Scroll down this page or click on specific site name to view features on the following Alleghany County attractions/points of interest:
Fast facts about Alleghany County:
Created in 1859, the county name was derived either from a corruption of the Delaware Indian word “oolikhanna,” meaning “beautiful stream,” or for the Allegewi Indian tribe.
The county seat is Sparta, named for the Greek city. Other communities include Glade Valley, Laurel Springs, Piney Creek, Roaring Gap, Stratford, and Twin Oaks.
Alleghany County's land area is 234.65 square miles; the population in the 2010 census was 11,155.
It is noteworthy that the very first work on the Blue Ridge Parkway was began in Alleghany County on September 11, 1936, just below the Virginia state line.
With increasing frequency, local museums tend to be housed in restored county courthouses or repurposed county jails. In the case of the Alleghany Historical Museum, however, while it faces the courthouse on Main Street, it is actually located in the former Belk's department store. As a mercantile, it offered patrons linens and ladies wear; as a museum, it still presents linens and ladies wear, along with quilts, needlework, and knitting associated with residents of the county from years past. Miscellaneous artifacts include a marriage bond from 1841; an oath of allegiance to the United States signed by a former Confederate soldier in 1865; and a 1919 stock certificate from the Elkin & Alleghany Railway Company. The Museum not only displays a copy of the weekly Alleghany Star newspaper from 1896, its eighth year of publication, but also showcases the actual press used to print the paper! A yearly subscription to the newspaper cost $1.00. Other noteworthy items include the handsome Alleghany Sesquicentennial Fiddle, commemorating the county’s 150th anniversary in 2009, and the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway quilt from 2011, celebrating the road’s 75th anniversary. The Museum is open 10-5 Thursday-Saturday.
Established in 1969, Stone Mountain State Park straddles Alleghany and Wilkes counties in northwestern North Carolina. Offering visitors invigorating walks, impressive vistas, and idyllic environs for fishing, horseback riding, picnicking, and camping, Stone Mountain was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1975. A spectacular 600-foot granite dome is the focal point for the 13,800-plus acre park that bears its name. More than 16 miles of hiking trails meander through the park.
4.6 miles in length and described as strenuous, the Stone Mountain Loop Trail leads visitors to many of the park’s most interesting features. Hikers who make the steep ¾-mile assent to the summit will find their efforts rewarded with a hawk’s eye view of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. The trail continues from the bald-faced summit to the top of Stone Mountain Falls, where cool water cascades 200 feet down a nearly vertical granite slope. From here, it’s another two miles down to the meadows at the base of Stone Mountain and a return to the trailhead. On the opposite side of the meadow, the mile long Cedar Rock Trail, designated as moderate-to-strenuous, leads to the top of a large granite outcrop that provides a wonderful panoramic view of Stone Mountain. The less-traveled and more strenuous Black Jack Ridge Trail follows an old road bed through heavily wooded and secluded areas of the park. In winter, this trail also rewards hikers with spectacular views of Stone Mountain.
A moderately easy trail leads to the Hutchinson Homestead at the base of Stone Mountain. Handi-capped visitors can drive to a special parking area immediately adjacent to the farm. The homestead includes a log cabin, barn, corncrib, meat house, and blacksmith shop. The re-stored buildings date to the mid-1800s and are representative of the homes and dependencies built by the English, German, and Scots-Irish farmers who settled this region of North Carolina. Original furnishings are on display in the cabin. Audio stories recall small details about life in the rugged backcountry. More information about 19th century life in the Blue Ridge Mountains can be gleaned from the Mountain Culture Exhibit located in the park office.
Rock climbing is allowed at Stone Mountain, but this activity is not recommended for beginners unless accompanied by experienced climbers. All climbers need a valid Rock Climbing Permit and must register at the self-registration boxes located at the climbing areas. For those who enjoy picnicking, tables, grills, shelters, and restrooms are conveniently located near the park entrance at a well-chosen spot nestled under shade trees and adjacent to a small stream. Two handicap-accessible fishing piers are located along East Prong Roaring River. Special regulations are in effect at Stone Mountain through much of the year, and those interested in fishing should contact the park office in advance for information and permits. For a fee, visitors can also enjoy family, group, and backcountry camping; contact the park office for details. Last but not least, a 5-mile bridle trail winds along the park’s southern boundary. Horse trailer parking is located near the park entrance off Longbottom Road. Admission is free. The park opens at 8 AM year-round; closing hours vary seasonally. Closed Christmas Day. Park office hours are 8-5 daily; closed on state holidays. Hutchinson Homestead buildings are open Thursday through Sunday from March through October. Homestead grounds open year-round. 336-957-8185