Saluda is a city in Henderson and Polk counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The population was 575 at the 2000 census. Saluda is famous for sitting at the top of the Norfolk Southern Railway's Saluda Grade, the steepest standard gauge railroad line in the United States. The main street has been improved since 1995 with new restaurants and art galleries. Tourists and cyclists are common on summer and fall weekends. The town festival is named Coon Dog Day, after raccoon hunting dogs. Their fire department is the first department in Polk County that received heavy rescue achievement. They have around 10 trucks, and a good staff along with a supposedly excellent dive team. There are 8 certified members. The Henderson County portion of Saluda is part of the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area.