Sapphire Valley has lots to choose from
If you head east from the crossroads of Cashiers along Highway 64, you’ll quickly stumble upon Sapphire Valley, which lies nestled amongst the peaks of the Eastern Continental Divide. The leading gold-producing area in the country during the 1880s, Sapphire has now become an area blessed by tourism.
And for good reason.
Visitors to Sapphire Valley Resort have lake access to the pristine waters of Hogback and Fairfield Lakes. Scenic Fairfield Lake offers swimming, canoe, kayak and electric motor boat rentals, fishing for bass and bream, and first-class views of Bald Rock in every season. There are a number of hiking trails nearby, including one to the top of Bald Rock.
When winter rolls around, skiers and snowboarders make the trek to the Sapphire Valley Ski Area and Frozen Falls Tube Park. You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the resort’s intermediate-rated slope, and beginners find the bunny slope perfect for learning. Rentals and lessons are available at the ski lodge. The Tube Park offers frozen fun for the whole family. Call 828-743-7663 for more information.
The annual Great Sapphire Outhouse Race is usually held in February at the Sapphire Valley Ski Area. Outhouses on skis are raced down our ski hill as a fundraiser for a nonprofit. The outhouses are homemade and the decorating and theme are entirely at the discretion of the builder.
During the summer, the slopes become a grassy concert arena as Sapphire Valley Resort hosts its popular concert series.
In 2014, the resort also opened a year-round public zip line course called The Vordach -- Austrian/German for “the canopy.”
Adjacent to the ski slope is the Sapphire Valley Community Center, a gathering place for the area’s full- and part-time residents. There are many activities and classes ranging from nature walks to oil pastel classes. The community center also offers a variety of trips from touring the beautiful Biltmore mansion, to taking a ride through the Nantahala Gorge on the great Smoky Mountain Railroad, to whitewater rafting on the historic Nantahala River or an evening cruise on beautiful Lake Glenville. Call 828-743-7663 for more information.
Across the street from the community center, the Sapphire Valley Recreation Center features indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, hot tubs, pool tables, air hockey, pinball machines, ping pong, video games, movie rentals, mini golf, a tanning bed, bocce ball, horseshoe pits, massage therapy, personal training, facials, bike rentals, basketball, soccer, horseback riding and a fully stocked fitness and exercise room. Call 828-743-1171 for more information.
Sapphire Valley also boasts two golf courses. Red Bird Golf Links is open daily. The nine-hole executive golf course and driving range are perfect for a fun game or as a practice course. Sapphire National Golf Club is open to the public and features 18-holes of mountain golf.
To learn more about Sapphire Valley, visit www.sapphirevalley.com.