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Welcome to the Blue Ridge Highlander...Your Guide
to the Best the Blue Ridge - Smoky Mountains have to offer
20 Years on-line - 1997 - 2017

Quick links to our NEWSLETTER SIGN Up newsletter sign upand our EVENT CALENDAR  Highlander event calendar  

If you are planning a trip to the mountains and need more information
use this link to let us know what you need...


Eclipse Weekend...Highlander Gallery Will be Open...
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday 10 am to 5 pmHighlander Gallery in Brasstown North Carolina
10079 Old Highway 64 •  Brasstown NC
3/4 miles east of JC Campbell Folk School

Trip Advisor Quote...Finest Gallery within hundreds of miles...


Chimney Rock Family Animal Encounters

Eclipse in the Blue Ridge - Smoky Mountains
August 21st

I am sure I don't have to tell you that certain areas of these mountains are on the Path of Totality, for the upcoming Solar Eclipse. 

When I went to check on Cherokee North Carolina - Qualla Boundary, I loved their explanation of the Eclipse...

Look Up in the Sky!
It's…a Giant Frog Swallowing the Sun?

Safety First...most everyone knows, but just in case, I need to reiterate...DO NOT look directly into the eclipse without protective glasses prior or after the total darkness.  Also, make sure you know that the Eclipse Glasses you have are certified. 

You can look up without the glasses when the sun is totally covered by the moon.  Depending on where you are viewing, that will be between 1.78 - 2.38 minutes, then the glasses need to go back on.  Also, keep in mind, the partial eclipse can damage the lens of your camera.

Use the link below for a list of the main viewing locations for each of the counties in the Path of Totality within our mountain territories. 

Totality Blue Ridge -Smoky Mountains


John Mac Kah Grandfather FieldsBrasstown, NC
Highlander Gallery
Artist Reception for
John Mac Kah
August 24th, 2017
4:30 - 7:00

Join us for a night of creativity at the Highlander Gallery.  10079 Old Highway 64 West, Brasstown, NC

We will have...Wonderful Art, Classical Guitarist, Wine & Hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Our new location is so creative. We have 3 acres and are located on Brasstown Creek, just 3/4 miles from John C. Campbell Folk School. We have always loved art and history, and this is our way to bring both together. We are continuing our renovation of the property and each and every day it gets better.  So come see us and enjoy the fruits of our labor and enjoy an evening of great art and fellowship.

click for more information and a map...


Kiwanis RodeoBlue Ridge, GA
21st Annual Championship Rodeo
Kiwanis Club Fairgrounds
August 18th & 19th

Events will include: Bareback Riding, Bronco Riding, Barrel Racing, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping and BULL RIDING!  We also have the famous Steer Dressing Contest, calf scramble, and introducing our new Wild Wheelbarrow Race!

Again this year, there will also be a BOOT TOSS, which will consist of a drawing of five registered participants that will toss a boot for chances to win $100 cash or the chance to win a 2016 4×4 Dodge RAM. Sponsored by Mountain Valley Motors of Blue Ridge Georgia.

Come on out and have a great time at the rodeo!

click for more information and a map...


Chimney Rock Family Animal EncountersChimney Rock, NC
Chimney Rock
at Chimney Rock State Park
Family Animal Encounters
July 1st - August 31st

Meet some of Grady the Groundhog's woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl, at our daily 2pm Family Animal Encounters! A Park naturalist will explain each animal's role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife.

Animal Encounters meet at the Outdoor Classroom Sat & Sun and at Grady's Animal Discovery Den on Monday. Then, grab a Track Trail brochure at Grady's Den and take a hike along our Great Woodland Adventure trail with 12 interactive education stations.

click for more information and a map...


One Slight HitchBlue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Community Theater Presents...One Slight Hitch
Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun
August 17th through Sept 3rd

It's Courtney's wedding day, and her mom, Delia, is making sure that everything is perfect.

The groom is perfect, the dress is perfect, and the decorations (assuming they arrive) will be perfect.

Then, like in any good farce the doorbell rings. And all hell breaks loose. So much for perfect.

click for more information and a map...


Chimney Rock Summer Photo ContestChimney Rock, NC
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock
State Park
Summer Photo Contest
July 1st - August 31st

Every season, each and every day, offers something new at Chimney Rock. Warm weather energizes us and encourages us to get outside and moving.

The forest bursts into color and birds begin to reappear. Ah, so invigorating. Look around you; notice the many signs of spring – smiling faces, fresh green leaves, flowers in bloom.

Capture that special moment or scene on your camera, enter it in our seasonal photo contest and tell us about it. We'll use the winning entries on our website and Facebook album, and you'll win some fun prizes.

