Resident Score
4.3 / 5

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Ask anyone who's golfed in Western North Carolina and they'll likely agree, Balsam Mountain Preserve is one of the best golf course communities in the Carolinas, although the lifestyle at Balsam offers much more than golf. Perhaps an urban cowboy's life best describes the high quality of living at the gated community and private residence club. The low density neighborhood is designed for only 400 families at the project's completion. That's an average of 12 acres per family of protected mountain paradise with rustic mountain homes spread across 4,400 acres. A total of 3,000 acres have been preserved in a conservation easement in one of the most beautiful North Carolina mountain communities. 


  • 24 Hour Manned Gated Entrance
  • 18 Hole Championship Golf Course designed by Arnold Palmer
  • Award Winning Equestrian Center - Full Service
  • Ruby Valley Sports Complex
  • Resort-style Heated Outdoor Swimming Pool
  • Two Har-Tru Tennis Courts
  • Fitness Center
  • The Boarding House Restaurant
  • 30 Miles of Hiking Trails
  • Dark Ridge Camp

Elevations at Balsam Mountain Preserve range from 3,000 to over 4,700 feet, capturing long range layered mountain views in all directions and of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Balsam's Arnold Palmer Signature golf course will steal your breath away by stunning mountain views as you play in one of the best golf course communities. Business N.C. Magazine named the golf course #2 Best Course in the Asheville Area in 2010. A golf clubhouse is proposed. Ruby Valley Sports Complex is home to an outdoor heated Jr Olympic-size swimming pool, two Har-Tru tennis courts, a fitness center and is the social club's meeting place for family events and is near the mountain rustic private residence club.

Cowboy's and outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the equestrian center. Balsam Mountain Preserve is one of the few North Carolina mountain communities with 30 miles of private riding trails inside within the gated community accented by rustic mountain homes. The 14 stall stable provides full boarding services and use of club horses. The Balsam trail system is ideal for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. Trails lead up to the top of Doubletop Mountain at Balsam Mountain Preserve to an elevation of 5,400 feet with panoramic views in every direction.

Fresh water streams and creeks parallel the trails, ideal for fly-fishing and catching tasty southern brook trout. Lick Log Falls and Sugar Loaf Falls are two waterfalls on property. Dark Ridge Camp is the community's outdoor camp site location, where property owner's ride their horses for a fun family overnight adventure. Outdoor grills, hot showers, bathrooms and a horse paddock are located at Dark Ridge Camp. The majority of the roads are not paved at Balsam Mountain, keeping the western motif in perfect harmony with the landscape.

Whether it's for a hearty breakfast or a fancy five course dinner at the end of the day, The Boarding House Restaurant is one of Balsam Mountain's finest gems. The seating inside and outside provide beautiful mountain views perched up in the forest. The lounge area is a cozy place to socialize and warm up next to their wood burning fireplace. The menu changes frequently at The Boarding House so residents never get bored with the food selections.

Social clubs at Balsam include a book club, pot lucks, movie club, nature lectures, guided nature hikes, photography and art classes, bible studies. Balsam Mountain's Private Residence Club cabins are adjacent to the Boarding House Restaurant. Scotts Creek School, Smoky Mountain Elementary, Smoky Mountain High School and Western Carolina University are the best schools catering to Balsam. An entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway is less than five miles from Balsam's gated entrance, a unique attribute for North Carolina mountain communities.

Balsam Mountain Preserve homes for sale start around $1 million. Approximately 73 homes have been built to date of the 400 planned. Panoramic mountain view homesites begin around $200k and there is no time requirement to build. Balsam Mountain Preserve approved builders include Baldwin & Phillips Construction and Morgan-Keefe Builders. Balsam Mountain's fractional program includes 8 weeks of cottage usage and is a great way to try out the lifestyle. Prices start at $99k and more than half of the 40 fractionals in the Balsam Mountain private residence club have been sold. Property owners are required to become members of the club. Membership at Balsam Mountain includes multi-generational exchange privileges and at The Reserve at Lake Keowee in Western South Carolina. 

When you travel to explore the best golf course communities in the Carolinas, let us know if you would like to receive free Waynesville North Carolina relocation information to help you learn more about the area. We're happy to share our secrets with you, to make your search more enjoyable.


Community Pool
Fitness Center
Walking/Hiking/Biking Trails
On-site Dining
Social Event Calendar / Activities Director
Community Parks

Balsam Mountain Preserve Reviews

4.3 / 5 (61 reviews)
"Beautiful place with terrific property owners"
-- Bob, Resident
Resident Score
4.9 / 5
"It is a lovely place , however after over ten years of property ownership and 4 different developers , it is a place of uncertainty and increasing cost. furthermore, they do not value long term commitments to the community or the club... increasing prices without regard to prior commitments. Take care"
-- Anonymous, Resident
Resident Score
2 / 5
"In 2007, Chafin sold a lifestyle, a sense of community. That is lost now. It's more about the golf course now as most of the owners that built are golfers. Very little is put into hiking, tennis, and the other amenities. "
-- Bob , Resident
Resident Score
2.5 / 5
"Best place to live in the world or vacation!"
-- Anonymous, Resident
Resident Score
5 / 5
-- Anonymous, Resident
Resident Score
5 / 5