Perhaps you and your family are planning a vacation or a day trip along the Appalachian Trail and wondering about places to see and things to do. You might think the Appalachian Trail is just for hikers and nature lovers, but if you love the outdoors and visual art, you might want to plan your next visit along The Appalachian Mural Trail, a tour of historical murals along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. The website also provides maps with Parkway milepost directions to every mural along the route. When planning your tour, be sure to use the online Virtual Blue Ridge Travel Guide, which gives information about lodging, restaurants, shopping, and other attractions like Appalachian crafts, museums, wineries and more.
The Appalachian Mural Trail is part of a non-profit organization called Catch The Spirit of Appalachia, which is dedicated to preserving local history, art and the heritage of the Western North Carolina mountains. According to the website, the mission of the organization is “planting seeds of heritage through the arts.”
Doreyl Ammons Cain and Jerry Cain, co-founders of the Mural Trail, saw its purpose as a way of promoting that heritage, and their vision become a reality in 2017. There are currently 45 North Carolina murals along the trail, including “Daniel Boone on a Hunting Trip to Watauga County” by artist Alan Tompkins, which was installed in the Boone, NC Post Office building in 1940 as part of The Federal Art Project (1935-1943). This project was part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration program and employed artists to create photography, murals, paintings, arts and crafts, and other visual art forms.
So, the next time you decide to travel through the Blue Ridge Mountains and enjoy the scenic vistas, consider visiting one of the local communities that have sponsored a mural along the Appalachian Mural Trail!