dogs on leash


trail running


kid friendly

nature trips


wild flowers



horseback riding

Very nice hike - nice view from the Cone Manor, but most of the trail is a great walk through the woods and around the lake. We didn't know the trail as well as most - and since the trail really isn't marked clearly - it's easy to cut out the "maze" section of the hike and go up to the "apple barn".

If you want a nice stretch of the legs on a non- strenuous trail, this is it! A nice change from steep, rocky trails. Very peaceful and pretty. Plenty of water along the way for dogs. Not sure if the little streams dry up in the summer, or not. I walked it while leaves were still off the trees so was able to see the surrounding mountain tops. Very nice!

Lovely, easy hike on wide, smooth trails. Gorgeous views at Cone Manor.

Really enjoy this trail. Pretty easy walk uphill to get out to the observation tower. Have done this trail twice. The first time we got up there just as the clouds rolled in and blocked out everything. The second time there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Breathtaking. Really cool view down on to the Blowing Rock to the south and Boone to the north. Highly recommend if you have a couple hours to spend.

3 months ago

one of my faves...be sure to. check out Deer loop trail which veers off left from Rich Mtb loop...nice bald area to hang out and watch wildlife.

Nice easy trail.

Easy wide trails. Rewarding view at the fire tower.

Fun little jaunt! Found lots of cool stuff to eat along the way such as clover, crab apples, berries- easy-breezy quiet and enjoyable!

5 months ago

Very easy walk, lots of chipmunks along the way to watch. Great view from the fire tower up top!

Nice trail

Emphasis on carriage trail, and if a two-lane, easy walk in the woods with gentle ascent is what you are looking for...this is for you. Heavy horse traffic near the lake. More time may be spent looking down to avoid horse dung than up at the foliage or view. Busy enough to discourage birding.

Easy hike, great views at the end if you climb the tower.

5 months ago

You can't find this trail on any of the park maps, but the entrance is clearly marked with a sign with the name and distance. And once you walk it, you'll see it is clearly a carriage trail. Wide, graded and drained.

A wooden gate is at the entrance along Rich Mountain trail. Slide the center board to unlatch and swing the gate open. Make sure you close and latch it behind you, as you've been walking in a big cow pasture, if you haven't noticed the flops everywhere. If not, check your boots.

Taking the right side of the loop, we walked around a knoll. A trail forks back to our left, but keep going along a ridge to an acre or two of field with a nice view to the valley below. Then we doubled back. Not a loop, you say? Well, the surprise is yet to come. After all, you've only walked a half mile of a 1.4 mile trail.

When you get to that fork, go right to begin winding around and then back again on a carriage road only a demim textile baron would have the money or inclination to build. A true road to nowhere, but a fun, beautiful walk or horseback ride. And isn't that the point of Cone's roads?

Just keep walking and it will lead you back to where you began.

I find the trail extremely boring and easy. It's basically a gravel hiking trail that winds up and down hills. I will say it is an excellent trail to run.

Great walk/hike today!

Great gravel trail through fields and covered paths. Beautiful view from the tower! Lots of shortcuts can take over a mile off the hike.

6 months ago

Nice small lake, but not easy to find and getting next to the water is only possible in few places. Some part of the hike is on the road actually. The Bass lake is much nicer in my opinion.

This is one of the trails that you can do in rain, mud or when other hikes are not so pleasant, because it goes up on a gravel road. The scenery is nice, but the tower did not grow with the trees, so the view is not 360 degree any more. It still very nice. You may extend your hike and visit the trout lake, which is OK, but to go next to the water is very limited.

Love this trail

we like to ride our horses on the trail good place to park and also leads to the other Moses cone trails it is close to home don't take long to get there either

Absolutely beautiful!!!

7 months ago

This trail starts at the kiosk on Laurel Lane across the road from the sign for the equestrian center in Blowing Rock. Although in existence for many years, the trail has been restored and improved through a partnership between The Conservation Trust for North Carolina and the Youth Conservation Corps. Now well groomed and maintained, the trail is narrow and literally carved out of the hillside with switchbacks and steep dropoffs along most of its length; so be careful. No panoramic vistas here, but the local flora and many rock outcrops along the way make this an interesting hike. At GPS coords N36.124 W81.696 another trail comes in from the right which goes back to the US 221 rest area, although it is not as well maintained. Either way back up will be strenuous. If you continue on the China Creek trail (left at this junction) you will meet fire road 4071 in about half a mile, and according to the trailhead kiosk, continuing on another half-mile will bring you to Thunderhole falls, although I never actually found that. My GPS track stops at FR4071. The trail is not marked and there is no signage, but it is well defined and blazes really are not needed. What is not obvious is where the trail continues on at FR4017. It's directly across the road, but you will have to look for it. Note: Alltrails calculated an elevation "gain" of 45 feet from the GPX file - very wrong. Actual elevation change by GPS is 1688 feet from trailhead to FR4071.

This trail is easy and beautiful! I loved the open field about a mile into the trail. A great hike to do with friends or even alone!

Pleasant uncrowded trail with many options to extend or shorten your hike. One or two good views, but mostly forested. Some interesting rock outcroppings along the trail.

Easy walk with beautiful views. Would be good year round. Next time will check out Rich Mountain Trail as well.

Nice open trail. My two year old was able to walk it easily. My only negative is the tower was closed and it was heavily trafficked even during the week (parking was full). Will definitely go back, hopefully when not so foggy.

Nice, wide open trails. Do not believe it's 6 miles. Beautiful lake views

Great wide gravel trails, blooming rhododendrons, beautiful Bass Lake, nice balance between sun and shade... a perfect hike! Also enjoyed looking at the local art in Moses Cone Mansion after our 6.6 mile trek.

road biking
8 months ago

Nice easy trail for a morning warm up or end of day cool down.

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