Winter Adventure Package – Save 15%

 

Looking for a cozy spot to rest your head after enjoying a winter adventure at Sugar Mountain?

Enjoy a private escape in one of our vacation rentals, as well as our award-winning spa and on-site restaurant. It’s the perfect time to visit!

Winter Adventure Package

• Stay 2 nights and Save 15% on a Condo Stay
• New Winter Menu at Timberlake’s Restaurant
• Enjoy the hot tub  to soak your muscles after a fun day
• Ask about our onsite activities at check-in!

Use code WI15 when booking.

Call now to book your room, reserve your table, and learn about room upgrades-
800-243-8652

*rates subject to change; based on availability; cannot be combined with any other offer; rates do not include resort fees, tax, or gratuities; based on rates in the Chetola Condos only; rates not available over holidays; offer not valid for groups of 10 or more; available January 17-March 31, 2022; not valid 1/28, 1/29, 2/18, 2/19, 2/20

 

Top Winter Outdoor Activities for Family & Friends

One of the most popular reasons that people visit the High Country is the endless array of recreational opportunities for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors. Lucky for us, we have loads of experience in enjoying this beautiful area and have put together a list of our favorite winter outdoor activities. Then, we have created a few sample itineraries based on how adventurous you feel. Pack your boots, jackets, hats, gloves, sunglasses, and High Country Bucket list- you are going to need them!

Snow tubing
Gliding down the snowy slopes is an exhilarating experience for the whole family. Try Hawksnest in Seven Devils (30 lanes of snow tubing fun!), Sugar Mountain ) or Beech Mountain Ski Resort for the best tubing in the area. Another option when natural snowfalls is the Chetola Sledding Hill, just steps away from the main area of the resort!

Winter Ziplining
Before you leave Hawksnest, be sure to check out their ziplining course, as it offers incredible views, as well as a fun flight over the tubing runs.

Ice Skating
Glide across the ice, while practicing your figure 8’s at Appalachian Ski Mountain’s ice skating rink. They have skates and even training equipment for those new to the experience on ice. And, only 10 minutes from Chetola!



Alpine Wilderness Coaster

Experience a new type of mountain thrill at the Alpine Wilderness Coaster in Banner Elk, NC (right across from Sugar Mountain). This rollercoaster through the trees can be as adrenaline-pumping or relaxing as you want it to be because you control your speed! You can whip down the coaster at up to 27 mph or slowly cruise down and enjoy views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And the best thing, the Alpine Coaster is open in all weather – sun, rain, or snow!

Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Grandfather Mountain
Experience the wonder of Grandfather Mountain with wildlife habitats, including bald eagles, black bears, cougars, elk, and river otters. There is winter hiking, the mile-high swinging bridge, and a museum. All reservations are made online- be sure to also check the weather before you go, as that can be an experience in itself!

appalachian ski mtn
Photo courtesy of Appalachian Ski Mountain

Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Did you know that there are 3 major ski areas (App Ski Mtn, Sugar, and Beech) within 45 minutes of Blowing Rock? They combine for close to 250 acres of skiable terrain, with Beech Mountain averaging the most snowfall at close to 80” annually! App Ski Mtn. is only 10 minutes away from Chetola and offers some of the most sophisticated snow-making on the East Coast, which allows them to remain open for approximately 135 days each season.

UTV Rentals
Year-round adventure awaits with UTV rentals from Mountain Warriors in Elk Park, NC. They are located directly between Beech and Sugar Mountain communities and offer guided tours of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They have top-of-the line Polaris 4-seaters and focus on safety, as well as exhilarating experiences. This is certainly one for the bucket list!

Winter Hiking or Snowshoeing
One of the simplest and most enjoyable activities is hiking. There are endless trails in and around Blowing Rock and the surrounding areas. Here is a list of our favorite winter hikes. With wide-open views, virtually no bugs, and a wide range of options, winter may be the best season for hiking. And when the snow falls, strap on some snowshoes and explore the high country in its winter coating. From Chetola, guests can enjoy private access to 27 miles of carriage trails in the Moses Cone National Park, which is also a great place to snowshoe or cross country ski (when there’s enough snow)!

Fly-Fishing
There’s a reason God doesn’t freeze the rivers in the Blue Ridge Mountains- it allows for year-round fishing! Enjoy walk/ wade experiences, private waters, or float trips along NC and TN’s pristine rivers and learn from some of the best guides around. Chetola Resort is NC’s first Orvis-endorsed fly fishing lodge and outfitter and offers guided trips year-round.

