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

I am a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, but I have been in North Carolina since1997 when I moved to Boone to attend Appalachian State University. I earned my degree in Theatre Education and Communications. While at ASU I met my husband, Matt Long, a Boone native and general contractor, and gained a heart for these mountains and my beloved ASU Mountaineers. After graduation, I spent 5 years teaching in Charlotte before being given the opportunity to move back to the High Country. In 2007 I earned my NC Real Estate License and began in full-time brokerage. In 2010 I helped to open a franchise brokerage in the High Country. I gained impactful knowledge and built important relationships during my 8 years there, but began to feel the calling to get back to my roots.

In June of 2018, my dream became a reality when I opened 828 Real Estate. We are a boutique brokerage that is locally focused, community-minded and client-driven. I feel so fortunate to be in a career that I love, have opportunities to serve wonderful clients, and get to work with the best team here at 828 Real Estate.

I am a member of The High Country Association of Realtors, the North Carolina Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors. I am a member the Boone Chamber of Commerce and I am on the board for the Downtown Boone Development Association. I have also completed the Realtor  e-Pro certification that specifically focuses on the technology tools needed in the purchase or sale of a property. Additionally, I have earned my CLHMS Designation. (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) and a qualified LuxuryHomes.com Affiliate. Over the years I have been awarded various Top Producer Awards. I am honored each year to be invited to the Top 50 Brokers in the High Country celebration.

My husband and I reside in downtown Boone and have 2 beautiful children, Sadie Rose and Levi. We attend Alliance Bible Fellowship and stay connected by serving the community and supporting local non-profits like Western Youth Network, The Appalachian Theatre and Valle Crucis Community Park. We love to spend time outside hiking, playing on the river, running with their dog, Emmie Lou, hitting the slopes and making the most of our time in this amazing place we get to call home!