Burke County

From Table Rock, Grandfather Mountain, Linville Gorge, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest to Lake James, Rhodhiss Lake, and the Catawba River, it’s easy to see why Burke County is known as the place where the mountains meet the water. Morganton, Drexel and Valdese are home to restaurants, small businesses and a craft beverage scene, as well as institutions like the North Carolina School for the Deaf, Old Rock School, and the Valdese Heritage Arts Center.


In May 2018, the Hometown Strong Action Team joined Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders and Department of Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland to tour Connelly Springs, Drexel, Hildebran, Morganton, Rutherford College and Valdese in Burke County.


With industries like furniture and textiles at the heart of its history, Burke County's natural beauty has become a boon for recreation, tourism and visitor spending. The county is home to miles of greenway and hiking trails as well as two large state parks. As the role of tourism in Burke County's economy grows, state agencies will remain available to help local communities apply for grants and connect with development resources.


Over the past several years, Burke County has been hit hard by epidemic levels of opioid misuse and overdose. Under Governor Cooper’s direction, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services worked together with community partners to develop and release the State Opioid Action Plan, a tool to fight the opioid crisis across North Carolina.


Hometown Strong Action Team members and local leaders also identified workforce development, infrastructure improvements and broadband expansion as priorities and possible points of state and local collaboration.