Scroll down to see the museum’s 2016 events. Most events require pre-registration. Register for events via Paypal. Email the museum at or call (828) 669-9566 with any questions.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

north forkValley History Explorer Series Hike #7: North Fork

Learn the history of the Swannanoa Valley while exploring our communities on moderate, approximately 3-mile hikes to 7 historic destinations throughout the year.

The 7th hike in the series will take hikers on an exploration of part of Grove Stone Quarry to a viewpoint overlooking the North Fork Valley.

This moderate trail is part of the network of roads that trucks drive through the quarry. Jason Conner, who works for the quarry, will share the geology of the region. We will hike to a viewpoint that overlooks the North Fork Valley and the Asheville Watershed/Burnett Reservoir while we learn about the history of the area.

Difficulty Rating: Moderate, 3 miles
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Price: $20 for members, $30 for nonmembers
Pack List: Please bring a bag lunch and plenty of water along with your hiking gear.
Registration: Call 828-669-9566, email, or pay below.

One Valley History Explorer Hike

Sunday, October 9, 2016

after-coal-flyerWhat happens when fossil fuels run out?
How do communities and cultures survive?

After Coal profiles inspiring individuals who are building a new future in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and South Wales. This hour long documentary invites viewers to the front lines of the transition away from fossil fuels. Coalfield residents who must abandon traditional livelihoods share stories from the front lines of the transition away from fossil fuels.

Meet ex-miners using theater to rebuild community infrastructure, women transforming a former coal board office into an education hub, and young people striving to stay in their home communities. The stories of coalfield residents who must abandon traditional livelihoods illustrate the front lines of the transition away from fossil fuels. Music plays a major role in this documentary essay, linking the two regions and providing cultural continuity that sustains communities through rapid change.

DATE: Sunday, October 9, 2016
TIME: 3:00PM
LOCATION: White Horse Black Mountain, 105c Montreat Rd



Saturday, October 15, 2016

Rim Hike 10 Top of BrushySwannanoa Valley Rim Hike #10: Top of Brushy/High Top Bee Tree

In the 1800s and early 1900s the top of Brushy was an important meeting spot for hunters. It divides the large drainages of Bee Tree Creek (Right Fork), Laurel Branch, and Sugar Fork. The high top of Bee Tree is the highest point on the Swannanoa Rim. This approximately 6-mile, difficult hike begins at Laurel Ridge youth camp and extends to Laurel Ridge water tank.

Pre-registration is required by emailing, calling (828) 669-9566, or paying below.

Difficulty Rating: Difficult, 6 miles
Start Time: 8:00 AM
Price: $30 for members, $50 for nonmembers

One Rim Hike

Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, 2016

round-knob-nightHistoric Haunted House Tour – Round Knob Lodge

Just a few hundred feet beyond where the man-made fountain, known as Andrews Geyser, shoots water 80 feet into the air lies the historic Round Knob Lodge. Built in the 1930s by Southern Railroad executives as a rustic mountain retreat, the 6500-square-foot lodge replaced the ritzy Round Knob Hotel, which served railroad passengers and employees from the 1880s until it burned in 1903.

In the 1870’s Round Knob was a key witness to the completion of the railroad across the steep mountains between Old Fort and Ridgecrest.  The job was done with convict labor, dangerous nitroglycerin, incredible determination, extraordinary engineering, and the loss many lives.  This year’s tour will focus on how the railroad was built and the dynamic changes it brought to our valley. To read more about the tour, click here.

In 2016, the lodge will be the backdrop for the incredible story of North Carolina’s quest to lay track up the steep grade from Old Fort to Asheville during the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center’s 5th Annual Historic Haunted House Tours on Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29.

hhhtCostumed tour guides will escort guests to the lodge from one lavishly decorated room to another where they will eavesdrop on costumed actors reenacting historic scenes from before, during, and after the coming of the railroad.

Guided tours begin at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tours will last approximately 2 hours. Pre-registration is required. Spaces fill up fast. 

Difficulty Rating: Easy, there are stairs
Price: $25 members, $35 non-members

Members || Non-Members
Tour Times
Choose Friday or Saturday

Monday, October 31, 2016

Trick-or-Treat at the Haunted Museum

Bring your children to the (kid-friendly) haunted museum for some treats.

Free Admission All Day!

For more information email or call (828) 669-9566.

Hours: 10:00AM until 8:00PM
Price: Free. Donations appreciated.

Friday, November 4 or Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mountain House, North Fork, 1851, William Patton.Mountain House Hike 

The original route traveled by those ascending to the top of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi, was through the North Fork valley via the Old Mitchell Trail. Intrepid visitors would travel by wagon to the Depot where they would rest, refuel, and continue on horseback to the Mountain House. To celebrate Mt. Mitchell State Park’s centennial, this year the Museum has permission to take two small groups of hikers–one group on Friday, November 4 and the other on Saturday, November 5–into the closed Asheville Watershed to hike the Old Mitchell Trail from the Depot to the Mountain House.  These day-long trips will allow hikers to experience firsthand the journey that those before them made to reach Mitchell’s peak.

