Western North Carolina
is centrally located to countless Western North Carolina attractions. Our setting is private, yet so easily
accessed from Interstate 40, you can see and do
everything you want without spending your vacation in
Investigate whether the all-inclusive
Go Blue Ridge Card will save you money on admission tickets to top Blue Ridge
Parkway activities. The card covers many popular sites
and includes a free guidebook with maps so check it out.
Please click on any heading for
COMPETITIVE SPORTING EVENTS
PARKWAYS & BYWAYS
STATE & PRIVATE PARKS
following galleries are only a short drive from Rivers
Ridge Lodge. (Visit our
EXPLORE ASHEVILLE page
and click on ART for extensive information
regarding art in Asheville.)
1972, members of the
McDowell Arts Council
Association have labored to preserve and
share the heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
McDowell County is proud to be a part of the official
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area designated by
Congress. Visit the MACA to experience this unique part
of the country and its legacy of fine mountain crafts,
storytelling, music, dancing and more. Numerous events
are scheduled for the year including the Mountain Glory
Quilter's Guild Quilt Show scheduled for exhibit the
month of October. The MACA is located in downtown
Marion at 50 South Main Street, (828-652-8610).
February of each year, the
Black Mountain Center for the
Arts hosts a show in its Upper Gallery of
faculty and student art from local colleges and
universities. Meet the artists at an opening reception
or visit the gallery while works remain on display
(typically until BMCA’s annual Auction for the Arts in
March). Don’t miss ART IN BLOOM, a lovely
art and floral event scheduled each June at the
Center. The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is
located in the original City Hall at 225 W. State Street
in neighboring Black Mountain (12-15 minutes from River
Ridge Lodge). Call (828) 669-0930 or visit their website for details of current shows and
Black Mountain College Museum
+ Arts Center, founded in 1933 and officially closed in 1953, has an
extremely interesting history. Featured on the
UNC TV American Masters series, the Black
Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is now an
exhibition space and resource center dedicated to
exploring the history and legacy of the world's most
acclaimed experimental educational community. It offers
changing exhibitions, a video archive, research
materials, and a selection of books and other materials
for sale. The Art Center is open Wed-Sat and is located
on the original Black Mountain College
campus (now Camp Rockmont) near Black Mountain.
EVENTS (listed chronologically)
Western NC offers
adventurous competition (bordering on crazy!). There's
Black Mountain Marathon & Mt.
Mitchell Challenge in February. The
Challenge is a 40-mile run that begins at dawn in Black
Mountain at an altitude of 2,360 feet. Runners follow
trails that climb to the 6,684-foot summit of Mount Mitchell then return to the start/finish area. The weather can make this a
glorious run or one that is treacherous.
Tour de Lure Bike Ride
in April is made up of two rides: the 67-mile Dewey
Hughes Memorial Bike Ride and the 25-mile
Corpening YMCA Fun Bike Ride. Riders in the
challenging Dewey Hughes Memorial Ride climb a total of
5,900 feet up Stone Mountain, around Lake Lure, through
Chimney Rock, and return to McDowell County via the
Assault on Mt. Mitchell route. The Fun Ride
participants ride through the lovely rolling hillsides
and farmlands of McDowell County.
Assault on Mt. Mitchell and
Marion are two bicycle races held in May that begin in
Spartanburg, SC. The former ends over 100 miles later
at Mt. Mitchell on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the
latter, 73 miles later in Marion. Both rides are scenic
child to adult, beginner to Iron Man, Asheville’s
Mountain Sports Festival,
May 28-30, 2010 (at Carrier Park on the southern edge of
Asheville), offers all types of competition. New this
year, is the Adventure Triathlon and the Urban
Cyclocross Race. Visit the festival website for
detailed information on many other races and contests.
competitors won’t want to miss 3 challenging athletic
events that are part the
Grandfather Mountain Highland
The Bear Run
is a 5-mile road (running) race climbing 1,568 feet in
elevation from Linville to the summit of Grandfather Mountain.
Grizzly Metric Century
Bicycle Ride, which covers 65 miles from the base of
Grandfather Mountain to Beech Mountain and back to
Linville, is a challenging (road bicycle) race that
includes 7,000 feet of climbing. For those really
seeking bragging rights, the
Grandfather Mountain Marathon,
known as "One of America's Toughest Marathons,” attracts
nationally and internationally ranked runners. It
starts in Boone and ends on the track at MacRae Meadows
during the Highland Games.
Did you know that the first documented gold find in the United
States was at the Reed Mine in North Carolina (just east
of Charlotte)? And that North Carolina
led the nation in gold production until 1848 when the
California Gold Rush began? The
North Carolina Gold Festival
celebrates these little known facts and many others each
April. Festivities include gold mining demonstrations,
treasure hunts, geo-caching, gold panning and more.
There will also be gold exhibits, nationally recognized
musicians, local bands, vendors, raffles and plenty of
food. Held at the Tom Johnson Camping Center on US 70
between Old Fort and Marion, call (800) 959-9033 or
visit the festival website for details.
entire weekend in spring, Painters Greenhouse in Old
Fort hosts an
Annual Herb Festival.
Come celebrate planting weather and the taste and
aroma of fresh herbs! Craftsmen, cooks and musicians
will entertain both days. Painters is approximately 5
miles south of I-40 (Exit 73). For more information,
click on the link to their website or call (828) 668-7225.
the Route 70 Cruisers host the
Mountain Thunder Car Show
in downtown Old Fort. Bring the family for a nostalgic
displays of cars, trucks and motorcycles, live music,
crafts, vendors and food. Treasure hunters will
appreciate the “swap meet.” The event is free and open
to the public.
in downtown Old Fort is a celebration of Blue Ridge Mountain
pioneer heritage. Come to the Mountain Gateway Museum
grounds the last weekend in April for free mountain
music and entertainment in the amphitheatre, excellent
craft demonstrations, engine displays, and a profusion
of vendors, (828)
Pine Main Street (about 28 miles or 45 minutes from
Rivers Ridge Lodge) hosts three major festivals
Fire On the Mountain
on the last Saturday in April,
The Toe River Storytelling
on the third Saturday in July, and the
Mineral City Heritage Festival
on the second Saturday in October. Visit the festival
websites for details.
