Rich Mountain Carriage Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Blowing Rock, North Carolina that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length6.3 miElevation gain593 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyCross-country skiingHikingHorseback ridingNature tripsRunningForestLakeViewsWildflowers
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Rich Mountain Carriage-Moses Cone Memorial Park-Blue Ridge Parkway is about is located near Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 1-3 hours. This is one of the many longer hikes in Blowing Rock North Carolina. This hike is attached to the Moses Cone Memorial Park trail system called the Rich Mountain Carriage Trail. To get to the starting point get off the Blue Ridge Parkway the exit before you reach Moses Cone Manor and take a right if you are going North on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Head towards Shulls Mill Road, go under the Blue Ridge Parkway and pass Trout Lake on your right hand side. After Trout lake its about 1/2 mile on your right you will see a gate that looks like a private driveway. This is the start of the trail. The hike is a nice gradual incline that winds its way to a very large pasture where you can go right to Trout Lake or continue straight and then go right or left which is a loop around. The trail keeps going around the side of the mountain until you reach the upper meadow which is covered by many pretty wildflowers and butterflies. The trail continues to keep circling around the mountain until you reach the summit, where there is a brick wall and a nice oak tree to rest under for a few minutes. This hiking trail is great for families, dogs, and kids of younger ages. The trail is a very gradual incline and very wide enough for horses which frequent the trail.

Bring a bottle or two of water, comfortable hiking shoes, and a camera for pictures. Park at Trout Lake if necessary

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Reviews (162)
Photos (317)
Activities (153)
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Dunn Mileham
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WalkingGreat!

Gentle, wide trail is easy to navigate. Meadows are nice and the knob at the top is certainly worth the trip. Great views. Room to spread out. Would be a great lunch spot.

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Belinda Lamm
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HikingGreat!

Loved this trail....started out at the manor house, down around Trout Lake & up the back side of Rich Mountain trail. Nice incline all the way up & on such a lovely day! Very few people, blue skies & after winding upwards, a huge meadow with deer all over. I made the final loop up & around the top of the mountain. It reminded me of Ireland & I spent some time there. Coming down later, there were quite a few people, mostly with their dogs & made for an interesting day. Wound back around the lake & to the main parking lot. Would love to do again!

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Richard Browne
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Hiking

Nice trail with a little snow. Minimal vertical, wide track, good shape.

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Leah Goldstein
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HikingGreat!IcySnow

Beautiful trail! We hiked out the day after a big snowfall and it was great. Mostly soft powder and easily trudged through. There were some very icy patches that we had to carefully walk around. Big open fields with some people sledding. Gradual incline made the parts with heavier snow fairly easy. You can either do a 2.5 mile loop or veer off after the big pasture and climb to the top which brings total mileage to around 7. Great winter hike.

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Ben Koury
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Hiking
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Rhiana SB
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HikingIcySnow
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Scot Lloyd
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Hiking

Awesome w snow laced trees. Quiet. Nine people in 5 hours. Perfect!

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Sean Bo
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Hiking
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Linda Krajewski
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Hiking
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Natalie Tarpein
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Hiking

Great trail- wide, open, pretty cows, pretty views at the top.

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Ken Monroe
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Hiking

Fun little hike. Uphill the whole way at about 10 degrees. So a little blood in your legs. Beautiful, clean woods, pastures with cows, long maintain views and a summit area that’s great to kick back and relax: Bring some lunch and relax at the top. Watch your step!!

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Rick Baker
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Hiking
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John Bowers
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Road biking
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Lynn Fitch
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Hiking

Fabulous!

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Lawson Carmichael
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Hiking

Gravel trail the majority of the way along the carriage trail and thru cow pastures. Some nice views from the top but not 180 or uninterrupted

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corrie bondar
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Hiking
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Marcia Carlson Pack
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Hiking

Great Day, Great Hike, Great Trail

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Allison Toole
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Hiking

Easy, relaxing hike!

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Kit Zipf
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Hiking

Great day to hike. Gravel road, moderately busy. Watch our for the cow pies - everywhere.

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John Sullivan
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WalkingBugs

We accessed the loop from the MST trail from Schulls Mill Road. This cuts off several miles, so it can be done between lunch and dinner. The first half mile is a bit steep, then you join the carriage trail. Dog friendly, about 4 miles total, easy to follow.

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Chris Fixsen
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Hiking
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David Walker
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HikingGreat!
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Joe Peters
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Hiking

Well-maintained carriage trail with a nice variation of woods and meadows that makes for a pleasant hike. Gradual incline is not too strenuous, and the trail, like many in Moses Cone, holds up well after a rain when many other trails in the region will be muddy. Some dodging of horse poo and cow pies in the meadow required, but very scenic and great for dogs and families. Wide trail, easy to social-distance, and generally more masks worn here than on some other area trails.

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dirk seligman
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Hiking

Very easy, super established walking path in a beautiful Natur setting.

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Ashley Pfountz
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Hiking

Fairly easy hike up and down. Disappointed with the lack of Mountain View. I think this hike is much better when the leaves are off the trees.

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Lance Darcy
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Hiking

Great trail. Wide. Well signed. Gravel mostly watch out for horse poop. Lovely views of Grandfather Mountain. Good trail for all ages and skill levels.

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david coe
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Hiking

This is a lovely, wide trail that winds its way through the woods and up into an upper mountain pasture. Half the hike is within the pasture area so there are signs about horses and cattle being in the area, however we did not see any farm animals during our hike. This was definitely a nice "short" (2.5 hours out and back) hike with a gradual slope. I would highly recommend for a family with teenagers or older, or for a couples outing. It is currently open during this COVID time.

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