With its’ rolling rivers, mountain ravines and prestigious designation as one of the ultimate outdoor adventure spots in the Southeast, it is in the town of Boone that travelers can follow in the adventurous footsteps of earlier explorers like the American Folk hero Daniel Boone.
Daniel Boone Native Gardens
The “Daniel Boone Native Gardens” is three acres of North Carolina indigenous fragrant flora and fauna. Visitors to this garden oasis can meander through collections of vibrantly colored wild flowers, stately Appalachian trees, rhododendrons, rock gardens, romantic arbors and water features that are soothing to one’s soul.
In addition to the lush garden landscape visitors can also enjoy a glimpse into the past with a stop at the rustic cabin of Squire Boone, ancestor to the famed frontiersman Daniel Boone.
The “Daniel Boone Native Gardens” are open from May 1st until October. As of 2010 admission was a mere $2.00 for those ages 16 and up. Garden hours generally run from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm except for when the seasonal “Horn in the West” outdoor historical drama is in session at the neighboring Hickory Ridge Homestead Museum site. It is then that the gardens remain open longer to accommodate theater goers.
Daniel Boone Native Gardens
651 Horn in the West Drive
Boone, NC 28607
Hickory Ridge Homestead & Living History Museum
Hickory Ridge Homestead is part of an 18th Century living history museum where visitors can experience frontier living through reenactments of such activities as candle making and hearth cooking by knowledgeable docents in period dress.
In addition to the living history museum the Hickory Ridge site features two theatrical venues for visitors to enjoy. The venues are the “Powder Horn Theater” and the “Daniel Boone Theater.”
The first venue, the 75 seat Powder Horn Theater, features various indoor theatrical productions throughout the year. Visitors to the “Powder Horn” can view a plethora of quality performances for a modest admission fee.
The second venue, the 2,500 seat “Daniel Boone Theater”, is an architectural marvel in its’ own right. The outdoor theater was initially carved into 35 acres of rugged terrain so drama goers can not only enjoy the production itself but partake of some of the most breath-taking native landscape North Carolina High County is known for. The theater features the historical production “Horn in the West”. The “Horn in the West” is actually our Nation’s oldest outdoor, historical Revolutionary War drama.
The “Horn in the West” drama itself was written by acclaimed musician, poet and playwright Dr. Kermit Hunter. Hunter was a prolific playwright, creating 40 other productions in addition to “Horn in the West”. The “Horn in the West” saga is based on the true account of the prominent Stuart family, who fled from Britain to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina circa 1771.
As the story of the Stuart family’s trials and tribulations proceed their lives intersect with a colorful cavalcade of characters. It is at this point in the “Horn in the West” drama that viewers are regaled with the exploits of famed frontiersman Daniel Boone, the notorious 1771 band of colonists called “The Regulators” and members of the Cherokee Indian tribe. As museum and show hours vary it is best to call the museum ticket office at 888-825-6765 in advance of your trip.
Hickory Ridge Homestead and Living History Museum
591 Horn in the West Drive
Boone, NC 28607
Foggy Mountain Gem Mine
Just like the courageous frontiersman, gem miners were an important part of North Carolina’s early pioneering history. Visitors to the “Foggy Mountain Gem Mine” can step back in time and experience the thrill that those early miners must have felt when after hours of back breaking labor they found a brilliant ruby or emerald peeking through the murky waters of their mining flumes.
Unlike the miners of old, modern day would-be miners who visit the “Foggy Mountain Gem Mine” will find the labor less intensive but the thrill of finding the gems just as exhilarating. Visitors can purchase a bucket of gemstone ore and then sift it through the mine’s flumes.
The mine operators boast that over 40 different minerals can be found at their mine so there is a good chance that you will find a keepsake treasure in your bucket. The “Foggy Mountain Gem Mine” is open 6 days a week starting at 10:00 am. For more information about the mine you can log onto their web site.
Foggy Mountain Gems Mine
4416 NC Highway 105 South
High County Equals High Adventure
The previously mentioned attractions are just some of the adventurous pleasures you can partake of in Boone. If want to learn more about Boone’s attractions as well as find a list of accommodations log onto the area’s tourism website.