Paradise on the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Pisgah Inn
If you are looking for some isolation and easy access to the wilderness, and yet you’d like a soft bed and a great meal, the Pisgah Inn is perfect. Enjoy beautifully decorated rooms, all of which have balconies or private porches overlooking the mountains. Step out from sliding glass doors at dawn or at sundown to watch the changing light play across the landscape, or bring your binoculars and watch the stars when all is quiet. The Inn’s restaurant features breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which you will savor while taking in gorgeous views through the dining room’s enormous windows. Guests may also peruse local arts and crafts in the Inn’s gift shop adjacent to the restaurant. Rooms fill up fast here, so make your reservation early.
Nearby Hiking Adventures
Whether you’d like to step out of your hotel room and walk to a wooded trail or hop back on the Parkway for a full day’s backcountry excursion, the Pisgah Inn provides the ideal base. Nearby is the challenging hike up to Mt. Pisgah’s fire tower, which offers incredible views; down the Parkway is the Art Loeb trailhead, one of the most famous hiking destinations in the area. The Art Loeb takes hikers all the way to the well-known Cold Mountain from the novel of the same name, as well as to Shining Rock, a massive quartz outcropping that the Cherokee believed to be full of mystical power. Up here, hikers will enjoy ridge-walking on true wilderness trails, moving from one summit to the next. On the way to the Art Loeb is a pull-off for Graveyard Fields, which sounds glum but is in fact one of the loveliest scenic spots along the Parkway. These fields feature several waterfalls, all of which can be accessed by easy to moderate trails.
The Blue Ridge Parkway
For newcomers to the western North Carolina mountains, the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway is an adventure in and of itself. This highway literally takes auto-touring to new heights, allowing motorists to experience the mountains from elevations that would typically require a full day’s strenuous hike. Though the Parkway can seem overwhelming, those staying at the Pisgah Inn have the benefit of being situated along one of the best stretches of this road. Overlooks, pull-offs, picnic areas, and other public use areas invite visitors to take unforgettable photographs and enjoy family time in some of the country’s most picturesque locations. Pick up a map at the Pisgah Inn or at the camp store across from the hotel and look for Devil’s Courthouse and Looking Glass Rock; consider also a quick jaunt down 276 to the waterfall-rich Davidson River area. Also along the Parkway are Craggy Gardens, exits for Asheville and Waynesville (both with wonderful downtowns featuring many shopping and dining venues), and the Folk Art Center. Take in what the area has to offer and then return to your mountain haven at the Pisgah Inn when it’s time to reflect on it all!
Want to know more about the Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding area before you plan your trip? Look here: blueridgeparkway.org.
Pisgah Inn photos courtesy of Pisgah Inn