Chetola Sporting Reserve 5-Stand

Sporting Clays
Did you know that sporting clays are one of the fastest-growing sports among female enthusiasts? This is a great activity to enjoy the great outdoors while creating memories with friends and family. The Chetola Sporting Reserve offers a 5-stand that is covered and heated in the winter season. There is also archery and air rifles for the kiddos, as well as a rifle, pistol, and archery range.

Blue Ridge Parkway
Only 3 miles from Chetola Resort is one of America’s most beautiful and scenic highways, the Blue Ridge Parkway. Winter is a great time to explore the parkway, hike the trails, and picnic at one of the stunning overlooks. Pack a lunch from Timberlake’s Restaurant or a favorite local café and take in the winter views along the way. This is also a favorite for sunrise and sunset experiences.  Please note that the Parkway closes frequently due to snow and ice.  Check here for closures.

A Few Others
Sledding
Horseback Riding
Star Gazing
Scavenger Hunts for the Kiddos
Boone Greenway for bikes or walking

Sample Itineraries

Blowing Rock Area
Morning Ski at Appalachian Ski Mountain
Afternoon at Chetola Sporting Reserve
Evening Walk in Moses Cone National Park or around Chetola Lake

Seven Devils/ Banner Elk
Morning Tubing at Hawksnest
Afternoon at Alpine Wilderness Coaster
Late Afternoon at Sugar Mountain Skiing or Snowboarding

Banner Elk/ Beech Mountain
Morning Skiing at Beech Mountain
Afternoon UTV with Mountain Warriors
Late Afternoon drive back along Blue Ridge Parkway

Winter is one of the most beautiful times of the year, as the landscape glistens with the occasional snow and ice. There are plenty of things to do outside with friends and family to create unforgettable memories. Or, if you prefer, there is nothing quite like a toasty fire, a good book, and some hot chocolate. We look forward to helping you plan your winter escape to the mountains.

 

Winter may seem like the perfect time to stay inside and cozy up next to the fire with a warm cup of hot cocoa, but when cold weather hits, that means it’s time to hit the trails.

Hiking in the cold may sound a little crazy (especially if you’re from somewhere warmer), but we’re going to share with you why hitting the trails when the wind gets chillier, and the days get shorter is one of our favorite winter activities.

Less Crowded Trails

Most people prefer to hike in spring, summer, or fall when there are colors and blooms galore. But while you might not see as many flowers or leaves during your winter adventure, you’ll have many trails all to yourself! And less crowded trails mean you can really enjoy the peace and tranquility that comes with enjoying nature.

No Bugs!

One of our least favorite things about summer hiking is the BUGS! Mosquitos, ticks, spiders – all those creepy crawlies you might not love to see have all gone into hibernation for the season. Which means that you can enjoy your peaceful hike without a face full of spider webs.

Spectacular Views

It might not seem like it, but winter is the BEST time of year for views. Though we love it when leaves are on the trees, when the leaves are gone, it offers a unique and spectacular view of the mountains beyond. Plus, something about the colder weather makes the blue ridges of the mountains really POP! And it makes for gorgeous photos.

If we’ve successfully convinced you to try a winter hike on your next visit, here are our favorite spots to explore during the most magical time of the year:

**Please keep in mind that these trails could be very icy and extreme caution is always recommended when hiking in the winter.

Moses Cone Fire Tower (4.7 miles) (Located 5 minutes from Chetola Resort)

Though the mileage of this hike may look intimidating, this gravel carriage trail follows a gradual incline through the Cone property up to the Flat Top Lookout Tower. As you traverse up this trail enjoy walking through scenic forests, fields filled with cows, the Cone cemetery, picturesque meadows, and panoramic views from the Flat Top Tower. Visible from the top of the tower is Grandfather Mountain, Sugar Mountain, Roan Highlands, Beech Mountain, Elk Knob, Mount Rogers, and more beautiful peaks.

*Though the Flat Top Tower is sturdy, climb up to the top at your own risk.

Otter Falls (0.9 miles)

Located just a short drive away in Seven Devils, NC, this short hike that is rated as moderately strenuous follows a beautifully forested trail as it descends 230 feet to Otter Falls. With 4 different colored trails, each exploring a different part of the forest, there is a nature walk in Seven Devils for everyone to enjoy! There are also observation decks for you to take in the views from the top of the falls as well as trails that lead to the bottom.

