The First Peak of the Blue Ridge is a beautiful area in the Blue Ridge Mountains that includes mountains, foothills and rolling countryside. The area has a wonderful blend of rural atmosphere and small town charm, with great restaurants, shops, services and easy access to the rest of the world. Our small towns – Historic Saluda, Tryon and Columbus – are within a few miles of each other, but each has its own distinct personality. With a mild four-season climate, anytime of the year is a pleasant time to visit.
Historic Tryon is the largest town in the area, if you consider a population of 1,750 large. This town, laid out in the shape of a circle, was incorporated in the late 1800s as the Spartanburg and Asheville Railroad came to the area.
Don’t let Saluda’s size fool you. This tiny city of 570 full-time residents boasts quite a quality selection of restaurants, shops, and live music wrapped in beautiful scenery. The one-street downtown hasn’t changed much since it was founded in 1878, and that’s a good thing!
Columbus is the seat of Polk County, which was founded in 1855. Actually, the county has the odd history of being organized twice. On the first attempt, people couldn’t settle upon a location for a county seat.
Mill Spring and the surrounding areas of Sunny View, Pea Ridge and Collinsville are in the north and eastern part of our county. Most are simply crossroads, but are home to wonderful scenic drives and some of the best views in the county.
OK, so Green Creek isn’t really a town – you won’t find a main street or a central area for shopping or dining. It’s a name used broadly by locals to represent a beautiful area – the southeast corner of Polk County. Beyond our 3 small towns, Green Creek is our next-largest area with things for you to do and see.