The Blue Ridge Parkway Near Hendersonville, NC
Cold Mountain is in the Great Balsams Mountains which are a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway within the appalachian mountains. Enjoy a spectacular view from this uninhabited area from as high as 6000 feet above sea level. Many people are familiar with the movie "Cold Mountain" from 1997 which was based on a popular novel.
There are 4 primary trail heads at Cold Mountain which include Big East Fork Trail Head, Camp Daniel Boone Trail Head, the Old Butt Knob Trail Head, and the Art Loeb Trail , which leads to the top of the mountain is an 11 mile round trip to the summit. The Black Balsam Parking Area is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile marker 420.
The trail is a strenuous round trip hike in the beautiful Shining Rock Wilderness area. There are prime campsites near the Cold Mountain summit where you can enjoy 180 degree views. This area is best visited only on warm summer days. Snow usually covers the mountain peaks from October to May.
Looking Glass Rock
Looking Glass Rock is a spectacular view from mile 417 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Although it looks impossible to climb, there are many rock climbers that come here for what is considered one of the most strenuous climbs in our area. Fortunately for hikers there are easier ways to the top.
Looking Glass Rock is known for it's sheer face comprised of exposed Whiteside granite. Looking Glass refers to the way the surface reflects the sun like a mirror when rainwater freezes on its surface. Hikers, climbers, birders and photographers all enjoy coming here for the fantastic views.
Devils Courthouse is located on mile marker 422 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a rather strenuous half mile hike to the peak, where a panoramic view of the area can be seen. This view covers four states; North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.
Devils Courthouse gets its name from its devilish looks and many folk tales surrounding this mountain. Within the mountain is a cave with a history of Cherokee folklore about Judaculla, a slant-eyed giant that is said to dwell there. Folk tales also say that the devil, Judaculla, holds court in his chamber in the cave.
Graveyard Fields is one of the most popular hiking spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway on mile marker 418. This flat high mountain valley is located where the Yellowstone Prong of the Pigeon River originates. Graveyard Fields has many uprooted trees and tree stumps left by loggers the gives the appearance of several grave sites all over.
Graveyard Fields offers extensive trails for both day hikes and overnight hikes. These trails takes you through Black Balsam mountain to the Yellowstone Prong which leads up to two of the three waterfalls there, Second Falls and Upper Falls. This site is more barren looking than most places on the parkway from an intense fire that happened in 1925 to a recently logged area. This area can be rather crowded on weekends.