About Burke County


Located in the west central section of North Carolina’s mountain region, Burke County has a population of about 90,000 people and a diverse economy that includes industrial products from technological, furniture, medical, chemical, machine component and textile manufacturers. Burke County is home to the western campus of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and Western Piedmont Community College. 


A thriving tourism industry is driven by the charm of growing downtowns and an abundance of natural lakes, rivers, forests, mountains and protected parklands. Lake James State Park, South Mountains State Park, Linville Gorge, and the Fonta Flora State trail are located in the county, as is a portion of the Pisgah National Forest. Because of the size of these park and forest lands, the U.S. government and the state of North Carolina are two of the three largest landholders in the county.

Quick Facts

  • The Pisgah National Forest makes up the northern part of Burke County.
  • 89,000 citizens live in Burke County.
  • Burke County has approximately 500 dedicated employees.
  • Two American Bald Eagles have made their home at Lake James in Burke County.
  • Burke County has the third largest concentration of state employment in North Carolina.

Where is Burke County

Burke County is located in Central North Carolina.

County Seat

The County Seat for Burke County is Morganton, North Carolina.