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Southern Dharma Retreat Center
Southern Dharma Retreat Center Southern Dharma Retreat Center Welcome to Southern Dharma Retreat Center


Although our mailing address is Hot Springs, NC, our physical location is 10 miles south of the town of Hot Springs, 2 miles off of Route 209 in the tiny community of Spring Creek (too small to have its own zip code).

  1. From central Asheville: Take Patton Avenue heading west or take Route 240 West merging with Patton Avenue also named Route 19/23 South. About one mile after crossing the bridge into West Asheville, at the traffic light by the Ingles grocery store on your right and the drug store and jewelry/pawn shop across the street, turn right onto Leicester Highway (Route 63 West) going toward Leicester as the signs indicate. Continue Directions with Step 4.
  2. From the South approaching Asheville on Route 26: From Route 26 West, at the merger of Routes 26 and 40, take the Route 240 exit to Asheville. Go 3.3 miles on Route 240. Take Exit 3A onto Route 19/23 South. Make sure to move over to the left lane well in advance of Exit 3A since the exit is to the left and traffic can be heavy. Go around the sharp turns and emerge onto Route 19/23 South also called Patton Avenue. Drive just over a mile. At the traffic light by the Ingles grocery store on your right and the drug store and jewelry/pawn shop across the street, turn right onto Leicester Highway (Route 63 West) going toward Leicester as the signs indicate. Continue Directions with Step 4.
  3. From Route I-40 heading toward Asheville from the EAST: Take Exit 53 off Route 40 onto Route 240 heading toward Asheville. Stay on Route 240 through Asheville. Continue onto Route 19/23 South, also called Patton Avenue after crossing the bridge into West Asheville. Do NOT take the exit ramp back onto Route 240 after you are on Route 19/23. After a little more than 1 mile, at the traffic light by the Ingles grocery store on your right and the drug store and jewelry/pawn shop across the street, turn right onto Leicester Highway (Route 63 West) going toward Leicester as the signs indicate. Continue Directions with Step 4.

    (An alternative which takes longer — perhaps an extra twenty minutes — but avoids the sometimes heavy traffic in Asheville is to continue on Route 40 past Asheville and take Exit 24 off Route 40. If you take this alternative, continue with Step 5.)
  4. From Patton Ave and Route 63/Leicester Highway: Stay on Route 63 for over 26 miles, being careful through the hairpin turns as you switchback over the mountain. Route 63 ends at Route 209, where you'll see the Trust General Store. Turn right onto Route 209 North and go 4.3 miles carefully keeping track of your mileage. After the 4.3 miles, on the right there will be a small green and white sign that reads SPRING CREEK. After just another 1/10 mile, take your first right onto West Road. Immediately PAST West Road is a pedestrian crossing sign, which makes West Road easy to find. If you pass Liberty Missionary Baptist Church on your left, you have gone too far. Turn around and watch for West Road, now on your left. Continue with Step 8--directions for West Road.
  5. From I-40 heading toward Asheville from the WEST: From Route 40 take Exit 24 in North Carolina. Take Route 209 North. Go 8 miles to Ferguson's store. Turn right at the store. If you miss the turn, you will dead end at Country Road 1338. Turn around and go back to Ferguson's. From Ferguson's store take Route 209 North for 10 miles to the Trust General Store and gas station; this is where Route 63 merges with the route you are on — Route 209. Continue on Route 209 North for another 4.3 miles, carefully keeping track of your mileage. After the 4.3 miles, on the right there will be a sign that reads SPRING CREEK. After just another 1/10 mile turn right onto West Road. Immediately PAST West Road is a pedestrian crossing sign, which makes West Road easy to find. If you pass Liberty Missionary Baptist Church on your left, you have gone too far. Turn around and watch for West Road on your left. Continue with Step 8--directions for West Road.
  6. From Knoxville via Hot Springs, or points north passing through Hot Springs: Take I-40 East. Exit at the Newport Exit 432 which will be on the left. Stay on Route 25/70 to Hot Springs. At Hot Springs turn onto Route 209 South. Take 209 South for about 10 miles, going over the mountain and through the Pisgah National Forest. Then, watch for Liberty Missionary Baptist Church (red brick) on your right (this will be the second Missionary Baptist Church you pass between Hot Springs and West Road). Just after you pass the church, you round a curve. West Road is on your left just after rounding that curve past the church. Continue with Step 8—directions for West Road.
  7. From Atlanta (188 mi to SDRC from intersection of I-85 and I-285 on the North Side): Take I-85 North to Exit 113, I-985. Merge left onto I-985 North. Take I-985 for 24 miles, where it merges with Route 23 North. Continue on Route 23 North to Cornelia, GA, where Route 23 North merges with Route 441 North. Continue on Route 441 North to Dillsboro, NC where Routes 23 and 441 diverge. Stay on Route 23 North toward Waynesville. In Waynesville, take Exit 104 onto Route 209 North. Take 209 North past the Trust General Store. Exactly 4.3 miles past Trust (and the intersection of Route 63) you will see a small green & white sign on the right that reads SPRING CREEK. After just another 1/10 mile, take your first right onto West Road. Immediately PAST West Road is a pedestrian crossing sign, which makes West Road easy to find. If you pass Liberty Missionary Baptist Church on your left, you have gone too far. Turn around and watch for West Road, now on your left. Continue with Step 8--directions for West Road.
  8. From the beginning of West Road to SDRC (1.9 miles): Cross the bridge and pass several houses. At a little over 0.6 mi you will come to a bank of mailboxes where the pavement ends. Proceed up the gravel road keeping the mailboxes on your LEFT. The road is gravel from here on. You will cross a shallow creek and take several hairpin turns as you switchback up the mountain, passing several driveways on your left. One mile from the mailboxes you will come to a three way fork at a large oak tree. The middle and right forks have gates, usually closed. The LEFT fork leads to Southern Dharma as the signs SDRC, 1661, and Dharma Path indicate. Proceed 0.2 mi down the hill, swing left past a garage and away from the Practice Community following the arrow that reads "Retreat," pass the small red barn on the right, and park either in the pull-off area on your left or in the main parking lot ahead of you to your left.

NOTE: From the mailboxes to SDRC the road is an unpaved, narrow, one-lane mountain road. No problem. Just drive slowly and steadily, keeping your speed at 10 mph or less, watching for any newly fallen branches or protruding rocks. If you're driving a car that sits low to the ground, be especially careful to go slowly and avoid any rocks that might reach to the bottom of your car. Using low gear may prove a kindness to your brakes and transmission. Please do not drive up any driveways other than ours, even if the gates are open or driveways unblocked.