Picturesque Clay County is like the peaceful town your grandmother grew up in. With rolling farmlands, beautiful lake Chatuge, inviting mountains and a charming downtown square you will be sent back into a time when you knew your neighbors, and church and school were the top of the social calendar. This tight knit community is seeped in traditional values. Evenings are spent sitting on the porch and gazing at the stars or going out to the many gatherings, festivals and events of dancing, music and good country cooking. Cultural opportunities abound as you can enjoy community theater, concerts, John C. Campbell Folk school , art studios, crafts, auctions, book stores, and our museum.
With a population of 8,775 (according to the 2000 census), Clay county is among the five least populated counties in the state and offers one of the lowest property tax rates in North Carolina. With elevations ranging from 1,200 feet up to 5,498 there are plenty of lofty vistas to take in the view.<
Although there are many townships there is only one 'town' in Clay County. Hayesville has a population of 380 residents. The town was built around the historic two story Clay County courthouse constructed in 1888. The town square is often the focal point of the many festivities in the county. The school is located on one large 'campus' where, attending all 12 grades, a child only has to change the buildings they go to as they move from grade school up through high school. Student test scores and academic performance consistently rank Clay County among the top five percent of the schools in the state.
If the outdoors is for you, so is Hayesville. About 3,700 acres of the 7000 acre sapphire-blue waters of Lake Chatuge are in Clay county. With a 128 miles of shoreline, this pristine lake is ideal for swimming, boating, camping and fishing. The record large mouth bass caught in lake Chatuge weighed in at 17 pounds! And Jackrabbit campground, part of the Nantahala National Forest, is located on the shores of Lake Chatuge. It offers 100 camp sites, hiking, picnic areas and a beach swimming area.
But that is not all this county has to offer, Fires Creek, also part of the Nantahala National Forest, encompass 14,000 acres designated as a bear sanctuary. It is popular for many outdoor enthusiast as fly fishermen, hikers, and photography buffs. Fires Creek winds its way through the forest providing some beautiful scenery amid waterfalls perfect for horse back riding.
Lets not forget the golfers in the crowd! Clay County has two: Chatuge shores is a public 18 hole course covering 150 acres with number 8 hole bordering Lake Chatuge. And Eagle Green at Mountain Harbour offers an 18 hole course with five set of tees and 62 bunkers and water for a challenging game, all in a scenic setting.
So come and be above the rest in the mountains of North Carolina. Visit Hayesville and discover the "Best Kept Secret" of the mountains. You'll be glad you did.
388 Bus. Hwy. 64, Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: (828)389-3704 (877) 389-3704