Visiting Todd, a Historic NC Mountain Town

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.

In Todd, you are so close to town, yet you feel like you’re away from it all while enjoying plenty of outdoor activities during the busy season of May to October. Even in the wintertime, the area is perfect for a mountain hike, wood fire, and hot toddy.

Headwaters of the New River

Todd is located at the headwaters of the ancient New River. It is thought to be the second oldest river in the world, after the Nile in Egypt.

The New River 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 the New River 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!

Fun on the Water

The town offers a gentle stretch of the river offering recreational fun on the water 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.

Mountain Biking

There are plenty of outdoor adventures on the Headwaters of the New River and Todd, North Carolina. Not all of them require water!

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.

New River Marathon

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!”

Green Valley Community Park.

Todd is also home to the Green Valley Community Park. The area offers a picnic shelter, playground, playing fields, hiking trails and canoe/kayak ramp, and a .28-mile walking track right on the banks of the New River!

The park is a great place for the family to spend a day on the water. Open from dawn til dusk.

Historic Downtown Todd

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 to the High Country 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.

Todd Mercantile

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, Reels, Squares, Waltzes, and a little bit of flat footing.

No experience is 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’ bread, pies, cakes, cupcakes, scones, cookies, and more!

Todd General Store

The 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 a 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.

A Day in Todd, North Carolina

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. If you’re looking for things to do during a day in Todd, North Carolina, let this blog be your guide!

About the Author
As a native Eastern North Carolina girl, I always dreamed of one day living in the mountains. In 1994, that dream came true when life brought me to the Boone area. I made my home on one of the most beautiful mountains in the High Country and knew immediately that this is where I belonged. In the 26 years that I have lived here, I have worked in many roles. Beginning as a hist-technologist, then a full-time mom and volunteer in various positions and organizations in the Boone community. Leading Watauga Education Foundation and serving as producer of their Shooting Stars Talent Showcase was one of the highlights of my volunteer work. When the time came for my children to leave the nest and go to college, I decided that I would pursue a new direction in life. Real estate seemed to be just the adventure I was looking for.  Working in real estate gives me many opportunities to share my knowledge and love of the High Country with others, as well as, finding new friendships and connections along the way. 

I am a graduate of Peace College and NC State University. I love music, craft things, nature and wildlife. I enjoy hiking, camping, boating, and spending time outdoors with my family. I am a member of Boone United Methodist Church where I am active in the United Methodist Women and Women's Ministries.  My greatest loves are my two children Addie and Will and my dog, Daisy and cat, Oscar. 

There is so much to see and experience in the High Country. I look forward to helping you explore as we find your perfect place.