Easy Tips for Winterizing Your Mountain Garden

fall-gardening-photoButtoning up your Murphy, NC garden during the fall is like cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner. On Turkey Day, you just feasted on a tasty 20-pounder with all the fixin’s – and now you must clear the table before scraping and washing the dishes. And when fall catches up with your garden,  stop growing your vegetables or flowers, and begin that less-enjoyable cleanup operation.

Pick Your Passion: Vegetables or Flowers
When your garden’s harvest came in, you enjoyed a huge bounty of vegetables from early summer until fall. When you exhausted your recipes, you canned or froze every ripe vegetable that crossed your path.

Or, maybe flower gardening is your passion. You carefully prepared your beds, planted seeds and transplants, and watered them daily throughout our bone-dry drought. You weeded often, and you managed to drive off the deer so your plants would have a fighting chance. Finally, your garden exploded with a riot of colors that made all that hard work worthwhile.

Now that the growing season’s over, though, it’s time to round up those wilting plants and restore some order to your vegetable plot or flower beds. After all, you want to get a head start on next season’s garden.

Wrap Up Your Summer Garden
First, encourage your current garden to keep on giving. If you grew some tasty heirloom vegetables, for example, save and store a good assortment of seeds for the next planting season. Try the same strategy with your colorful annual flowers. Either way, store the seeds in paper envelopes, and stash them in a glass jar in a dry spot indoors.

Next, tidy up the garden by picking up fallen vegetables that could rot on the ground. Dispose of dead annuals, and cut back perennials that have finished blooming for the season. By reducing the amount of debris on the ground, pests will be less likely to choose your garden for their winter hibernation spot.

Put Those Millions of Leaves to Work
Of course, living in the woods means you have an endless supply of leaves, a highly beneficial ingredient of your household compost pile. Rake (or blow) a respectable quantity of leaves, and add them to the pile’s green kitchen scraps. Believe it or not, mixing both types of materials helps to generate compost more quickly. Don’t throw in plants with disease or bug problems, and avoid composting dairy or meat products, as they’re a magnet for rodents.

If your property includes an expanse of lawn, give the grass one final mowing for the season. Gather the grass clippings and shredded leaves, and spread them over your flower beds to provide protection during the upcoming cold weather.

Plant Vegetable Seeds or Cover Crops
If you’re an avid vegetable gardener, fall is a great time to plant spinach, lettuce, and other cool-season vegetable seeds. If temperatures will dip below freezing, cover your plants with protective straw. Root crops such as rutabagas and carrots will also benefit from a nice straw blanket. Fall is also perfect for planting garlic and shallot bulbs.

If your garden didn’t materialize this year, get a jump on next season by planting a fast-growing cover crop. Evenly sow clover, rye, or similar seeds into bare soil. When spring arrives, turn the cover crop plants into the soil, adding essential nutrients your vegetables will love.

Spice Up Your Flower Beds
Plant colorful cool-season flowers such as mums and pansies, and add some ornamental kale for extra greenery. Chances are, these hardy plants will even survive most frosts.

Choose an enticing assortment of spring-blooming bulbs, designed to bring your Murphy, NC garden alive after months of cold weather. Hyacinth, crocus, daffodil, and tulip bulbs are popular choices. Plant your bulbs per the grower’s directions, button them up for winter, and get ready to enjoy a rainbow of color when you need it most.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Cherokee County Fair Offers Old-Fashioned Family Fun

IMG_7257Visiting a local county fair gives you a chance to slow down and smell the popcorn…and the barbeque, corn dogs, and funnel cakes. At hundreds of county fairs around the United States, you can browse the exhibits, sniff the farm animal aromas, and listen to great regional entertainment with your family. And best of all, you can enjoy these simple pleasures at our Cherokee County Fair in Ranger – just a few miles from Murphy, NC. So put the third weekend in October on your calendar, head to the Mountain Folk Center, and enjoy some Cherokee County Fair fun.

Launching the 2015 Cherokee County Fair
Back in 2015, some Cherokee County residents got together, and sparked the idea of resurrecting the county fair. With the county’s history and pride in its agricultural roots, enthusiasm and ideas were flowing thick and fast.

After just a few months’ planning time, and with the support of local officials and the Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority, the Cherokee County Fair made its debut in late October 2015. Held at the Mountain Folk Center on US Highway 64 in Ranger, the first-year fair met with considerable success. After planners had time to catch their breath, they quickly began organizing a bigger 2016 event.

