As you’re driving along the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway through the Ashe County NC area, you will come upon the historic Northwest Trading Post, now also called Sally Mae’s on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Set back from the yard with a wide yard and a sweeping mountain vista across the Parkway, it’s a perfect location to stop and refresh yourself.
There are several gift stops and rest stations along the Parkway, and I’ve been in them all, but this one ranks as one of my favorites. Not only is it one of the friendliest shops, but I think it’s one of the best because it’s one of the largest and it offers the most variety.
One of the first things you see as you look to the left upon entering is the cases of homemade fudge. No diet here! For those with a little more self will, enjoy browsing around the shelves of handmade crafts. The Northwest Trading Post is the mecca for home crafters in eleven northwestern NC counties, including the home base of Ashe County.
I have a little sign on my wall at my office saying “Live happy, laugh much, email often!” and my sister has a sign in her room worded “Please don’t clean up my mess- you’ll confuse me and screw up my world!” Where else would we find something so cute? I’ve got a zipper pull on my camera case with my name on it from that store, and I’ve picked up locally made candies and snacks there too. (If you’re a chewy candy aficionado like me, don’t miss the Mountain Sweets brand versions of Twizzlers- they have so many flavors it’s hard to pick, and they’re all great!)
There are picnic tables and restrooms there, as well as a designated place for dogs to stretch too. Sit a spell on the front porch and enjoy the serene surroundings and the view into the wild blue yonder. The building, more than 50 years old now, was recently renovated, making it even roomier and more handicap accessible.
Don’t miss visiting the historic Northwest Trading Post!
Where Is It?
On the Blue Ridge Parkway, MP 258.6, at the intersection with Trading Post Lane and Old NC Hwy 16.
Closed Seasonally (November-April), call for hours 336-982-2543
All text and photos copyright 2011 Cassandra Hartley, Blue Ridge NC Guide. No portion of this article is to be copied, saved, or otherwise distributed without express written consent. Sharing is encouraged using the designated social media sharing buttons at the bottom of this article. Photos for this post provided by our sister site Photos by Cassandra Lea. Author received no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this article.