Mountain Lions, Trout and Great Scenery in the Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina
Mountain Lions, Bears, Deer and Great Scenery All Year Long
Take Your Time
You could miss seeing a mountain lion a broad-shouldered Brown Trout or one of the most beautiful homes in the world, if you drive too fast through the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
Most of the sites that are mentioned in this photo journal can be driven to, or by, in about an hour; but, it could take a lifetime to really see and truly discover everything.
Evidence of the truth of this statement is that it took us more than five years to stumble onto the Moses Cone property mentioned further down in this article. It is located behind a large stand of pines just a little over a hundred yards from where we usually turn around to head back home after a day trip.
The Biltmore Estate near Asheville, North Carolina
A Very Brief History of the Biltmore Estate
In 1888, George Vanderbilt, youngest grandson of business tycoon Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, visited the Western North Carolina mountains with his mother. Asheville, North Carolina was a high-society health retreat for those looking for a rugged, yet pleasant retreat from the pressures of the Northeast. At 26, George Vanderbilt recognized the area as a perfect spot for the Biltmore Estate. He envisioned an estate that would not only showcase his collection of art, but also become a self-supporting business. He had traveled extensively throughout Europe, and believed he could bring a landed barony to America.
Also, George Vanderbilt was not without his competitive streak, and sought to create an estate to rival those belonging to his siblings in the Northeast. The Vanderbilts had a tradition of building lavish homes, a tradition begun by the Commodore. As a self-made man, Cornelius Vanderbilt and his wife Sophia found themselves not entirely accepted into Northeastern fashionable society so their lavish homes became a symbol of both their success and their gentility.
Water Feature on the Biltmore Estate
Biltmore Reservoir Dam
Looking Glass Falls
Slick Rocks Falls Cavern Entrance
The Moses Cone Estate
How do you stumble onto a 2,600 acre estate? We have been on the Blue Ridge Parkway just above Linville Falls many times. This is near a beautiful turn-out with breathtaking scenery that we have seen several times. After oohing and aahhing again and again, we would head back to Charlotte. One day last fall we decided to see what was up the road. Around the next corner, hidden by a huge stand of pine trees was the Moses Cone property, all 3,600 acres of it.
It took us an entire afternoon to tour the home and its antiques, the working gardens, the huge stable and vineyards, etc. Actually we had to rush just to see as much as we did. We're not done yet. We'll be going back soon to see more of this incredible property, horse trails and all.
There is a horse-back guide service available. It would be recommended that you let them take you around the first time, if you are not a seasoned mountain trekker.
Moses Cone Mansion
Information about the History of the Cone Property
Moses Cone Carriage House
View of Bass Lake on the Cone Estate
What a Beautiful Ride Back Home
We took the following photographs on the way home. The color is startling.
This is just a "teaser" to get you to think about taking the time to come over here and see some of this beaufy for yourself.
Maple Leaf in Late Fall
Fall Color Along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Hillside on Fire
Burning Bush and Hosta
Oxe Eye Daisy
Davidson River in Pisgah National Forest
Graham's Beautiful Davidson River Brown Trout
Oh Yes, There's One More Reason
Just getting started.
There is something extraordinary around every corner in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It changes almost every day of the year. Since I am an avid fisherman I had to leave you with at least one picture of a stream caught Brown Trout and a "typical" mountain sunset.
Why do I live in North Carolina? Let me count the ways!
Bob Diamond R.Ph