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Little Parkway

Basics
Length:
18 miles (29 km)
Time:
45 minutes

Description

Also known as the Yonahlossee Trail, the Little Parkway travels through undeveloped wilderness areas in the Pisgah National Forest.The road was constructed in 1889 by man and mule for a toll road and was the link between Blowing Rock and Linville until 1987 when the Linn Cove Viaduct was completed on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

As travelers drive the Little Parkway, they will notice little parts of history from the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Linville Fallsand Caverns present natural wonders while Grandfather Mountain is a natural landform and landmark. Visitors will pass the back entrance to the Moese H. Cone Memorial Park where they may catch a glimpse of Flat Top Manor. The manor resides on Flat Top Mountain and is now used as a museum and craft center.

Throughout the drive, travelers will find plenty to see and more to do. Picnic and hiking areas area available all along the byway and sights of the Blue Ridge Mountains offer excellent photo opportunities. The resort towns of Blowing Rock and Linville offer a variety of festivals and shops as well.

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Blowing Rock (NC)

Blowing Rock is a historic community on the Blue Ridge Parkway with a perfect location for traveling the Byway and stopping at the sites. The town of Blowing Rock offers all services to visitors and is a place that has captured all the atmosphere and romance of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This community on the Blue Ridge Parkway is named for a nearby geological formation known as Blowing Rock. Such a formation is not without a story. The legend tells of a Chikasaw Indian princess who met an Indian brave from the plains on the edge of the rock. They spent many days together in the woodland mountains of the area until one day a strange reddening sky appeared as a bad omen to the brave. Torn from having to choose between his true love and returning to the plains, he jumped off the Blowing Rock into the woodlands below. The maiden prayed daily to the Great Spirit until another evening came with a red sky. This time, a mighty gust of wind blew her lover back to the Rock where she was waiting for him. Since then, the wind continually blows upward from the valley below to the top of Blowing Rock. The wind is so strong that sometimes,the snow even seems to fall upside down.

Directions

Where the Blue Ridge Parkway intersects with US Highway 321.

Grandfather Mountain (NC)

Grandfather Mountain is one of the most environmentally significant mountains in the world. It is set apart by the U.N. as an International Biosphere Reserve, a place where man and nature thrive in harmony. Only 324 biospheres exist and this mountain is the only one that is privately owned. There are 47 rare and endangered species located in the area.

No matter the season, Grandfather never fails to stir the soul with its ancient black cliffs, laddered trails, and astonishing views. The pinks of its rare Azalea Vaseyi and reds of its rhododendron are as celebrated as gospel singing in June and Scottish gatherings in July. Even its weather - its beautiful mists and winter icicle days - add to the mystique of the mountain.

Directions

Along US 221 at the west end of the byway.

Hickory Ridge Homestead (NC)

This living history homestead is located in Boone, North Carolina.

Directions

Located near Boone, NC.

Linville Caverns (NC)

Located in the heart of Humpback Mountain, the Linville Caverns offer a spelunking adventure for travelers on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Discovered in 1822, these caves astounded the first visitors with the geological creations that are prevalent. Because of the mineral rich water within the caverns, the formations continue to grow and change even today. The caves remain a consistent temperature of 52 degrees allowing for a unique ecosystem to exist inside them. As a favorite stop along the Parkway, the caverns offer guided tours through the lighted walkways.

Directions

Located south of the byway on US 221.

Linville Falls (NC)

Linville Falls is a beautiful series of dramatic falls that drop to a deep gorge, accessed by a trail lined with rare virgin stands of white pine, and hemlock. The area around the falls is one of the few places in these mountains where the rosebay, Catawba, and Carolina rhododendron grow side by side. Hiking trails provide access to excellent views and on the parkway, a picnic area and campground adjoin the Linville River. The rugged Linville Gorge wilderness Area adjoins the falls.

Directions

The falls are located south of Linville on US 221.

Mast General Store (NC)

This general store has been operating since 1883 in Valle Crucis.

Directions

Located near Valle Crucis.

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park (NC)

Moses H. Cone was a self-made man in the best American tradition. His textile mills produced the high quality denim fabric, earning him the title, "Denim King." Fond of nature and plagued by poor health, Moses was drawn to the mountainous region of western North Carolina with its moderate climate, fresh spring water, and clean air. In 1897, at the age of 40, Moses and hiswife, Bertha, journeyed to Blowing Rock to design and build their summer estate.

The 3,516 acres of the estate included Flat Top Mountain and Rich Mountain. Situated on top of a hill, the luxurious 20-room Flat Top Manor looked down across five acres of apple orchards leading to Bass Lake. In order to see the mountain vistas, Cone had a lookout tower constructed on top of Flat Top Mountain.

The magnificent Flat Top Manor now houses the Parkway Craft Center and a National Park Service information desk, both open daily through October. During the summer, artisans demonstrate their skills on the front porch.

Directions

Located off the Blue Ridge Parkway and near the east end of the Little Parkway.

Pisgah National Forest (NC)

One of the four national forests in North Carolina.

Directions

The byway is located entirely in the Pisgah National Forest.

The Appalachian Culture Museum (NC)

This museum is a resource of cultural information about the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Directions

Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

Details

Length:
18 miles (29 km)
Time:
45 minutes
Main Roads:
US-221 N

Map + Directions

Customizable Directions


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