Named after Colonel Waightstill Avery of Morganton, NC, the first Attorney General of North Carolina, Avery County is located in northwest North Carolina. It contains 247 square miles or approximately 152,300 acres of land. It is bounded on the north by Elizabethton/Carter County in Northeast Tennessee and Watauga County; on the east by Watauga, Caldwell and Burke counties; and on the west by Mitchell County and the state of Tennessee. The town of Newland, at 3,589 feet in elevation, is the highest county seat in eastern America.
Linville has been a summer destination for southern families since 1891. The Yonahlossee Road, which later became US 221, was built in 1891 to connect Linville to Blowing Rock. When the Blue Ridge Parkway was laid out in the 1930s, its route closely paralleled the historic Yonahlossee Road.
The Linville Improvement Company donated 13 miles of right-of-way for the Blue Ridge Parkway between Holloway Mountain Road and Pineola. This section of the Parkway crosses Grandfather Mountain, recognized by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve and considered one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the east. The challenge of crossing this environmentally sensitive terrain inspired the design of the Linn Cove Viaduct. Called “the world’s most complicated bridge,” the design employs every kind of alignment geometry ever used in highway construction.