 Start Time: 8:00AM
Meet: Swannanoa Valley Museum, 223 West State Street, Black Mountain
Difficulty: Strenuous, 5 miles – We will climb almost 2,000 (3,250 to 5,240) feet in elevation from where we start the confluence of Big Branch & Big Right Hand Fork of the Swannanoa River to Mountain House. That’s a steep climb, especially on an approximate 180-year-old rocky trail that hasn’t been kept up in 113 years.

Price: $50 for members, $75 for nonmembers

To Register: Email, call (828) 669-9566, or pay online below.

Mountain House Hike

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Historic North Fork Valley Tour of the Asheville Watershed – West Side

As part of our celebration of the centennial of Mt. Mitchell State Park join us on this exclusive historic driving tour of the west side of the Burnett Reservoir to explore part of the once thriving North Fork Valley community. This tour takes place inside the City of Asheville watershed and is limited to only 25 participants for each tour to protect this special place.

The trip on the west side of the watershed will begin with a talk overlooking the valley from the old clubhouse and then cross the main dam. It will continue to a second stop at the Judge Lancaster Bailey Law School. From here, the caravan will stop for participants to view the entrance to Gombroon as well as the Gombroon wall. Following that, we will pass the Left Hand Fork Intake and head to the Dan Burnett Place. The tour will end with the ruins of Gombroon – to include the foundation, heart-shaped pool, the spring house, and the McGinnis Cabin.

There will be some walking on rough terrain. Wear sturdy hiking boots and dress for the weather. This is a rain or shine event.

Pre-registration required and limited to only 25 participants for each tour. Email, call (828) 669-9566, or sign up online below for tickets.

Difficulty: Moderate
Price: $50 for members, $75 for nonmembers, $25 for children under 12

Start Time: 7:30 AM & 1:30 PM

Watershed Tour
Please choose a tour time

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Swannanoa Rim Hike #11: Garden of Eden

Join the museum for the final hike of the Swannanoa Rim Hike Series to the Garden of Eden. This rocky mountaintop is located one mile northwest of Lake Eden on the Swannanoa Rim. In the summer months its rocky top was famous for its sunning serpents (rattlesnakes and copperheads) and it why this segment of the rim is hiked in the winter. This loop hike begins at Camp Rockmont for Boys climbs to Cedar Cliff and the Garden of Eden and returns to Rockmont.

Difficulty Rating: Strenuous, 8 miles
Start Time: 8:00 AM
Price: $30 for members, $50 for nonmembers

Single Rim Hike

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Swannanoa Creek and Tunnel Hike

The museum will host a moderate winter hike down this historic path, which was also used as a Native American trade route and later by General Rutherford as he moved into the Swannanoa Valley and further west burning Indian settlements.

Though passenger train service ceased in the mid-1900s, the trains still run up and down the mountain several times a day transporting coal east and wood chips west. Hikers often view trains on the nearby tracks, and during the hike there is a good view of the eastern end of the Swannanoa Tunnel, the longest of the seven tunnels constructed up the Old Fort railroad grade.

This 4-mile moderate hike is mostly downhill and starts at Swannanoa Gap near Ridgecrest. Though it follows the old stagecoach road, the road has deteriorated over the last century and is very rough and rocky in places. Hikers should come equipped with study hiking shoes and hiking poles for added stability.

To register please call (828) 669-9566, email, or sign up online below.

Time: 9:30 AM
Difficulty: Moderate, 4-miles

Swannanoa Creek & Tunnel Hike

Saturday, December 10, 2016 (Rescheduled from Jan. 23)

Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #1 –
Weatherford Heights
(Jesse’s High Top to Route 9)

This is the first hike of the 2016 Swannanoa Rim Hike Series- a sequence of 11 monthly hikes that travel 31 miles across the highest and most historic skyline in Eastern America. The hike to Weatherford Heights explores the history and geography of Y.M.C.A. Blue Ridge Assembly near Black Mountain, NC. The strenuous, six-mile long hike follows the original boundary line of the conference center’s grounds, surveyed by educator, author, and religious leader Willis Duke Weatherford in 1906.

Difficulty Rating: Strenuous, 6 miles
Start Time: 8:00 AM at the Black Mountain Savings Bank parking lot
Price: $30 for members, $50 for nonmembers


Single Rim Hike


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Swannanoa Valley Hike Finishers Celebration

Tonight we’re celebrating all those who finished the Rim Hike and Moderate Hike series in 2015. All 2015 Rim Hike finishers will receive their Rim Hike jackets this evening. All past and present finishers and their families are welcome. We will provide dinner, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Start Time: 5:00 PM
Price: Free for all 2015 finishers, $10 suggested donation for all others

Hike Finishers Celebration Donation