The 2016 Cherokee County Fair: Coming Soon
During the weekend of October 21-23, the Mountain Folk Center will again host the Cherokee County Fair festivities. Just 12 miles west of Murphy, this popular spot also houses the summer Farmer’s Market and Nora Starks Memorial Horse Arena. The Fair offers free parking, and a free shuttle van will transport visitors from offsite parking areas.

Enjoy a Full Slate of Family-Friendly Activities
After you arrive at the Cherokee County Fair, refer to your Fair Program for locations of specific attractions. For starters, head to the covered pavilion, where you’ll find a diverse collection of exhibitors. Learn about community groups, view food and craft displays, and browse a growing selection of craft vendors. In other words, there’s something for everybody.

Next, head over to the farm animal exhibits, always a hit with the younger set. Kids will also enjoy the bounce house, pony rides, and other kid-focused activities. Don’t miss the pie-eating contest, where competitors of all ages and sizes will chow down on gooey confections at lightning speed. And word has gotten out that this year’s Tractor Parade will include even more vintage and modern machines. You might also see some antique farm equipment.

Don’t Miss These Special Fair Attractions
Of course, a county fair wouldn’t be complete without live music and dance performances. Throughout the weekend, a variety of talented regional performers will take the stage. And back by popular demand, the Monroe County Vaulting Team will amaze visitors with their acrobatics on horseback.

New for 2016, Alan Kay will teach and demonstrate valuable survival skills. As fans of the History Channel’s “Alone” series already know, Alan won the Season 1 competition for his ability to survive in Vancouver Island’s challenging conditions. You might say Alan’s a pro at making the most of tough situations.

Enjoy Midway Rides and Tasty Food
Kids of all ages will enjoy the Cherokee County Fair’s exciting midway rides. And of course you’ll be tempted by lots of mouth-watering food. Just follow the enticing smells, and you might be rewarded with barbeque, corn dogs, wraps, and burgers. Of course, we can’t forget sweet treats such as funnel cakes, ice cream, candied apples, and more. In other words, you might want to come hungry.

Get the Lowdown on Fair Logistics
Whether you’re available during the day or evening, you can visit the Cherokee County Fair sometime during the three-day weekend. The fairgrounds are open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check the Fair’s website below for full admission cost details.

Important notes: Plan to pay for your admission, food, purchases, and midway tickets with cash. Leave your pets at home, as they could rile up the livestock or make some Fair-goers nervous.

Now that you’ve put the Cherokee County Fair on your calendar, spend some time in Murphy, NC before heading out to Ranger for the festivities. Because new Fair events and performers are added frequently, check the Fair’s Facebook Page or website for full details:
http://www.cherokeecountyfair.com/?utm_source=www.visitnc.com&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=downstream-referral .

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Cherokee County RV Campgrounds Offer Scenic Beauty and Modern Amenities

Memorial_Day_Weekend_2015_058.145111104_largeTraveling in a recreational vehicle, or RV, is like taking your studio apartment on the road. You still enjoy all the comforts of home, and you can change your surroundings at the drop of a hat. And when you find a spot you especially like, you can settle down and enjoy it for awhile. Here in Murphy, NC and Cherokee County, we’ve got four nicely outfitted RV parks just waiting for you to pull in and hook up. Each facility’s setting and amenities give it a distinctive appeal.

Creekside RV Park and Campground
First, check out the Creekside RV Park and Campground, slightly more than two miles east of Murphy on US Highway 19/129/74 (also called the four-lane). Each convenient pull-through site has a Valley River or Rogers Creek setting, and you’ll find stunning mountain views all around. Besides full hook-up services, you’ll enjoy a bath house and laundry facilities, plus wireless Internet so you can catch up with famiy and friends.

If you thrive on fishing, try your luck against those wily trout by casting your line right from Creekside’s banks. Finally, take advantage of the pavilion, picnic tables, and fire rings – all great gathering spots to swap stories with other RVers. Contact: Creekside RV Park and Campground, 68 Old Peachtree Road, Marble, NC 28905. 828-837-4123.

Murphy-Peace Valley KOA Campground and Cabins
Also just east of Murphy, you’ll find the Murphy-Peace Valley KOA Campground and Cabins. This versatile riverfront campground caters to both RVers and vacationers, with several full hook-up RV sites and cabins.

