Outdoor adventure is abundant in North Carolina and especially around Chetola Resort. One of our favorite and less well-known spots to explore in the area is the Mountains to Sea Trail (MST). The Mountains to Sea Trail is North Carolina’s state hiking trail. Stretching 1175 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, the Mountains to Sea Trail traverses some of the most beautiful spots in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Read below to explore some of our favorite sections of the MST near Chetola Resort!

Stack Rock Overlook (Milepost 304.8)

From the Stack Rock parking area along the Blue Ridge Parkway, hop on the Tanawha Trail and Mountains to Sea Trail heading North to reach Stack Rock. Upon reaching Stack Rock you will come upon a natural rock formation of a rock pillar and enjoy views of the mountains beyond. From this point you can continue along the MST/Tanawha Trail for as long as you’d like, or you can turn around and head back to the Overlook.

The trail to Stack Rock is not long, but it can be somewhat strenuous with big rocks and steep climbs to get to the rock formation. Please use caution and come prepared with the correct footwear and gear.


Rich Mountain (Start at Trout Lake or Shulls Mill Road)

To find this section of the MST, follow Shull’s Mill Road from Blowing Rock, just past Trout Lake until you see a gate and a small parking area. Follow the gravel carriage trail up and then signs for Rich Mountain.

Attached to the Moses Cone Memorial Park Trail System, the Rich Mountain Carriage Trail follows the MST for about 1 mile before you  can choose to continue following the Mountains to Sea Trail as far as you want to go or continue up the trail to the peak of Rich Mountain (about another 1.5 miles).

The path up to Rich Mountain is a very gentle climb along a gravel carriage trail with multiple views along the way in mountain side meadows. At the summit, savor views of the surrounding mountains like Grandfather Mountain and Flat Top Mountain along with the historic stonework from when the Cones enjoyed the property.

If you want more time on this section of the MST, extend your hike by starting at Trout Lake and then hiking up to the peak of Rich Mountain.

**If parking area is full, please park at Trout Lake or find another spot to hike for the day. Do not park on the road or block road from Trout Lake.

Raven’s Rock Overlook (Milepost 289.5)

After enjoying the view from Raven’s Rock, you can follow the  MST from this overlook by finding the trail to the left or right side of the parking lot. The right-side section of the trail is along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the left side is through the trees from the parking lot.

If you take the MST to the right, enjoy traversing through cow fields and forests with views of mountain ranges in the distance. If you take the trail to the left, you’ll enjoy a forested hike and eventually come out to views of panoramic mountain ranges.

*Park at the Raven Rock Overlook area to enjoy this section of the MST.


Some of the best adventures are the ones that are off the beaten trail. We hope that you’ll be able to discover some new adventures and make wonderful memories  down the Mountains to Sea Trail on your next visit to Chetola Resort.

Reminders for hiking:

*Follow Outdoor NC’s and Leave No Trace’s 7 principles for recreating in the outdoors https://www.visitnc.com/outdoornc

**Leave what you find. Do not pick, rip, or trample flowers or plants. Take only photos.

***Please remember when exploring these beautiful trails to leave the area better than you found it so that others can enjoy its natural beauty.


One of our favorite reasons for coming up to the mountains in the summer: you can enjoy live music almost every night of the week. Explore spots all around the High Country while discovering your new favorite bands. Here are just a few of our favorite spots around Blowing Rock and beyond to enjoy a night full of tunes:

Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort

We’re a little biased… but the most delicious spot to enjoy live music in Blowing Rock is Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort. With live music throughout the entire year and the only spot to enjoy music on a Wednesday night in the High Country, you don’t want to miss the fun at Timberlake’s.

In the summer, you can enjoy live music at Timberlake’s Wednesday – Saturday nights from 6 – 9pm. In the winter, join us Thursday – Saturday for live music 6 – 9pm.

Visit https://chetola.com/dining-2/ to view our full live music lineup.

Pro-Tip: If you’re visiting in the summer or on the weekends, we always recommend making a reservation to ensure you can enjoy the music.

Photo Courtesy of the Town of Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock Concerts in the Park

Sundays after strolling through Art in the Park, throughout June - September join the town of Blowing Rock at 4 pm for live music in Memorial Park! Bring your chair, some delicious snacks from a local restaurant, and enjoy the tunes!

Blowing Rock Town Concert Series at Broyhill Park

Start your week off right with a Monday night concert at Broyhill Park. Monday nights July - August enjoy concerts at the gazebo at 7 pm. Bring a chair or blanket and a to-go meal from Timberlake’s for a guaranteed good time.

Photo Courtesy Green Park Inn

Music on the Veranda at Green Park Inn

End your week with good music and a good time at the Green Park Inn. On Sunday afternoons, mid-June through October enjoy live music from 5 – 8 pm.

