Bear Tracks Travel Center
Issue: 2021/05 – May
Bear Tracks Travel Center serves as both an introduction to the Lake Toxaway community and a gateway to the natural wonders of the Southern Appalachians. For more details, call (828) 862-8992 or (828) 883-8968 or visit beartrackstravelcenter.com.
The lure of Lake Toxaway (North Carolina’s largest private lake), with its 14 miles of scenic shoreline, has been attracting celebrities, dignitaries and America’s first families for decades.
No less a draw to the area is the Bear Tracks Travel Center.
In 2000, Brevard natives Pam and Ron Banther purchased an existing convenience store on Rosman Highway.
Now known as the Lake Toxaway Trading Post, and operating much like an old time general store, Lake Toxaway Trading Post has for two decades supplied locals and visitors with supplies – from fuel, tobacco, snacks and groceries to lottery tickets.
Ultimately, the success of the store offered a sign that Lake Toxaway was drawing increasing travelers seeking further services and supplies. In 2003 they enlisted Pam’s brother, John, to join them in an expanded venture adjacent to the existing store. And in 2005 they opened their outdoor store, the Bear Tracks Trading Company – the two stores forming the Bear Tracks Travel Center.
Today, Bear Tracks Travel Center has become a destination for locals and visitors needing supplies and gifts.
Outside, Bear Tracks Trading Company, with its logged façade, is classic North Carolina Mountain. Inside, along with Carhartt clothing, camping supplies, t-shirts, and greeting cards, and souvenirs there are nods to the local community – jams, jellies, honeys, local pottery and arts.
Bear Tracks Trading Company offers outdoor gear and supplies for camping, hunting and fishing, including guns and ammo.
Perhaps the biggest allure at Bear Tracks Trading Company is the Adventure Center.
True to its name, it offers a wide range of explorations and excitements for outdoor enthusiasts.
The most popular of those attractions is the Gem Mining Center. With precious stones including sapphires, amethyst or even emeralds, explorers have the thrill of the search and a chance to hit the jewel jackpot. As travel has increasingly grown into a family activity, the demands for gemstone mining have increased, becoming a growing favorite with area visitors. More gemstones and rock formations are also available in the retail store.
Popular with water enthusiasts is the three-mile, two-hour tubing adventure; a chance to drift lazily down the river, while taking in the idyllic sights and sounds of nature. (Vest and tube rentals are also available.) Newcomers and avid fisherman alike know they can rely on a hefty inventory of fishing supplies and a list of services available at Bear Tracks Trading Company.
Over the years the Bear Tracks Travel Center is a place where people of all ages and from all locales meet to gear up and hang out, many returning year after year.
Bear Tracks Trading Center is open seven days a week, year-round. Hours are expanded during the summer months. For more details and hours or to reserve a spot in one of the center’s popular adventures, call (828) 862-8992 or (828) 883-8968 or visit beartrackstravelcenter.com.