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Outlander Locations – “Fraser’s Ridge”



Outlander America will begin a series on the locations in the Outlander book series.   In Voyager, Jamie and Claire Fraser (and others) leave Scotland to begin a new life in what was known at the time as British America in 1767. Our first edition will address the fictional Fraser’s Ridge.

“Fraser’s Ridge” near Boone, NC


It is well known that Diana Gabaldon, author of the series, is an accomplished researcher. So let’s take a look at the location of Fraser’s Ridge and why she probably chose its fictional location.

According to Diana, Fraser’s Ridge is located on a plot of land covering roughly 10,000 square acres. It is nestled in an area north of the Yadkin River between the towns of Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, near Grandfather Mountain, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Throughout the story, the Frasers frequented nearby areas as well, including Cross Creek and Campbellton. Those nonfictional towns later merged into the modern city of Fayetteville, NC.

So why choose this area as the setting of the majority of her story? Surprisingly, North Carolina boasts the largest population of citizens with Scottish ancestry than any other state or country in the world, including Scotland. More than 1.5 million Scots have immigrated to America, with the overwhelming majority settling in North Carolina, from the coastal region of Wilmington northward via Cape Fear, and from there to the piedmont and highland regions. Records indicate that the immigration began in 1729 after King George II took over Carolina and split it into North Carolina and South Carolina. The Scots were attracted to the mild climate, fertile soil, and hopes for a better life. The migration continued until the start of the American Revolution, resuming again after the war.

Migration path of Scots into North CarolinaEarly Colonial NC Migration Paths, s-NC History Textbook, s-jbk wb

Outlander Locations in North Carolina

OL locations in North America

Modern Map of Area Known as “Fraser’s Ridge”

OL locations in NC

The piedmont and highland regions of Western North Carolina continue to be heavily influenced by Scottish culture. In fact, many of the Scots in that region continued to speak Gaelic well into the 19th century.

Tips for Visiting “Fraser’s Ridge”

If you long to visit the area to catch a glimpse of Jamie and Claire’s life on Fraser’s Ridge, a trip to Boone, North Carolina can satisfy your desires. In fact, there is a place that caters to Outlander dreamers. The Mast Farm Inn, located in Banner Elk near Boone, promises to give visitors the experience of Fraser’s Ridge. Visitor reviews have been excellent.


Summer in Boone, NC

Boone summer

If you visit the area in the winter months, navigating the snow and ice may necessitate tire chains or a four-wheel drive vehicle to reach the ski resorts of Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain. If you plan a summer trip, you may want to consider going in July to participate in the annual Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain. The Highland Games are usually held in the first or second week in July, from Thursday to Sunday. Plan to arrive on Thursday night in order to participate in the kick off of the Games with the official “Calling of the Clans.”

Summer on Grandfather Mountain

Boone Grandfather Mt.Annual Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain – “Calling of the Clans” Candlelight ceremony calling of the clans

A trip to Fraser’s Ridge in Boone and Grandfather Mountain is sure to please the entire family.  A wealth of activities are offered year ’round with dining and lodging accommodations to fit all budgets. Asheville and Cherokee (the reservation of the Eastern Band Cherokee Nation) are less than a two-hour drive away.   However, it would be a shame to miss the Highland Games, especially if you are a Scot or a Scot at heart.  Diana Gabaldon, Herself, has attended the games on several occasions over the years, and, if you are a book fan you know that so have the Frasers!




Gabaldon, Diana.  The Outlandish Companion.  Delacorte Press, New York. 1999.


37 Comments, RSS

  1. Kim Puhrmann July 25, 2016 @ 9:44 am

    Thanks for this really cool article! Great details 😃

    The ‘Gathering on the Ridge’ at The Mast Farm Inn you mentioned is my event. Novel Adventures puts it together, annually, and we coordinate it around the GMHG, so that it goes with Diana’s Drums of Autumn.

    We have a ton of fun, that’s for sure–and a really good reason for the great reviews! 😃

    Novel Adventures

    • DeeAnn Eubanks Pochedly August 2, 2016 @ 7:59 am

      Would LOVE to participate in your gathering event & esp. the GMHG! Am an avid fan of Outlander (books & TV series), & of Scottish origins. Please send info for 2017! Thank you!

      • admin August 10, 2016 @ 11:52 am

        Outlander America doesn’t sponsor the event. Search the Internet for Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and you will find plenty of information.

        • Jamie May 23, 2018 @ 9:26 pm

          Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are usually held in July.

        • Catherine December 18, 2018 @ 2:52 pm

          The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are always tge 2nd FULL weekend in July. (July 11-14, 2019)

    • RECollins September 24, 2016 @ 11:53 am

      I am interested in doing kilted hikes in and around Boone(Fraiser Ridge)promoting Scottish heritage &other outlander series.can you tell me if anyone is organizing such activities & if not I would love to get involved with your outlander planning group,it sounds like a lot of fun.