Summit Trail (4.5 miles) or Beech Tree Trail (1 mile) at Elk Knob State Park

Elk Knob State Park is one of our favorite state parks in the area and with 4 different trails to explore, there’s something for every adventurer. The Summit Trail is one of our favorites because of the views and the gorgeous forests you climb through to get to the top. At the summit you’ll have breathtaking views that show off The Peak, Bluff Mountains, Mount Jefferson, Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, Mount Rogers, and so many more iconic Blue Ridge Mountain peaks.

The Beech Tree Trail is another trail that you can’t miss at Elk Knob State Park. Though it doesn’t have the iconic views that the Summit Trail has, the Beech Tree Trail is an easy 1-mile loop that makes up Elk Knob’s Kids in Parks Track Trail! The trail follows through a Beech Tree Forest- be sure to pay attention as you walk, as there are pieces of artwork to enjoy all down the trail.

And if you enjoy cross country skiing, Elk Knob State Park is the only NC State Park that allows visitors to cross country ski.

Glen Burney Falls (3.2 miles)

Located just 3 minutes from Chetola Resort, these beautiful falls are right in the heart of Downtown Blowing Rock. On this 3.2 mile out and back trail, enjoy views of Glen Marie Falls and Glen Burney Falls at the end of the trail. In addition to viewing the falls, at the beginning of the trail you can find remains of an old structure.

This trail is a favorite of Chetola guests and visitors because its location makes it a great adventure to experience before or after exploring Downtown Blowing Rock. You can even walk from downtown to the trailhead for the falls! It’s the perfect hidden gem, right in town!

This trail is rated as moderate but does have a few steep spots, rocks/roots, and can be frozen over in spots during the winter months. Please be cautious when hiking.

For the best experience while winter hiking, here are a few extra tips for hiking during this beautiful time of year:

Winter Hiking Reminders:

  • Check the weather! Know what conditions will look like during the day.
  • Wear sturdy shoes. Many trails can be slick and icy during the winter months.
  • Wear warm socks! And if you’re going on a long hike in the snow, bring an extra pair!
  • Bring water and stay hydrated.
  • Be safe and have fun out there!

And if you don’t feel comfortable hiking by yourself, consider joining one of the group hikes with Highlands Recreation at Chetola Resort. Check our monthly activities calendar to see when and where the hike will take place! (Activities Calendar)

Pro-tip: Stop by Timberlake’s Restaurant and Headwater’s Pub after your hike for a warm meal and a toasty drink (like our Toasted Marshmallow)!

We can’t wait to be your winter adventure basecamp!

 

Many of us are constantly managing the influx of information that we receive throughout our day, making time for reflection and mindfulness almost impossible. From co-workers, superiors, organizational partners, and committee members to our spouses, children, schools, extended family, volunteer organizations, and churches, an array of communication comes to us at all hours, including weekends, holidays, and even when you thought you had told everyone that you would not be available. So, how do we manage it all? And, is it beneficial to mentally “getaway?”

Although we consider ourselves experts in providing an ideal location for your mental (and physical) “getaway,” we may not have all of the answers to the questions listed above. However, we have visited with 1000’s of individuals who have told us how important it was for them, their families, and their productivity in life to allow their brains adequate downtime. To answer the first question regarding how to manage the influx of information, we recommend starting with setting expectations. If you immediately answer everyone right away, people will expect it. And they may come to you first because you always answer right away. We are not suggesting that you “ghost” your family, friends, or co-workers, but be reasonable. Studies show that we are more productive when we set aside time to do one task versus negotiating multiple tasks while texting and answering emails all day. Next, prioritize. We suggest that you respond first to those who need you most. If you are spending all your time texting and answering emails, then what are you getting done?

For the second question regarding whether it is beneficial to take a “mental vacation,” the answer is YES!! By allowing your brain the necessary downtime, you increase productivity, potentially improve your relationships with family and friends, laser focus your attention, recharge your brain’s capabilities, and encourage your most creative self. The biggest challenge is recognizing the importance of mental and emotional wellness and treating it the same as any physical issue. Think about when you are reading something and find yourself re-reading it multiple times and still without any clue as to what you just read. Your brain is telling you that you need to take a break. We suggest checking in with yourself regularly to reflect on what is going on in your life. And, when you discover that it is time to give your brain some downtime, we have some great ideas for you!

