We are proud to be partners with the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

    "Shining a light on the Blue Ridge"

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Appalachian Mural Trail

Be a Part of the Mural Movement!

    Our vision is to follow the Blue Ridge Parkway and find already existing historical murals and also help communities create outdoor Appalachian historical murals within an easy driving distance from the Parkway. These murals will shine a light on the rich heritage of our mountains using talented local artists to complete each mural. We believe this will enhance the visitor's experience to the area through educating them about our rich heritage through art, while sharing the creativity of the mountains.

    Our Appalachian Mural Map has Parkway mile marker directions to each dedicated mural. The Appalachian Mural Trail will be promoted by the Blue Ridge Parkway Association, Smoky Mountain Host, High Country Host, Blue Ridge Mountain Host, Social Media and also with national and regional media, drawing both visitors and locals to our website to use the mural map for their Parkway journey into Appalachian art and history!

    The Blue Ridge Parkway at 17 million visitors last year attracted more people than the Grand Canyon, Eifel Tower or Great Wall of China.


    Interested in starting your own community historical mural? Then by clicking "Mural Partnership", we can help you with 'how to-' select a mural site, call for artists, research your community history, select a mural artist, paint a mural (including materials, transferring images) and dedicating a mural to the Appalachian Mural Trail. If you already have an historical mural in place, then click on "Mural Membership" to have us promote your mural throughout the Blue Ridge Parkway.

            What's the Value of an
          Outdoor Historical Mural?

   "It's priceless," says Chris Joyell of the Asheville Design Center, (a non-profit where pros give their time to accomplish problem solving for towns and cities at the basic level.) "At one time 'The Block' (East End) area of Asheville was a thriving central business district for African Americans throughout the mountain area," he says. "Most all their needs were met there. The district thrived until the late 70's when Urban Development started changing small communities, moving families into public housing. Soon the local businesses weren't supported, for there was no density for businesses. We took a look at what could be done now, and part of what we came up with was a 270 feet linear outdoor historical mural to save the history of this remarkable part of Asheville. Along with saving history with the mural, the development of new affordable housing and visitor friendly hotels are now being added to the neighborhood."

   We found a paid Vista Volunteer, public muralist Molly Must, and as lead artist she began an adventuresome journey into the history of East End, first hand. For nine months she spent time with the residents, ate dinner with them and looked at old photos. Finally she met with me and rolled out a 270 feet sketch of the mural. I was blown away!"

~Chris Joyell

"The Fall Mural"

    This mural was created to show the diversity of the pioneers who settled the Appalachian Mountains in Western North Carolina. Inclusive with the African American, Cherokee and the Scotch Irish settlers, this art shows the spirit of the mountains! Go to www.doreylart.com to see more works of fine art which illustrate the beauty of "little bits of Appalachia!"

Copyright © Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Inc 2016-2099


Map Future Features & Apps

Partial list of future features planned for the Dedicated Mural Trail

  • The mobile format friendly browser version
          coming soon with the phone app included for a
          seamless travel experience on the trail.

  • In the near future you will be able to choose
          the murals from the mural map that you would like
          to visit by creating a personalized "Mural List".

  • The Driving Trail Planner will use your "Mural List"
          to create the best suitable driving route between
          murals for the most scenic "Mural Trail" experience.

  • The Driving Trail Planner will also calculate
          the total driving distance and time for the
          ultimate "Mural Trail" adventure.

  • Go Here for Blue Ridge Parkway App


    Latest Public Awareness Press Releases:

    Mural Trail Recent News Articles
    Asheville's Citizen-Times(Outdoor Art)
    Asheville's Citizen-Times(Start-Up)
    Mountain Express
    Smoky Mountain News
    Sylva Herald

    FOR RELEASE March 2017
    Doreyl Ammons Cain
    Appalachian Mural Trail Group, Jackson County  
    828-293-2239, artist@muraltrail.com
    Western North Carolina

                "May the Circle be Unbroken"

    There is a movement in our Appalachian region, as if we have picked up from where the founder of the Appalachian Trail left off. When the founder of the Appalachian Trail first envisioned the trail it was quite different than how it is today. Benton MacKaye, the man known as the founder of the Appalachian Trail, blazed wilderness trails and encouraged the many trail clubs to link their trails together to form a network. His proposal for the Appalachian Trail, laid out in an October 1921 article in the Journal of the American Institute of Architects, was far grander than today's AT.

