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Unique Destinations in the Blue Ridge - Smoky Mountains

The Wonders of Chimney Rock

Wonders of Chimney Rock

The great towering column known as Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is the centerpiece of a geological, botanical, wildlife habitat, purely existing as an educational stage under the open sky and by far one of the most inspirational playgrounds for folks of all ages.

Hiking, climbing, informative guided tours, group outings, nature studies, outdoor classrooms and exhibit houses, plus two gift shops and two restaurants will fill your day from dawn to dusk....continue story...


Mysteries of the Temple Mount

Mysteries of the Temple Mount

Mrs. Highlander and I have made many journeys together to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park and have found each visit to be exciting, informative and enlightening. The unusualness and geological wonders located at Chimney Rock State Park can set the imagination into pondering the physical shaping of our world. To stand in full view of this uniquely formed mountain site is like witnessing the remains of great structure of unknown origins, worn and deteriorated by the expanse of time yet strong and resilient like the ancient temples of old.

Unlike Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids, Chimney Rock is a reminder of not what man has built, but what nature has shaped with its firm and patient hand, both smoothing and sharply cutting its surface for nearly 535-million years....continue story...

Great Woodland Adventure

Great Woodland Adventure

Though the giant trees of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park do remain at present time under the solitude and protection of the North Carolina State Park service, there is a special forest set-aside just for you at Chimney Rock, along the upper end of The Meadows.  Below the eastern end of the towering mountain is a trail-head that leads into an enchanted forest much like the "Old-Growth Forest" at Chimney Rock, though considerably younger as history goes.

One of the more special features of this enchanted forest is that it contains some of the many future "Elders" of Chimney Rock's "Old-Growth Forest.".......continue story...

Elders of the "Old Growth" Forest

The Wonders of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

They stand tall in stillness and silence at the very edge of dawn anticipating a call to service that awakens them each day. The small delicate winged inhabitants residing within their sturdy and spacious limbs begin to sing their morning songs just before the first light of day. Their voices blend in unison resounding as if they were part of a wilderness choir held within a cathedral forest of giant trees, all the while fluttering about in excitement and reverence of a new rising sun.

The giant elder trees of this forest have stood here for centuries facing the east eagerly awaiting the summons of the glory they have known since they were saplings upon the forest floor...continue story...

Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary

Blue Ridge Parway 75th Anniversary

The magnificent Blue Ridge Parkway is considered to be the world’s first recreational highway as well as an official National Park within itself.  Located in the mountainous regions of North Carolina and Virginia, this renowned scenic byway is celebrating its 75th anniversary on September 11, 2010.

The event took place commemorating its first 12-miles of construction at Cumberland Knob Recreation Area in North Carolina just south of the Virginia state line...continue story...


Great Smoky Mountains National Park 75th Anniversary

Great Smoky Mountain 75th Anniversary

It takes a trained, skilled eye to know when they have found a "diamond in the rough," or any other gemstone for that matter. To bring out the true beauty of a rough stone it must be fashioned through a process of tumbling to smooth the stone, then it is precisely cut and polished into an object of beauty, a prized possession.

Such was the challenge when the first National Park in the eastern United States was strongly proposed at the turn of the 20th century. Amongst the vast eastern landscapes of wilderness forest lands, began a quest to find that one truly unique tract of natural "beauty in the rough" that could be fashion into a great outdoor gemstone for all to enjoy, a symbolic national treasure adorning a young nation that was growing quickly and prospering abundantly....continue story...

Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center

Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center

Foxfire Museum, Heritage Center and Literary Organization. The deep lines in their faces tell of hard times, like memories carved into the very fabric of their being.  The language of their ancestors, the very accents of their kinsmen sound out like a recording on a vintage Victrola.  Their traditions and culture reflect the cycles of the seasons like the circular rings of the internal tree lines.   Their personal marks are everywhere, on the lands, in the homes, at the church and in the history laid down for generations to come.  They revered the land, their families and their persistent faith.  They tamed a wilderness, capturing a land that they dominated for nearly 200 years....continue story...


Giants of the Forest

Giants of the Forest

Scraping the sky beyond the mountains they grace, stand the giants of the old growth forest. Pressing upward, they pursue their life’s goal, to live beyond the common practice of time always reaching towards the sky. Obsessively they chase the cycle of seasons, round and round until their internal structure displays an intricate circle of rings. Rings similar to the working order of a great clock, preserving and telling its story along the way....continue story...



Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest - Slickrock Wilderness Area

Located just 15 miles from Robbinsville, in Graham County North Carolina, tucked away deep in the Nantahala National Forest and partly in eastern Tennessee, is a rare living national treasure. An ancient, old growth forest of giant trees, untouched by the logging saw. A sanctuary protected and preserved under the Wilderness Act for the enjoyment and the posterity of a people and a great nation.... continue story...


Biltmore Estate in Asheville North Carolina

Biltmore Estate in Asheville North Carolina

Welcome to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. I'm not sure exactly what was going through George Washington Vanderbilt's mind when he visited Asheville, North Carolina in 1888.  The historical facts state that he fell in love with the mountains while on a visit with his mother Mrs. Maria Louisa Vanderbilt.  They were drawn to the breathtaking scenery, hot springs and the mild mountain climate that brought in a steady flow of tourism and summer residents. It was the Gilded Age, a time when wealthy "Victorian Era" Americans were living for social fare, travel and leisure....continue story...


Gateway to the Mountains

Blue Ridge Georgia and Gateway to the Mountains

This story begins hundreds of miles to the north, at the very upper tip of the Blue Ridge Province. A solitary mound of earth rises from the ground to a modest height, its own roots, are bound deep into the earth, reaching back in time to the days of the first turns on the Great Potter's wheel. At the southern most tip of the Province is a valley that extends approximately 25 miles across, point to point crossing, with several small mountain ranges, rivers and a continuous flow of rolling hills. It's from this advantage point, as you enter the valley that the inner corridor gets its name..."Gateway to the Mountains."...continue story...



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Travel and Real Estate Guide to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, including North Georgia, Western North Carolina, Tennessee River Valley and Up Country South Carolina
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