This award-winning KOA campground offers a well-rounded selection of amenities. Besides laundry and bath house facilities, you’ll find a swimming pool, kids’ playground, and gameroom. Finally, this pet-friendly campground also welcomes your furry family members, so pack extra kibbles and supplies. Contact: Murphy-Peace Valley KOA Campground and Cabins, 117 Happy Valley Road, Marble, NC 28905. 828-837-6223.

River’s Edge Mountain RV Resort
Next, travel west of Murphy to the River’s Edge Mountain RV Resort, featuring direct access off Highway 64 just past the Route 129 intersection. This nicely maintained facility offers Nottley River frontage plus super-wide paved RV sites and adjacent roads. Many sites offer pull-through access, while others provide a waterfront setting.

Enjoy River’s Edge’s full electric hook-ups, water, sewer, cable, and wireless high-speed Internet. And speaking of creature comforts, you’ll be delighted with the spotless granite and marble bathrooms, onsite laundry, and comfy computer lounge. Contact: River’s Edge Mountain RV Resort, 1750 Hilltop Road, Murphy, NC 28906. 828-361-4517.

Persimmon Creek Campground
Finally, if you’re itching to park your RV in an absolutely gorgeous waterfront spot, and chat with folks who seem more like family than campground operators, visit charming Persimmon Creek Campground. To get there, travel out Highway 64 toward Tennessee. Turn right on Route 294, and then turn left on Sunny Point Road to Persimmon Creek Campground. You’ll access this family-run property via a wide, gradually sloping driveway, and park your RV on a roomy site overlooking a scenic pond. Nearby, you’ll find 1,700 feet of creekfront, perfect for indulging your trout fishing obsession.

Persimmon Creek Campground amenities include water/electric hookups, showers and laundry facilities, and free WiFi service. Each wooded site features a picnic table and fire ring, and a horseshoe pit is nearby. For a real taste of home, buy some firewood and free-range pasture eggs. Blueberries, home-grown fruits and vegetables, and shiitake mushrooms will also be available in season.

Finally, this pet-friendly campground provides your favorite pooch with many enticing smells, courtesy of the nearby wildlife population. Because Persimmon Creek is just a short drive from Murphy, NC and the Ocoee River, your RV will make a terrific base camp for a wide variety of day trips. Contact: Persimmon Creek Campground, 200 Sunny Point Road, Murphy, NC 28906. 828-644-5800.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Bring Your Hiking Boots for Some Memorable Mountain Day Hikes in and Around Murphy NC

wayah_bald_tower1If your hiking boots and walking stick are itching for a good day hike, our region is chock full of great hiking destinations. In fact, you’ll find some beautiful wooded trails right here in Cherokee County – and one in the Murphy, NC town limits. In fact, let’s start there – after fortifying yourself with an incredible cup of liquid energy, otherwise known as coffee, and pastries at The Daily Grind.

Next, stroll over to the Murphy River Walk, with a trailhead right behind the historic L&N Depot. While you trek along two miles of shaded walking trails, enjoy the marshy wetlands, hardwood forests, and meadows. You’ll see plenty of native plants, and you might encounter some birds and small mammals. You’ll also get up-close-and-personal with the Hiwassee and Valley Rivers, which just so happen to converge right in front of you on the trail. This walk is especially refreshing on a hot summer day.

Maybe you’re up for a more adventurous hike, with lots of elevation changes and a surprise around every bend. Check out the Nantahala National Forest, criss-crossed with so many trails we’ve lost count. In fact, this forest is so large that it’s divided into three regions: the Cheoah, Nantahala, and Tusquitee Ranger Districts. Regardless of your destination, you’ll see tons of native plants, some unique to this part of the world. You might even encounter some roaring waterfalls, especially if we’ve had a few rounds of rain.

If the legendary Appalachian Trail is on your bucket list, the Nantahala National Forest contains a great AT day-hike destination: Wayah Bald near Franklin, North Carolina. If you’d prefer the easy route, enjoy a pleasant one-mile round trip from Forest Service Road 69. For a more energetic hike to Wayah Bald, take the Winding Stair Gap route, with lots of high-elevation climbing along well-graded trails. You’ll also pass several springs and campsites. Either way, you’ll end up at the historic stone fire tower, built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. On a clear day, you might see North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee – all at once. Bring the camera!

Or, maybe you’d like to take a moderate-to-difficult day hike along the beautiful Fires Creek Rim Trail, which rings the Fires Creek Wildlife Management Area. Starting near Hayesville, North Carolina, the entire Rim Trail encompasses 25 miles, but you can choose a manageable chunk that provides some spectacular ridge-top views. Fires Creek has several trails to choose from, the Rim Trail just happens to be a favorite. Besides viewing lots of native plants and birds, you could encounter deer, Russian boars, or bears – so be on your best behavior.

Of course, this snapshot barely scratches the surface of day-hike possibilities. For more detailed information, contact the United States Forest Service Station in Murphy, NC at 828-837-5152. For maps and hiking gear, visit the outdoors-savvy staff at Appalachian Outfitters on Tennessee Street in downtown Murphy. And who knows – we might see you on the trail!

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Making the Most of Your Murphy, NC Weekend

Aerial-view-of-Murphy1If escaping to the mountains has been on your bucket list, and you’ve finally cleared your calendar for the weekend, program your GPS for beautiful Cherokee County, North Carolina. Specifically, plan a trip to Murphy, NC, where you can experience peace and quiet, small-town charm, and drop-dead-gorgeous vistas everywhere you look.

Next, reserve that secluded cabin where you can ogle the wildlife and marvel at the stars while you relax on the deck. Contact the folks at Mountain Country Cabin Rentals to find that perfect getaway spot. To get the most from your Murphy weekend, plan to check in on Friday afternoon (or if you’re really lucky, Thursday afternoon so you have an extra day!).

After you arrive, take time to soak up the solitude and put yourself into slow-motion mode, or “mountain time” as we call it. Next, head into town for a glass of wine and Happy Hour entertainment at The Daily Grind in downtown Murphy. For dinner, Murphy’s Chophouse and Shoebootie’s are always good bets. Back at the cabin, settle down for a good night’s sleep, with your weekend still stretching ahead.

On Saturday morning, wake up with visions of a hearty breakfast dancing in your head. Make that dream a reality with a weekend breakfast buffet at Brother’s Restaurant, or fill up on the delectable pancakes at Blue Mountain Grill. After that, walk off your meal by browsing the downtown Murphy shops. You’ll find antiques and collectibles, art galleries, handcrafted baked goods and olive oils, and even a well-stocked outfitters store…plus much more. If you’re in the mood for lunch, the Red Brick Deli serves up hearty overstuffed sandwiches.

Or, take a spin through Foster’s and Decker’s Flea Markets, a few miles west of town at the Route 129 intersection. These almost-legendary establishments feature everything from handcrafted wood furniture to antique farm implements…and everything in between. If you find yourself with some extra time, head west into Tennessee’s stunning Ocoee Gorge, the site of the 1996 Olympics whitewater competitions. It’s well worth the short drive, and you’ll love the jaw-dropping scenery.

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite for dinner, head over to Doyle’s Cedar Hill Restaurant for a delectable meal using many local ingredients. In fact, Doyle’s frequently hosts “Farm to Table” dinners featuring local farmers’ and growers’ bounty. After savoring your meal, stroll over to the Tiki Bar for some rousing live entertainment.

After a good night’s sleep, enjoy some R&R time on the deck, and then head off for another satisfying breakfast. Next, take a leisurely day to enjoy the mountain scenery. Ride through the Nantahala National Forest, which really is the “Land of the Noonday Sun.” Or, visit Hiwassee Dam and Fields of the Wood, both reachable via Route 294 west of Murphy. If you have some extra time, continue through Tellico Plains, Tennessee and return to Murphy, NC the long way. You’ll find that while you’re here, there’s no shortage of Things to do in Murphy NC so long as you enjoy the great outdoors, small town atmosphere, and enjoy a little exploring.

Sometime on Sunday, you’ll turn the car toward home and leave your weekend paradise. Of course, if you’ve been captivated by the mountains’ charm, you might consider living here. As luck would have it, we can help with that, too. You can search all the real estate for sale in Murphy NC right from our website and let us know what we can do to help 🙂 I will warn you – the more weekends you spend, the harder it gets each time to leave.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Murphy NC High School Football Games Serve Up Some Hometown Flavor and Fun

If you’d like to soak up some good old-fashioned high school football, come on down to Murphy High School on fall Friday nights about 7:30 p.m. Before you hop in the car, dress for the weather, because football games aren’t cancelled for rain, wind, snow, or cold.

