Kayaking/canoeing in the rivers and lakes
The High Country offers great opportunities for rafting, canoeing, and kayaking. As reported under 'Things to do' tips, we had a 5-hour long fun canoeing and kayaking in New River, which is a slow moving river and is documented to be 2nd oldest river of the world. The river is shallow and does not pose any threat. You can rent canoes and kayaks from many outfitters.
Wahoo's Adventure in Boone has been voted two-time"outfitter of the year" by Professional Paddlesports Association. You can choose from a lazy canoe, kayak or tubing trips or going to other end of the spectrum, an extreme rafting adventure (828-262-5774)
Blue Ridge Parkway – The Lump Overlook
Mile Post 264.4
When we reached here we saw an airplane model lover flying his remote controlled airplane from over the hill. We were in a quandary as to whether we should cross the barrier and climb the hill as well. There is an exhibit here on Tom Dula, the inspiration for the song “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley”. Dula was hanged in neighbouring Wilkes Country in 1868 for the murder of one of his lovers. The Lump trail offered views of the vast panorama of the foothills and the Grandfather Mountain. Elevation: 3,465 feet.
Blue Ridge Parkway–Grandmother Mountain Overlook
Mile Post 307.4
We stopped here very briefly just to have couple of pictures taken. This overlook sits on the western slope of Grandmother Mountain. This mountain can be seen from several places along the Parkway.
A favorite shopping spot for many, a neat feature is the cafe inside. Can't vouch much for the food but you can get ice cream cones here to eat as you walk around the store looking for post cards or as you sit outside on the benches on the sidewalk. Stop in and check it out. (So you know there are two locations on King St. I have never been in the one next to the Earth Fare grocery store on the corner of Cherry St. The one I'm referring to is across from the Mast General Store)
The Blowing Rock
The Blowing Rock is a beautiful - and very cool - place to visit on a trip to Boone. The Blowing Rock is actually a cliff that is 4000 feet above sea level. It overhangs Johns River Gorge which is 3000 feet below. "The phenomenon is so called because the rocky walls of the gorge form a flume through which the wind sweeps with such force that it returns light objects cast over the void."
The views from the overlook or the observation tower are stunning. To the southwest you can see Hawksbill Mountain and Table Rock. To the west you can see Grandfather Mountain (the highest peak in the Blue Ridge chain) and Mount Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Rockies). You can also walk the nature trail and see the garden waterfall while admiring the gardens.
Legend of the Blowing Rock:
"It is said that a Chickasaw chieftan, fearful of a white man’s admiration for his lovely daughter, journeyed far from the plains to bring her to The Blowing Rock and the care of a squaw mother. One day the maiden, daydreaming on the craggy cliff, spied a Cherokee brave wandering in the wilderness far below and playfully shot an arrow in his direction. The flirtation worked because soon he appeared before her wigwam, courted her with songs of his land and they became lovers, wandering the pathless woodlands and along the crystal streams.
One day a strange reddening of the sky brought the brave and the maiden to The Blowing Rock. To him it was a sign of trouble commanding his return to his tribe in the plains. With the maiden’s entreaties not to leave her, the brave, torn by conflict of duty and heart, leaped from The Rock into the wilderness far below. The grief-stricken maiden prayed daily to the Great Spirit until one evening with a reddening sky, a gust of wind blew her lover back onto The Rock and into her arms. From that day a perpetual wind has blown up onto The Rock from the valley below. For people of other days, at least, this was explanation enough for The Blowing Rock’s mysterious winds causing even the snow to fall upside down."
Age 60+ $5
Children 4-11 $1
Under 4 Free
January-February: Saturdays & Sundays 9:00am-5:00pm
March-May: Daily 9:00am-5:00pm, weather permitting, please call.
Memorial Day Weekend - Labor Day: 8:30am-7:00pm
September-October: Sunday-Thursday 9:00am-6:00pm, Friday-Saturday 9:00am-7:00pm
November, December & First Week of January: Daily 9:00am-5:00pm weather permitting, please call ahead.
Snack shop and gift shop on premises.