Where “Main Street Meets the Mountains” is an accurate description of historic downtown Marion. Mount Ida is positioned at the end of South Main Street with a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountain range to the north. The Marion Community Building includes an outdoor children’s park, splash pad, and tennis courts. Marion’s Mount Ida is an official site on the North Carolina Birding Trail, as is Lake James State Park, located just minutes from downtown Marion. Marion’s downtown area is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.
The City of Marion’s local culture is preserved through weekly, monthly, and annual events, such as the Thursday Night Bluegrass Jam at the Historic Marion Depot. With June, comes the annual Livermush Festival celebrating famed livermush producer, Hunter’s Livermush.
The Parkway traverses unique McDowell County, North Carolina between Linville Falls and Crabtree Falls. To the east is Burke County; here you can enjoy the Linville Gorge and Lake James State Park in this self-proclaimed Nature’s Playground. The Parkway is easily accessible via either Highway 221 North at Linville Falls, Highway 226 merging with the Parkway at the Museum of North Carolina Minerals, or by way of Highway 226A joining the Parkway just below the community of Little Switzerland.