  2. LaDean Talcott July 25, 2016 @ 2:57 pm


    • Melody November 20, 2018 @ 6:25 pm


      • David Hill June 24, 2019 @ 2:29 pm

        I’m a Craig also, family was from inverness

  3. Patrice Hammond July 25, 2016 @ 9:00 pm

    Very informational article. My husband and I have visited these areas and it is just beautiful. We weren’t there when the Highland events took place and am sorry we missed them.


  4. Marilyn Marra July 26, 2016 @ 9:02 am

    Thank you for this insight , very interested in visiting this location in the near future. Marilyn Marra

  5. Betsy July 26, 2016 @ 10:03 am

    I’ve never been clear, but I always got the impression that it was closer to Asheville – Black Mountain. For some reason I want to say Black Mountain is even mentioned.

    • admin August 9, 2016 @ 5:22 pm

      The location mentioned was based on Diana Gabaldon’s description and her own words. Please share a link if you have other information. Thanks for reading!

    • Neddy October 3, 2016 @ 12:20 pm

      I believe that Claire was standing on her front porch and looking across she could see Black Mountain in the distance.

  6. Sharon Pratt July 27, 2016 @ 2:17 am

    We have just launched a new opportunity for Outlander Fans to visit most of the North Carolina settings from Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow and Ashes. It’s a seven-night, eight day road trip by luxury charter bus encompassing over 1200 miles that follows the journey of Jamie and Claire from Charleston, SC to Wilmington, NC and then through New Bern, Cross Creek, Hillsborough, Alamance Battleground, Salem, and finally, to Boone in search of Frazier’s Ridge. The initial tour is June 18-25, 2017. Please see the website, http://www.carolinatartantours.com for complete information. A good time is guaranteed- it’s created by a long time Outlander fan for other Outlander fans!

    • Carol Taylor December 12, 2017 @ 8:42 pm

      hi Sharon..to everybody else this was a great tour..well, it didn’t quite happen by coach due to lack of numbers but as l was committed into being in the state for the allotted time for the tour dates Sharon offered to take me on a personalized tour, walking in Claire and Jamie’s steps..we tripped over many omens along the way telling us we were heading in the right direction..enjoyed seeing the play/outdoor theater performance of how Boon got it’s name..if you have an opportunity to do a tour like this then do it..it was especially interesting/great for me cause I’m an Aussie..l wish l could post the pic’s l took along the way..we actually found a house that could have pulled off Fraser’s Ridge..

  7. H Smith July 28, 2016 @ 4:19 pm

    We have attended the Grandfather Mt Games. The trip there is well worth it as is the scenery is amazing. Coming in on the Blue Ridge Mt HWY is breathtaking.
    Must book a year out for a hotel for the Games.

  8. Michelle July 28, 2016 @ 7:41 pm

    Looking forwards to updates!

  9. Sue Doring July 28, 2016 @ 9:58 pm

    The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are ALWAYS the second full weekend of July. Calling of the clans on Thurs night is something you don’t want to miss and will never forget. Come visit the Mountain.

    • admin August 9, 2016 @ 5:20 pm

      The “Calling of the Clans” is worth the whole trip.

  10. Carol Taylor July 29, 2016 @ 7:32 am

    have known about the GMG’s since before l got involved with Outlander but having only been to the states once in my 51 years it did not fall into my scope of plans last trip..l would like to rectify that for next year and use it as my base of planning my next trip around..so now for some research of accommodation and getting there and so forth…look forward to attending…

  11. Patti Patterson July 29, 2016 @ 9:24 am

    This article is awesome. Something to do in retirement.

  12. Phyllis Carter July 29, 2016 @ 12:41 pm

    I have read every book and am looking forward for the new TV movies filmed in theUSA.

  13. carleen franklin July 29, 2016 @ 12:56 pm

    Excellent information – thank you.

  14. Leah Zisserson July 30, 2016 @ 4:48 am

    Have been to these areas and would love to go again.

  15. admin August 20, 2016 @ 2:55 am

    Thanks for the information.

  16. Rita Aldridge Priddy November 27, 2016 @ 2:20 pm

    A lot of my family settled in 1700’s in Grandfather Mountain area and quite a few still remain there. I was born and raised there. The whole area is absolutely beautiful and the Highland Game are great.

  17. Rita Wright Jones December 8, 2017 @ 8:47 am

    Novel Adventures with Kim Stuart Purhman is so Fun and Memorable. I met Graham McTavish last year and Cesar Domboy this year and had the privilege to stay at the Mast Farm Inn.And I have met the most Awesome Outlander Friends, and that’s Priceless.