First, think of a place that you can visit that is completely out of your normal day-to-day routine. Maybe the mountains? Or the ocean? We recommend coming to Blowing Rock, as it offers stunning views, amazing restaurants, endless things to do, and private spaces to enjoy some downtime. Whether your mental escape includes meditation, sleep, yoga, a walk in the woods, a quiet place to reflect, or visiting a museum, it is all here. There are endless trails, beautiful lakes and wildlife, places to explore, and places to relax. Imagine waking up and stepping outside to the sounds of nature, zero responsibility, access to nature walks, and even some areas that have limited cell phone coverage (don’t worry, they are few and far between, but they offer an excuse to turn off your phone!). While we recommend at least 3 days to fully disconnect, there are options to stay for a night, a week, or for a month if that’s what you need.

We truly want you to do whatever is best for you and the downtime your brain needs to replenish. We will be here to guide the planning of your escape and are happy to be your excuse for the much-needed getaway for you and your significant other. We invite you to come and unwind, relax, reflect, and find your new perfect place for mental downtime. You and your significant other will leave with replenished attention, the ability to increase mental and emotional productivity, newfound creativity, and incredible memories. See y’all soon!

Evening Recreation at Chetola Resort

We are excited to announce a few new opportunities for fitness and recreation here at Chetola Resort. Please see the activity calendar and consult the following activity descriptions to see if you would like to participate. 

Game Night!

 Come alone or bring your friends for a night of board/card games in the Camp Room at Chetola. Bring your favorite games or choose from our selection of puzzles and games!

Who is this for: This group is for anyone who likes games. It’s also great for anyone who would like to try some games. Put those phones down and play with us!

Location: Camp Room across from the pool.

Bingo!-

Everybody loves Bingo! All are invited to play. Come out for a fun evening and win some great prizes!

Who is this for: Everyone!

Location: Camp Room across from the pool.

Bonfire by the Lake!
Come warm up by the fire, have some s’mores, and take in a cool autumn evening in the mountains! S’more packs are available at the fire free of charge!

Who is this for: Everyone, but please have minors under 13 years old accompanied by parents!

Location: Bonfire pit. Two are available, but the location is TBD. Please call the front desk to ask for the location for the night you wish to attend.

Hike the Blue Ridge Mountains at Rough Ridge!
Call ahead to reserve your spots for a complimentary hiking trip to one of the most iconic views on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Rough Ridge on the Tanawa Trail. Call the Recreation Center to schedule your family’s spots ahead of your stay so we can assure spots in the van. Space is limited to 12 participants total.

Who is this for: Anyone capable of a moderately difficult hike. This is not an accessible hike, so unfortunately no accommodations can be made for individuals who use wheelchairs or have significant difficulty walking.

Location: Pickup for the hike will be on the road between Bob Timberlake’s restaurant and the lake.

December Weekend Activities

Festival of Lights!: Close to 30,000-holiday illuminations light up Chetola beginning at dusk on Friday, November 26th, and running through the end of Blowing Rock Winterfest, January 31, 2022. As you stroll around Chetola Lake, view glittering ice skaters, a Nativity scene, a colorful train, Rudolph’s “Holiday Catch”, and much more.

Christmas Movie Night in the Camp Room!: Come join us for some your favorite holiday movies every Saturday night leading up to Christmas. Enjoy free popcorn and access to cold beverages at our Recreation Desk as you take in a family-friendly holiday classic.

Who is this for: Everyone!

Location: Evergreen Room on the second floor.

Make a Final Rest Cocktail with Drayton

We love to see you in person at Headwater's Pub, but when you can't join us in person or you need a taste of Chetola then this Final Rest cocktail will be your new go-to drink.

The recipe for the Final Rest is as follows:

0.75 oz Mezcal

0.75 oz Luxardo

0.75 oz Campari

0.75 oz lime juice

After combining ingredients in a shaker, shake and strain into a martini glass. Enjoy!

 

We can't wait to see you at Headwaters Pub at Timberlake's Restaurant at Chetola Resort!

Thanksgiving Weekend 2021

Thursday, November 25th

Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner

Four-course Plated Meal | Noon to 6:00 pm - Timberlake's Restaurant 
Please join us for our annual Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner. Reservations begin Monday, October 25th at 9 am. 828.295.5505 FULL (View Menu)

Family Style To-go | 11:00 am to 6:00 pm - Timberlake's Restaurant 
Enjoy a Timberlake's Thanksgiving from the comfort of your home or rental. Reservations begin Monday, October 25th at 9 am. 828.295.5505 FULL (View Menu)

Friday, November 26th - Saturday, November 27th

Festival of Lights
Close to 30,000-holiday illuminations light up Chetola beginning at dusk on Friday, November 26th, and running through the end of Blowing Rock Winterfest, January 30, 2022. As you stroll around Chetola Lake, view glittering ice skaters, a Nativity scene, a colorful train, Rudolph’s “Holiday Catch”, and much more.

