Madison County Map

Madison County, North Carolina, is located just north of Asheville’s Buncombe County in Western North Carolina. It’s northern edge borders on the state of Tennessee. Download a Madison County Map of the roads or a Topographic Map. The county has 452 square miles of which 73% is forested. The elevations range from about 1200 feet to over 5000 feet (we have enough snow during the winter to support a ski area).
The most recent population count was approximately 20,000. Among its natural beauties are the French Broad River which runs through the county and through two of its towns (Marshall and Hot Springs), the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian Range, and a little over sixty miles of the Appalachian Trail. We have three unique towns–Mars Hill, Marshall, and Hot Springs–which offer a variety of things to do.

Fishing Brochure

Explore the fishing possibilities in the rivers and streams just north of Asheville in Madison County, North Carolina. Download the Fishing Brochure for a summary of the locations of the stocked trout streams as well as places to fish on the French Broad River. Go to the pages on the website for the more detail and for the most up-to-date information about the stocking schedule, where to buy bait and licenses, and where to hire a guide.

Driving Tour Brochure

Take a 54-mile loop self-guided driving tour through Madison County, North Carolina winding your way along the French Broad River and through the Pisgah National Forest. Download the Driving Tour Brochure to get a detailed description of the route which also takes you through the town of Marshall and its historic courthouse and out in the country to the small communities of Luck and Trust. There are a few side trips offered in this tour which give you the opportunity to see Cherokee pictographs or to stand on the Appalachian Trail at the top of Max Patch Bald. Or, you can view the location of the original county seat in the Walnut community.Learn about our history as you drive through the beautiful rural roads.

Walking Tour of Hot Springs Brochure

Hot Springs, North Carolina, is the oldest town in the county and its history from Cherokee Indian times can be traced by taking a self-guided driving/walking tour in the town and close-by locations. Download the Hot Springs Walking Tour Brochure to learn about the natural mineral water hot springs that attracted the Cherokee to this location long before the settlers discovered its healing qualities. Different resorts brought the rich and famous to this small town in the 1800s and into the 1900s. And, its cultural history was enhanced by the tradition of ballad singing and the presence of the Dorland-Bell School which would later evolve into Warren Wilson College.

Walking Tour of Mars Hill Brochure

Learn about the town of Mars Hill’s history by taking a self-guided walking tour down Main Street. Download the Mars Hill Walking Tour Brochure to read about the buildings you will pass by. The town’s history is lined with that of Mars Hill University whose founding in 1856 preceded the founding of the town itself. The houses and the storefronts tell the stories of the growth of this beautiful little town. Walk inside a bank which was one of the most stunning houses on Main Street. Lunch in a restaurant that once served as the town’s Post Office.  Read about the music heritage at the marker commemorating the birthplace of Bascom Lamar Lunsford.

Walking Tour of Marshall Brochure

The history of the town of Marshall, North Carolina, is revealed by taking a self-guided walking tour along its Main Street. Download the Marshall Walking Tour Brochure so that you will have the history of the buildings along the tour. The town was a bustling place when the Drover’s Road ran alongside the French Broad River from Greenville, SC, to Greeneville, TN in the 1800s. The railroad continued to bring economic prosperity and much of its history lies in the stories about each of the buildings and houses included in this tour. Along Main Street, you will find the historic County Courthouse as well as a home that is part of the Civil War Trails. Many of the buildings constructed in the early 1900s have been re-purposed for use as current businesses.

Barn Quilt Trail of Marshall Brochure

As you drive through historic downtown Marshall and out into the surrounding country roads, you will learn some of the history of the area and the buildings on which the barn quilt squares are mounted. The idea of decorating barns with a painted quilt square began in Ohio with a daughter’s desire to honor her mother and has developed into one of the fastest-growing grassroots public arts movements in the United States and Canada. The barns around Marshall were the first in Madison County to join this movement. The one on the Madison County Arts Center building is a “rescue” quilt that has been moved around within the town. Most of the quilts in the Marshall Loop Trail have a community involvement. Download Marshall Barn Quilt Loop Trail Brochure.

Barn Quilt Trail of Mars Hill Brochure

The idea of decorating barns with a painted quilt square is the story of one of the fastest-growing grassroots public arts movements in the United States and Canada. Painted square patterns can be chosen to honor a family member or reflect the use of the land or an interest of the current or past owner. Travel through the back roads of the area near the town of Mars Hill to catch sight of quilts ranging from traditional to a modern one with an Andy Warhol feel (Doubletree Farms). This loop begins right in downtown Mars Hill at the Visitor Center with its own barn quilt on the building. You can choose from two directions at that point and see some scenic countryside and barns as you make the self-guided loop. Download Mars Hill Barn Quilt Loop Trail Brochure.

Barn Quilt Trail of Upper Laurel Brochure

The barn quilt loop trail in the Laurel area covers the most ground of any of the county’s trails. But, it can be driven in sections. It is also the one that is most convenient to the ski area for those who visit the county in the winter months. Two barn quilt locations are on the road leading off Interstate 26’s exit #3 to the ski slopes. There are a few more that can take you into the Sodom Laurel area deep in the hills of the county. So, if you are looking for a beautiful drive along the Laurel River and some spectacular views as you drive over Lonesome Mountain Road to Highway 25/70 to complete the self-guided driving loop. The idea of decorating barns with a painted quilt square is paired with a drive through the county learning about its history while enjoying the beauty of its natural views. Download Upper Laurel Barn Quilt Loop Trail Brochure.

Barn Quilt Trail of Spring Creek Brochure

The Spring Creek community is in a beautiful, remote area which has several places where the Appalachian Trail can be accessed for day hikes. Residents of that area joined the movement to decorate their barns with quilted squares expressing their interests or honoring the history of their properties. One of the properties is not a barn but a rock building erected by the Civilian Conservation Corps for use as a school. The quilt square honors that history with the choice of a schoolhouse pattern. The building is now a community center. Take an afternoon and drive through this scenic area of Madison County. Download Spring Creek Barn Quilt Loop Trail Brochure.