  18. Nancy December 10, 2017 @ 5:32 pm

    I lived in NC back before I even knew about the Outlander book series. I had visited the Grandfather Mountain area several times. It is not to be missed. Absolutely stunning hiking (mile high swinging bridge!!!), with various hikes for varying ability levels. I had been there during fall and spring weather and could never decide which I liked better. I have also been to the Wilmington area several times. It isn’t far from nice beaches, but is maybe 20 minutes inland by car. Very historic with different tours, lovely shops and restaurants. I hope to be able to go back again to both locations at some point, and view things again, after having gone through the Outlander series. So far, the information is that the TV series is going to be filming in Scotland and parts of Europe, standing in for North Carolina. If this is true, will be so disappointing. I was looking forward to seeing these areas again and trying to recognize places I had been to! Wilmington is especially known for being friendly to filming and is known for being the “Hollywood of the East” while still maintaining the small town feel and character.

    • admin December 11, 2017 @ 8:45 am

      Unfortunately, it IS true that Outlander Season 4 will be filmed in Scotland rather than North Carolina.

  19. Kathy Pipes Stewart May 23, 2018 @ 7:36 pm

    The map of Fraser’s Ridge area is a bit misleading. Boone and Blowing Rock are practically on top of each other in real life-you drive from one almost straight into the other. Lenoir and the YadKin VALLEY is included in the circle. Lenoir is in the piedmont. Beautiful country though. Diana bullseyed my ancestors’ home around the time of the Revolution. Lots of Patriots in the family line, and a few Loyalusts too.

    • Dina August 21, 2018 @ 1:30 am

      At the risk of sounding unintentionally argumentative, Modern day Blowing Rock and Boone are “close” as is Lenoir and the Yadkin Valley (slightly east of Lenoir). Not in the Piedmont area, that’s the middle area of the state. Greensboro and Alamance County are located in the piedmont, where I attended college. As a native North Carolinian, living in the area, Lenoir is exactly where it shows on the map, in the western part of the state- West of Charlotte and a bit north of Hickory. Lenoir-Rhyne university is located there and where my son attends school.
      It is a beautiful area but not to be confused with the beauty of the piedmont or the eastern part of the state. We consider (now) Fayetteville “east”, also mentioned in the book.

      • Jean November 29, 2018 @ 12:07 am

        Thank you for clarifying geographical location – my mother’s family settled in the Boone-Lenoir region of NC. We could see Grandfather Mt from my grandmother’s back yard on Rocky Knob. Watching the first few episodes – seeing the mountains – like going home. I tried to make sense of the “historical map” as well – and then found your comments – Thank You!

  20. Jennifer November 18, 2018 @ 9:10 pm

    What Clan Kilt do I wear as I have many? Also Dress Tartan or Hunting? I assume Dress, but my Dad wore the Hunting Tartan in the 60’s when he married my Mom. I think it is because it matched colours that she liked. My husband has several clans and we both have clans that have crossed over generations. Hey small area… we want to go. Need more information. Thank you.

  21. Tina November 19, 2018 @ 9:46 am

    I am NC bred, born, raised and still live in the state…raised in the Piedmont town of Concord….we often spent time in Blowing Rock in the summers attending the horse show there…and that area boasts several snow skiing destinations in winter. Of course discovering and reading the Outlander series thrilled me as Diana used places I have loved all my life…and even though the series is filmed in Scotland and I find (not unlike my Scottish ancestors!) it to be eerily akin to the beauty of NC. I have loved and poured over the books and am now loving and pouring over the TV series!!! I would like to mention that NC has many Scottish games and festivals during the year where folks can celebrate their Scottish heritage….Loch Norman Highland Games (second weekend in April, Charlotte area, Lake Norman)…. Bethabara Highland Games in Winston Salem in May…..Cape Fear Highland Games (usually in the fall end of September, Wilmington area)….Scotland County Highland Games (first weekend in October, Red Springs NC near Laurinburg)…..and then the second week in July at Grandfather Mountain the “granddaddy” of them all. South Carolina has a good number of Highland games as well…in fact…you can find them all over the country these days! Guys dress in kilts….Scottish food is abundant…lasses are dancing all around swords laid out on the ground…..and celtic music wafts through the air day and night….culminating in the mass pipe bands marching and playing the Great Highland Bagpipes…which is enough to stir the soul (or wake the dead) of any Scotsman….and at the games we are all Scots!!! You owe it to yourself to attend one of these family-friendly events next year…..I found a site that has a list of them in NC and SC. Check it out. https://thecarolinanerd.com/scottish-games-festivals/

  22. Carolyn August 6, 2019 @ 10:05 pm

    For all of her research, Diana Galbadon should know that the towns of Campbellton and Cross Creek (Fayetteville) are in the Southeast part of NC, nowhere near the mountains of NC. Why do the show’s characters talk like they are in the mountains when visiting River Run, when they are actually at the NC coast?

  23. Hannah BG August 20, 2019 @ 12:34 am

    I vacationed in the Highlands of NC in September 2016, long before I knew anything about Outlander. Am thrilled to learn that I was near Fraser’s Ridge, because we visited Beech & Grandfather Mountains, Boone, Blowing Rock & Banner Elk! Hope to attend the Highland Games soon!! Maybe 2020.

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