Music on the Lawn at Inn at Ragged Gardens

Your Friday night just got better. Join Inn at Ragged Gardens for live music every Friday 5:30  - 8:30, May – October. A cash bar and lawn menu are available during these events. They ask that your furry friends stay home.

Pro-Tip: Arrive early (like really early) and bring your own chair. This live music event tends to be very popular and the lawn fills up quickly.

Photo Courtesy of Town of Boone, Jones House

Jones House Community Center in Boone

Spending the day in Boone? Enjoy live music every Friday July – August from 5 – 7 pm on the front porch of the Jones House in Downtown Boone. Pick up a snack from a local restaurant, bring a chair or blanket, and appreciate some great tunes.

Photo Courtesy of The Speckled Trout

Tunes at the Trout at Speckled Trout

Revel in the sounds of the mountains when you enjoy a delicious meal and boot-stomping tunes on Thursday nights at The Speckled Trout from 6-8 pm. Right on Main Street in Blowing Rock, you will not only enjoy the music but the sights and sounds of the town.

Photo Courtesy of Town of Banner Elk

Banner Elk Music in the Park

Enjoy eclectic music at 6:30, July - September on the outdoor stage at Tate-Evans Park in Banner Elk. With food, beer, and wine vendors on-site you can grab a snack and enjoy the live music all night long.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Music Trails

Backstreet Park Summer Concerts in West Jefferson

Be entertained with traditional bluegrass, country, and gospel music every 3rd Friday from June – August at the Backstreet of Downtown West Jefferson. Pick up a meal from a local restaurant, grab your favorite chair or picnic blanket, and enjoy great music in the town of West Jefferson.

We hope to see you at Timberlake’s Restaurant or at one of these other amazing outdoor music spaces this season!

For a more extensive list of even more music around the High Country visit, https://highcountryhost.com/NC-High-Country-FREE-Music


Though there’s no bad season to go hiking in the High Country, spring is at the top of our list to get outside and explore. The warmer weather, colorful blooms, and an abundance of trails makes this season the perfect one to adventure in. If you’re ready to head on a spring adventure, here are a few of our favorite spots around the area to explore.

Chetola Resort Bass Lake TRACK Trail

The Chetola Resort Bass Lake TRACK Trail is a 1.8 mile loop that takes hikers down a forested gravel trail and then around Bass Lake. Except for the hill from the parking area to the main trail, this hike is relatively flat and accessible for all abilities of hikers. Along the trail enjoy views of nature critters, high country plants & flowers, horses, Bass Lake, and the Moses Cone Manor up on the hill. The perfect hike for all explorers, the Bass Lake TRACK Trail is a must do on your next visit to Chetola Resort.  And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, the Moses Cone Trail system has 25+ miles of trails to wander and explore.

Cascades Trail

The Cascades Trail is an easy, 1-mile loop trail located Milepost 271.9 along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Deep Gap, NC. This beautiful hike takes adventurers past views, gorgeous High Country plants and spring blooms, before reaching two overlooks that show off the falls. There is an upper and lower view of the falls, and both provide spectacular scenes. If you’re looking for a shorter hike with great views and a waterfall in the middle, then this is the perfect trail to explore.

Important Note: Please do not climb on the falls or atop the stone walls. Both are very slippery and injuries have occurred.

Green Knob Trail

The Green Knob Trail is a moderate, 2.3 mile loop located at Milepost 295.9 along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, NC. This adventure takes hikers through a forested area, past mountain streams and Sim’s Pond, under the Parkway, through cow fields filled with flowers (and sometimes butterflies) and then back through the forest to where you began.  Whether you enjoy mountain views, blooms, a beautiful trail, or the potential to see cows, this a great trail to explore on your next visit to Chetola.

Important Note: If you encounter cows, please keep your distance and stay on the trails.

Boone Fork Trail

The Boone Fork Trail is a moderate (but can be strenuous in spots), 5.2 mile loop located at the Price Lake Picnic Area at Milepost 296.4 along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, NC. This trail is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. It follows Boone Fork Creek for the first few miles through the forest before it leads to Hebron Falls. The trail then continues through the forest over rocks, through fields, showing off views of Grandfather Mountain before it leads you back through the forest to where you started.

No matter what kind of outdoor adventure you’re hoping to embark on during your next visit to Chetola, any or all of these hikes are part of the perfect escape into the outdoors. We hope you’ll join us soon at Chetola for beautiful blooms and epic trails!


*Always hike at your own risk.

**Leave what you find. Do not pick, rip, or trample flowers. Take only photos.

***Please remember when exploring these beautiful trails to leave the area better than you found it so that others can enjoy it’s natural beauty.