The Tanawha Trail

Sherri and I

10 miles


It was my turn to pick a trail and I picked the Tanawha Trail . I have never heard of it but while googling I came across it. It follows the Blue Ridge Parkway from Linn Cove Viaduct to Price Park Picnic area near Boone. We decided to hike from Boone Fork Parking Area at mile marker 300 on the Blue ridge parkway to Rough Ridge and back. This section was about 10 miles and just skirted the Grandfather Mountain Property.

I put it in my GPS and it took us through blowing rock to a trailhead called Asusti Trail. I couldn’t find this on google. I re-mapped it and google maps came up with a 7 mile loop that came back to the exact same spot! We didn’t fall for that one. We went back to the Blue Ridge Parkway to find our trailhead. As we were getting ready to start and ran into a ranger. He said the Asusti trail was a entrance trail for the winter when the parkway was closed.

We started up a rhododendron covered path. I really love these. They are so cool to walk through except did you know rhododendron means “roots”? It doesn’t really but any path through them means you are walking on roots! Their root system is crazy.

The first bridge we come to is so pretty. This trail splits off and other trails go into Grandfather Mountain State Park so I’m not sure who made this bridge but they went all out. It has stone columns (which you can’t see in my pic😩) and an archway.

Then we come to this open area that is so peaceful. It has a stream running through it and the woods are thin so you can see up and down the mountain. It’s so pretty but my pictures do not do it justice.

The only downfall to this trail is it runs mostly within eye site and some with in earshot of the Blue Ridge Parkway so we can see and hear cars. The parkway is closed a couple miles up so I’m sure traffic is down but still. At least it’s not a highway it’s the Blue Ridge Parkway!

This trail keeps meandering for about 3 miles and come to Raven Rock overlook, or like sherri called it an “underlook”. It’s an area with lots of boulders and another trail up to this trail.

I tend to get board while hiking sometimes so I was practicing meditating. It wasn’t really working for me because my mind was racing about life. Thats why I really love hiking.  It is so calming and sooting to get out of your life for a little bit.  My mind just would stop and the meditating wasn’t working so I found a tree going across the trail and decide to climb it. Wasn’t as easy as I thought.  One thing I didn’t realize is that dead tree left splinters all over my yoga pants.  I spend the next couple of miles trying to keep the splinters off my butt.

With in a couple miles my mind was clear.  We crossed the creek on 3 bridges and on rocks 3 times. We were getting close to Rough Ridge when we passed our first people. I love how trees can grow anywhere and love to take pictures of it.  We took this picture with this cool tree on top of a rock.  I love the way trees can grown on and around things.  I usually take pictures of it.  I once had this friend that used to say “I’m like a tree, I can bend.”  She was talking about marriage mostly but thats a good saying.

I turn around and right below us is the Rough Ridge parking area with no less than 40 cars! We are about to see lots of people! We don’t usually like that but it was totally worth it!

We cross another bridge and the trail merges with the one from the parking area. This part is rocky and a little steep.

After a bit we come to a board walk area with awesome views! We climbed out in the first rock, which I think everyone does and took some pics.

I have an app called Peaks USA I love to use. It tells you which mountains or ridges you are looking at. This is what it showed from here.

We went up past the boardwalk to the most popular rock at rough ridge. This one is high on one end and safe on the bottom side. Everyone takes pictures here.  I was texting Sherri before we went and sent her a pic like this one and said told Sherri that i wanted to take a picture like this.  At the same time she was texting me with a pic of someone on this rock only standing back a little further.  I laughed because she is not very fond of heights but loves the views.  It is probably smarter that she stands back and gets the same view as me trying to get to the edge with the same view!  I am semi comfortable with heights but they still scare me but a good kind of adrenaline scary!

She took this one of me.  I climbed to the edge and heard her gasp.  She said oh my god be careful!   She said it was like how you feel when your on a roller coaster.  That got me scared so I felt like i couldn’t move!  I slowly backed down.  The people on the safe side of the rock said pics are better from this boulder to the side.  I wanted that pic of course so i climbed back out there and had this lady take my pic from the side.

So glad i did because I got this cool pic!  The blue ridge mountains were awesome!  Sherri got up there and we had that lady take this awesome pic!

There was some people walking down below and one yelled up at me and asked If i wanted a pic and she would text it to me.  I said hell yea!  I yelled my number to her and she said she text it to me.  Its the pic below.  I thought i’d missed it because this text didn’t come for at least another 2 hours!

This wasn’t the high part believe it or not. We walked up a pretty steep trail to get to the top. This area was amazing. Nothing but beautiful NC in all directions!

We sat and had lunch just soaking all this in. It was really awesome. Perspective.  I have some video of this but it won’t upload.  It was amazing and peaceful up here even with people coming and going.

There was one more rock for me to climb! The last one at rough ridge right in front of Grandfather Mountain.  Grandfather Mountain made me feel smaller than every.  We are just a tiny spec on this big beautiful planet.  I wish I had learned that early in life.

I think we were about 4,778 ft. Grandfather mountain is quite a bit higher at 5,945.

It was getting late so we decided to see if we could make it to the parking lot by 3.

We hiked back and took pictures of the flowers and trees.

Spring is just starting to bust out at this elevation.  It’s been a great day.  We made it back to the car at 3:30 and headed home.  Luckily there is another hike right around the corner!

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