Moses Cone Hiking Trails, Blowing Rock, NC

Updated on April 24, 2019
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 I was still able to get some good photos.
This day it was foggy and drizzling, but I was still able to get some good photos. | Source

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is the estate of 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 year round, with 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 gentle "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.

Wildflowers Found at Moses Cone Park

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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 CarolinaMoses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
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
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Moses Cone Park Blowing Rock, North Carolina | Source

The Carriage Trails

The Flat Top Mountain Carriage trail leads to the Fire / Observation Tower. It is 2.8 miles one way and offers some magnificent views.

This trail has a slight elevation gain and zigzags all the way to the tower at the top. It also passes the Cone Family cemetery where family members are buried.

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.

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.

Another trail is the Craftman's Trail, a 20-minute loop around the Manor. It is said that the Cones walked this loop together every morning.

The Trout Lake Carriage Trail is an easy 3.6 mile loop trail for hiking and horseback riding, said to be best in the fall. It has an elevation gain of 338 feet.

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

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Cemetery where the Cone family was 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 Cone family was laid to rest.
Cemetery where the Cone family was 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

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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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 “Denim King.” 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 Manor

A
667 Service Road, Blowing Rock, NC:
667 Service Rd, Blue Ridge, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, USA

get directions

Photos From a Sunny North Carolina Winter Day

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Flat Top ManorThe lower level are stalls for horses and the middle level contains the public restrooms.Big 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.
Flat Top Manor
Flat Top Manor | Source
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
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
Source
Source
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

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, embroidery, weaving, pottery, glass blowing, and wood carving on the front porch of the manor.

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

Where to Stay

There is no camping or lodging at Moses Cone Park. Camping is available at Julian Price Park three miles south on the Parkway. The scenic Bear Den Cabins are less than an hour south on the Parkway.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Michelle Dee

    Comments

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      • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

        Michelle Dee 

        6 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 

        6 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 Weithers 

        6 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!

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