Whether you are looking for homes for sale in Jefferson, NC or are simply thinking of visiting, the town of Jefferson offers a host of engaging activities which have attracted folks from across the world for hundreds of years. With a vibrant local economy in addition to natural beauty and mountain charm, there’s a lot to love about this North Carolina country gem.
A Brief History of Jefferson
Originally called “Jeffersonton” after Thomas Jefferson, this mountain town was established in 1803 as the county seat of Ashe county. Sitting at just over 2,900 feet in elevation, Jefferson first began as a plot of 50 acres purchased for $100 and developed into a nexus for retail and service industries.
By the 1900s, Jefferson had a thriving dairy industry; a Kraft-Phoenix creamery opened there in the 1930s. Other capitalistic endeavors included electricity production, chair manufacturing, and textile goods, to name a few.
Jefferson is located along the railway of the famed Virginia Creeper, which cuts from southeastern Virginia to Ashe county. It is home to several historic buildings, including the old County Courthouse from 1904, which is now the Museum of Ashe County History.
With homes for sale in Jefferson, NC dating back to the turn of the 20th century and beyond, Jefferson’s historic resonance can be felt wherever you venture!
Top Jefferson Attractions
Along with the breathtaking natural scenery comes a litany of outdoor play. Residents of Jefferson enjoy hiking, fishing, and canoeing in the warm months with ski resorts nearby for the winter season. Between festivals, farmer’s markets, and thriving local businesses, there’s something to do (indoors our outdoors) year-round in Jefferson.
So whether you are looking to relocate to Ashe County and the Jefferson, NC area as a permanent, year-round resident or you are in the market for a vacation, getaway home in the mountains of Western North Carolina – High Country Realty of North Carolina’s staff of experienced Jefferson NC Realtors can assist you every step of the way.
Here are the top ten attractions:
- The Blue Ridge Parkway: Just a 15-minute drive from Jefferson, the spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s longest linear park. Spanning 469 miles through 29 counties in North Carolina and Virginia, this All-American Road is a Natural Parkway which can be enjoyed by bicycle, motorcycle, RV, or automobile. The parkway is known for its wildflowers as well as its waterfalls, so be sure to stop and explore the scenery along your way!
- Foster-Tyson Park: This quaint little park is located right in the heart of Jefferson. With a gazebo perfect for picnic lunches and a trail along the waterside, Foster-Tyson Park is complete with a BBQ pit as well as several picnic tables for relaxing on a sunny day. Best of all, it is completely free to play!
- New River State Park: This aptly-named park boasts a National Wild and Scenic River which was established in 1976. Whether you choose to paddle downstream in a kayak or a canoe to check out the primitive campsites, New River State Park also offers swimming access points and even has several structures for renting larger family gatherings. While the river is closed during the winter months, the park itself welcomes snow-tubers and sledders for continued yearlong fun!
- Mount Jefferson State Natural Area: Reaching more than 1,600 feet into the sky, this impressive peak has long attracted visitors for its magnificent views and wildlife. This national landmark offers trails ranging in difficulty from very easy trails for children to a rocky scramble across the mountain’s ridge for more experienced mountaineers. Hiking and picnicking at Mount Jefferson make for an unparalleled experience, so be sure to explore this gorgeous peak!
- Mountain Air Country Club: Nestled against the backdrop of the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, this state-of-the-art country club delivers prime golfing, aviation, racquet sports, and a cutting-edge spa and wellness area. As if that weren’t enough, this sprawling estate offers an array of scenic trails throughout its six sizeable parks which include stops at a treehouse, a water wheel, campfire rings, a gazebo, and more.
- Ashe County Park: Boasting an 18-hole disc golf course (completely free, of course!) this county park offers several shelters for hosting events, a playground for the kiddos, a trout pond for fishing enthusiasts, and a nature trail featuring rotating stories hosted by the Ashe County Public Library. Provided they bring helmets and pads, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the public skatepark from 8 am until dusk or enjoy sporting events at their baseball field. When it’s not hosting disc golf tournaments, this local park offers a range of annual activities, including the Ashe County Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddler’s Convention, The Ice Bowl, and more.
- Ashe County Barn Quilt Tour: One of three counties in North Carolina to participate in the barn quilt tour, this scenic tour simply requires an automobile and some time to enjoy. Barn quilt viewers can choose from six scenic loops which indicate mileage, street names, and landmarks so folks can get a glimpse of as many barn quilts as possible. For more information on how American barn quilts came to be, read up on their nearly 300-year history!
- Museum of Ashe County History: Featuring exhibits spanning topics from moonshine to lumber to Native American history, this impressive museum is located in the original Ashe County Courthouse from 1904. For anyone interested in history or human culture, this stop is an absolute must!
- Rhododendron Trail: Part of the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, this easy hiking trail rewards trail-goers with stunning views of neighboring peaks and valleys. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the dining area after exploring the self-guided trail weaving through American chestnut trees and northern red oaks. This day hike does not disappoint!
- Gem Valley LLC: A pro member of the International Gem Society, this hidden gem in Jefferson as a must-see for rock enthusiasts. Garnets are the gems most commonly found in Ashe county, but those with their eyes to the ground have discovered emerald, rose, smoky, and clear quartz, topaz, citrine, and more! Visitors can pan for gold in the Gem Valley or purchase a bucket of gems ranging in price from $25-$100! Be sure to bring a picnic lunch during your day trip should you choose to hunt for gems yourself, or stop by the Gem Shop for a snack. Staff will even cut and identify rocks for you!
Weather in Jefferson, NC
If you are looking for homes for sale in Jefferson, NC, you are undoubtedly wondering about the yearlong climate. Being a mountain town, Jefferson experiences cold, snowy winters and temperate summers, with average temperatures typically falling between 27°F-79°F. Temperatures rarely rise above 85°F or fall below 12°F, which means that this beautiful landscape can be enjoyed outdoors at all times of the year.
However, due to these weather patterns, most tourists choose to visit during the warm weather months between June and September–so if you are planning on staying throughout the duration of the four seasons, bring layered clothing and a snow-equipped vehicle!
What Is the Population of Jefferson, NC?
As of 2021, the population in Jefferson, NC hovers just over 1,500 people. This little mountain town is currently growing at a rate of 0.13% a year!
Homes for Sale in Jefferson, NC
Whether you are planning a seasonal visit or are looking for homes for sale in Jefferson, NC, or farms and acreage for sale near Jefferson and West Jefferson, this mountain town is a great place to explore nature, experience North Carolina’s rich history, or raise a family. If you’re just getting curious about Jefferson or have lived there for quite some time, one thing’s for certain–tourists and residents alike adore this beautiful mountain gem!