Visiting Todd, North Carolina

Wednesday Walks Episode 8 – TODD, North Carolina  – Outdoor Adventure, Music and Fun



Todd, NC, straddling the county line of Watauga and Ashe counties in the NC mountains, lies at about 3000’ elevation and is a 12-mile drive to Boone heading south or 10 miles to West Jefferson to the north. So close to town yet you’ll feel like you’re away from it all while enjoying plenty of outdoor activities during the busy season from May through October and perhaps a mountain hike, wood fire and hot toddy in the wintertime.

Located at the headwaters of the ancient New River, Todd offers a gentle stretch of river offering recreational fun for all ages and great for first timers! Rent tubes or kayaks from one of the local outdoor expedition companies in Todd for a day trip or a short float down the river.

River Girl Fishing company, located in the historic train depot in downtown Todd, offers fly fishing lessons, guided trips, equipment sales, kayak and tube rentals, as well as bike rentals. From downtown Todd you can bike 11 miles each way along the flat Todd Railroad Grade Road, once a part of the tracks of the Virginia-Carolina Railroad (Virginia Creeper Trail). Famously known as part of the course known as the Blood, Sweat and Gears race, the 22nd annual will be held on June 27, 2020. If a 22 mile ride is not for you, stop about 4 miles down and grab lunch at the Riverside Restaurant!

Rather run it out? The New River Marathon, an official Boston Marathon qualifying race, runs along the banks of the historic New River in Todd. Over 17 miles offers pastoral views of the River, Christmas tree farms and horse and cattle farms. For the miles that wind away from the New River Valley, the course offers a few hills, rolling country roads and “the most beautiful race venue ever!”

Todd is also home to the Green Valley Community Park offering a picnic shelter, playground, playing fields, hiking trails and canoe/kayak ramp and a new .28-mile walking track right on the banks of the New River! It’s a great place for the family to spend a day on the water. Open from dawn til dusk.

Todd hosts many opportunities to take in local and national music acts including their Community Summer Concerts. The free, family-friendly concerts are held in Cook Memorial Park in historic downtown Todd. Todd has hosted musicians from Doc Watson and the Kruger Brothers to local acts like Wayne Henderson and friends, King Bees, Lucky Strikes and Amantha Mill. The Todd New River Festival, held in October, offers all day entertainment including music, storytelling, bluegrass jams, puppet shows, vendors and of course barbeque.

Go from the free music in the park to kicking up your heels at a monthly community dance! Todd Mercantile in downtown Todd hosts Contra’s, Reels, Squares, Waltzes and a little bit of flat footing. No experience necessary, the caller runs through all the steps before each dance. Bring the family! Todd Mercantile offers handcrafted art, gifts and other merchandise made in the Appalachian Mountains, many by local artists. It’s also been noted that visitors come from near and far to sample the famous cinnamon rolls from the bakery, not to mention its’ breads, pies, cakes, cupcakes, scones, cookies and more!

Next stop is the historic Todd General Store. Established in 1914, The Todd General Store (originally Cook Brothers General Store) was built by Walter and Monroe Cook in anticipation of the arrival of the Virginia Creeper railroad. After being closed for the past few years, Todd

General Store re-opened in July of 2019, much to the delight of locals and visitors alike! Part General Store, part deli and ice cream, part local musician gathering hole, the Todd General Store is now open Thursdays through Saturdays and is a great place to take in a bit of nostalgia. One of only five authentic general stores remaining in North Carolina, the Todd General Store is in Todd’s Historic District which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Todd, with its rich history, outdoor recreation, music, arts and a sense of community is a delightful place to visit and a wonderful place to live.

New River Fun Facts: It is thought to be the second oldest river in the world, after the Nile. It is one of only three rivers in the world that flows north. The South Fork of the New River starts in Blowing Rock, meanders through Boone and Todd, flows north into Virginia, comes back into North Carolina and then back into Virginia two more times. From there, it continues to West Virginia meeting up with the Kanawha River which turns into the Ohio River, meets with the Mississippi River and empties into the Gulf of Mexico!

Click LINKS for more information:
River Girl
New River Marathon
Riverside Restaurant
Todd Mercantile and Bakery
Todd General Store

About the Author
Sarah Long is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. She has spent the last 24 years of her life in North Carolina. In 1997 she moved to Boone to attend Appalachian State University where she received her degree in Theatre Education and Communications. She met her husband, Matt Long, a Boone native and general contractor in a “communications class”. Sarah moved to Charlotte to teach soon after graduation. After 5 years of teaching, they were finally given the opportunity to move back to the place they love, the High Country of NC. In 2007 Sarah received her NC Real Estate License and began her new career. After 3 years in the business, she was presented with an opportunity to help open a Franchise Real Estate Company in the area. Lots of growing, education and relationships were formed over the years with this large brokerage. In 2018 Sarah made the decision to step away from a larger company and start to build a smaller, locally focused brokerage. 828 Real Estate is located in vibrant downtown Boone. It is a boutique brokerage firm that focuses on Quality, not Quantity. Sarah is a member of The High Country Association of Realtors, the North Carolina Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. She is also a member of the Boone Chamber of Commerce and on the board for Downtown Boone Development Association. She successfully completed the REALTOR e-PRO course to become one of a select few real estate professionals to earn the prestigious certification offered through the National Association of REALTORS.® The REALTOR e-PRO certification course is an educational program unlike any other professional certification or designation course available, comprehensive and interactive. It is specifically designed to provide real estate professionals with the technology tools needed to assist consumers in the purchase or sale property. On a personal note, Sarah and Matt have 2 beautiful children, Sadie Rose (11) and Levi (9). The Longs attend Alliance Bible Fellowship and stay connected by serving the community by supporting local non-profits like Western Youth Network, The Appalachian Theatre and Valle Crucis Community Park. The Longs love to spend time outside on hikes, on the river, playing with their pup, shredding the slopes and making the most of their time in this amazing place they get to call home!