A Superb Blue Ridge Hiking Trail

>> Monday, March 15, 2010

It's been said that there are hiking trails and then there are real hiking trails. The Mountain Rose Inn just happens to be located three miles from one of the best Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Trails that there is.

The Rock Castle Gorge, a 10.8 mile loop, is known for it's beauty and serenity. The bottom trail of the gorge is located along the Rock Castle Creek. Beginning hikers can enjoy this meandering walk that follows the mountain stream. At the point that the trail begins to head upwards, beginners can turn around and retrace their steps for a 4 mile hike.

This trail did not earn the National Recreational Trail status for nothing. Experienced hikers will find the entire 10.8 mile loop to be a strenuous test. After completing the bottom part of the path, the trail then heads upward to the top of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Rocky Knob lookout point. Completing the entire 10.8 miles will bring you back to the beginning of the trail in the Gorge.

In the springtime to early summer, nearly 200 varieties of wildflowers are visible along the trail area. The trail, which is also Site MSL07 of the Sweet Mountain Laurel loop on the VA Birding and Wildlife Mountain Trail, is known to birders for its large numbers of warblers, thrushes, and vireos.   

So plan a getaway to our mountain inn and take advantage of this incredible trail. Not ready for the Gorge trail? Practice on one of our short hiking trails located on the Inn's property or just take a leisurely stroll along the Rock Castle Creek in the Inn's front yard. 

And don't worry about lunch! We gladly pack picnic baskets for our guests who are interested in having a picnic along the trail or one one of our front porches. 

Happy hiking to you,
Dora Jane


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