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The Covered Bridge crossing the Watauga in Foscoe NC

Foscoe on the Wautauga

Heading down towards Boone on 105, just after the entrance to Seven Devils, the speed limit drops to 35 mph. This area is the town of Foscoe NC, which is well known among other things as a favorite speed trap of the county police (Slow down!).

The Greater Foscoe Mining Co.


Probably the most striking attraction here is The Greater Foscoe Mining Co. perched on the mountainside west of the highway. Here you can mine your own emeralds and sapphires, and they will cut and mount them for you on the premises. You can also buy 14 kt gold custom made jewelry as well as many unique jewelry creations. Definitely a fun and educational day trip for the whole family, especially on a rainy day!

Across the street, lying in the shadows of Grandfather Mountain, are a delightful variety of shops, businesses, and eateries, that will please anyone from those looking for a nice meal to holidaymakers looking to spend their pre-holiday winnings from http://www.partycasino.com/. Antiques, golf carts, a furniture gallery, a gas and wood burning stove shop, home and garden – and oh yes, a veterinarian, are just some of the businesses that commingle to make Foscoe the rich shopping experience it is.

river in the fall the Wautauga River flows from Grandfather Mountain to the Wautauga Lake in Tennessee Wautauga Lake road on the banks of the Wautauga

The Watauga River

Down below, between Grandfather and 105, flows the magnificent Watauga River, starting at the base of Grandfather Mountain in Banner Elk and running into the Watauga Lake in Tennessee. This river can bring some really nice Brook, Brown, and Rainbow Trout to the experienced fly fisherman. There are a lot of popular fishing spots on the river, most of which are just off of HWY 105. Watch out during the summer months though, as you’ll probably be sharing the river with some small groups of tubers and swimmers in some sections.

At the entrance to Hound Ears resort, down by the river on the northern edge of Foscoe, sits the Appalachian Angler Professional Fly Fishing Service. With over 20 years of experience in Tennessee and Western North Carolina, Appalachian offers ½ day, full and overnight floatable and wading guided excursions on all of the major rivers in the area. Brown, Brooke, and Rainbow Trout are the catch of the day, plus they have one trip that has some of the hottest Smallmouth Bass fishing in the southeast.

Back at the shop, they have all the gear you’ll ever need, and a huge selection of flies and fly tying equipment. They also offer a four hour beginners fly fishing school, as well as a three day advanced school for novices and experienced alike!

For those who are interested in kayak fishing, the area offers many rivers and lakes just for you. Visit our friends at The Kayaking Journal - an online resource of kayaking information, equipment reviews, places to paddle, places to learn how to paddle, safety tips, and a whole lot more.


Grandfather Mountain Trout Farm

For those of you who want to catch a trout, but don’t want to leave the car too far behind, Foscoe NC has just the thing for you too! Drive on up to the Grandfather Mountain Trout Farm and Gem Mine, right across from the entrance to Seven Devils. Three ponds that are kept fully stocked with up to 8 pound trout, makes it almost like catching fish in a barrel! You can have your catch cleaned and packed on ice, or enjoy a mountain picnic of smoked trout and your favorite cold beverage by the beach! All equipment is provided, and after supper you can go prospectin at the Gem mine! Another fun packed day in Foscoe NC for the whole family – especially fer the young’uns catchin’ their first fish ever!


Accommodations in Foscoe are varied and plentiful. Mill Ridge resort offers vacation rentals with tennis and swimming facilities, and the Hidden Valley Motel is a prettily landscaped property conveniently located for those planning a shorter stay.

Foscoe NC is also host to one of the best privately owned campgrounds in the highlands, Grandfather Mountain Campground. Situated on 142 scenic acres underneath Grandfather Mountain and bordering the shores of the Watauga River, Grandfather Campground offers sites for tents and RV’s with full hookups, deluxe bathhouse and Laundromat, a campground store, and several 1 and 2 bedroom cabins with full amenities. Over 100 of the acres are “naturally landscaped”, providing a variety of hiking trails, river fishing, and a well stocked trout pond on property.

Of course, like most towns in this area, Foscoe North Carolina and the Watauga River, reach far back into the mountains and is speckled with picturesque scenery, vacation resorts and communities, log cabins, country farms and Bed & Breakfast’s.

Foscoe NC on the Wautauga River