High Cove

Bakersville, North Carolina, United States

  • Last updated: February 11, 2019 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: August 17, 2008

Mission Statement

living well, with respect for others and for the land

Community Description

High Cove is a community in the mountains of western North Carolina, focused on the environment, the arts and sciences, and lifelong learning. We are creating a sustainable community that fosters rich and lasting human relationships and provides a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to live, learn, and share experience––while preserving the land, water, and native plants and animals. High Cove includes a forest preserve, organic farm site, and trails along creeks and ridge tops. There are two neighborhoods, and a mixed-use village center is planned. High Cove is located less than an hour from downtown Asheville, near the renowned Penland School of Crafts, in an area alive with potters, woodworkers, and other crafts workers.
Building sites for homes and studios are available. Development standards call for green homes that conserve energy and natural resources. Sites allow for passive solar, and renewable energy is encouraged. Small (and tiny) houses are welcome. Rental housing is available, but goes quickly.
A small, mixed-use village center is planned. This “main street” is called Castanea Street in honor of the magnificent tree that was decimated by blight. By planting chestnut trees, we will help bring the chestnut back to this region. Land is also set aside for an organic farm, and community garden plots for residents.
In addition to caring for the natural environment, High Cove supports the human environment with a variety of public and civic spaces. These gathering places are the foundation of neighboring, and build the social capital that makes great communities. We seek diversity in age, income, and background. LGBTQ welcome.
We would welcome the opportunity to partner with folks who are interested in creating co-housing at High Cove.
  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 2001
  • Start Living Together: 2007
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address: https://highcove.com/
  • Contact Name: High Cove
  • Phone: 828-688-1581
  • FIC Membership

    Since 2008
    This Community is an FIC Member


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability)
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 96 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Tiny house, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 12
  • Planned number of residences: 45
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Tiny house, Lots to build on, live-work space
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: households own their house-site; plus there is common land
  • Additional Comments:

    individual households own their lots; common land including a forest preserve is owned by an LLC

    we welcome interest from cohousing groups


  • Adult Members: 19
  • Child Members: 0
  • Non-member Residents: 6
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Tell us a bit about yourself. Why are you interested in High Cove? When would you like to visit? Lodging is available for overnight visitors (small fee). Email [email protected]

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Informal. A series of discussions allowing both parties to get a feel for one another and whether there is a fit.

  • Additional Comments:

    There are five additional households who own land but have not yet built at High Cove.


  • Decision Making: By a board, council, group of elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Founding partners and elected representatives play the largest role in decision-making.

    Elected representatives implement community principles to which all members have agreed.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: No
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Although there is no membership fee or buy-in, members are responsible for providing their own housing. Typically this means building a house on a lot. Rental housing is occasionally available.

    While there is no formal labor contribution requirement, in practice people contribute by doing things they are passionate about, which also enriches the community.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Geothermal, Clean Energy from the Grid
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, exceptionally.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: 1-3 times per month
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used often.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    common meals are optional and somewhat impromptu in scheduling, but much enjoyed

    meals typically include beer/wine, although some members don’t use alcohol

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Not a particularly spiritual or religious community, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Agnostic, Humanist, Ecumenical (includes “all religions”)
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

planned village center will bring some small-town amenities

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)


lifelong learning, arts, sustainable, eco-community, new urban, green building, tiny houses