Welcome to Burke County! Located in the western foothills of North Carolina is where you will see at a glance how this distinctive place earned its title as "best kept secret of western North Carolina."  Reader's Digest magazine recognized this thriving area as one of the Top Ten places in America to work and raise a family. Life here is rich and productive, without the frenzied pace found in today's large urban centers. To a great extent, Burke County's natural inheritance is responsible for this appeal.

Picturesque recreational lakes and rivers lie at the base of the towering Blue Ridge mountain range, separating the rolling foothills from the high country Appalachians to the north. Pisgah National Forest and the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area lie within the 515 square mile area of the county. South Mountain State Park, a popular local getaway, lies 30 miles south of the Blue Ridge. Natural outdoor adventures beckon from all sides in the Catawba Valley piedmont: hiking, camping, fishing, boating and canoeing, or just plain lazing on warm rocks in the sun beside a sparkling mountain waterfall.

Industry flourishes in modern Burke County. The award winning public school system is joined by diverse private educational organizations. The arts are a community treasure; entertainment runs from traditional mountain music to touring Broadway productions. History began here with the earliest European settlement in the interior U.S. and continued with the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and beyond. While the housing is modestly priced, communities are comfortable and safe. Joining the flow of newcomers to Morganton, the county seat, and other communities, are many returning natives who have realized that "there's no place like home."

Lake James NC