When you arrive in Murphy, NC, head for the Murphy Bulldogs’ stadium – on Bulldog Drive, of course. Park the car (come early if FullSizeRender 2you don’t want to park in the Lowes parking lot!), grab some refreshments at the concession stand, and stake out a spot in the roomy bleachers. You can even get some really good BBQ sandwiches or fried Oreos at the Band Booster Concession stand! Looking around, you’ll see how important football is to our community. On the playing field fences, notice colorful “Good Luck” banners sponsored by the team’s fans and local businesses. On the way to the stadium, you’ll even see The Poltrock Team at RE/MAX dog paw! The bleachers will also be packed with team members’ families, friends, and fellow students.

As the pre-game excitement builds to a fevered pitch, make sure your camera’s ready for action, because you’re likely to see some heart-pounding plays. Also, get ready for some real-life “Friday Night Lights” as the mega-watt floodlights kick on when the sun sinks behind the mountains.

Finally, it’s game time – and here come the Murphy Bulldogs, decked out in their black-and-gold uniforms. As they pour down the steps into the stadium, with legendary Coach David Gentry heading the ranks, the team’s cheerleaders crank up the crowd. The opposing team, generally from another regional high school, soon joins the Dogs for the coin toss.

Now, let the games begin. When the Bulldogs make an exciting play, or score a touchdown or field goal, watch the cheerleaders whip the fans into a frenzy (and I’m biased because my daughter is a Murphy Cheerleader!). During halftime, these energetic young ladies always put together an impressive routine.

Murphy High School Gentry Stadium
Click to See a Full Size Murphy High School Panorama

Of course, maybe you’re lucky enough to attend the annual Murphy High School Homecoming Game, which falls on October 23 during the 2015 season. After the teams take their halftime break, the Murphy Homecoming Queen and her court literally stop traffic as they parade onto the field. Dressed in colorful ball gowns that would make Scarlett O’Hara jealous, these beautiful young ladies bask in the spotlight while cameras flash and videos roll away. Chances are, they’ll remember this moment for many years to come.

When the teams gear up for the second half, the chilly air certainly doesn’t affect the crowd’s enthusiasm. They whoop and whistle for the great plays, and moan and groan when Murphy misses the mark. Of course, the Murphy, NC hometown crowd wants their team to win. But either way, you’ll experience and enjoy some memorable Friday Night Lights – just be sure to do it in black and gold, of course 😉

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Murphy, NC Historical Sites Beckon Modern Visitors

587If you’re a confirmed North Carolina history buff, downtown Murphy, NC features several noteworthy historical sites, most of them just a stone’s throw from the town’s center square.

Cherokee County Courthouse

Let’s say you came downtown for some coffee and pastries from The Daily Grind; or maybe you just finished a tasty lunch at Shoebootie’s. To walk off those calories, and satisfy your appetite for history, stroll up Peachtree Street to the Cherokee County Courthouse. You can’t miss it – just look for the huge marble building on the corner, next to Smoky Mountain Shooters Supply.

This Courthouse was built entirely of blue marble from – you guessed it – the nearby Marble community. The current Courthouse opened for business in 1927, after a fire destroyed the supposedly fireproof brick courthouse the year before. If you enjoy tracking down National Register of Historic Places landmarks, the Cherokee County Courthouse has a spot on that coveted list.

Cherokee County Historical Museum

Just steps from the Courthouse, step into the Cherokee County Historical Museum. Inside this brick building, kids will enjoy shiny minerals and quartz crystals, plus colorful rubies and amethysts. They might also imagine using the early settlers’ tools to accomplish everyday household and farm chores.

Of course, the Cherokee Indians have been longtime residents here, on a huge expanse of farmland and forests called the Cherokee Nation. To honor their culture, the Museum showcases over 2,000 Cherokee Indian artifacts. Besides typical household items, you’ll see plenty of pottery, axes, pipes, game stones, and arrowheads.

As a side note, nearby Fort Butler served as a collection point for Cherokee Indians made to march on the “Trail of Tears” to Oklahoma. During 1837, over 3,000 Cherokees from North Carolina and Georgia passed through the fort before their long journey west. Look for the memorial monument on nearby Fort Butler Street.

Harshaw Chapel and Cemetery

Next, take a jaunt to Central and Church Streets, an easy hike in good walking shoes. Here, you’ll find historic Harshaw Chapel and Cemetery, both occupying spots on the National Register of Historic Places. Well-known Murphy resident Joshua Harshaw dedicated this brick chapel to the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1869, although its adjacent cemetery was in operation before that.

