Our county was named after Colonel Waightstill Avery of Morganton, NC. Colonel Avery served in the Revolutionary War from 1779 until 1781. He became the first Attorney General of North Carolina after the Declaration of Independence was signed. The town of Newland, at 3,589 feet in elevation, is the highest county seat in eastern America. It's original name was "Old Fields of Toe" because it is located in a broad flat valley and is at the headwaters of the Toe River.
Geography and Location
Avery County is located in the northwest North Carolina High County. It contains 247 square miles or approximately 152,300 acres of land. It is bounded on the north by the state of Tennessee and Watauga County; on the east by Watauga, Caldwell and Burke counties; and one the west by Mitchell county and the state of Tennessee.
Avery County is a natural wonderland, with a rugged terrain and a unique climate, our home straddles the eastern continental divide at 4,000 about feet above sea level. The Blue Ridge Parkway snakes through our backyard combining nature and the human achievement of the Linn Cove Viaduct.
Seasons and Temperatures
Temperatures in Avery County average ten degrees cooler than in cities like Asheville and Charlotte. The average high temperatures are in the seventies in the summer and in the thirties in the winter. The highest temperature ever recorded at the US Weather Service reporting station on Grandfather Mountain was 83 degrees in August, 1983, and the lowest was minus 32 degrees in January, 1985.
Some might say summer is the time to be in the Carolina mountains and we agree. But, when the summer splendor is gone, the rich colors of fall are followed by harvesting of fraser firs and downhill skiing. Then the glory of spring is with us again. The folks of Avery County know this is the place to be anytime!
The average winter snowfall is 58 inches. This combined with artificial snow made at the ski resorts keeps the slopes covered from mid-November through March. Average rainfall is 57 inches. This combined with the snowfall keeps the land plush and mountain streams full.