AS IF Center is located at High Cove community in the mountains of North Carolina, about an hour northeast of Asheville. The main facility, Firefly Lodge, is at 1215 Rebels Creek Rd. Bakersville, NC 28705. The Yellow House, where the studio and garage are located, is at 1229 Rebels Creek Rd, one house past the entrance to High Cove. Cell service is spotty along 80 N and Rebels Creek, so as you approach AS IF Center, it’s a good idea to use the directions and not rely entirely on electronic devices.
From Asheville: AS IF Center is about 1 hour from the Asheville airport (which is south of Asheville) to High Cove. From the airport, follow I-26 West to I-240 East. I-240 to the northeast (toward downtown) takes you around to US19/US23 North. (Note: It’s gets a little confusing in Asheville, so watch the signs closely. This will be the 3rd US19/23 exit, after “business” and “south.” Look for the signs to UNC-A and Weaverville.) Take NC 19/23 (future I-26 East) north from Asheville to exit #9. NC 19 becomes NC19E. Drive east past Burnsville. Turn left at Highway 80 North.
*****Follow 80 N to Rebels Creek Road. Turn right at the little white Rebels Creek Baptist church. The entrance to High Cove is about 1.2 miles up Rebels Creek Road, on the left.
To get to the Firefly Lodge, turn left at Appalachian Way, where you will see the High Cove sign. You’ll go a short way downhill past a pond then take the left fork to go up to the parking lot. The apartment with a yellow door next to the parking lot is a private apartment – instead, continue straight onto the big porch and go in the dark green which is the main entrance to the Lodge.
To get to the Yellow House at 1229 Rebels Creek, don’t turn at the High Cove sign but instead stay on Rebels Creek, where you’ll see the Yellow House and its main driveway right next door to Appalachian Way. Instead of parking in the main driveway, we ask that visitors please drive a few hundred feet past the house, past the main driveway and mailbox, and park at the small secondary parking area.
Parking for events:
If the parking lot at the Lodge and the secondary parking area at the Yellow House are full, go back to Rebels Creek and go back downhill a few hundred feet, take a right at Castanea St. (the street with the black studio building on the corner) and park either at the barn on the right, or at the community garden and studio on the left.
From Raleigh/ Eastern North Carolina: Take I-40 west to Marion (Exit #86). Follow Rte. 226 north past Marion and up the mountain. After passing under the Blue Ridge Parkway at the crest, continue to follow 226 down into the outskirts of Spruce Pine (past the Walmart). Turn left on to NC 19E and follow it west to highway 80. Turn right at Highway 80 N, and follow the *****directions above to get to High Cove.
From the North and East: I-81 will take you to I-26, which you can then take south through Johnson City and toward Asheville. You follow I-26 south to exit 9 (NC 19). For a more scenic drive, you can also take exit 32 (Unicoi Road). Turn left onto TN 107, which becomes NC 226 at the state line. NC 226 goes through Buladean, Red Hill, Loafers Glory. In Loafer’s Glory (between Red Hill and Bakersville) turn right on 80 South and follow it past Kona to Rebels Creek Road (on the left, coming this direction).
From the North and West: From Knoxville and I-75, I-40 takes you to Asheville. See “From Asheville” directions above.
From Atlanta: I-85 north will take you to I-26 in Spartanburg and you can follow I-26 to Asheville. A more scenic option is to take I-85 to I-985 through Gainesville, then 23/441 through Clayton and Franklin to Sylva, 74 through Waynesville, then I-40 E to I-26 through Asheville. See “From Asheville” directions above.
From Florida: The fastest route follows I-95 north to I-26 (about 12 hours from Sarasota). From Tampa, Sarasota, and points south on the gulf coast, we recommend I-75 north to Ocala, then US 301 north to I-10 at Baldwin. Take I-10 east to I-295 (near Jacksonville) and then north on I-295 to I-95 North. Just past St. George, SC, take I-26 west to I-240 in Asheville. See “From Asheville” directions above.
Note: there is a “scenic route” north from Spartanburg, SC. Take I-85 to the east and then Route 221 north through Rutherfordton, NC, and past Marion to Rte. 226 (which splits off to the left, just past Woodlawn). 226 winds its way up to the crest of the ridge, passes under the Blue Ridge Parkway, and then down into Spruce Pine. Turn left at the traffic light at NC 19E and drive west to highway 80 North.