West Jefferson: The Coolest Corner
Is West Jefferson, NC (Ashe County) one of the best places to live, raise a family, and work in Western North Carolina?
Carolina Timberworks thinks so.
West Jefferson, Ashe County by the Numbers
|Elevation (5 peaks over 5,000′)||3,178′|
|Population (people, not cows)||27,203|
|People per square mile (Manhattan is 69,467)||64|
|Acres (Bill & Melina Gates own only 242,000)||272,778|
|Acres per person||10|
|Number of farms (no farmers, no farmers’ market)||1,125|
|Christmas tree production (by county, in the U.S.)||No. 1|
|Median home value (San Francisco is $1.38 million)||$153,200|
|Sales tax rate||7%|
|Property tax rate (per $100 USD)||$0.443|
|Median rent (half pay more, half pay less)||$634|
|Median household income (half earn more, half earn less)||$40,962|
|Households with broadband internet||70.4%|
|Average travel time to work||25 min.|
|Closest public airport (GEV)||11 min.|
|Closest major airport (CLT)||2 hr. 7 min.|
|Distance to Blue Ridge Parkway||17 min.|
Where is Ashe County?
Completed in early 2021 at an estimated cost of $154.7 million, the widening of U.S. 221 from U.S. 421 in Deep Gap to West Jefferson to a four-lane median-divided highway is game-changing. West Jefferson is now approximately 30 minutes from Boone, NC, 2 hours from Charlotte, NC, and 2-1/2 hrs. from Asheville, NC.
Some of our Favorite Things to do in and around West Jefferson and Ashe County
- Take a good book to bed with you: Ashe County Public Library
- People-watch downtown West Jefferson
- Visit America’s longest park, the Blue Ridge Parkway
- See for yourself why Outdoor Magazine named Boone, NC (30 min. away) in its Top Ten Places to Live in the U.S.
- Bicycle 10.8 miles on a unusually flat (and scenic) road: Railroad Grade Road
- How about a 3 hr. family bike ride…downhill? Virginia Creeper Trail
- After you finish biking, here’s where to find HUGE donuts: Hole Lotta Doughnuts
- Float/kayak/canoe/flyfish the North Fork or the South Fork of the New River: Ashe County New River Map
- See Time transformed into Space: Museum of Ashe County History
- Unlike sausage-making, you’ll enjoy seeing cheese made: Ashe County Cheese (hint: 5 year old super sharp Cheddar)
- Hike to Canada in an afternoon: Grandfather Mountain, at 5,945′ is the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and as you ascend, you’ll transition from Rich Cove Forests to Northern Hardwood Forests, and finally reach a section of Canadian hemlock forest.
- Not to be outdone by neighboring Watauga County, Ashe County has its very own Grandfather Mountain. It’s called Mount Jefferson State Natural area. For a great 1 hour hike, take 2 vehicles, leave one at the parking area at the top of the mountain, and drive the other back down to the ranger station at the base. Park, and hike (up) the Mountain Ridge Trail to your other vehicle.
Ashe County Airport
You may be surprised to learn that private jets regularly land and take off only 3 miles from Jefferson, NC. Ashe County Airport (KGEV, GEV) is a county-owned public airport with a 5,002′ long runway.
Communities in Ashe County
West Jefferson is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the largest town in Ashe County, while Jefferson is the county seat. Lansing rounds out the list of towns (our favorite pizza comes from Pie on the Mountain in Lansing). Some of the other places you might like to explore are Todd, Fleetwood, Creston, Helton, and Glendale Springs.
Trouble choosing where to explore next from your home base of West Jefferson? Here’s one great day trip: From West Jefferson, take 221 S to 421 N to Boone, a busy college town about 30 minutes from West Jefferson, home to Appalachian State University, a vibrant downtown and the best haircut (Haircut 101). From Boone, take 105 S for 5 miles, then turn right on Broadstone Road. In 3 miles you’ll travel back in time 100 years and arrive in Valle Crucis, home to the original Mast General Store. Now for an achingly beautiful (and twisty) road take 194 S to Banner Elk. Take 184 S to 105 S to Linville, then 221 N to Grandfather Mountain. From there, get on the Blue Ridge Parkway and head north for 12 miles to the village of Blowing Rock. Finally, after you’re tired of shopping, take 321 N to Boone, then 421 S to 221 N back to West Jefferson.
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Carolina Timberworks is a timber frame company in West Jefferson, and we’re proud to call Ashe County home. If you’re building or remodeling in the area and are contemplating post and beam or timber frame construction, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!