Treehouse Village Planning Underway – Press Release

Official Press Release - 6/3/21

Treehouse Village Planning Underway

Kevin & Lillie Troyer hire General Manager and implement a Strategy for Forestry Management in preparation for future construction of a short-term rental treehouse community,
Village on the Headwaters

Kevin and Lillie Troyer[Blowing Rock, NC] Kevin and Lillie Troyer, owners of 4 Forty Four, a Custom Building Firm located in Blowing Rock, announced today the latest developments at Village on the Headwaters, a treehouse community located directly off 321, near the Blue Ridge Parkway and Tanger Outlets in Blowing Rock.

Many have asked “What’s the latest on the treehouses?” as they’ve noticed construction equipment and other activity at the job site, 6875 Valley Boulevard, Blowing Rock.

Current activity features the implementation of a Strategy for Forestry Management to prepare the property and determine each treehouse’s exact location, while minimizing the footprint on the landscape. This plan includes the restoration of the forest to a primarily hardwood forest with hemlock and white pine accents, creation of natural outdoor rhododendron rooms and sustainability efforts.

“We aren't just thinking about the next 2-3 years, but planning for our forest's needs 10 & 20 years from now. It’s important to us that the forestry and topography inform where and how the treehouses are positioned so that they are in harmony with the land, and that we protect as much of the current vegetation as possible during construction. We want this project to have the softest, gentlest environmental footprint possible. Further, we have consulted and retained an arborist to give us guidance on the 1-year, 5-year and 10-year aspect of our Strategy for Forestry Management. We are intentional about being good stewards of the ecosystem already in place, including federally protected wetlands on the property.”
- Kevin Troyer

Part of the Troyer’s Strategy for Forestry Management also involves the protection of natural hemlock trees on the property, including a natural hemlock nursery. Until recently, hemlock trees were some of the largest and most common trees in the NC mountains, nicknamed “redwoods of the east.” Unfortunately, an invasive insect, wooly adelgid, threatens the continued existence of hemlocks in western NC and has caused the death of millions of hemlocks across our region.

“We want to protect as many of these beautiful North Carolina heritage trees as possible.
We will listen to the land as we plan and develop its future.” said Lillie Troyer

Kevin added “We want to create something the entire community can be proud of.

Treehouses will be available for short-term rentals and will include access to the new Greenway Trail system, and convenient location to nearby attractions including downtown Blowing Rock, Tweetsie Railroad, Ski Slopes, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Troyer’s also announced the hiring of the General Manager of Village on the Headwaters: Laura Edmonds, local Boone resident. The Troyers have worked with Laura in other business ventures and developed a very high-level of trust and confidence in working with each other.

“Laura being a part of the planning, development and construction of the Village on the Headwaters that she will one-day manage, was a very high priority for us. More than managing the day-to-day once open, Laura has been key in helping birth and launch this business. We are excited to see Laura’s specific interest and talents in hospitality and business management applied at Village on the Headwaters.”
- Kevin Troyer

Positioned at the Headwaters of the New River, our treehouses will be available year-round for short-term renting and will offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and reconnect to the things that matter most. I’m grateful for the opportunity to make this dream a reality, and collaborate with Kevin and Lillie on such an exciting business. Personally, I feel very connected to the New River, which was the backdrop to my childhood while growing up in Southwest Virginia— and I’m excited to now host guests and oversee business operations at the headwaters of that very river.”
- Laura Edmonds

Kevin and Lillie Troyer purchased the property for Village on the Headwaters in July of 2018, and after strategic planning and development of the site plan, received Blowing Rock Town Council approval on the initiative in November of 2019. Village on the Headwaters is planned to open late 2022-early 2023.

“I’m excited to offer treehouse adventurers a place here in the High Country. The history of this property began as a destination location for rest and enjoyment of nature—our plans are to honor and continue this legacy in a similar way. People have been coming off of the Blue Ridge Parkway to rest and enjoy this property since the 1950s and we want to continue and honor this tradition.”
- Lillie Troyer

The New River Inn/Ranch Motel & Restaurant, late 1950's
The New River Inn/Ranch Motel & Restaurant, late 1950's
2021, From Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge
2021, From Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge

4 Forty Four will oversee the construction of Village on the Headwaters through a contractor-led design-build collaboration with Sketchline Architecture.

“This property is extremely important as the first visual impression of Blowing Rock for people coming off the Blue Ridge Parkway and 4 Forty Four’s approach to excellence in design will accomplish this goal. After discussing the popularity of treehouse lodging concepts and the focus on active outdoor recreation visitors, we all agreed that this would be a home run!”
- Charles Hardin, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce

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