Journey of the Arts | Art of the Journey
The Journey Here
DIRECTIONS TO MITCHELL AND YANCEY COUNTIES
If you are unfamiliar with the area, we strongly advise that you plan to arrive before dark. Part of the majesty and magic of the area can be felt along the winding roads, viewed in the lush scenery, and smelled in the clean mountain air.
Take US 19/23 (future I-26) North past Mars Hill, then take exit 9 to stay on US 19 towards Burnsville. This road will turn into US 19E (DO NOT take US 19W).
1. To reach Burnsville, stay on US 19E. Turn left on North Main (at intersection at the top of the hill) into the town square. Burnsville is the heart of Yancey County.
2. To reach Spruce Pine, continue on US 19E bypassing the town. Spruce Pine is approximately 15 miles further. When you reach Highland Avenue (Highland Avenue is to the left, NC 226S to the right); turn left (N), across the bridge to the T-intersection. Turn right to go downtown. (Oak Avenue is left fork; Locust Street is right fork).
3. To reach Bakersville, follow the directions to Spruce Pine. At the T-intersection of NC 226N (before turnoff to Spruce Pine), turn left and follow it into Bakersville, just over 9 miles.
4. To reach Penland, follow the directions to Burnsville. Continue approximately 10 miles. At the bottom of a long hill, turn left at the green Penland School sign onto Penland Road*. Go 3 miles, then cross a bridge and railroad tracks. Go one more mile, bear left at the big curve. Turn left onto Conley Ridge Road at the large, steel Penland School sign. Follow to the school.
FROM THE NORTH VIA I-81:
Exit onto I-26 East (Exit 57A). Pass Johnson City and continue on I-26 into North Carolina. Past the state line, take exit 9 onto US 19E towards Burnsville and follow directions above.
FROM EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA:
Take I-40 West to Marion, exit 86. Turn right onto NC 226N into Mitchell County. The two-lane becomes a four-lane on the Marion bypass. The road turns left onto NC 221. (NOT 221 Bus) The road will wind up the mountain. At the top, turn right at the T-intersection, under the Blue Ridge Parkway onto NC 226 N. In approximately 5 miles, you will reach US 19E.
1. To reach Burnsville, turn left onto US 19E. Continue until North Main Street. Turn right into the town square.
2. To reach Spruce Pine, continue through the intersection of US 19E. Road becomes Highland Ave. Cross bridge to the T-intersection. Turn right to go downtown (Oak Avenue is left fork; Locust Street is right fork).
3. To reach Bakersville, turn left at US 19E to second traffic light; then turn right at NC 226N (T-intersection) towards Bakersville, approximately 9 miles.
4. To reach Penland, turn left at US 19E to second traffic light; then turn right at NC 226N (T-intersection) towards Bakersville. After approximately 2.8 miles, turn left on to Conley Ridge Roas at the large, steel Penland School sign. Follow to the school.
FROM THE NORTH VIA I-95:
Turn onto I-85 South at Petersburg, VA, continue to Greensboro, pick up I-40 West, then follow directions from Eastern NC (above).
FROM BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY:
The speed limit on the Parkway is 45 mph. Take milepost 331 that will take you to NC 226N into Spruce Pine. Follow directions from Eastern NC (above).
* Note: there are two entrances to Penland School of Crafts. Penland Road off NC 226N and off US 19E.
Please remember you are in a mountainous rural area. Drive carefully. This area is home to many creatures not found in an urban location, not accustomed to looking both ways before crossing the roads.