aboard as Old Fort celebrates the history of the
railroad at the Third Annual Railroad Day at the
Old Fort Train Station Museum & Visitor Center. The
event takes place downtown, on the first Saturday in
May, and features activities for the kids, free music,
model train exhibits and more. For more information,
Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) is held biannually in the spring and fall at Camp
Rockmont near Black Mountain. LEAF International “is a
non-profit collaborative outreach program that empowers
youth globally through music and performance arts by
pairing them with instruments and mentors and connecting
them to their cultural traditions.” Purchase tickets in
advance as sales are capped at 5500 per day; children
under 9 are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
or just soak in the native music, dance and storytelling
at the Old Fort Pow Wow in early May. For more
information, contact Mabel Benjamin, (813) 765-3073 or
beginner to Iron Man, Asheville’s
Mountain Sports Festival
(at Carrier Park on the southern edge of Asheville)
offers something for every type of athlete May 28-30, 2010. Participate in skateboarding, Ultimate, paddling, rock
climbing, kayaking, cycling and backpacking clinics, all
free to the public. Visit the festival website for tons
of detailed information.
Mmmmm…livermush. If you don’t know what it is or have never
eaten it, don’t miss the First Friday Concert &
Livermush Festival in neighboring Marion
June 4, 2010. Livermush has become an institution in
North Carolina without any formal advertising. It even
has its own Facebook page with over 10, 000 fans!
Composed of pig liver, head parts, cornmeal and spices,
livermush is high in protein, low in fat and thought to
be one of the world's most versatile foods. Bring the
whole family to see who is crowned Little Miss Livermush,
compete in the Livermush Toss and see what all the fuss
is about! Check out this You Tube video of
Marion’s 2008 Livermush
Experience the talent of over 65 Juried Crafters/Artists
Annual Black Mountain Arts & Crafts Show held in
downtown Black Mountain, beside The Old Depot, June 5-6,
2010. Admission is free to the public.
McDowell Arts Council will sponsor the second annual
Honey Bee Arts and Crafts Festival in historic
downtown Marion on June 26, 2010, from 9am-4pm. Call
652-8610 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for
details. Admission is free.
a full century, Christians have invited everyone to
Grandfather Mountain for the
“Singing on the Mountain”
celebration held each June. It is the oldest, ongoing,
old time gospel convention left in the Southern Appalachians.
Fort Ruritans kick off July 4th weekend with
a National Championship Rodeo featuring bull
riding and dogging, bareback riding, barrel racing,
steer wrestling, goat tying, calf scramble, and other
entertainment. It all starts July 2, 2010, at 8pm.
Contact Keith Hall, (828) 668-3110 for more information.
on the annual
Grandfather Mountain Highland
COMPETITIVE SPORTING EVENTS and
Swannanoa School of Culinary Arts offers hands-on
immersion in a variety of culinary experiences at the
Seasonal School of Culinary
Arts. The week-long summer sessions are
held on the campus of Warren Wilson College in the
Swannanoa Valley (between Old Fort and Asheville) in
The Swannanoa Gathering
series of summer workshops in various folk arts held on
the campus of Warren Wilson College in July and August.
The Gathering was a 2008 Silver Level Players’ Choice
Award Winner in the Music Camps and Workshops category
incredible folk experience and cultural exchange, visit
North Carolina's Official International Festival.
Folkmoot is a two-week celebration of the world’s
cultural heritage held, each summer, at venues scattered
throughout Western North Carolina. Experience lively performances and dynamic workshops by
Folk Dancers and musicians in colorful authentic
dress. Also offered during the Festival are: the
Folkmoot 5K Rum/Walk and Kid’s Fun Run,
International Festival Day and the Parade of
NC Mineral and Gem Festival
is a four-day shopping extravaganza in Spruce Pine at
the end of July. The event, held annually at an indoor
site, is directed by the Mitchell County Chamber of
Commerce and supported by countless community
in Black Mountain, celebrates sourwood honey and the bee
that favor the indigenous Sourwood tree, or “Lily of the
Valley tree,” when collecting its pollen. Sourwood
honey is a rare honey that has a sweet and sour quality
and does not crystallize easily. It has a large
following in the South East, pairs well with Asian
foods, and is the secret ingredient in many Southern
family recipes. Now in its third decade, folks in
know how to kick back, enjoying great music, awesome
mountain food, and a unique shopping opportunity at this
alcohol-free festival in August.
Professional and serious amateur photographers have
gathered on the mountain since 1952 for the
Grandfather Mountain Camera
production is big business in North Carolina with
Henderson County leading the pack. Each Labor Day
weekend, Henderson County hosts the
North Carolina Apple Festival
this trade. Historically, festival activities were
spread over a week to ten days, but it was shortened in
the mid 1980’s to the four-day jam-packed festival that
it is today. Entertainment is continuous, 10am-10pm Friday through Sunday, with the King Apple Parade the highlight on
Labor Day. This hometown festival offers the
characteristic street fair vendors and youth activities
but also features everything apples - with Red and
Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty and Galas taking center
stage! The event is approximately 48 miles and 54
minutes from Rivers Ridge Lodge and closes with a street
September 29, 2010, McDowell County and the Overmountain
Victory Trail Association offer the Overmountain
Victory Trail Celebration, an interpretive program,
on the grounds of the historic Joseph McDowell House in
Marion. Learn about the owner of this historic site and
his involvement in the Battle at Kings Mountain.
Overmountain Victory Trail Encampment, near Marion, is scheduled for October 1
- 2, 2010. Revolutionary war buffs will want to visit
Overmountain Victory Trail
Association website for more information and to access their very informative
blog. Admission is Free for both events. Call for more
is three days of fun hosted annually by the Old Fort
Chamber of Commerce the first weekend in October. Enjoy
live music, children’s activities, plenty of food,
handcrafted art, local vendors, raffles, and the
infamous Mill Creek Duck Race! It all takes place on
the grounds of the Mountain Gateway Museum,
town of Marion celebrates the arrival of autumn, early
in October, with
The Mountain Glory Festival.
The festival commemorates local and regional pastimes
with a craft show, foot races, and three stages of area
talent. Shoppers enjoy more than 100 artisans, crafters
and food booths. Local Bluegrass bands, Native American
music, and a “Children’s Arena” entertain and amuse
"Fall! By The Tracks"
occurs annually in October at The Old Depot on Sutton Avenue.
Visit the mini-museum at
The Caboose, paint
pumpkins, observe numerous craft demonstrations, and
help make apple cider using an antique apple press –
lots of music, food and fun!
Mountain Center for the Arts hosts a Pumpkin Festival
in Black Mountain
Appalachian Potters Market
is held on the first Saturday in December in Marion.
The market, sponsored by the McDowell Arts Council
Association, features over 50 potters and their diverse
collections of traditional to modern claywork.
McDowell Arts Council Association also hosts the
Blue Ridge Artisan Show and
Sale for six days each December and
features the work of McDowell County artisans. Pottery, woodworking, basketry, jewelry,
textile arts, and other fine crafts will be on exhibit
and available for sale during the event held at the MACA.
FOR KIDS (listed by proximity)
on Main Street
in Old Fort sells beads and beading supplies and offers
classes for all ability levels.
Geocaching anyone? Enter our zip code, 28762, to find coordinates
near Rivers Ridge Lodge. Pull on your hiking boots,
grab your gps and an area map, and start searching!
Shadowbrook Mini Golf and Games (828)
669-5499 and Phil’s BBQ Pit (828)
are under one roof on Highway 9 in Black
Mountain and offer a fun evening out with the kids.
teens might be interested in the Black Mountain
Recreation and Parks
Night Owl Egg Hunt.
Bring a flashlight! They also offer a daytime version
for younger bunnies.
Check out their website for information about the
world’s first fully robotic Gamelan Orchestra and to see
when the organization has scheduled events in and around
enthusiasts will find plenty of places to mine gold and
gemstones within 20 - 40 minutes of Rivers Ridge Lodge.
Visit each gem mining website or call for directions
before attempting to find using your gps! Although the
mines are close to major thoroughfares, their rural
addresses are generally not recognized by gps systems;
also, most are only open seasonally.
Lucky Strike Gold and Gem Mine,
about 6 miles south of Interstate 40, just off US
Highway 221 on Polly Spout Rd. (about 20 minutes from
Rivers Ridge Lodge), has a very helpful staff that will
have you panning for gold like a pro in no time.
beyond Polly Spout Rd., on Highway 221, is
Thermal City Gold Mine another great facility for gem mining and gold panning. Thermal
City Gold Mine hosts a Miners Meet each year during
Memorial Day weekend.
Broad River Gems & Mineral
in the direction of Lake Lure, is a clear favorite among
those looking to easily find the largest gems in any
given bucket and a great museum collection. Friendly
and knowledgeable, the owners of Broad River Gems have
amassed a tremendous assortment of fossils, minerals and
metals – all displayed in their shop.
miners will want to visit
Heather Grove Gold & Gem
located between Marion and Rutherfordton. Dress
appropriately to work the Creek panning, hand sluicing,
dredging, and high banking.
farther away, is
Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine in Spruce Pine, 25 miles or 40 minutes from Rivers Ridge Lodge.
in Little Switzerland, is a very popular gem-mining
destination (approximately 25 miles or 40 minutes from
Rivers Ridge Lodge). Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway,
Emerald Village is composed of 7 real mines each
offering their own brand of activities, tours and
history. Surrounded by stunning Blue Ridge Mountain
scenery with an abundance of gem mining option, Emerald Village is
likely to please everyone.
InterACTIVE Museaum, in Rutherfordton (approximately 40 mins. from Rivers Ridge
Lodge), with hands-on activities and imaginative play,
keeps learning fun for children and adults! The Discovery
Garden offers an opportunity to experience the miracles
of nature. KidSenses’ Virtual Reality Ride makes it
feel like you’re really riding a roller coaster!
Practice a new career at Dr. DeSoto's Dental Office,
WFUN-STUDIO, Kids’ Pueblito Restaurant, Bubble-Ology and
many other centers. KidSense offers monthly programs,
special events and summer camps.
the subterranean recesses of
the only public cavern in the Carolinas, just 32 miles
from Rivers Ridge Lodge. The natural limestone caverns
are partially wheelchair accessible. See the amazing
stalactites and stalagmites; you might even catch a
glimpse of an Eastern Pipistrelle Bat hanging from the
in the Paranormal? Read about the formal investigations
Brown Mountain Lights.
Do you like ghost stories? If so, be sure to visit this
NC Ghost Story website to learn more about Linville’s
Brown Mountain Lights and other
North Carolina legends of
Orchard at Altapass
offers a great experience for the whole family. The
Orchard, which sits on the Eastern Continental Divide at
the Blue Ridge Parkway, is over 100 years old and has
morphed into an Appalachian Cultural Center in addition
to offering a traditional apple picking experience. The
Orchard was featured in National Geographic’s exposé,
Discover Appalachia. Visit the
to find out more about the history of the area and other
unique activities scheduled from Music to Monarch
The Museum of North Carolina
is located at milepost 331 on the Blue Ridge Parkway at
Gillespie Gap. The Museum underwent a million dollar
renovation and expansion in 2002 and offers interactive
displays of the region’s minerals, gems and mining
history. Gillespie Gap/MNCM is also the site of a
Revolutionary War encampment and reenactment performed
Catawba Science Center,
in Hickory, is another awesome place to explore. Send
Mom shopping for furniture at one of Hickory’s famous furniture markets while Dad and the kids catch a
show in the Millholland Planetarium’s state-of-the-art
theater. There is always an exciting traveling
exhibit. Permanent exhibits to investigate: Saltwater
& Freshwater Galleries, Hall of Astronomy, Energy
Avenue, Inventor's Workshop, VR Xtreme, EarthWatch
Center, Science Courtyard, Naturalist Center and
Downtown Old Fort is quaint and historic and only a few
miles up the road. Go see the sites. In a nutshell,
the 31-foot Arrowhead monument marks the historic Old
Fort Train Station, circa 1890’s. This bright
yellow building (renovated between 2005-2006) houses the
Railroad Museum, the
Old Fort Chamber of Commerce
and the McDowell County Tourism Authority’s Visitor
Center. The Railroad Museum features train exhibits
and artifacts, furniture, signs, photos, and an original
caboose on display.
Mountain Gateway Museum and
Heritage Center sits beside the Mill
Creek across the street and deep to the Train
Station. Many festivals, events and concerts take place
along the banks of the Mill Creek in the yard of this
1930’s Work Projects Administration-era, stone building.
There’s an outdoor amphitheatre, a picnic area,
pioneer-era log cabins, a public garden project,
interior and exterior exhibits, and living history
demonstrations that depict the evolution of Old Fort
from its early inhabitants to modern day. Old Fort has
rich Native American, Revolutionary War, and Civil War
history. Admission to the Gateway Museum is free, and if you’re lucky, you’ll stumble upon some
scheduled event. Visit our website’s
page for more particulars on Old Fort’s birth and
McDowell County Oral History
is a wonderful website created by the McDowell County NC
Tourism Authority and made possible by a grant from the
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. The site chronicles
the oral and written history of the people, places and
things significant to the development of McDowell County.
McDowell Quilt Trail
offers an exciting format for presenting history. Through
the act of hanging painted quilt squares at key places
throughout Western NC counties, quilters are sharing powerful stories, giving
voice to the land and buildings. Barbara Webster,
Executive Director of the project in Yancey and Mitchell
Counties, believes each quilt square, “is a history
repository…I like to think of the blocks as mirrors of
who we are.” The area now has one of the highest
concentrations of quilt blocks in the country. Stories
about the project have appeared in Carolina Mountain
Living, WNC Magazine, Our
State magazine, Carolina Mountain Life, local newspapers
from NC to Atlanta, the Wall Street Journal, and radio
spots sponsored by the NC Department of Tourism in 6
states. Can you find a block and learn the
history behind it?
Historic Carson House
(just minutes from Rivers Ridge Lodge, between Old Fort
and Marion, at 1805 Highway 70 West) was rescued,
restored, and opened to the public as a museum and
library in 1964. The museum has a remarkable collection
of quilts and coverlets. Most are slave made with some
that served as “maps” for the Underground Railroad
during the Civil War. In 2007, the National Endowment
for the Humanities selected one of the Carson House
quilts for participation in their Picturing America
program. Visitors and family historians also have access
to the Mary M. Greenlee Genealogical Research and
History Room during regular hours at no cost.
136 Highway 70 West, in Marion, is the Joseph
McDowell House, circa 1780-81. The historic house
is listed on the Commemorative Driving Route for the
National Park Service Overmountain National Historic
Victory Trail, as Joseph McDowell was a member of the
Overmountain Men. In fact, McDowell County is named in his honor. Plans are underway to restore the
home and grounds to pay tribute to the McDowell Family
and preserve the history of McDowell
County. Call or email for more information:
is Black Mountain’s mini-museum display of train
memorabilia, photographic history and period music.
Admission is free.
buffs won’t want to miss visiting the
Carl Sandburg Home
in Connemara, NC (approximately 53 miles from Rivers
Ridge Lodge). Sandburg won Pulitzer Prizes for poetry
in 1919 and 1951, and for history in 1940. The New York
Post wrote at Sandburg’s death, "Carl Sandburg was the
poet of the American dream and the American reality.
His poetry has the freedom of prose, his prose the
quality of poetry, and through it all ran what has been
called the sense of being American."
and dancing in Old Fort are renowned. Since 1986, folks
downtown have heard
Bluegrass and traditional
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
of Marion also holds a Bluegrass Music Jam, rain
or shine, every Thursday. The Jam is open to all
musicians as there are never any scheduled performers.
It is held outdoors, weather permitting (bring chairs or
blankets), or in the historic Marion Depot in inclement
weather. For more information, call (828) 652-2215.
Black Mountain Music Scene
website for up-to-date information on great live music in Black
Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley area.
hosts a free outdoor concert series, Park & Rhythms,
on Thursday nights during June, July and August.
White Horse Black Mountain…a
place for music and spirit
is a 4400 sq ft music and arts venue that seats 225,
cabaret style. State-of-the-art sound and lighting
systems, great acoustics, a beautiful wood & copper bar,
and nice selection of beverages (beer, wine, soft
drinks, coffee and tea) make White Horse Black Mountain
a sure bet.
The Swannanoa Chamber Music
is a summer series of concerts and lectures scheduled on
various evenings throughout the months of June and
July. Festival events are held mostly on the campus of
Warren Wilson College in
Wilson College is partnering with the Diana Wortham
Theatre, in Asheville, to present a series of spring Celtic concerts.
will perform on March 19, 2010,
Lúnasa on April 15,
Karan Casey Band
on May 14, 2010, and
Bua on May 29,
Warren Wilson College also
sponsors a popular Celtic holiday concert, A Swannanoa
Solstice, each December at the
Diana Wortham Theatre.
The evening has become a winter tradition and features
International and American seasonal music, dancing and
Are you a
budding musician/songwriter? Don’t miss the
Singer Songwriter Contest
held in August at Zachary’s Pub in Little Switzerland.
The pub is located on the second level of the
Switzerland Café and offers the live music of Singer
Songwriters from Asheville and the surrounding area
every Saturday Night at 7pm. The Café is open spring,
summer and fall (Milepost 334 on the Blue Ridge
North Carolina is home to 3 magnificent National
Pisgah, Nantahala and
southern border of Pisgah National Forest runs along the
edges of Old Fort and Marion and is close to Rivers
Ridge Lodge. Nantahala National Forest is west and
south of Asheville, and Cherokee National Forest is
mostly in the state of Tennessee with just a portion of
it residing within North Carolina. The
National Forests in North
website is teeming with links to
and tons of information on how to access the many
excellent outdoor activities offered in the National
Forests. Click on these other useful websites for
waterfalls. See our
OUTDOOR RECREATION section for more outdoor
PARKWAYS & BYWAYS section for
scenic drives through the National Forests.
Conservationists won’t want to miss the
Cradle of Forestry,
home to the first Forestry School in America
North Carolina boasts unbelievable natural resources for
fishing, golf, hiking, horseback riding, mountain
biking, rock climbing, skiing and white water rafting.
Mountain Sports Festival
(at Carrier Park on the southern edge of Asheville)
offers an impressive variety of sports instruction,
demos, races, and competition for every level of athlete
in May (see
COMPETITIVE SPORTING EVENTS section).
It is best to arrive with the proper fishing licenses.
NC Wildlife Resources
Commission website for licenses,
regulations, maps and more. To fish our private waters
at Rivers Ridge Lodge, adults MUST obtain a NC Fishing
License. Youth under the age of 16 may fish without a
license when accompanied by a properly licensed adult.
To fish designated trout waters, an additional trout
fishing license may be required. Licenses may be
purchased in town at Faw’s Hardware: 11 Catawba Ave.,
Old Fort (828)
668-4548 or at Presnell’s General Merchandise: 2668 US
70 W between Old Fort & Marion (828) 724-4815.
After business hours, licenses may be purchased at any
Wal-Mart. The closest Wal-mart is in Marion on US 70 W,
a few miles past Presnell’s.
right outside the door of Rivers Ridge Lodge or
ride less than 5 minutes by car into Old Fort to access
the Catawba River, Curtis Creek, Jarrett Creek, Mill
Creek, Newberry Creek or Swannanoa Creek. Learn about
N.C. Wildlife Loaner Program
at Mill Creek and visit this site to download a
color-coded map of the fishable waters in and around Old
Fort. Note that
Curtis Creek is partially wheelchair accessible.
South Toe River Area
is a beautiful fishing site (about 45 minutes from
Rivers Ridge Lodge) to the east of Mount
Mitchell. However, the favored fly fishing site of our
fly fishing instructor is the
Linville Gorge Wilderness Area
(also approximately 45 minutes from Rivers Ridge
Lodge). He loves the untamed and secluded sections of
the Linville River as it courses through the most rugged sections of the
Linville Gorge (as do the trout!). Note – it is an
advanced hike to the best fishing in Linville Gorge.
will delight in the choice of courses and beautiful
vistas available in and around Asheville. The
Old Fort Golf Course is a short but challenging 9-hole course with fabulous mountain
views and a great staff less than 10 minutes from Rivers
minutes west on I-40 brings you to the
Black Mountain Golf Club,
a 6,215-yard par-71, 18-hole golf course, located at the
foot of the beautiful Black Mountain Range. Black
Mountain Golf Club’s par-6, 17th hole is tied for the
5th longest hole in the world at 747 yards. At one
time, it was the longest hole in the golfing world; it
continues to offer many difficult lies and shots. Bent
grass greens and plush fairways add to the attraction of
this great municipal golf course that is on par with
some of the nicest private courses in the area. Open
daily year-round except for Christmas Day; please call
669-2710 to book a tee time.
Marion Lake Club,
off Exit 90 (I-40), offers great golf for all skill
levels and spectacular views of Linville Gorge and
Shortoff Mountain. The 18-hole, semi-private course
boasts 6,300 yards of rolling Bermuda fairways with
excellent bent grass greens.
Great Smoky Mountain Golf
website for info and easy links to other area courses.
Disc golf is becoming very popular and is played in the area also.
weather is favorable, save an afternoon to hike or cycle
Point Lookout Trail just minutes from Rivers Ridge
Lodge. 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.
McDowell Trails Association
website and click on TRAILS (upper right tab) to
download the Point Lookout Trail Map as the signage is
the WATERFALLS section of this webpage for the
hiking trails located near Rivers Ridge Lodge that lead
to the waterfalls.
Swannanoa Valley Museum
in Black Mountain hosts monthly hikes and other events.
New in 2010, is a special series of hikes, the
Swannanoa Rim Explorer.
and Craggy Mountains, northeast of Asheville, are
composed of Pisgah National Forest, watersheds, Mt.
Mitchell State Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and
privately held land. Home to Mt. Mitchell, the highest
peak in the Eastern United States, this area was
considered for National Park Status earlier in the 20th
century but lost to The Great Smokey Mountains. The
are located at milepost 364 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The “Craggies” are strikingly beautiful high heath balds
that, at 5,500 ft elevation, are uncharacteristic of
mountains in the area. There are three
to chose from at Craggy Gardens: Craggy Pinnacle Trail,
the Craggy Gardens Self Guiding Trail, and the Mountains
to Sea Trail. Visit the
Friends of the Black and
website to explore their interactive map of the Black
and Craggy Mountain
area near Rivers Ridge Lodge.
(click on THE TRAIL for a detailed drop down box)
courses through Western NC covering 88 miles in NC from
Virginia to Georgia. The “A.T.” mostly hugs the border
of Tennessee and North Carolina and comes closest to
Rivers Ridge Lodge near the Roan Mountain
section about 30 minutes north of Spruce Pine.
hiking in Southern Appalachia, visit the
Foothills Trail Conference
National Forest Service
Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic
is a great area to hike and fish. Visit the website for
detailed info and maps.
past Lake Lure,
Riverside Riding Stables
offers pony and trail rides (ages 2 yrs & older), river
rides (ages 14 yrs & older), and overnight pack trips.
Call for reservations,
Sandy Bottom Trail Rides,
just north of Asheville, is open year round for
horseback riding, wagon and buggy rides. Their most
popular horseback ride takes riders to their “Little
Pine Gem Mine” where they can dig for gems, mostly
garnets. Visitors can also access the gem mine by wagon
if they wish. Call (800)
loves to mountain bike the
Bent Creek Experimental Forest
(just south of Asheville and no more than 35 minutes
from Rivers Ridge Lodge). Click on the first link of
the Bent Creek Experimental Forest site above, Bent
Creek Trails Map, for a list of trails and the second to
the last link, Bent Creek Trails and Active Research
Map, to get the full colored map of the area. Download
and print both maps as biking trail maps always seem to
be nonexistent at local bike shops and trail heads.
advanced ride, starting at Ridgecrest (10 minutes from
Rivers Ridge Lodge), is
strenuous routes around Linville Gorge, visit
Linville Gorge-Mountain Biking.
Dark Mountain Trails, near W. Kerr Scott Dam just west of Wilksboro, offer a 6.5-mile
network of excellent mountain biking trails. Be sure to
download trail maps from the website before heading out.
Alexander Park in Buncombe Co is one of the newer locations for mountain
biking. Most of the trails are moderate in difficulty.
Blue Ridge Bicycle Club
website and click on Trail Riding, in the left
margin, for maps of Alexander Park and other mountain
in WNC, with Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, in Mars Hill, the
closest to Rivers Ridge Lodge at just under an hour.
Ski Beech Resort, at 5506 feet on Beech Mountain, has
the highest elevation of any ski resort east of the
Rockies and is 60 miles and approximately 90 minutes
from Rivers Ridge Lodge.
the American Whitewater Journal named Asheville one of
the Top Five US Whitewater Cities. Each year in May,
French Broad River Festival is held in Hot Springs, NC.
Nantahala Outdoor Center
offers white water rafting guided tours on the Nantahala
(Class II-III), French Broad (moderate Class II-IV), and
Cheoah Rivers (Class III-V). They also offer whitewater
paddling instruction for kayaking and canoeing. There
are many other outfitters who offer fine rentals and
tours, but Nantahala’s site is particularly informative.
PARKWAYS & BYWAYS
Blue Ridge Parkway,
“America’s Favorite Drive,” courses near Old Fort but is
most easily accessed by taking Interstate 40 towards
Asheville to the 240 Bypass (15- 20 minutes). Look
immediately for the Blue Ridge Parkway Exit. Visit the
Parkway website to check for closures (especially during
winter) before you embark on your drive.
routes worth exploring by car (although an hour or more
from Rivers Ridge Lodge to their starting points)
Forest Heritage Scenic Byway,
Mountain Waters Scenic Byway.
The Forest Heritage Byway, 65 miles long with
21 designated places
to visit along its route, offers a unique glimpse into
the history, culture and ecology of the Pisgah National
Forest. Don’t have quite that much time? Note that the
Forest Heritage National
Scenic Byway is only 17.6 mi and visits some of the sites on the
65-mile loop above. The North Carolina section of the
Cherohala Skyway is 20.5 mi long. It courses through
the Southern Appalachian high country of the Cherokee
and Nantahala National Forests and offers a unique
glimpse into the life of the Cherokee and early
settler. The Mountain Waters Scenic Byway is 61 miles
long and winds through the Nantahala National Forest.
This byway offers outstanding vistas and many water and
hiking adventures along its course but there are no
designated sites to visit along its route.
Foothills Community Theatre
website for a schedule and description of performances.
Warren Wilson Department of
Theatre presents a full series of theatrical productions,
concerts, and special events at Kittredge Theatre on the
Warren Wilson College Campus located between Old Fort
Self Service Market
on Catawba Avenue is a friendly hometown store that
sells groceries and specialty meats, (828)
Fort Farmer's Market opens each Thursday afternoon
from 3-6 pm (June - October) in the parking lot of the
Historic Old Fort Depot and Museum at 25 W. Main Street,
Old Fort. Shop for seasonal vegetables, locally
produced meats, eggs, flowers and more, (828) 668-4282.
a Pick-Your-Own Farm and Roadside Market located at 1971
Pine Cove Road in Old Fort (off Bat Cave Road at Exit 73
their website for details and directions. Please call
hours - home phone: (828)
Catawba Vale Café
offers fantastic sandwiches and specialty drinks. It’s
the local favorite, (828) 668-9899.
is Old Fort’s newest eatery downtown at 5 Main Street.
They serve breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday
and dinner on Wednesday and Friday nights. They offer
tasty American fare, breakfast any time of day, and
Wi-Fi. Call (828) 668-6500 for more information.
The Wild Moose Steak & Grill
is an upscale restaurant offering fresh and healthy made-to-order
Four Oaks Seafood
is a Southern institution that cooks up down-home good
chicken, steak and seafood. They offer a fried and
grilled menu, chicken wings, frog legs and the best
fried oysters around. Look for monthly prime rib
specials and occasional live Bluegrass & Gospel Music.
Open Wednesday through Sunday. Located on Bat Cave
Road, .2 miles south of Exit 73 on I-40, (828)
Marion Tailgate Market opens each Tuesday from 3-6
pm and Saturday morning during the growing season (June
- October). The sheltered market features an abundance
of fruits, vegetables, and other locally made items at
the intersection of West Henderson and Logan Streets in
downtown Marion (adjacent to the Historic Marion
Depot). Call (828)
652-2215 for more information.
Pick-Your-Own, shop at the Roadside Market or call for
Pauly's Produce and Feed
is located in Marion on Hwy 221 - fresh and convenient!
their website for details and directions, (828) 756-7500 or (828)
Black Mountain Tailgate Market
is open Saturday mornings from 9 am - noon, rain or
shine. Visit their website for detailed vendor
information, photos and directions, or visit
The Mindful Kitchen’s
blog to read about the Black Mountain Tailgate Market.
Chocoholics won’t want to miss
for amazing truffles and fine European chocolate “gems,”
The Merry Wine Market
is a full service wine store on State Street. Novices
and sommeliers are equally welcomed at this unique
family owned shop that would, “rather make a friend than
Camino’s Southwestern Grille
is a solid choice for lunch or dinner. It is kid
friendly, the atmosphere is pleasing, and the outdoor
seating is great on a nice day – all without breaking
My Father’s Pizza
is always excellent for traditional or unusual
wood-fired pizza, etc. in a relaxed atmosphere for lunch
and dinner. Eat inside or on the terrace, and expect it
to be packed on weekends…it’s that good. My Father’s
Pizza is closed on Tuesdays.
is a Black
Mountain favorite for atmosphere and great, reasonably
is Black Mountain’s newest fine dining restaurant
providing guests with the freshest wild fish, meats and
produce from local farms, where possible. Featuring an
extensive wine list and locally brewed beer on tap, Que
Sera delivers exceptional food with attention to detail
and friendly service. Que Sera is closed on Mondays.
Red Rocker Inn
takes pride in serving the finest quality ingredients
and offers homemade apple butter, hot buttermilk
biscuits and ten homemade desserts! Because all entrees
are specially prepared to order, reservations are
required. The Red Rocker Inn is noted throughout
the Southeast for its exceptional lodging and fine
Southern dining and is regularly recommended by The
Atlanta Journal, New York Times and Southern Living.
The celebrated Red Rocker breakfast was voted the BEST
in all of Western North Carolina. Breakfast starts at
8:30, costs $10 per person, and also requires a
reservation. Come hungry to enjoy this exceptional
traditional Southern breakfast!
