Burke County is home to the cool city of Morganton, about 55 miles east of Asheville via I-40. The county extends north to Linville Gorge and the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the Parkway, take scenic NC 181 South ("The Snake") for 27 miles to Morganton, passing along the way the entrances to Linville Gorge, Table Rock, Hawksbill, Upper Creek Falls, Brown Mountain Light and more! Burke County and the surrounding foothills are ideal for hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Plus, visit wineries, historic sites, festivals and plenty of fine art and craft. Click here to visit the Burke County Web site.
Burke County Things to Do
Catawba Valley Wine Trail
Take a tour of four wineries conveniently located near I-40 (see our Catawba Valley Wine Trail Guide). Three of them are just a few miles apart - Belle Nicho Winery features Seyval Blanc, Catawba, Chambourcin and Sweet Dog Red wines. Silver Fork Winery has a beautiful tasting room and great views of their vineyards and the South Mountains. South Creek Vineyard & Winery has a charming century old Italian Renaissance Farmhouse and deck to enjoy an award winning Bordeaux style wine.
Also, Defiant Distillery Tours at Blue Ridge Distilling Co. offers a guided tour and a sampling of Defiant Whisky. And Apple Hill Orchard and Cider Mill makes nine varieties of apples plus jams, jellies, honey, cider spices, apple-related products and homemade cider. (Read more about Distillieries.)
More Things to Do
- The Catawba River Greenway Park has 3.8 miles of paved, fully accessible walking and biking trail along the Catawba River from the Rocky Ford Access area off Lenoir Road/NC 18 N. to the Greenlee Ford Access adjacent to the Catawba River Soccer Complex Loop located off Greenlee Ford Road. Along the trail there are picnic shelters, fishing piers, canoe launches, a gazebo, multilevel observation decks and pedestrian bridges which cross the river and tributaries. The National Park Service formally certified the Greenway as part of the Overmountain Victory Trail.
- The Valdese Heritage Arts Center features arts and crafts by local artists
- Waldensian Trail of Faith is a series of exhibits that recall the passion and determination of the area's early Waldensian settlers.
- Waldensian Heritage Museum offers artifacts and special exhibits remembering the early Italian settlers that founded Valdese
- The Beanstalk Journey at Catawba Meadows is a great adventure for the entire family. The exciting zip line course takes you first across sky bridges then from treehouse to treehouse suspended from a series of zip lines.
- Fly Fishing in the Catawba River tailrace below Lake James in the state's only "special regulation" trout waters. Trophy brown trout up to 20 inches are common.
Discover More! Go to the Burke County Web site for more attractions and great places to stay.