Visit the Moses H. Cone Park
As you drive the Blue Ridge Parkway between Mileposts 292 and 295, you will actually be driving through about 2.5 miles of the forests and meadows of the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park which preserves the 13,000-square-foot mansion (known as Flat Top Manor) of Moses Cone, a textile entrepreneur, conservationist, and philanthropist. The access point to the Cone Park is nearest to Milepost 294. This 3,500-acre park also offers easy to more challenging horseback riding trails, fishing (with a trout lake and a bass lake), cross-country skiing, and a crafts shop. You could easily spend one or more days here without exhausting the possibilities.
The following are just a few other popular activities available to you at the Moses Cone Park:
- Visit the Parkway’s official craft center at Flat Top Manor at the Moses Cone estate and watch mountain handicraft demonstrations
- Explore a family cemetery, carriage and apple barn, and an extensive system of carriage trails for a unique Parkway visit
- Enjoy ample nature walks and hiking trails throughout the park
- Picnic at your choice of more than 100 picnic sites
- Camp under the stars at the Parkway’s largest campground
- Enjoy seasonal interpretive programs at a 300-seat amphitheater
- Guided walks
- An evening campfire program
Together with the adjacent 4,200 acre Julian Price Memorial Park these parks comprise the largest developed area set aside for public recreation on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Hiking and Walking
- Horse Riding
A BIT ABOUT BLOWING ROCK
High in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina BLOWING ROCK has been a destination for travellers seeking a place to rest and rejuvenate since the 1800's. Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the village offers an array of shops, restaurants and lodging.
Hans and I certainly enjoyed our afternoon in this charming village. As it was a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon in October, people were out in droves, just walking around and even doing some Christmas shopping.
RUMPLE MEMORIA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The stone sanctuary was started in 1905 according to plans drawn by Dr. William J. Martin, Jr, and finished by 1912. Local people did most of the work. Stones were hauled from Flat Top Mountain and other nearby sites. Summer people gave support and money. The impressive slate roof and stone buttresses, along with the chestnut ceiling and support beams and other interior appointments, give RUMPLE MEMORIAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH an English country church appearance. A bell in the tower still chimes the hour at the start of Sunday worship. The beautiful window behind the pulpit recognizes Dr. Rumple’s role as founder and spiritual mentor. The professionally designed portico, added in 1929, provides a handsome backdrop to well-maintained gardens and grounds.
VISIT THE BLOWING ROCK
Saturday, October 30, 2010
It was a lovely sunny day, so we decided to take a drive up the Hwy 321 to Blowing Rock, which is about an hour's drive north of Hickory.
The drive up was beautiful especially with the mountains showing off their fall foliage. We got to THE BLOWING ROCK, parked the van and walked to the Visitor Center/Gift shop/ Entrance.
The price of admittance was $5.00 a person. A man stood by the entrance door to collect the entrance fee. Since it was very misty up in the mountains, we decided not to do it. Instead I browsed around the very well stocked (and pricey) gift shop.
A sign outside the Visitor Center reads:
"This 250 million year old cliff formation is North Carolina's oldest travel attraction. Located at 4000 feet above sea level, the Blowing Rock is the town's namesake. The phenomenon is so called because the rocky walls of the gorge form a flume through which the northwest wind sweeps with such force that it returns light objects cast over the chasm."
Blue Ridge Learning Center
I participated in a Team Building workshop put on by Blue Ridge Learning Center. One day was in-seat and one day was on an outdoor challenge rope course. BIG TIME FUN. Liked first day.... ADORED second day.
Rope Courses ROCK!!! Zip line and everything.
The faciliator (Byron) was great and the weather was perfect. Good job by the Center and good time by us participants.
If you get a chance to go to Blowing Rock to the Blue Ridge Learning Center Challenge Course, know you are in for a great time!
Mystery Hill & Applachian Heritage Museum
Mystery Hill is a family-oriented entertainment complex with four attractions of fun and games plus a historical view of over 50,000 Native American artifacts and life in the Appalachian Mountains in the 19th century.
It is named for its phenomenons that occur allegedly from gravitational pulls from the side of the surrounding mountain.
It is over 50 years old and includes the Mystery Platform, Mystery House, Hall of Mystery, Native American Artifacts Museum, and Appalachian Heritage Museum
A gift shop features authentic hand-crafted souvenirs plus mocassins, toys, minerals, local food and jams and other assorted gifts.
I saw lots of smiles, laughs and squeals from both adults and children alike during my visit. I won't spoil the surprises and fun by revealing all that is inside.
Open year round, 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to either 5 p.m. or 8 p.m.
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
see The Blowing Rock
There are many Indian legends about this projection point over the Johns River valley. Most of the legends have to do with love and losing a loved one. There is always a breeze passing over the rock edge (hence the name "blowing" rock). And the panoramic view is fantastic. You can literally see for miles and miles. The park association has installed a safe platform for viewing for those who have a trepidation about getting near the edge of the fall-off.
The formation of the rocks were by heavy pressure during the out-thrusting of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the result was large rocks of gneiss, like Blowing Rock, protruding from the bedrock.
Access to the rock is from 9am to 5pm daily (for safety reasons). Admission fee to go up the path is $5. There is a gift shop (of course) and a snack bar with beverages and finger foods and an entrance hall where there are mementos and pictures and displays of the history and legend of Blowing ROck.
- Road Trip
Take a Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway!
The Blue Ridge Parkway can be accessed from many points as it stretches over 300 miles in length from Virginia thru Western North Carolina. I used Blowing Rock as it is the closest point of access from my home. I can be on the Parkway in only 45 minutes or so and it provides scenic views in any time of year. Winter can be a bit iffy as if there is any winter weather it is likely to be closed for safety reasons. Otherwise, it's open for your driving and viewing pleasure! Enjoy!
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
- Road Trip
Visit THE BLOWING ROCK
The main attraction of the town is located off Highway 321S.
There is a $6.00 entrance (less for kids and seniors). Inside the park, there is: a Gardenwaterfall, observation tower, nature trail and of course... THE BLowing Rock.
THE LEGEND:in brief
It is said that a Chickasaw chief, fearful of a white man's admiration for his daughther, went far from the plains to bring her to the BLOWING ROCk and the care of a squaw mother. One day the maiden, dreaming on the craggy cliff, spied a Cherokee brave wondering in the wilderness far below and playfully shot an arrow in his direction. The flirtation worked because soon he appeared before her wigwam and soon became lovers.
One day a strange red sky brought the lovers to the Blowing Rock.To the brave,it was a sign of trouble and had to return to his tribe.Torn between his duty and heart, he leaped from the the Rock to the wilderness below. The grief-stricken maiden prayed daily to the Great Spirit until one evening the wind blew her lover back until her arms. From that day forward, a perpetual wind has blown up from the THE ROCK from the Valley below.
- Road Trip
Hike a trail! Glen Burney Trail
This trail is moderately strenuous. It is steep and goes down towards 2 waterfalls until you reach private property. The climb is all up-hill on the way back.
We were on the trail a total of 1.5 hour. Pretty good workout!
- Hiking and Walking
- Road Trip
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