The Harshaw Chapel was actively used for about 60 years, but deteriorated after the First United Methodist Church was built to accommodate the area’s growing Methodist congregation. In 1965, the Daughters of the American Revolution (Archibald D. Murphey chapter) acquired the chapel, and they’ve maintained it since then. On certain occasions, you’ll find a special Methodist service or community event there. Now, this modest little chapel holds the title of the oldest church building in Cherokee County.

Murphy Public Library (Nantahala Public Library)

If you’re a genealogy fan, check out the Murphy, NC Public Library on Blumenthal Street (near the Courthouse on a side street). Many genealogists sing the praises of our Genealogy Room, containing some of the best resources in western North Carolina (and maybe even the state). While digging through the files, you just might discover a long-lost relative or colorful ancestor.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

The 2015 Leaf-Peeping Season Promises Stunning Fall Colors in Murphy NC

28DFB110-1DD8-B71C-0700A2AF4F1BD004-largeLet’s face it: we live in a drop-dead-gorgeous part of the world. When you drive around Murphy NC, Western North Carolina, and North Georgia, the tree-covered mountains and valleys literally take your breath away. Of course, the landscape changes colors throughout the all parts of the year, except for our reliable evergreens. However, there’s nothing like the brilliance of Fall’s fireworks show of reds, yellows, oranges, and everything in between.

In late September, many deciduous trees’ leaves have already changed from a bright to a muted green shade. Next, the leaves turn a striking orange, yellow, or red color, depending on the tree species. That’s the result of fall’s cooler weather that causes the leaves’ chlorophyll to break down, allowing those other pigments to emerge. Because the leaves don’t all change color at once, our residents and visitors have the privilege of searching for the perfect fall colors for weeks on end.

So how does the 2015 Leaf-Peeping Season look? Well, the experts at Western Carolina University predict an absolutely brilliant fall leaf season full of colors this year. Because leaves are taking in less water through their roots, they’re more likely to produce those stunning red pigments. Add a generally quiet hurricane season, and we’ve got the setup for some fall foliage for the history books. Although they predicted this earlier, we are quite hopeful last week’s rains don’t disappoint the show.

So when can you see these beautiful fall leaves? At elevations above 4,500 feet, you’ll see peak colors during the first two weeks of October. If you plan a trip through the Cherohala Skyway in Graham County, or hike to Wayah Bald and Wine Spring Creek in Macon County, you’ll likely get frame-worthy pictures.

As fall marches on, look for mid-elevation trees (from 2,500-4,500 feet) to put on their showiest costumes. During the third week of October, visit viewing spots along U.S. Route 64 in Macon and Clay counties. Consider the Standing Indian and Shooting Creek areas. In Graham County, NC Routes 28 and 143 from Fontana Village to Stecoah Gap should provide spectacular views.

Lower-elevation viewing will be more spotty, but should include some mid-elevation tree species. During mid/late October (and even early November), you’ll probably find some nice colors while driving along Joe Brown Highway in Murphy, NC or U.S. Route 64 in Cherokee County and Clay County.

Of course, the best part of a leaf-peeping trip is getting yourself back in one piece. Keep yourself and your family safe by pulling off to overlooks for videos and selfies. We want to see you for next year’s leaf-peeping season!

And while you’re here, you may decide to call these mountains home! Whether it be part time or full time, we can help you find your home in the mountains. So feel free to search all the available listings for sale in Murphy NC and surrounding or contact us and we will get you the perfect spot! We love it when we have new neighbors and help other discover every amazing season the mountains have to offer.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

John Campbell Folk School Fall Festival in Brasstown NC Offers Fun for the Entire Family

John C. Campbell Folk School Classic Scene

It’s true! The 2015 Fall Festival is cancelled for the first time that we know of! It’s quite disappointing that we will not be able to enjoy all the festivities; however, we know it is well worth the wait for next year. Go ahead and put it on your 2016 calendar and be prepared to see us in the mountains. So here’s this year’s article we wrote about the festival:

If you’re always ready for a good mountain craft festival, and you want to enjoy our drop-dead-gorgeous fall colors, come check out the famous John C. Campbell Folk School Fall Festival. This almost-legendary event takes place near Murphy NC, in a charming little place called Brasstown NC during the first weekend in October. This year’s Fall Festival will be held on October 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In fact, this is quite a special gathering, as the Folk School celebrates its 90th Anniversary in 2015.