Thai Basil is family owned, authentic and excellent.
The Black Bird – A New
American Tavern is quickly becoming a community favorite. Offering New
Southern Cuisine using local ingredients, the atmosphere
at the Black Bird encourages lingering. The bar serves
wines by the glass and beers from local microbreweries,
Pisgah and Highland. Save room for desert; the owner’s
background as a pastry chef has landed her desert
creations in Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines. The
Blackbird is open for lunch, dinner and brunch.
friend recommended Madison’s over the phone as we
searched for some great food after a superb day of
mountain biking at Bent Creek. The evening had quickly
grown cold after a brilliant day, and we were starving!
The Madison Inn
is an elegant restaurant, yet they didn’t scoff at our
casual workout gear. They welcomed us with genuine
Southern hospitality, sat us by a crackling fire, and
proceeded to serve us an outstanding dinner – it was a
The Veranda Café
offers fresh, family-friendly lunches. Specializing in
simple, southern fare from low country favorites to
spicy Louisiana specials with occasional Caribbean
selections on the menu. Dine inside or on the patio and
bring the kids…for the best lunch in town, guaranteed!
School in Swannanoa
Swannanoa School of Culinary Arts offers hands-on
immersion in a variety of culinary experiences at the
Seasonal School of Culinary
Arts. The week-long summer sessions are
held on the campus of Warren Wilson College in the
Swannanoa Valley (between Old Fort and Asheville) in
Dining in Nebo
Bullfrog Bar & Grill,
at Bear Creek Marina, is McDowell County's only lake
front dining experience. It offers a full service bar
and grill and live music most weekends.
in Old Fort
downtown Old Fort, there are no chain retailers -
just a thriving artisan community, a few art and
woodworking galleries, a couple of hardware and grocery
stores and some good eateries.
Old Fort Model Trains
is aptly located across from the historic train depot in
downtown Old Fort. Owned by Kristy Chinery and Wes Lael,
Wes brings his childhood love for trains and long time
hobby to fruition in the store. They sell a wide
variety of engines, rolling stock, buildings,
landscaping supplies, track, magazines, videos, and
memorabilia in house and online. Come to shop, talk
trains, or sit outside and watch the genuine Norfolk
Southern train running through town.
Pinwilz Beads and Jewelry
sells new and vintage beads "by-the bead," beading wires
and materials “by-the-foot,” Swarovski Crystal, and
other beading supplies. They offer all types of beading
classes mostly on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
The Appalachian Artisan
features the works of 60-70 local artisans. TAAS
reports, “Visitors tell us this is one of the best
places to shop for unique authentic Appalachian
crafts.” Recently added to the gallery, is an
Appalachian Authors Section. Come to shop or just
visit. TAAS Gallery shares its retail space with
Pinwilz and Catawba Vale Café, so the mood is always fun
for an appointment to visit
Turtle Island Pottery.
Their gallery is just 2-1/2 miles south of Old Fort’s
Exit 73 on I-40. Browse their inventory online: they
have a very popular line of functional stoneware, and
their beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces are reminiscent of
gourds, shells, frogs and other natural object -
gorgeous! Their whimsical face mugs and pitchers are
the best we’ve seen. They will tackle commissions and
might just produce a hilariously fitting mug for that
person on your list who has everything.
first trip to Black Mountain was by accident, and we’ve
come intentionally ever since! The retail quality is on
par with Asheville, but the overall mood is a bit more
neighborly. Asheville is fabulous, but we just love
Black Mountain Books, on Cherry Street, carries rare, out of print books. They
specialize in books about NC, Black Mountain College,
the Southern Appalachians, Nature, Religion, and 18th
and 19th Century England and Scotland, (828)
Black Mountain Yarn Shop
is inviting and inspiring! You’ll find everything you
need for knitting. Also offered, are classes for all
levels and special events for knitting, crocheting and
spinning. Open Mon-Sat and Sunday by appointment, (828)
Black Mountain Natural Foods
small, well stocked natural food store, on Black
Mountain Avenue, that provides local, organic, fair
trade, recycled and earth friendly products. In
addition to nutritional supplements and herbs, they
offer a wide product selection including: body care,
organic produce, organic dairy products, local cage free
eggs, soy products, wheat free products, dried fruit,
drinks, teas and more, (828) 669-9813.
Doncaster/Tanner Outlet carries fine women’s apparel
and accessories and offers savings of 25-65% off regular
retail. If you happen to catch a big sale, the savings
can be spectacular, (828)
(828) 669-5969, and Take a Hike Outfitters, (828)
669-0811, sit side-by-side on Sutton Avenue. They offer
equipment, clothing, repair service, and information for
all your cycling and hiking needs.
One Fly Outfitters
specializes in fly fishing equipment, fly tying
supplies, fly tying classes, fly fishing instruction,
and guided fly fishing trips. They are open Mon-Sat.
Seven Sisters Craft Gallery,
on Cherry Street, is an amazing arts and crafts store.
One side is filled with gorgeous hand crafted jewelry,
clothing and clever items for home and personal use.
The other side is stocked with spectacular one-of-a-kind
furniture creations and home accessories (it’s like a
unbelievably unique store (and also our personal
Song of the Wood
where traditional wooden instruments are built, played
and sold. They specialize in the hammered dulcimer but
have other interesting instruments such as the bowed
psaltery. You’ve never heard either played? Put on
some headphones and listen to a CD, better yet, ask any
staff members to play for you! They will generally drop
whatever they are doing to fulfill your request, (828)
Town Hardware and General
is known for its nostalgic signs, classic toys, pop icon
lunchboxes, and regional books. Although it feels like
a trip back in time, they also have everything you might
need from a modern hardware store…don’t miss it. Call
(828) 669-7723 or (877)
669-7723 (toll free).
for more fine stores scattered around Black Mountain’s
center - this will get you started.
