Appalachian Studies Program

About the Region

Mars Hill University is located in the Appalachian Mountains, in Madison County – a county celebrated by historians, environmental scientists, folklorists, and outdoor enthusiasts, and known worldwide for its rich traditional music heritage. The French Broad River and the Appalachian Trail meander through the county, much of which is located in the Pisgah National Forest and is near to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The land, landmarks, and place-names of Madison and surrounding counties tell stories of the earliest cultures that lived here, of the Cherokees, of European colonists, the American Revolution, African American communities, the Civil War, and of all the changes brought by the 20th and early 21st centuries. The Mars Hill University campus itself is home to:

AS 344 students participate in a Blue Ridge Shaped Note Singing tradition in Canton, NC.


An heirloom tomato grows in MHU’s Heritage Garden.




AS 211 students on a field trip to Roan Mountain.