Mars Hill is located in Madison County 15 miles north of Asheville, North Carolina. It is home of the oldest college in Western North Carolina, Mars Hills University. It is a private coed liberal arts college in the quaint town of Mars Hill. The temperatures are cooler than neighboring Asheville, making the summers comfortable for all outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting and a trip to Navitat, for an exhilarating zip line ride through the trees. Mars Hill, a lovely gem in the mountains.