The Bunker Hill Covered Bridge, which was improved by Civil War general Herman Haupt, the late 19th-century Historic Murray's Mill, which boasts a 28-foot high waterwheel, and the Harper House, which showcases its intricate Queen Anne stylings, all have something in common: They're maintained and shown by the Catawba County Historical Association, an organization dedicated to preserving and exhibiting historical sites throughout North Carolina.
The Catawba County Museum of History, situated in the former Catawba County Courthouse, depicts the lives of the Catawba River Valley's original settlers and their decedents through artifacts such tools made from hand-dug iron ore, military uniforms, and hand-stitched quilts. Visitors can step back in time into the ornately decorated, Queen Anne–style Harper House, whose period-accurate color schemes, wallpaper, and architectural details paint a picture of southern life in the Victorian era. The Murray & Minges General Store's shelves are still stocked with old-fashioned toys and treats, which at one time must have kept the Murray family children occupied as their parents helmed the Murray Mill. Guests can tour the mill and imagine workers grinding corn and wheat with the tools on display, toiling away to make their sacrifices to the Corn Gods in hopes of one day receiving Fritos.
Revolution Ale House pairs more than 24 draughts with craft pizzas and sandwiches crafted from locally-sourced ingredients. Classic pizza ingredients share crust space with more eclectic choices, such as cracked egg, curry sauce, barbecue pork, and a sweet beer glaze. Sandwiches include a Bleu cheese-stuffed burger and pita stuffed with veg-friendly falafel that's made in-house. The chefs also muddle the line between sandwich and pizza with the creation of the Reuben pie, a crust topped with mozzarella, slaw mix, corned beef, and 1000 island dressing.
The Appalachian Mountains surround Red Hen Reserve and Hunting Club, giving the locale an untouched, rugged ambiance. Here, clay pigeons fly deep into the forest, and visitors hone their shooting skills during open practice or more formal gun safety courses. It's certainly a picturesque setting?so much so that in addition to shotgun sports, Red Hen often hosts weddings and special events.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30 Minutes or Less
Brands Used: Flytec, Northwing
Pro Tip: Call ahead.
Dress in comfortable layers, bring sun protection and a friend to share the experience.
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Experience the magic of free flight.
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?
To be able to share the experience of free flight
What is the experience customers can expect, and how do you make it special?
At Thermal Valley, you will fly with an experienced Hang gliding instructor dedicated to making your free flight experience one you will remember for a life time.
What?s your favorite part of your job?
Sharing the joys and wonder of free flight while flying among breath taking scenery of the North Carolina Mountains
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
For more fun, take an introductory flight in our tow plane (The Dragonfly).