People who visit Black Mountain usually come in two varieties, those who stay often and those who are here for the first time. For those who come time after time, their agenda is often just for rest and relaxation. They might walk through town or along tree lined residential streets. There they stroll through the numerous upscale gift shops, galleries and Appalachian style craft stores, with unique local craftsmen demonstrating iron works, wood bowl turning and hand thrown pottery. They might spend an hour or more exploring the local old fashion general store, with its 35,000 item inventory. And finally they’ll take a break outside the corner ice cream parlor with a hand dipped cone.
For the diehard golfer, Black Mountain offers a superb 18-hole golf course set against wooded hillsides and a small meandering creek. A quality course with conditioned greens, the Black Mountain links can prove surprisingly challenging, especially with the longest par 6 in the nation off its 17th tee box.
Many have come to know Black Mountain through the numerous conference centers located within a few miles of the town, including Ridgecrest, Blue Ridge Assembly, The Cove, and Christmount. The small township of Montreat, the home of the Reverend Billy Graham, actually abuts the city limits of Black Mountain and is a unique and charming village in itself, with a small liberal arts college and the Montreat Conference Center.
Many of the folks who come to Black Mountain are interested in hiking and enjoying the gorgeous foliage and mountain scenery. Hiking and biking trails abound within minutes of the Red Rocker, from up in the fringes of Montreat, to across Ridgecrest along the pass to Old Fort, to the trails behind Route 9. They vary in skill level, from an hour’s easy hike to Lookout Point, to an all day strenuous trek across the Seven Sisters mountain range.
Within an hour from town are numerous terrific vistas as well. The Blue Ridge Parkway can be found just eight miles away along Highway 70. And just about everyone who comes to this area is familiar with the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, the amazing 250-room home of George Vanderbilt. You can learn all about the forestry system at the Cradle of the Forestry. Just east of Black Mountain, only 30 minutes away, is scenic Chimney Rock Park. An amazing place, it has miles of high rock hiking trails, waterfalls and wonderful scenery (Last of the Mohicans was filmed here).
Lots to do and see — the only difficulty might be deciding what to do and when, and how to squeeze it all in.
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