Montreat Travel Guide

  • Children & Moms wading the creek
    Children & Moms wading the creek
    by charlenemixa
  • A rugged wooden tugboat to play on, too.
    A rugged wooden tugboat to play on, too.
    by charlenemixa
  • Lake Susan has a basically flat path around it.
    Lake Susan has a basically flat path...
    by charlenemixa

Montreat Things to Do

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    by charlenemixa Written Aug 30, 2014

    Montreat offers great walking and hiking trails for all levels. We enjoy taking the leisurely stroll around Lake Susan and then walking down the path along Assembly Drive out of the village and back. The tree-lined shady path is in front yards of the Montreat houses with huge trees and rhododendron. Many homes were built in the early 1900’s so it is an enjoyable stroll for both exercise and enjoying the varied architect of homes from cottages to larger homes. Montreat has extensive hiking trails from the very easy to the strenuous. We picked up a map of their trails which are well marked, thanks to local hikers that volunteer to do this. A scenic and moderate hike is to Lookout Mountain. Take water, wear walking/hiking shoes, and allow time to go at a good pace for your fitness level. Initially, the hike is a slow climb and then this half-mile trail begins to maintain a steady 23% grade as it climbs 700 vertical feet. Seeing fantastic views of the Black Mountains from this perspective we continue on a more primitive trail to the far side of the Little Lookout Summit, climbing and scrambling the additional 140 vertical feet to Big Lookout in about 250 yards. For us, being flatlanders from Florida, we took our time doing the hike and being sure to rest along the way. Hurrah, well worth the climb! Great views of these fantastic mountains. For more serious hikers the trail continues to Big Lookout. For visitors, be sure to pick up a Trail Map at Montreat and decide which trails fit your interest and experience level.

    Note: Once you get to Montreat to go to Lookout, you can continue to drive up Lookout Road to a parking lot where the trail starts. Saves a lot of uphill climbing from Lake Susan.

    Lake Susan has a basically flat path around it. Views on Lookout Mountain Trail Scenic views greeted us on Lookout Looking into Montreat from Lookout Trail
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    by charlenemixa Written Aug 30, 2014

    This is a most unique shop and basically only the second store in Montreat. It has a wonderful selection of art, home décor, crafts, jewelry and more from around the world. We always enjoy strolling through the store and finding unique gifts. Be sure to walk through on any visit to Montreat, it offers a most upscale and wonderful blend of merchandise.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    by charlenemixa Written Aug 30, 2014

    On a morning walk in Montreat, a small town nestled in the North Carolina Mountains, our first goal is to visit the Chapel of the Prodigal and see the Fresco by Ben Long of the “Return of the Prodigal”. Having seen other of Ben Long’s fresco’s on the Fresco Trail in North Carolina we were anxious to see this fresco based on the parable found in Luke Chapter 15. Walking in this beautiful Chapel with its mountain Gothic style architect we are impressed with beauty of both the chapel and the “Return of the Prodigal” fresco. The emotions depicted of the prodigal son returning seeking forgiveness and acceptance while the father receives the son with love and joy is amazing. The colors are so crisp and create an uplifting and soulful worship space. The “Return of the Prodigal” is the only known true fresco by a master artist on the theme of the Prodigal Son.

    Note: True freco is a complicated and tedious technique using powdered pgments suspended in pure water that are applied to wet lime plaster. The pigments are then absorbed into the plaster that cures to a rock hard crystalline surface becoming luminous over time. Ben Long, a North Carolina native studied in Italy to learn this techniques and has become most famous for this unique painting sytle that was famous in the Renassance. Be sure to check out The Fresco Trail to see other of his fresco’s in North Carolina. We have now seen at least four of the churches with his frescos;

    Fresco of the Prodigal Gothic celing at Chapel of the Prodigal Another photo of the Prodigal fresco
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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Montreat Shopping

  • charlenemixa's Profile Photo

    by charlenemixa Written Aug 30, 2014

    This is a most unique shop and basically only the second store in Montreat. It has a wonderful selection of art, home décor, crafts, jewelry and more from around the world. We always enjoy strolling through the store and finding unique gifts. Be sure to walk through on any visit to Montreat, it offers a most upscale and wonderful blend of merchandise

    What to buy: Cards, unique gifts for home, scarfs, all types of handmade crafts from around the world.

    What to pay: Varies from a few dollars and up

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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