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, September 2, 2016


New & Returning Docent Orientation

Volunteers are quintessential to the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, which will reopen after major interior renovations on Tuesday, September 6th with a special temporary exhibition entitled, “Edward L. DuPuy’s Artisans of the Appalachians.” In preparation for the opening, the Museum is recruiting new volunteer docents to serve 3.5 hour shifts during the Museum’s opening hours. The Museum will host an orientation for new and returning docents on Friday, September 2 at 10:30 am.
Docents greet visitors, introduce the history of the Valley to visitors, track attendance, interpret exhibits, sell gift shop merchandise, and open and close the museum daily. Docents also help with special events, such as school field trips, book signings, or demonstrations held at the museum. Many docents serve the museum on a consistent weekly basis. Docent shifts run from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm and 1:30 to 5:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Each new docent receives on-the-job training their first day of service.
The orientation will provide an overview of docent duties and allow interested volunteers to sign up for docent shifts beginning in September. The events will take place at the museum located at 223 West State Street in downtown Black Mountain. Coffee and refreshments will be served. New and returning docents and volunteers are invited to attend. Attendance is not required to become a volunteer and interested candidates are encouraged to contact the museum directly. For more information email or call (828) 669-9566 or (828) 669-0068.

 Tuesday, September 6, 2016

IMG_3547Museum Reopens for the Season
The Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center will reopen after major interior renovations on Tuesday, September 6th with a special temporary exhibition entitled, “Edward L. DuPuy’s Artisans of the Appalachians.”

Though installation of the Museum’s 2nd floor exhibition showcasing their permanent collection that ranges from Native American artifacts through mid-century memorabilia, entitled “Pathways from the Past” is still in progress, we wish to open its doors beginning September 6th for the community to see our building’s transformation.

The building, Black Mountain’s historic Fire House, was designed in 1921 by the Biltmore Estate’s supervising architect, Richard Sharp Smith. The renovation was an effort to stabilize the building, bring it back to Smith’s original design, and add features – like climate control and public restrooms for the comfort and safety of their collection and their guests. A grand reopening celebration for the Museum will be held to in the coming month once all exhibit installations are complete.

The new, temporary exhibition, “Edward L. DuPuy’s Artisans of the Appalachians,” features the work of local photographer, Ed DuPuy. Born in Blacksburg, VA, in 1914, DuPuy moved to Black Mountain, NC, as a teenager. From the 1950s until the 1980s, he made a living photographing weddings, special events, conference groups, real estate, and commercial subjects, but he would also capture everyday life and landscapes around Black Mountain out of pure interest. He was also an artisan woodworker whose antique reproductions no doubt are still in many homes. He taught classes at Black Mountain College, was a dedicated member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and published a book in 1967, Artisans of the Appalachians, about regional craftsmakers. Never before seen photographs of the artisans featured in the publication are exhibited alongside their wares in the Museum’s new exhibit.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

kitsuma2Valley History Explorer Hike #6: 
Ridgecrest (Kitsuma)

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

Join the museum for the sixth hike of our Valley History Explorer Series. This hike will explore the history of the community of Ridgecrest. Our knowledgeable hike leaders will take the group on a moderate trail to view sweeping vistas of the Swannanoa Valley, including a breathtaking view of Mt. Mitchell, visible on clear days.

Difficulty Rating: Moderate, 2.5 miles
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Price: $20 members, $30 nonmembers

One Valley History Explorer Hike

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Book Signing and Presentation: A Nutshell History of North Carolina

Join local author, Ben Fortson, for a talk and signing of his new book, A Nutshell History of North Carolina, at 10:00am at the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center in Black Mountain.

image001 Time: 10:00am
Swannanoa Valley Museum, 223 West State Street, Black Mountain

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #9: Buckner’s Knob

Buckner’s Knob was the original name given to today’s Craggy Pinnacle, named after the Buckner family, one of the early families to settle on the Barnardsville side of the Craggies. This 3.5-mile, moderate hike begins at Craggy Pinnacle parking lot and extends to Craggy picnic area at Bearpen Gap.

Difficulty Rating:
Moderate, 3.5 miles

Start Time: 8:00 AM
Price: $30 for members, $50 for nonmembers

One Rim Hike


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Mitchell FallsMitchell Falls Hike

Today, the Museum will host a 6.5-mile hike on a private land preserve, with permission of the owners, to what is now known as Mitchell Falls. This is the site where Dr. Elisha Mitchell fell to his death while trying to prove the mountain that now bears his name is the highest in Eastern North America. The hike is moderate, with a steep descent into the falls themselves.

Difficulty: Moderate, 6.5 miles
Cost: $35 for members, $50 for nonmembers.

Call (828) 669-9566, email, or sign up online below to register.


Mitchell Falls Hike

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 sixth 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 the overlooks the North Fork Valley and the Asheville Watershed 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

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


Historic Haunted House Tour – Round Knob Lodge

This year we will hold our 5th annual Historic Haunted House Tour at Round Knob Lodge. We invite you to experience this entrancing spectacle. The tours are led by historic interpreters dressed in period attire and each room includes historical reenactors.  The event also features live music and exhibits of photographs, objects, and ephemera from the museum collection. Feel free to come dressed for the occasion and celebrate Halloween with the museum!

This year’s Historic Haunted House Tours will feature the privately-owned Round Knob Lodge and grounds. In 2016 our state celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Mt. Mitchell State Park. Mt. Mitchell and the state park are extremely important in the history of the Swannanoa Valley and that importance can be tied closely to the arrival of the railroad.  In the 1870’s Round Knob Lodge 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. 

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