Don't be alarmed when you can't find Rivers Ridge Lodge on any map search.  Years ago, the original owners named their private drive a name the Old Fort Post Office refused to approve - they kept it anyway. The local authorities aren’t even sure what the road should be called and this will likely keep us off map search engines and GPS devices for quite some time. This is good and bad: bad if you need to know EVERYTHING about us RIGHT NOW (who doesn’t love to see a street view of the rentals one is considering), but good if you choose to stay with us as this will best preserve your privacy during your visit. Because Rivers Ridge Lodge sits at the tip of a peninsula that is completely surrounded by water, it is impossible to “drive by” our location unnoticed by rental clients.

Upon booking, we will send a detailed map and written directions via email and/or US Mail. Please call to schedule an appointment to see Rivers Ridge Lodge. If you find yourself in town unexpectedly, please feel free to call for an immediate showing, we will do our best to accommodate any schedule.


Rivers Ridge Lodge is approximately 3 miles from Interstate 40, Exit 75 (Parker Padgett Rd). We are located in the rural community of Old Fort, NC, roughly 5 miles from the quaint and historic center of town. In downtown Old Fort you will find no chain retailers - just a thriving artisan community, some great restaurants, the Mountain Gateway Museum, the Train Depot (housing a railroad museum, the Chamber of Commerce and McDowell County Tourism Authority) and great live music every Friday night.

Built prior to the Declaration of Independence, there’s quite a bit of history in Old Fort. The settlement around the stockade, which was reportedly built by Samuel Davidson and/or the Colonial Militia, served from 1756-1776 as the western-most outpost of the American Colonies. The original fort, called Davidson’s Fort, is currently being rebuilt and developed into an interactive settlement similar to Colonial Williamsburg. Several times a year Revolutionary War Re-enactments and other special events are performed at Davidson’s Fort Historic Park.

The Arrowhead Monument visually anchors Old Fort alongside the restored train depot. Given as a gift by Marie Nesbitt in 1930, the monument is symbolic of the peace that was finally achieved between pioneers and Native Americans in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Thomas Wolfe fans will want to locate the Old Fort Cemetery to search for the angel statue believed to have been owned by his family. Legend has it that Thomas Wolfe’s father lost the statue to an Old Fort resident in a poker game.

Catawba Vale Café offers fantastic sandwiches and specialty drinks. Order some lunch to carry down the road to the Old Fort Picnic Area in beautiful Pisgah National Forest. You’ll want to then continue on to Mill Creek to see Andrew’s Geyser, named after the President of the Southern Railway Company and constructed in 1885 as a tribute to the many men who died building the treacherous stretch of RR between Old Fort and Asheville. The Geyser was a grand landmark in the old days to railroad passengers who were able to see it several times along the 13 mile ascent to Swannanoa Gap. Old Fort plans to resume passenger rail transportation in the future.

If the weather is favorable, save an afternoon to hike or cycle Point Lookout Trail. It is a gorgeous 3.62 mile (one way) paved path closed to motorized vehicles. Surrounded by Pisgah National Forest, it climbs in elevation approximately 900 feet between Old Fort and Ridgecrest. If you begin it at Old Fort, you climb the uphill section first. Visit the McDowell Trails Association website and click on TRAILS to download the Point Lookout Trail Map as the signage is not good.

The music and dancing in Old Fort are renowned. Since 1986, folks downtown have heard bluegrass and traditional Mountain Music every Friday night. Played by anywhere from 3-8 bands in the Rockett Building on Main Street, it all starts at 7 pm with bands rotating in every 30 minutes. Bring the entire family as no alcohol is permitted. The music is free, sodas and coffee still 25¢ and the experience…priceless.



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modified: 03/17/15  |
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