Story Time with Santa and Mrs. Claus
*every 30 minutes, 5 pm-7:30 pm Friday and Saturday evenings (reservations required, as seating is limited)

In an effort to keep Santa and Mrs. Claus safe this year, they have agreed to offer a socially safe reading of a Holiday Classic. Families with kids will be able to say hello (social distancing), hear them read a Holiday classic, and write a letter to Santa to leave with him. Offered every 30 minutes, beginning at 5 pm (last reading at 8 pm) both Friday, November 26th, and Saturday, November 27th. Reservations for resort guests will begin Wednesday, November 3, 2021. Sign-ups will be available the day of to the general public. Story Time with Santa and Mrs. Claus is a free event, however, we recommend a donation to Crossnore School & Children’s Home.

Carriage Rides, 5pm-9pm (reservations required)
Guests of Chetola Resort will enjoy this Holiday tradition of a carriage ride around Chetola Lake to see the Festival of Lights. Reservations can be made with Chetola Guest Services prior to arrival. Adults, $30/ each & Kids (ages 3-12), $15/ each. Payment must be received at the time of booking. Reservations for resort guests will begin Wednesday, November 3, 2021. Sign-ups will be available the day of to the general public for remaining rides.

Bonfire, S'mores, & Chili, 5pm-9pm
On Friday and Saturday evenings enjoy a toasty bonfire, delicious s'mores, and warm chili by our lakeside firepit. There will be a cash bar for adult beverages, bowls of chili for $6, and complimentary s'mores for guests of the resort.

 

Autumn has arrived at Chetola Resort, and with that, the desire to delight in fall colors, crisp mountain air, and pumpkin patches.

No matter where you are, the fall season wouldn’t be the same without the wonderful and colorful pumpkins. To help you celebrate the season in the High Country, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite pumpkin patches in the area, just a short drive from Chetola Resort.

Photo courtesy of Harvest Farm Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

Harvest Farm Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch (Valle Crucis, NC)

Harvest Farm Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch is located about 30 minutes from Chetola Resort in the beautiful area of Valle Crucis. This spot offers a corn maze that is enjoyable for all ages and a U-Pick pumpkin patch with a wide variety of fall pumpkin friends. Enjoy all your favorite aspects of the fall season with beautiful mountain views at Harvest Farm!

Note: This pumpkin patch is only open Friday - Sunday

Photo Courtesy of New River Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

New River Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch (Deep Gap, NC)

Just 25 minutes from Chetola Resort, enjoy a pick your own pumpkin patch, tram rides, and a corn maze at the New River Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch. The New River Corn Maze is located on the historic Brown Family Farm in Deep Gap. And, besides giving visitors a wonderful spot to enjoy pumpkin picking, you can also enjoy beautiful scenery, take a walk along the New River, and take in the breathtaking fall colors.

Note: This pumpkin patch is only open Friday - Sunday

Photo courtesy of Ashe Country Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

Ashe County Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch (Jefferson, NC)

If you’re looking for a pumpkin patch that has so much more than just pumpkins, Ashe County Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch in Jefferson is a must-stop. A 45-minute drive from Chetola Resort, at Ashe County Pumpkin Patch, experience activities ranging from tractor hayrides and pumpkin bowling, to live music every Saturday of the season. This patch has fall fun for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Note: This pumpkin patch is only open on Saturdays & Sundays

Photo courtesy of Johnny Wilson's Pumpkin Patch

Johnny Wilsons Pumpkin Patch (Granite Falls, NC)

Visiting Johnny Wilson’s Farm & Pumpkin Patch is an entire fall experience. Visitors can enjoy farm animals, a corn and a hay maze, pumpkin patch, bounce house, corn crib, and more! Just a 45-minute drive from Chetola Resort and located in Granite Falls, this family-friendly adventure is sure to get everyone excited for fall!

Note: This pumpkin patch is only open Thursday – Sunday.

No matter which pumpkin patch you choose to experience, all of these amazing spots are guaranteed to add some fall spice to your autumn adventures in the mountains.

We hope to see you this fall so that you can carve out some new fall memories at Chetola Resort!

 

 

Rainy, fall weather calls for one thing: warm, chewy cookies. And we have the perfect recipe to make your rainy day at home (or at a Chetola condo) feel mountain cozy.

