11 Magical Secret Spots and Hidden Gems in North Carolina (2023)
Canvased by spectacular beaches, vast natural wilderness, and incredible tourist attractions, North Carolina has much of its assets preached. However, what’s kept secretive are those hidden gems that, though are part of its cities and towns, but not a lot of people know about them. But how do you find them? Well, explore a little, choose the off-beaten path, take routes that don’t flow under the usual radar, and you will find yourself in many magical places.
The State of North Carolina is home to many enticing attractions that not even many locals know about. These secretive spots offer allure and solace and take visitors away from the usual swarming crowds. The idea of finding secretive gems in the vibrant and eccentric city of Asheville or the beautiful Outer Banks options in the Tar Heel State will never disappoint you. But what are you waiting for so long?
11 Magical Secret Spots and Hidden Gems in North Carolina
Join us and explore the Most Secretive and Mysterious Gems in North Carolina that every traveler must check out. Have a look:
1. Abandoned Henry River Mill Village in Hildebran
Offering a step back into the last century, the Abandoned Henry River Mill Village is a less explored spot in North Carolina. Like many other Gold panning towns, it too was established in 1905 with endless hopes of prosperity. And for half a century, it even boomed with growth and opportunities. However, the Henry River Mill Village soon saw its downfall and was completely abundant in 1987. Since then, this interesting ghost town has been owned by Wade Shepherd, who again has put it on sale. Featured on the National Register of Historic Places, the town has less but its fair share of visitors. Individuals who try exploring the place often claim that they heard noises or experienced paranormal activities. Some claim hearing voices of men chanting something unusual, or some even experienced stones thrown at them. However, nothing has been proven yet, and the town is still a part of great mystery.
2. Castle Mont Rouge in Rougemont
Castle Mont Rouge is a fancy place that was once popular amongst travelers. However, falling in hard times today is more of an abundant attraction. Once a sculptor’s dream castle, Castle Mont is hidden somewhere in the North Carolina Forest. This beautiful abundant Castle is a work by Robert Mihaly, who is popular for his achievements, including National Cathedral and Duke University. Today, the attraction has transformed into a haven for graffiti artists and art appreciators. Even though everything here is unstable, rotten, and covered with dust and debris, the Castle still appears beautiful. Despite the ‘no trespassing sign on the property, one can find trespassers often here. Or, if the rumors are true, you might find Mihaly still using the Castle as his part-time studio.
3. Devil’s Tramping Ground in Bear Creek
Shrouded in an unsolvable mystery, the Devil’s Tramping Ground is a magical secret sport in North Carolina. The ground is just ten miles from Siler City in western Chatham County and has an unusual barren patch in the center. For centuries, humankind has tried solving the mystery, but everyone has failed badly. Even in 1940, when scientists researched the soil from the ground, they failed to understand why the barren patch had sterile soil. According to many individuals, if you throw anything into a barren patch, it will be thrown back to you the next morning, despite how light or heavy it was. Locals and visitors believe that the devil dance here at night, and some researchers have even seen the same shadows. Devil’s Tramping Ground today lies on private property, but if you are curious, this is a fine place to check out.
4. Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum in Littleton
The Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum isn’t actually hidden but yet secretive from the crowd. Located in Littleton, this isn’t your normal museum but one creepiest, most incomprehensible occurrences of North Carolina. Known as one of the spookiest museums in the U.S., Cryptozoology exhibits strange characters, information, and events that once went live around the region. Be it the Haunted doll, the Photographic testimonials of UFO sightings, or the Cast of Bigfoot prints, the museum stores too much to take interest upon. Stephen Barcelo, the founder of this museum and also a local cryptologist, ensures reporting and contacting every single paranormal or unusual activity in the town and displays it immediately in the museum place. He also organizes ghost tours in Littleton and allows individuals to observe ghost hunting equipment at the museum. Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum operates during the weekend (Friday through Sunday) from 1 pm through 7 pm.
5. Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden in Wilmington
The Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden is a mysterious or hidden gem but a magical spot to explore in North Carolina. If you are an amateur horticulturalist or even have the slightest interest in plants, this is a must-visit place for you. Stanley Rehder, a Horticulturalist and Wilmington native, cultivated many flesh-eating plants and made this agenda his life’s only motive. The town knew Rehder as their beloved “Flytrap Man,” and by when he passed away in 2012, Wilmington got its small green space, a treasure that locals will perhaps have for their life. The garden is right behind Alderman Elementary School and occupies 3 quarters of an acre. The range of plants one can find here includes pitcher plants, sundews, Venus flytraps, and many other insectivorous species. The garden offers free hikes every Sunday morning, though it operates on paid entries for the rest of the week.
TIP: Since all plants here have teeth, make sure you wear closed-toe shoes and full-length pants for your safety. Also, maintain a safer distance from the plants.
6. The House of Mugs in Collettsville
The House of Mugs, or as many know it, the Collettsville Cup House, is another magical spot in North Carolina. It is a cabin covered in a coffee mug, which is basically hung on the nails. Every single visitor is open to hanging their cup (Well, if they can find an empty nail). House of Mugs belongs to Avery and Doris Sisk, who curated this quirky place basically by accident. Initially, they took it as a good décor idea, but later, the house got covered in more than 20,000 mugs over the years. To reach the house, follow NC Route 90 north/west for half a mile, turn left onto Old Johns River Road, 2 & 1/2 miles to a gravel road turn-off on the right, ending up on the dead end of the route. If you happen to spot the Sisk couple at the patio, ask them if they could allow you to glimpse them as well.
NOTE: Collettsville Cup House, though, is free to visit place, but donations here are highly appreciated.
7. The Museum of the Alphabet in Waxhaw
Individuals who are curious about languages must visit the Museum of the Alphabet in North Carolina at least once in their life. Operating since 1991, it is home to over 12 exhibits, all of which concentrate on the study of minority languages around the world. A visit here allows individuals to learn about a specific language or a language category as well as imaginary language. One can also learn how written language has developed all over the ages across the world. The museum explains why the Rosetta stone is so important, how ancient languages have been deciphered, and much more. Enthusiasts can also find great history and heritage to learn about. Even though exhibits at the Museum of the Alphabet are in limited numbers, but one may get to spend an entire day exploring them all.
Other ‘NOT-SO-POPULAR’ Spots You Might Want to Explore in North Carolina:
8. The Grave of Chang and Eng Bunker in Mount Airy (Visit the site on the annual celebration of the world’s most famous Siamese twins’ birthday. It is an interesting place to spend an afternoon at).
9. Helen’s Bridge in Asheville (Constructed in 1909, this arched bridge is made of quarried stone and provides access to the nearby Zealandia Mansion).
10. Shangri-La Stone Village in Prospect Hill (Homes you might not probably fit in, but they are worth checking out. This interesting architectural wonder is home to 27 elaborated stone structures).
11. The Last Shell Oil Clamshell Station in Winston- Salem (As its name suggests, it is the last surviving skillfully crafted Shell Oil station. This now memorabilia of the past is undoubtedly a pretty spot to check out).