Trip Location: Blowing Rock, North Carolina Length: 4.7 miles Duration: 2 hours
Flat Top Tower I have heard of before, but soon realized it was part of the Moses Cone Memorial Park Trail system off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I would put this up there as one of my Top 10 hikes so far just because of the 360 degree views from the tower. It gave me a better perspective of where I live and the lay of the land and how the towns are situated inside the mountain valleys. This is a must picture taking location and make sure you bring the telephoto lens.
The hike starts out at the Moses Cone Memorial manor Parking Lot. Head down the steps with the manor on your right and take a left towards the stables. You will see a tunnel under the Blue Ridge Parkway go through it and bear right up the hill. This part of the trail winds back and forth climbing the mountain until you reach a large meadow. Keep going straight until you reach the sign. If you want you can check out the Moses Cone grave site which is fenced in.
The trail continues through the meadow and winds upward where there are many spots to see the mountains around you and to take some photos. To the left is Grandfather Mountain and you can see houses on the hill which is Seven Devils and Beech Mountain. To the right is Blowing Rock and more of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The second part of the trail gradually has more of an incline as yo make your way toward the top where the tower is. There are many openings along the trail for a great photo or quick water break. The real beauty is when you finally reach the fire tower. (Note: If you are scared of heights this tower is not for you, if you want to you can climb up enough to get a glimpse of the view without being at the top of the tower). The top of the tower brings you up above the tree line where you can see 360 degrees of Blue Ridge Mountains. As you come up the last step you will be facing South toward Blowing Rock. To the right you can see Grandfather Mountain and even Price Lake, Seven Devils and Beech Mountain. Turning around and facing toward the North you will see Boone and can see the top of the buildings from Appalachian State University. This is a great view and completely worth the hike.
1. Bottle of water
2. Comfortable Hiking Shoes
3. Great For Kids over 6 years old
4. No Bicycles allowed , be aware of horseback riding
5. Do not climb tower if afraid of heights
6. Best 360 degree view of the high country
7. Make sure its not a windy day when climbing the tower