Old Fort, NC – Gateway to the Mountains

Old Fort NC Downtown

Old Fort, NC is a quaint, charming town that sits nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Old Fort’s history dates back to the pre revolutionary war time and has been designated as one of fifteen North Carolina Mountain Heritage Trout Cities. With the convenience of Interstate 40, Old Fort is located 15 minutes east of Black Mountain, 25 minutes east of Asheville and less than two hours from the Great Smoky Mountains.

Old Fort is located in McDowell County, just a short drive (approximately 15 minutes) from the county seat of Marion. The population of the town of Old Fort is approximately 900, while McDowell County houses 45,000 residents. In the last few years, Old Fort has continued to grow and thrive. With new businesses coming to the downtown area, there is no sign of prosperity slowing down anytime soon. With Old Fort’s low cost of living environment and safe neighborhoods, it makes for a great place to call home.

School District

Old Fort is located in the western part of McDowell County. The town has a newly built elementary school that hosts kids in Pre-K through 5th grade. Children in grades 5th-8th who live in the Old Fort district can choose to go to West McDowell Middle School or can also apply to attend the Foothills Community School that offers a STEM focused learning environment. For high school age students 9th-12th grades, McDowell County has three options: McDowell High School, McDowell Early College and McDowell Academy for Innovation. There is also a virtual option, McDowell Virtual Academy for grades 6-12. Old Fort also has recently gained a new school, the Mountain Laurel Montessori Collective.

McDowell County also offers two private christian based learning schools, New Manna Christian School and Nebo Crossing Academy. Both schools hosts children from Pre-K through 12th grade.


Old Fort is home to some of the best landscape in North Carolina. Surrounded by the Pisgah Forest, it is the perfect piece of paradise if you love outdoor adventures or the small town escape. The town offers some of the best hiking trails to enjoy by foot or bike such as Catawba Falls and Point Lookout Trail. If you’re looking for something not so strenuous, visit the Mountain Gateway Museum to learn about the cultural history of Western North Carolina or take a ride to Andrew’s Geyser, a man made fountain built during the early years of rail travel in Western North Carolina.

Hillman Beer in Old Fort, NC

Downtown Life

After your adventure, come back and enjoy a craft beer at Hillman Beer, Old Fort’s first crafty brewery or visit Whaley’s Farm Brewery, the second brewery to call Old Fort home. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or cyclist, then hang out at the Old Fort Ride House. You can enjoy locally crafted drinks, food, and bicycle apparel made next door at Kitsbow. Old Fort has some of the best sweet treats around! Visit Gogo’s for out of this world handcrafted cinnamon rolls and then head on over to Black Beary’s Cafe for lunch and ice cream!

Why Buyers Choose Old Fort, North Carolina

Regardless of your choice or income bracket, the verdant foliage, abundant trees and unsurpassed autumn colorations are freely available to everyone. Old Fort offers a great quality of life. Residents can safe neighborhoods, recreational amenities, great shopping and the incredible scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west. McDowell county has relatively low property taxes and is one of the more affordable counties in North Carolina.

Old Fort Real Estate

Old Fort, NC real estate has a variety of options including duplexes, condos, investment properties, lots, and housing ranging from modest starter homes to executive estates. Old Fort has many desired communities such as Gateway Mountain and Jack’s Mountain Preserve. Enjoy properties with or without neighbors in close proximity, mountain or waterfront views and prime real estate located in the heart of downtown Old Fort.

Homes in Old Fort, NC

Contact Engel & Völkers Foothills Lake James

For more information about Old Fort, NC real estate contact one of our trusted advisors at Engel & Völkers Foothills Lake James.

3053 NC HWY 126, Morganton, NC 28655