STATE & PRIVATE
Lake James State Park
is a 565-acre park on Lake James near the small
community of Nebo (approximately 18 miles east of Rivers
Ridge Lodge). Swimming and canoeing (canoe rentals
available) on the 6510-acre lake and hiking and
picnicking within the park are welcomed. Boat access is
offered nearby at the Hidden Cove Access Area off NC
126. On the north side of the lake, additional boat
access is located at Bear Creek Marina, Black Bear
Landing, and Canal Bridge at the McDowell-Burke County
line on NC 126. The area offers stunning views of the
Linville Gorge, Hawksbill, Grandfather Mountain and
Table Rock. The
Bullfrog Bar and Grill,
at Bear Creek Marina, offers lakefront dining and
Parts of The Last of the Mohicans and The Hunt for
Red October were filmed along the shores of Lake
40 minutes (21 miles) from Rivers Ridge Lodge, in scenic
Hickory Nut Gorge, is
Chimney Rock Park.
Beautiful enough to be chosen as the movie set for The
Last of the Mohicans, the park offers incredible 75-mile
views, a 404-foot waterfall, a 32-foot climbing tower,
and hiking trails for all abilities. Because it’s a
privately owned park, admission fees are slightly higher
than others in the area. Although the 4,000 acres
surrounding the park are state-owned
Chimney Rock State Park,
Chimney Rock Park currently provides the only public
access to the area. The N.C. Division of Parks and
Recreation is currently developing a master plan for the
future development and protection of the larger State
Park area around Chimney Rock.
Grandfather Mountain in Linville, just over an hour (48
miles) from Rivers Ridge Lodge, is another combination
private/public park area. The Main entrance is at
milepost 305, one mile south of the Blue Ridge Parkway
and two miles north of Linville. In 2008,
Grandfather Mountain State Park
was created when the N.C State Park System acquired
2,456 acres along the crest of Grandfather Mountain.
is a tourist destination known for its spectacular
views, famous Mile High Swinging Bridge, and excellent
12-mile network of walking and hiking trails. It is the
only private park in the world designated by the United
Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve.
Additionally, the park has created 7 “environmental
habitats” to facilitate a more natural observation of
the black bear, river otter, cougar, bald and golden
eagle, and white tailed deer. Check the websites for
special daily programs and scheduled events.
Mount Mitchell State Park
is located in McDowell and Yancey Counties near
Burnsville, NC. Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak east
of the Mississippi River at the crest of the Black
Mountains. It is only 38 miles from Rivers Ridge Lodge
but takes over an hour to drive.
are familiar with the picturesque
Blue Ridge Parkway
that runs through Pisgah National Forest in the
neighborhood of Old Fort, but few realize that the area
is nicknamed “The Land of the Waterfalls.” Many of the
falls are located to the southwest, in Transylvania
County, but at least 3 are located in McDowell County.
forms a 340-foot cascade and is in close proximity to
Rivers Ridge Lodge. In fact, the water that frames
Rivers Ridge Lodge is a branch off the Catawba River.
The hike to the lower falls is moderate and to the upper
Hickory Branch Falls,
near Curtis Creek Campground, also presents a moderate
hike up to a 30-foot waterfall, but
Tom’s Creek Falls,
just north of Marion, offers an easy 2-mile hike to a
One of the
most impressive waterfalls along North Carolina's Blue
Ridge Parkway is
in Little Switzerland (about 40 minutes from Rivers
Ridge Lodge). The falls are situated near Crabtree
Meadows campground at Mile Marker 339.5. The 2.5-mile
wooded hike to the falls is moderate, and great views of
the delicate looking 70-foot cascade are seen from the
footbridge over the creek in front of the falls.
over 1,000 acres surrounding the falls, and part of
were donated to the National Park Service in 1952 by
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
The National Park Service still owns the falls and
operates a visitor center and several miles of
non-handicapped accessible trails with 4 overlooks.
Located in Burke County, about 45 minutes from Rivers
Ridge Lodge, Linville Falls has the highest volume of
any waterfall on the northern edge of the Blue Ridge
Mountains and a 45-foot drop. Swimming is prohibited at
all areas of Linville Falls. An interesting historical
note: the falls were purportedly used by local Native
Americans to execute prisoners and no one is known to
have survived a fall over them. Explore the
subterranean recesses of
south of Linville Falls and Linville Gorge, just 32
miles from Rivers Ridge Lodge. The natural
limestone caverns are partially wheelchair accessible.
Duggers Creek Falls
is a lovely little tumble located in the Linville Falls
National Recreation Area. The trail to Duggers Creek is
accessed from the back corner of the Linville Falls
Visitors Center paved parking lot.
climate conducive to growing great grapes, North
Carolina has developed its wine industry in recent
decades. Visit one of several wineries, the closest of
South Creek Vineyards & Winery
(23 miles from Rivers Ridge Lodge) in Nebo, NC (east on
Interstate 40 to Exit 90). At South Creek Vineyards &
Winery, Frank Boldon produces a Bordeaux style wine
using grapes from his own vineyards that are barrel aged
and artfully blended in his state-of-the-art winery to
achieve a superior product.
Lake James Cellars
is a family owned and managed winery located in Glen
Alpine, NC about 30 miles from Rivers Ridge Lodge (east
on Interstate 40 to Exit 100). Taste wines produced
from local and internationally grown fruits in the
renovated 1915 textile mill building, and shop at
The Old Mill Antiques
also housed in the historic mill. The Old Mill Antiques
market is a collection of over 20 antique vendors who
pride themselves on, “quality antiques at reasonable
prices” and feature a wide assortment of antiques. They
also carry a large selection of local art, handmade
items, and North Carolina specialty foods.
in Valdese, NC, takes pride in “using old world
technologies, coupled with some modern equipment and
innovations, to create wines that have a true taste of
the grape." Visitors may join a conducted tour, taste
various wines and shop following. Don’t miss the
held in August to celebrate the Glorious Return in 1689
of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their
native valleys in the Cottian Alps of Italy. The
Winery is 42 miles from Rivers Ridge Lodge (east on
Interstate 40 to Exit 112).
resident Ed Yoder opened
in Eastern Burke County in 2007. Raintree Cellars is
open Wed-Sat and is 45 miles from Rivers Ridge Lodge
(east on Interstate 40, exit 116).
click on the
EXPLORE ASHEVILLE tab to see
Microbrewery information and events in Asheville.
Catawba Valley Brewing Company
brews Porter and several varieties of Ale and Stout.
They are located approximately 35 miles east of Rivers
Ridge Lodge in Morganton, NC (at Interstate 40, exit
105) and have recently added wine to their repertoire of