When you arrive on the Folk School campus, park your vehicle and put on your walking shoes. Start meandering along the tree-lined paths as you visit over 240 craft vendors who are happy to share their work. You’ll see fine-quality basketry, glass, ironwork, jewelry, painting, custom knives, pottery, weaving, woodturning, and woodworking…plus some interesting crafts you’ve never seen before. If you’re a hands-on person, come watch over 40 traditional and contemporary craft demonstrations that provide a taste of our region’s Appalachian culture.

If your toes begin tapping when you hear some lively music, the Fall Festival offers plenty of live performances on two stages. The roomy Festival Barn stage, and the wooded Shady Grove

I love hearing the violins every year!
I love hearing the violins every year!

near the Craft Shop, will host quite a lineup of regional musicians and dancers. Come hear country, old time, bluegrass, gospel, Celtic, French, and blues songs throughout the weekend. The Appalachian cloggers and Morris dancers will wake up your sense of rhythm, and you might even start swaying to the music while you watch.

Kids will also discover plenty of fun Fall Festival activities. Pony rides and face painting are always a hit, and the Cherokee County Arts Council will tempt younger festivalgoers with some exciting crafts projects. Inside the group’s tent, budding artists can dabble in paper arts, fabric collages, painting, felting, and whimmy-diddling, just to name a few.

Just a Few Vendors and Artists
Just a Few Vendors and Artists

Naturally, you’ll work up an appetite while you browse craft vendors and dance to the live music. Good thing the Fall Festival has lots of lunch, snack, and dessert foods for every taste. Even better, all proceeds support local non-profit and community groups. That’s a “win win” for everybody!

What are you waiting for? Get on down to the John C. Campbell Folk School Fall Festival, just a stone’s throw from Murphy, NC and Cherokee County. We just might see you there!

 

Read our post on the 2013 Fall Festival at John C. Campbell Folk School

Read our post on the 2012 Fall Festival at John C. Campbell Folk School

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Murphy Art Walks Bring Arts, Music, and Tasty Food to Downtown Murphy NC

ar133833225383549If you’re always looking for things to do in downtown Murphy, NC, put the Murphy Art Walk at the top of your list. In fact, put these free “fun for the whole family” evenings on your calendar right now. From May through October, folks from Cherokee County – and visitors from everywhere – gather in Murphy on the first Friday of the month from 5 to 8 p.m. During the season, some of the Art Walks have special themes, such as a spring Student Art Show and a July Patriotic Celebration. You might even find a Scavenger Hunt, where visitors scour local shops for clues that help them win a prize. In October, Fall decorations set the tone for the evening.Downtown Murphy NC Aerial Photo

The Art Walk is sponsored by the Valley River Arts Guild, so art is definitely the focus. For starters, Murphy’s downtown galleries will give visitors a warm welcome. The Valley River Arts Gallery, Gallery 26, Celebrate Life Gallery, and Highlander Gallery may even showcase a special collection or two. Some of the participating artists will also be on hand.

Naturally, local merchants also want to be part of the action. When you stroll into a business displaying a yellow Art Walk flag, you might see an artist demonstrating his or her craft for everyone to see. Jewelry artisans, painters, calligraphers, weavers – you never know who you’ll meet at an Art Walk. Chances are, they’ll even have some artwork for sale. If you see something you like, consider treating yourself to a gift. Or, pick up a special birthday or Christmas present.

While you stroll the downtown streets of Murphy NC, keep an eye (and ear) out for the live performances. First, check out the four downtown squares, as they’re popular spots for musicians and bands. You might also find entertainment inside a merchant’s shop or restaurant. Check out Shoebootie’s, The Daily Grind, The Chophouse, and PNC Bank for starters.

If your family includes some members of the younger set, Art Walks often feature fun children’s activities. Look for face painting, balloon artists, and magicians. Kids might even get up-close-and-personal with an artist while she’s creating a colorful piece of work.

Of course, every special event needs some delicious food – and Murphy, NC Art Walk merchants certainly pull out all the stops. As you browse the downtown streets, poke your head into each yellow-flagged shop or restaurant and snag a tasty snack or two. While each establishment will offer something different, you won’t be disappointed! According to the inside scoop, Shoebootie’s and The Cherokee County Visitors’ Center always offer a scrumptious spread!

Finally, let’s remember the idea behind the Art Walk. We all want to support our local merchants, so they can continue to provide great hometown shopping and dining. That’s what helps to make Cherokee County a wonderful place to live.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team