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Moses Cone Hiking Trails -- Blowing Rock, NC

Updated on March 17, 2017
Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin (aka Michelle) has been hiking for five years on the wonderful mountain trails of North Carolina and South Carolina.

This day it was foggy and drizzling, but was still able to get some good photos.
This day it was foggy and drizzling, but was still able to get some good photos. | Source

Moses Cone Manor

A marker667 Service Road, Blowing Rock, NC -
667 Service Rd, Blue Ridge, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, USA
get directions

Moses H. Cone

Moses H. Cone was a prosperous textile entrepreneur, conservationist, and philanthropist back in the 1800s. He was a self-made man. His textile mills produced high quality denim which earned him the nickname “Demin King.” It is said that he left his family business in Greensboro, NC, Cone Export and Commission Company, to start a business on his own

He and his wife Bertha designed and built the manor which is known as Flat Top Manor. His interest in nature led him to plant extensive white pine forests and hemlock hedges and transported Sugar Maples from New England. He also built several lakes and stocked them with trout and bass. He and his wife were staunch naturalists before the term ever came into being.

Moses Cone Carriage Trails – Blowing Rock, NC

The Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is an estate honoring the late Moses H. Cone in Blowing Rock, NC. It is located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway with access at Milepost 294 and if you love to walk in the outdoors it is a must-visit location. The park is operated by the National Park Service and is open to the public all year round, and has about 225,000 visitors per year.

It has 3,500 acres of land, a 16-acre trout lake, a 22-acre bass lake, and 25 miles of carriage trails for hiking and horseback riding. Bertha Cone left the estate to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, NC and in 1950 the hospital gave the estate to the U.S. Government.

This is a really good trail for beginner hikers, children, and dogs. I always wear hiking boots but you could wear a good sturdy pair of tennis shoes and be okay. Hiking poles are not needed on this trail.

Wildflowers found at Moses Cone Park

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Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina Names of all plants will be listed soon.Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North CarolinaMoses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North CarolinaMoses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North CarolinaMoses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North CarolinaMoses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North CarolinaMoses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North CarolinaMoses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North CarolinaMoses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North CarolinaMoses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina Names of all plants will be listed soon.
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina Names of all plants will be listed soon. | Source
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina | Source
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina | Source
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina | Source
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina | Source
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina | Source
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina | Source
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina | Source
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina | Source
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina | Source

The Carriage Trails

Trout Lake Carriage Trail is a 3.6 mile loop trail and is used for hiking and horseback riding. The trail is accessible from September until November and is rated as moderate and has an elevation gain of 338 feet. I have not hiked this trail yet but it sure is on my bucket list. There are so many spectacular trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway that are on my bucket list.

The Flat Top Mountain Carriage trail leads to the Fire / Observation Tower and is 2.8 miles one way and offers some magnificent views (all of the photos in this article were taken on this trail). I have visited this trail on three occasions: the first trip was a bright and sunny day, the second trip was a drizzly foggy day, and the third trip was a sunny winter day.

This trail has a slight elevation gain and zig zags all the way to the top where the Fire / Obeservation Tower is located. It also passes the Cone Family cemetery where family members are buried. Another trail is the Craftman's Trail which is a 20-minute loop around the Manor. It is said that the Cones walked this loop together every morning.

Sights Along the Carriage Trail at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC

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Cemetery where the Cones Family are laid to rest.Here is a photo of the Fire / Observation Tower.Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC
Cemetery where the Cones Family are laid to rest.
Cemetery where the Cones Family are laid to rest. | Source
Here is a photo of the Fire / Observation Tower.
Here is a photo of the Fire / Observation Tower. | Source
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Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC | Source
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC | Source
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC | Source
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC | Source
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC | Source
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC | Source
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC | Source
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock, NC | Source

Photos on a Sunny North Carolina Winter Day

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The lower level are stalls for horses and the middle level contains the public restrooms.Flat Top ManorBig trees along the property. This is in early winter so the trees are bare at this time.This little guy was part of the hiking group. Isn't he a cutie? Part boxer and Australian Shepherd. He was quite a lively and energetic character! It's a good thing his mom loves to hike!Tree down! This is a common sight in the mountains of North and South Carolina.
The lower level are stalls for horses and the middle level contains the public restrooms.
The lower level are stalls for horses and the middle level contains the public restrooms. | Source
Flat Top Manor
Flat Top Manor | Source
Big trees along the property. This is in early winter so the trees are bare at this time.
Big trees along the property. This is in early winter so the trees are bare at this time. | Source
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This little guy was part of the hiking group. Isn't he a cutie? Part boxer and Australian Shepherd. He was quite a lively and energetic character! It's a good thing his mom loves to hike!
This little guy was part of the hiking group. Isn't he a cutie? Part boxer and Australian Shepherd. He was quite a lively and energetic character! It's a good thing his mom loves to hike! | Source
Tree down! This is a common sight in the mountains of North and South Carolina.
Tree down! This is a common sight in the mountains of North and South Carolina. | Source

Photos of Flat Top Manor

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A front view of this magnificant mansion. Inside on display are local crafts from residents in the area, such as homemade jewelry and spectacular pottery pieces for sale.A photo of the wide porch of Flat Top Manor.This is one of the magnificant views from the front porch of the manor, overlooking Bass Lake.Another view of the front of Manor.Side view of the Manor as you exit the Figure-8 Trail.
A front view of this magnificant mansion. Inside on display are local crafts from residents in the area, such as homemade jewelry and spectacular pottery pieces for sale.
A front view of this magnificant mansion. Inside on display are local crafts from residents in the area, such as homemade jewelry and spectacular pottery pieces for sale. | Source
A photo of the wide porch of Flat Top Manor.
A photo of the wide porch of Flat Top Manor. | Source
This is one of the magnificant views from the front porch of the manor, overlooking Bass Lake.
This is one of the magnificant views from the front porch of the manor, overlooking Bass Lake. | Source
Another view of the front of Manor.
Another view of the front of Manor. | Source
Side view of the Manor as you exit the Figure-8 Trail.
Side view of the Manor as you exit the Figure-8 Trail. | Source

Flat Top Manor

This mansion was built in 1901 by Moses Cone. It is a 23-room, 13,000 foot home with a Colonial Revival style architecture. This manor is beautiful and has large white columns on the wide front porch, leaded glass windows, and high dormers.

Currently it is home to the Parkway Craft Center, featuring arts and crafts of hundreds of local artists. Local artists demonstrate their skills in quilting, embrodiery, weaving, pottery, glass blowing, and wood carving on the front porch of the manor. The next time I visit I plan to get better photos to post.

Even Foggy Days Can Have a Certain Beauty to Them

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On a clear day you can see magnificent views at this point on the trail. However, as you can see, during this trip it was a foggy dreary day.
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On a clear day you can see magnificent views at this point on the trail. However, as you can see, during this trip it was a foggy dreary day.
On a clear day you can see magnificent views at this point on the trail. However, as you can see, during this trip it was a foggy dreary day. | Source
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© 2012 Efficient Admin

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    • Efficient Admin profile image
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      Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      hello MsDora - Thank you very much. The mansion is an awesome house and when I go back there I want to take more photos of it. Thank you for stopping by and reading and the vote.

      hello shiningirisheyes - Thank you very much. This is a great day trip indeed and an easy trail to hike and I was surprised the fog / photos came out well. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Thank you for another fine adventure my friend. I must also commend you for taking some thrilling and fantastic photos of the mist rolling in. What a character it has.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Your pictures are awesome. I'd really love to visit the mansion. Thanks for sharing these beautiful views of the Moses Cone Carriage Trail. Voted Up and Interesting!