and winter each of the seasons offers its own unique set of outdoor adventures that attract residents and visitors alike to revel in the magnificent splendors of the mountains.
The Allure of Highlands
Cashiers also boasts a 1:10 lake to forest ratio. The mild summer temperatures rarely exceed the upper 70s, making outdoor activity abound with hiking for all skill levels, fly-fishing, rock climbing and mountain biking. Amble along a trail or take a leisurely tour in your car, exploring, finding majestic mountain views, weathered barns, magnificent waterfalls and rushing brooks. However, the king of outdoor sports here is golf, with courses designed by such masters as Arnold Palmer, Donald Ross, Morris Haltalsky, Tom Fazio and George Cobb.
The village also offers unique shopping such as antiques, local crafts, beautiful artwork, or sophisticated clothing. After a day of shopping or hiking, residents and visitors can relax by a roaring fire with a good book or dine in one of the wonderful restaurants which offer up classic continental cuisine or down home Carolina cooking. In Cashiers the beauty is natural, not man made. So much beauty, so much to do, so little time to enjoy Cashiers.
Lake Glenville is the highest man made lake east of the Mississippi at an elevation of 3,492 feet. With 26 miles of shoreline, 1400 acres of mountain lake and several waterfalls, Lake Glenville is fed by five tributaries plus dozens of creeks and streams. Glenville is a beautiful community rich in history. Originally named Hamburg Township, it was settled in 1827 but renamed Glenville in 1891. During World War II, the Nantahala Power and Light Company, then owned by ALCOA Company, constructed a dam on the Tuckasegee River to supply their company with more electricity to make aluminum for the war effort. The town of Glenville (Hamburg) was flooded along with all the schools, homes, businesses, and farmlands up to a depth of 300 feet to make the lake. Several major streams supply the lake with water including Hurrican Creek, Norton Creek, Mill Creek and Pine Creek. Lake Glenville, NC offers visitors and residents a wide variety of activities with a variety of boating and water sports plus great fishing in clear, clean water for trout, walleye, bass and even catfish. On the shores of Lake Glenville is a 79 acre recreational facility, Ralph J. Andrews County Park, which is the perfect place for families to enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, a family picnic and camping in a clean, safe environment. In addition to the lake, the surrounding mountains hold plenty of adventures plus the quaint Village of Cashiers and the Town of Highlands.
Back in the 1880s, Sapphire Valley was the nation's leading gold producing area until the California Gold Rush. The Georgetown mine, located at the foot of Bald Mountain, produced some sizeable gold nuggets, but eventually closed its doors and the area became a great place for tourism. Today, visitors to Sapphire Valley enjoy the beautiful waters of Fairfield, hogback and Whisper Lakes where they can canoe, kayak, and fish. The banks of Fairfield Lake is also the place to be on the Fourth of July for the annual Symphony Under the Stars and fireworks and is the home of Camp Merrie Woode, one of the premier children's summer camps in the North Carolina Mountains. There are great trails to the top of Bald Rock and horseback riding is available close by. Although golf is the king of sports in the summer months, when winter rolls around, skiers and snowboarders find their way to the Sapphire Valley Ski area and Frozen Falls Tube Park.