Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area – A Part of North Carolina, Appalachian, Cherokee and American History

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area was designated by Congress and the President in November, 2003 in recognition of the unique character, culture, and natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and foothills in Western North Carolina. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area has great significance, not only to historical North Carolina, but also to the history of our nation.

The federal legislation that designated the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area also created a nine-member board of directors. The board then formed a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization—which operates under the name the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership—to steward the federal funds that support the designation, develop a management plan, build partnerships in the region, attract matching funds, and implement projects.

Heritage tourism in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area contributes $2.39 billion annually to the economy of the region, supporting more than 30,000 jobs and generating $176.5 million annually in state and local tax revenue, according to a 2014 economic impact study. Heritage tourism also supports the conservation and sustainability of the region’s parks, forests, waterways, historic sites, and cultural traditions.

The Madison County Arts Council is a proud recipient of a 2017 $5,000 matching grant for the
purchase of a state of the art sound system. The grant was matched by the Foundation for
Bluegrass Music and the Franklin Project leveraging another $5,000 in grant monies.


Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina

This site is a guide to the traditional music of the North Carolina mountains and foothills.

Madison County has many sites on Blue Ridge Music Trails!