Photos must be taken within the Chimney Rock section of the Park. For the rules of the contest go to ChimneyRockPark.com.

For more information or how to submit your photo(s), call (828) 625-9611, or email visit@chimneyrockpark.com.

click for more information and a map...


Pickin in the Park at Horse Shoe BendMcCaysville, GA
Pickin in the Park
at Horse Shoe Bend
Every Thursday Night through September 28th

Meet some of Grady the Groundhog's woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl, at our daily 2pm Family Animal Encounters! A Park naturalist will explain each animal's role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife.

Animal Encounters meet at the Outdoor Classroom Sat & Sun and at Grady's Animal Discovery Den on Monday. Then, grab a Track Trail brochure at Grady's Den and take a hike along our Great Woodland Adventure trail with 12 interactive education stations.

click for more information and a map...


Village Square Arts & CraftHighlands, North Carolina
Village Square Arts
& Craft Show
Saturday & Sunday
August 26th & 27th

Highlands Village Square Art & Craft Show ; 10 to 5 in KH Founders Park at Pine and N. 5th St. Features local and regional artisans with fine art, pottery, rustic furniture, metal, leather, etc. Live music, food. Free admission.

When planning a summer trip to the mountains, think about scheduling it for the weekend August 26th & 27th so you can attend the popular Highlands Village Square Art & Craft Shows.

Cool off at 4118' while browsing 75+ booths filled with high quality local and regionally made fine art and crafts.

Rustic furniture, leather purses, blacksmithing, chili sauces, and pottery are just a few of the items you will find there.

Kelsey-Hutchinson "Founders" Park on Pine Street (at N. 5th St.) is a beautiful venue for the show. The pavilion will feature musicians to enliven the atmosphere. You will find good food to eat in the park and the Highlands Village Square next door. Bring the kids for fun in the interactive water fountain.

click for more information and a map...


Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway

Take a trip on the Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway. and it is mobile ready. The Cherohala Skyway’s 36-miles of scenic mountain views rival any scenic byway in the eastern United States.  Mountaintops, waterfalls and waterways joined together with wildlife and giant trees, adorn this high country of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.  I was very impressed with Spirit Ridge Overlook with an elevation of 4,950-feet. This is by far the best handicap access location along the Cherohala Skyway.

The average trip over the Skyway takes 2 1/2-hours, if you just want to drive and view scenery.  I would recommend setting aside the best part of the day to enjoy some of the bigger than life features the Cherohala Skyway and Unicoi Mountain Wilderness have to offer.


Blue Ridge Parkway...from Cherokee to Asheville

One of the special wonders in these mountains is the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The Parkway begins or ends on the edge of the Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia the Blue Ridge Parkway travels 469-miles southwestern along the high ridges and over the tall mountain peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains ending or beginning at the southern gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

To get the most out of your scenic road trip the Highlander suggest starting out early and begin your journey from the town of Cherokee where the Blue Ridge Parkway officially ends at the southern entrance gateway into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Read more.. A day trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway...from Cherokee to Asheville


The Highlander is celebrating 20 years on-line this year

Moving to these mountains in 1995, and seeing the wealth of healthy resources available to everyone led us to wanting to explore more That exploration led us to wanting to share that information. Having a history in marketing and publishing and the desire to publish a magazine about these mountains led us to research the Internet and its potential in 1995.

We started developing BlueRidgeHighlander.com in 1996, and launched it in 1997. Our next biggest challenge was to go around the mountains and explain to many what the Internet was and the value it had as a communication medium. Today 88.5% of the US population uses the Internet regularly.

The Highlander has been redesigned and re-programmed many times over the years. We are always looking into new ways to benefit our readers and sponsors, and are working on new benefits to add this coming season. We know you are going love the new additions and changes as we continue to grow out of the box.

We would love your input as to what you would like to have in the Highlander, after all, we are doing this for you, our readers, as a way to enjoy and plan your trips to the mountains.

Use this link to share your ideas of what you would like to see added to the Highlander. Continue to check out the progress, each week you will see something new...enjoy..

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Travel and Real Estate Guide to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, including North Georgia, Western North Carolina, Tennessee River Valley and Up Country South Carolina
The Blue Ridge Highlander logo, all photography, design, graphics, artwork, writing, digital images, etc are the Copyright © of C. Wayne Dukes and Sherry Bell Dukes.  1996 - 2017, except where otherwise stated. All rights reserved, reproduction, downloading, and/or duplication of any sort is strictly prohibited, all violations will be prosecuted. Legal Policy.  If you have any questions, or comments, regarding this site, e-mail the Highlander.