    "He conceived of the Appalachian Trail not just as a hiking trail, but as a thread of nonprofit and resource-based farm communities along the way," Today some of this is becoming a reality.

    MacKaye's utopian vision called for three kinds of communities: shelter communities for hikers; community camps or small clusters of private homes "for recreation, recuperation and for study"; and food and farm camps, agricultural settlements near the trail. Those communities would provide not only new opportunities for rural living, but new space where urban workers might camp, hike, and fish, much like our 'fish trails' that are currently beginning.

    MacKaye organized the first Appalachian Trail Conference in 1925. Thereafter, the trail's supporters looked on it largely as a hiking route and MacKaye became less active in its development. But MacKaye had provided a rationale for preserving the wilderness: "Camping grounds, of course, require wild lands," he wrote. The 1911 Weeks Act had given the federal government the authority to buy private land for establishing and preserving national forests that the AT travels through today.

    Our vision for the Appalachian Mural Trail is to link the outdoor historical mountain murals near the Blue Ridge Parkway together as one trail. People can enjoy the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains through experiencing nature while learning about our mountain ways as they travel into the towns and communities on a mural quest, a cultural treasure hunt! So far we have searched out murals near the Blue Ridge Parkway and found them in twelve Western North Carolina Counties; Jackson, Buncombe, McDowell, Wilkes, Rutherford, Henderson, Transylvania, Yancey, Watauga, Avery, Ashe and Burke. We have inspired more historical community murals to be developed in Cherokee Qualla Boundary, Swain County, Graham County, Fairview farming areas of Buncombe County, and Black Mountain.

    Working together to achieve this grand vision by partnering with the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and becoming a member of four marketing groups; the Blue Ridge Parkway Association, the High Country Host, the Smoky Mountain Host and the Blue Ridge Mountain Host, the Appalachian Mural Trail is beginning to move to a firmer foundation.

    "Yet more funding is needed to spread our message throughout the country & the world and to aid those communities who would like to have an outdoor historical mural but do not have the funding." says Doreyl Ammons Cain, Director of the mural trail. "Recently we made a video and applied to the USA Today 'Communities Thrive' grant. Our eligibility has been approved and the next step is people voting for the project! The website for voting is at www.act.usatoday.com . "Voting shall commence on or about 11:59 a.m. EST on April 12, 2017 and end at 11:59 a.m. EST on May 12, 2017. Only one (1) vote per person, per day, so you can vote everyday for the mural trail. At the end of the Voting Period, those which have received the highest number of votes, will be the Finalists and advance to the Judging."

    Inspiring small Appalachian communities to create their own high quality outdoor heritage murals; painting folk tales, Cherokee legends, mountain music and the beauty of the land is the goal. Once finished the murals are placed on an interactive website, muraltrail.com, where mountain visitors can select and create a personalized mural trail route with driving time & directions. Designed to help increase the small communities economy through mural trail visitors and to uplift the mountain culture through the arts. With your help, eventually these outside historical murals will encircle the Blue Ridge Parkway and the mountain communities will thrive. A free "I hiked the Appalachian Mural Trail" tee shirt will be given to those who send 'Selfy' photos of themselves in front of 4 different outdoor historical murals.The 'Selfy' photos will be placed on mural trail.com for all to view.

    May the circle be unbroken!

    Collage of murals being dedicated to the Appalachian Mural Trail in May 2017 will be free "I hiked the Appalachian Mural Trail" tee shirts.

    The image below can be found at: