The Blue Ridge National Heritage Craft Trail

Burke County, NC

The foothills of Western North Carolina have long been known for the craft culture and amazing artisans that live in these parts. From the founding of the Piedmont Blues to famous bluegrass musicians and stunning pottery, Burke County especially is no stranger to craftsmanship. This is evident when you look at the Blue Ridge National Heritage Craft Trail.

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Craft Trail is filled with galleries, artist workshops and venues throughout the Blue Ridge area boasting the unique craft style that is local to this part of North Carolina. Their website allows you to choose the area that you are interested in visiting and it will display the artists in that area. When you select Morganton, Valdese, and Drexel (all Burke County towns) you will see 9 different galleries, artisans and venues all hosting amazing artwork and goods that will help you bring a little piece of Burke County into your home. OSuzannah’s on West Union Street in Downtown Morganton is a prime example. Susan McRae, the owner,
hand-dyes thread and yarn to use for beautiful crochet and woven projects.

Customers can purchase premade items from OSuzannah’s or they can buy materials to create their own masterpiece. Also in Morganton is the showroom for Oak Hill Iron and Wood. Although the workshop is located in northern Burke County, Dean Curffman and his team display their unique pieces such as furniture, sliding barn doors, ornate door knockers and craft cutting boards for visitors to experience the talent and craftsmanship that goes into their welding and woodworking operation.

The Old Rock School in Valdese is an old school building that has been renovated to fit the needs of the community. It is a multi-purpose building that offers meeting space, offices, a model train museum, a concert hall and art galleries. The Rock School Arts Foundation operates 2 galleries filled with paintings and other fine art from local artists. Their displays change every few months to keep the spaces fresh and exciting. Throughout the year, people can also experience live music in the auditorium or the field behind the building weather depending. It is the perfect hub for art and culture in Valdese.

If you want to experience the local art scene in Burke County, the perfect time to do so is during our Art Crawls, hosted by the Burke Arts Council, held every other month, on the third Thursday.  The next Art Crawl will be on July 15th from 5 to 8pm in Downtown Morganton. The theme will be “Places.” Artwork will be displayed on the lawn of the Morganton Savings Bank on Union Street, as well as throughout the downtown area. Art galleries and shops will have extended hours and will offer discounts in celebration of the event.

For more information on the Blue Ridge Heritage Area Craft Trail visit For more details on the July Art Crawl in Morganton, call the Downtown Development Association at (828) 438-5252 or search the event on Facebook.

The Burke County Tourism Development Authority is located in Morganton, North Carolina, and serves the tourism interests of Burke County, NC.  Morganton is hailed as, “The Trailhead of Western North Carolina”, centrally located in Burke County. Our Visitor’s Center is full of information about unique attractions and activities in the area. Stop by and visit us! or visit

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