Recreation in the Carolina Foothills

With the waterfalls, mountains and rolling hills of the piedmont, recreation is almost unlimited. Polk County has luxurious golf courses, horse farms, fishing, boating and mountain biking to name just a few outdoor activities. There are also major national events: the Block House Steeplechase, held by the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club in April for over 64 consecutive years and the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival, site of the NC State Barbecue Championship, which draws cooking teams, judges and culinary professionals from all over the country each June. The Sherlock Holmes Festival in November is also a popular event, but does not take place annually.

Master Arts Calendar

TRYON THEATER was built in 1939 as a combination movie and vaudeville theatre. First-run current movies are shown at 8:00 p.m. Wed-Sat, with a 3 p.m. Sunday matinee. Foreign and art films are shown every other Monday and Tuesday night. The community minded owner also periodically hosts local performers and nonprofit events on the theatre’s large stage. 828-859-6811

One of Polk County’s most notable cultural resources is the TRYON FINE ARTS CENTER understanding and appreciating the visual and performing arts through sponsoring local, national and international performances and exhibits.

POLK COUNTY VETERANS SERVICES, offering citizens over age 60 a warm and friendly setting for fellowship, good meals, and varied recreation, is a popular spot for our seniors, located in Columbus, NC, 828-894-0003, website:

FENCE (Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, Inc.) offers horse shows, bird walks, nature walks and wildflower walks. Many classes are available at this unique facility located on over 250 acres of rolling pastures, forests and foothills. Website:

PEARSON’S FALLS GLEN is a serene botanical preserve comprised of 268 acres of over 200 species of native plants, a wellmaintained ¼ mile moderate hike to a 90 foot waterfall. Owned and maintained by the members of the Tryon Garden Club since 1931. Nominal admission fees go towards maintenance of Glen. 828-749-3031, website:

TRYON YOUTH CENTER provides an outlet for the younger citizens of Polk County. Hiking, canoeing and dances are among their activities. Polk County recreation offers baseball, basketball, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, karate and girl’s softball for youth. Adults can participate in aerobics, swimming, karate and men’s basketball.

BLUE RIDGE BBQ FESTIVAL: Each June, a very special weekend has rolled around for the citizens of Polk County. The Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival fills the air with the smell of barbecue, the sounds of happy crowds and terrific music, and the sights of quality crafts, people of all ages, and incredible cooker teams from all over the country. The Festival draws over 20,000 in attendance, has a tram system for transportation to and from vehicles, free parking, features an exceptional juried-craft fair, a variety of musicians on two stages. Harmon Field in Tryon is the location of this fun-filled weekend as guests gather to sample Polk County’s own southern hospitality and charm. The Festival is successful thanks to the hundreds of area residents who dedicate their time as volunteers during this weekend. For additional information or to sign up as a volunteer for the Festival, call the Blue Ridge BBQ Office, located in the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce building, at 828-859-RIBS (7427). Website: