About Banner Elk, Beech Mtn., & Sugar Mtn. Area
Banner Elk is located in the northwest quadrant of Avery County in the Appalachian Highlands 3,739 feet above sea level. Home to Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk features a lively arts and crafts cultural scene, complete with an intimate pedestrian shopping district. The Wooly Worm Festival in downtown Banner Elk draws over 20,000 visitors each October eager to celebrate this furry little critter that has long been considered a forecaster of winter weather.
Beech Mountain is Eastern America’s highest town (elevation 5,506) with well-maintained hiking trails and bike routes made famous by Lance Armstrong, alongside premier skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and ice skating. Popular events include the Mile High Kite Festival in September, and the Autumn of Oz Celebration in October. The high temperature has exceeded 72 degrees only a handful of times since an official weather service reporting station was established in 1992.
In and around the Village of Sugar Mountain you will find a Frank Duane designed 18-hole public golf course, Har-Tru clay tennis courts, miles of trails to hike and bike, outdoor adventure outfitters, shopping, restaurants, and a range of cozy lodging options. In the winter, grab your skis and snowboard and enjoy North Carolina’s largest ski area. Local festivals include Oktoberfest in the fall and SugarFest in December.