Just south of Asheville and Buncombe County on I-26, Henderson County is a friendly community that currently has five incorporated towns/cities: Flat Rock, Fletcher, Hendersonville, Laurel Park, and Mills River. Of these, the county seat of Hendersonville is the only city with a dense urban center and significantly concentrated population.
The area is known for is rich history and attractive locales. For instance, the entire district of Flat Rock is on the National Register of Historic Places. But the area is still currently experiencing a surge of growth. Mills River has only recently been incorporated as growth has occurred in the area near the Henderson and Buncombe county borders.
Although Henderson County is in North Carolina’s mountain region, the extensive plateau along the French Broad and Mills River valleys on which the county lies makes it a perfect spot for agriculture. Apples have been the traditional agricultural crop in Henderson County, especially since World War II. Today, its agricultural footprint still remains large regionally and nationally.
Henderson County ranks seventh in production among all the counties in the United States, according to the Blue Ridge Farm Direct Market Association (BRFDMA). The county grows 85% of all the apples grown in the state, making it a $15–24 million crop. More than 300 commercial apple operations harvest over 14,000 bearing acres of apple orchards annually, according to Blue Ridge Apple Growers. The number of apples produced is so massive, “if a normal crop grown in the county were laid two abreast, they would reach from Hendersonville to Tokyo and return.”
Recently, Hendersonville’s agricultural focus has begun to be superseded by land development, namely for housing and light industrial development. However, the tradition of honoring the local apple industry persists through the county’s annual Apple Festival, held each year around Labor Day. The festival culminates in the “King Apple Parade” attended by nearly 50,000 spectators.
With a diverse population of people from all walks of life, Henderson County opens up opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Whether you are young, have children, or are ready for retirement, Henderson County is the perfect location for enjoying life. See where the community comes together on Hendersonville’s Main Street:
To learn more about Henderson County and available homes in the area, visit our community page.