Just minutes from Asheville, NC, Madison County is full of ways to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Within the Pisgah National Forest, the Appalachian Trail and hiking trails provide a wide range of opportunities for hiking. Other outdoor activities include whitewater rafting on the French Broad River, bicycling on scenic and lightly-traveled mountain roads; horseback riding on trails which provide unique vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains; fishing in our mountain streams and rivers. If skiing, snowboarding or tubing is what you are looking for, we have that, too. Relax in natural mineral water baths in the town of Hot Springs. For a less strenuous but equally enjoyable way to see the county, there are plenty of self-guided driving tours to take you through the back roads to see both the history of Madison County and its majestic vistas.
If it’s indoor entertainment you are looking for, these mountains and coves are steeped in old-time music tradition. You can find musicians at local venues, restaurants, and festivals throughout the year. The mountains are also full of local artists and you can visit them at their studios or see their work in local galleries or displayed in our antique stores and unique shops. Besides the music concerts or art shows offered monthly at the Arts Center, each summer the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre presents its season of musicals, dramas and comedies as well a new works.
From the landscaped grounds of the Mars Hill College campus to the natural beauty of the 360º view offered from Max Patch, you can find whatever it is you are looking for here in Madison County, The Jewel of the Blue Ridge. Come Play with Us!
If you want to visit us when you are in Madison County, NC, we are conveniently located just one mile from I-26 at Exit #11 in the heart of downtown Mars Hill across from the Post Office.
This building was originally a Sinclair service station. Included among the several people who managed businesses in this building were many of the county public servants including Carl Eller, Bill Briggs, and James Ledford. In the 1950s Carl “Babe” Eller, ran a Sinclair Station and later served the town of Mars Hill as alderman for many years and as Mayor from 1970-71. Bill Briggs, a County Commissioner in 2010 operated a service station here in the 1970s and James Ledford, a former Chair of the County Commissioners managed one in the 1980s. The last person to own the building before it was purchased in 2008 by Tourism Development Authority was John L. Chandler, who served as the mayor of the town of Mars Hill for many years.
This building was talked about at the birth of the Visitor Center as a possible permanent location. The Visitor Center began as an idea of Rick and Jane Morgan in a small space in their herb store—The Madison Herb Store—on the corner of Main and Cascade Streets in the early 1990s. At that time it was a combination Chamber of Commerce and quasi-Visitor Center. When the idea outgrew the space, the Center moved several times before settling in this permanent location.
Local Adventure Expert: Madison County Visitor Center
56 S Main St, Mars Hill, NC