Appalachia is the cultural region stretching from New England all the way down to the southern states of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. It is primarily a mountainous area that is steeped in nature. It is an area abundant with rivers, streams, waterfalls, and lakes. It is filled with flora and fauna. Southern Appalachia has been my home since 1967 and it is the home of Hemlock Inn.
There is some stereotyping of southern Appalachia, but I’d like to tell you a little about the area from my perspective. First a little history. The area was initially the home of a number of Native American tribes. They loved the area because it was filled with plentiful game and natural resources. It was first settled by Scotch Irish who were fiercely independent and wanted a place of solitude away from authority, rules, and sometimes even law. Many came to the mountains to hide and escape. One example of their independent nature could be seen in their moonshining. The making of alcohol (moonshine) in these parts was not illegal, but selling it without paying taxes was illegal and local inhabitants hated taxes. They were also fiercely religious and just like many of the other settlers of the new world, they just wanted to be left alone and allowed to worship as they pleased. Agriculture was big in the area and for a while logging and coal mining was common.
Today, visitors still look to escape to Appalachia. The area is still a natural paradise. Much of the forest land is now protected as National Parks (Great Smoky Mountain National Park) and national forest land. Trees harvested by large logging operations have been replaced by new growth. The water in the streams and rivers run cold and clear. Dams have created huge lakes. There is an abundance of hiking trails, whitewater sports, fly fishing and more.
But there is so much more that attracts folks to the area. Most of Appalachia is filled with small towns and communities. There are some larger cities on the periphery such as Asheville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga, but most of the towns are small and filled with local owned businesses. Yes, you will find some fast food restaurants and chain motels, but you will also find wonderful local eateries, country inns, and bed and breakfasts. You will also find a folk culture of mountain music and genuine local crafts.
Appalachia is a unique area in our world of large cities, fast paced lives, and stress. Appalachia offers a change of pace, get away from whatever causes stress, and a remembrance of simpler times and pleasures.
Hemlock Inn is located just outside Bryson City in Western North Carolina…..in the heart of Appalachia. We are on 57 acres of wooded land with hiking trails and wonderful southern Appalachian home cooked meals. Most important we offer peace and quiet…and escape.
Experience Appalachia at Hemlock Inn!