Here’s Pastry Chef Abby’s favorite recipe for Chewy Ginger Cookies:

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups (11 oz) all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup neutral-tasting vegetable oil, such as grapeseed

1/4 cup unsulphured molasses

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup (3 oz) crystallized/candied ginger (optional)

3 TB granulated sugar or ginger sugar (for coating)

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a separate bowl using a hand mixer, combine brown sugar, molasses, and vegetable oil. Mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined; about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl (this ultra-thick mixture will stick tenaciously, so you might have to put some muscle into it), and mix in the first egg, then the second. Beat about a minute longer, until the batter is smooth and uniform.

Add the flour mixture at low speed until all traces of flour have disappeared and the dough begins to clump together. Stir in crystallized ginger, if using.

Using a medium cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop dough into 1.5-inch balls. Flatten slightly and dip each side in granulated or ginger sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 mins. These cookies don’t brown much so be sure not to overbake, which will render them dry and crumbly.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

We hope you enjoy it and can’t wait to see you at Timberlake’s this fall to enjoy some autumn-inspired desserts in person.

 

 

The High Country is full of beautiful hiking trails that lead to breathtaking views, yet there is one that gets a lot of love, Rough Ridge. We love Rough Ridge, however, this iconic hike receives so much praise and traffic, that it has now become overused and overloved. To give some other amazing trails some attention, we’re sharing with you our favorite Rough Ridge alternates!

Summit Trail – Elk Knob State Park

The 4-mile Summit Trail at Elk Knob State Park is worth every step of the climb. As you wind up the switchbacks, enjoy walking through beautiful forests, discover rare plants and flowers, reward yourself with a view at the halfway point, learn about amphibolite mountains, and then get ready to soak in the amazing views at the top.

Though the view at the top isn’t 360°, the summit offers both a North and a South viewpoint that show off all your favorite mountain ranges in the surrounding area like Three Top, Mount Jefferson, Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, Mt Rodgers (Va.), and the Iron Mountains in Virginia and Tennessee.

Flat Top Tower – Moses Cone Memorial Park

Though longer in mileage than Summit Trail, the 5-mile hike to the Flat Top Tower at Moses Cone Memorial is perfect for any kind of adventurer. Following along a gravel, carriage trail, this hike takes you through forests, mountain fields with beautiful views, past the Cone Cemetery (if you choose to stop), and up to the summit where the historical Flat Top Fire Tower still stands.

If you don’t have a fear of heights, we highly recommend climbing the fire tower (it is structurally sound). The 360° views from the top are a breathtaking sight no matter what time of year you are adventuring up the trail.

Raven Rocks Overlook – Blue Ridge Parkway

Not a hike per se, but the Raven Rocks Overlook is known as one of the best sunset spots on the parkway and if you’re not a hiker, a stunning view to enjoy without a trek. However, if you want more than just a view, hop on the Mountains to Sea Trail from the Raven Rocks Overlook. Hike through the trees of North Carolina until you reach Clingmans Dome or Jockey’s Ridge State Park, or you can just settle for a mile or two 😉 to experience a piece of the beautiful MST.

Black Rock Nature Trail – Grandfather Mountain

This 2-mile trail follows through the rocky forest of Grandfather Mountain to a rockface where it opens to a stunning view of the Swinging Bridge, MacRae and Attic Window Peaks, Beacon Heights, and Grandmother Mountain. Not only does this trail give you that quintessential mountain view, but the trek to get there through the forest is almost as fun as the view at the end.

*Note: to access this trail, you do have to pay to get into Grandfather Mountain. However, if you’re already planning a trip, add this hike to your itinerary for a phenomenal view.

Rhododendron Trail – Mount Jefferson State Natural Area

The Rhododendron Trail is a 1.3 mile trail at Mount Jefferson State Natural Area. This beautiful trail follows along the crest of the mountain until it reaches Luther Rock, a viewpoint that offers expansive views of the mountains surrounding Ashe County. Besides beautiful views, the park boasts a diverse population of trees, shrubs and wildflowers which is how it received the classification of “natural area.” This short, beautiful hike is one you don’t want to miss.

No matter which Rough Ridge alternate hike you choose to enjoy in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, we hope you end your day resting at Chetola Resort with a stay in one of our beautiful accommodations, a post-adventure meal and dessert at Timberlake’s Restaurant (you earned it), or a trip to the Chetola Spa to rejuvenate those hiking muscles.

To learn more about how you can help protect North Carolina’s beautiful spaces, please visit https://www.visitnc.com/outdoornc.