The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway winds 469 miles across the central and southern Appalachian Mountains, beginning at Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and ending at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. And one of the most popular attractions at Mile Post 297 along the Parkway is Julian Price Memorial Park in Blowing Rock at an elevation of 3,566 feet. That and the adjacent Moses H. Cone Memorial Park together comprise the largest recreation area created along the Parkway.
More than 4300 acres in size, the park includes peaceful Price Lake (elevation 3400 feet), a sparkling body of water set against a picturesque backdrop of rolling tree-covered hills and a favorite local destination for fishing, boating, camping and more. The pleasant Caldwell County weather allows such activities to be enjoyed for much of the year. The campground next to the lake accommodates longer stays, and there are guided walks, picnic sites, and campfire programs.
Hikers love the park’s seven trails, including the 2.7-mile Price Lake Loop Trail and the challenging five miles of the Boone Fork Loop Trail. For a longer hiking adventure, there’s Tanawha Trail (13.5 miles), which takes you under the Linn Cove Viaduct and then winds around the southeastern ridge of Grandfather Mountain.
One of the perks of owning North Carolina mountain real estate is the ability to take advantage of so many different ways to enjoy nature without having to drive very far. A short trip to 47-acre Price Lake, which is stocked with fish, often means encountering some beavers, ducks and frogs as well. Campers often see bears, turkeys, turkeys, owls, grouse, hawks and other wildlife. You’re fishing in a forest of white pine, hemlock, birch, hickory and oak trees, with colorful wildflowers in the spring. And it’s a great place to see the changing leaves in the fall.
Julian Price, an insurance executive, bought the land in the 1930s and 1940s. He intended to develop it as a retreat for his company’s employees but passed away before he could complete the project. The acreage passed to a hospital in his will and was eventually donated to the National Park Service for public use. The donors stipulated that Boone Fork should be dammed to create the lake that would be named in honor of Mr. Price.
The campground offers locals and visitors alike a spectacular outdoor experience but with modern conveniences. There are sites for both RVs and tents (some on a first-come, first-served basis), and the picnic areas are ideal for barbecues and night-time marshmallow roasting. At the Blowing Rock elevation, the air is so fresh and clean that it clears the mind and stimulates the senses.
Here are some of the other features at Julian Price Memorial Park:
- Boat Ramp
- Campfire Programs
- Canoe Rentals
- Drinking Water
- Dump Station
- Fire Rings
- Flush Toilets
- Historic Sites
- Interpretive Programs
- Lake Access
- Ranger Station
- Trash Collection
Residents of The Coves Mountain River Club enjoy exploring the higher elevations for day trips but really love their Caldwell County weather in the foothills where there’s hardly ever any snow. The park is open 24 hours a day seven days a week and only about a 45-minute drive up US Highway 321 South, so it’s a popular day trip. People coming from Asheville go north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Milepost 297.
Buyer’s of North Carolina mountain real estate who have done their homework will easily see that a home in The Coves is a tremendous value in terms of not only investment but lifestyle. Ask about prices on custom-built homes, cottages, home sites and larger estate properties. There are countless ways to enjoy the easy access to fishing, hiking, swimming, horseback riding and other outside activities.
Life at The Coves can be whatever you want it to be. Stay as busy and active as you like, or you can just relax and enjoy the remarkable beauty of your surroundings. And you’re within easy driving distance of nearby towns and cities for any shopping you need to do.
If you’re going to be in Western North Carolina, Price Lake is worth a visit. Then, be sure to stop by The Coves Mountain River Club to take a tour, enjoy a free glass of wine and watch our spectacular sunsets.
To learn more area, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide