For years, the Blue Ridge Mountains were not so much a vantage point as a barrier separating Alleghany from the rest of the state. The development of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the 1930s and modern paved roads making Alleghany County easily accessible.
The word “Alleghany” is said to be derived from the Indian name meaning “fine stream,” a suitable name for these scenic hills drained by the New River. The county was settled in the late 1700s and was formed by an act of the 1858-59 session of the North Carolina legislature out of the northeastern portion of Ashe County. A surveyor was hired to locate the most central location for the county seat, but squabbling over the location and the Civil War delayed the establishment of a permanent home for county government until 1868.
Nestled between ancient rivers and age-old mountains that reach splendid heights, the area’s charm and pleasant atmosphere is matched by a very comfortable and gentle climate. Even on the hottest days of summer, a cool refreshing breeze is guaranteed by the lofty elevation. The average January temperature ranges from 19 to 41 degrees. Normal April temperatures are 35 to 61 degrees. In July the average temperature is 56 to 80 degrees with average October temperatures from 36 to 63 degrees. Annual precipitation is 56.7 inches.
Historic area attractions on the National Register include the Brinegar Cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the William Weaver House on the New River, the Alleghany County Courthouse in Sparta, the R.L. Doughton home place and the Elbert Crouse home.
Other area attractions include the Blue Ridge Music Center, the Crouse House Pickers, the Alleghany Courthouse, Silver Dollar Music Park, Stations Inn and more.
Alleghany County is known for its preserved scenic beauty, and relaxed peaceful lifestyle.
Our students attend three elementary schools and one consolidated high school. Sixty percent of the Alleghany High School graduates go to college. Our Alleghany Trojan varsity teams have excelled in football, basketball and softball. Sparta is home to the Alleghany High School and Sparta Elementary School – the largest of 3 elementary schools in the county. It is also the satellite campus of Wilkes Community College, which enrolls approximately 1,600 students annually.
Cumberland Knob (where construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway began in 1935) and Doughton Park, are the largest and most diverse of the Parkway’s recreational areas. Portions of Stone Mountain State Park and New River’s State Park are also within Alleghany’s boundaries.
The county also offers excellent fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and canoeing, golf, tennis courts and a public swimming pool. We boast over 80+ miles of hatchery supported trout streams!
The Blue Ridge Parkway offers 100 trails ranging from short walks to the Appalachian Trail. Despite its name, the New River is the oldest river in North America and is estimated to be 320 million years old!
The region is also home to a wide variety of wildlife and has developed a variety of recreational opportunities. You can canoe more than 26 miles of the South Fork of the New River. We hope that we’ve stimulated your interest in our town and county. Stop by our United Country office when you’re in our area or call, and we’ll do all we can to help you make your dreams into realities. And as they say, “Getting here is easy, leaving is not.”