This area gets heavy use because it is a beautiful day-use recreation area. Back in the late 1800's, an extravagant hotel called "Cloudland Hotel" stood here which had universal appeal for many tourists. The hotel closed in the 1920's and very little of its foundation remains. After the hotel closed, nurserymen arrived and dug up rhododendrons and sold them in various markets. The rhododendrons continued to grow, getting more beautiful as the years passed. One of the trails is paved and handicapped accessible. Two loop trails are available as well. The first one is a scenic interpretive trail with 16 interpretive stations. The trail runs through a forest of red spruce and Fraser fir. The 16th station is an observation deck that provides gorgeous views. The second loop is a figure-eight loop trail that is also paved, however, the trail has steps. It runs through a large grassy bald area and a natural garden with several beautiful overlooks. On clear days, views of Mt. Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock and Hump Mountain can be seen. Restrooms facilities are available behind the visitor information booth. A water fountain is also available Picnicking is available.
Directions: From Burnsville, NC, Travel east on US 19E to Spruce Pine, turn left (north) on SR 226 and follow to Bakersville. Once in Bakersville, the road changes to SR 261. Follow this to Carvers Gap where the TN / NC state line is located. Look for the Roan Mountain sign on your left and turn left on SR 1348. The Appalachian Trail crosses here. Follow SR 1348 which changes to gravel and becomes Forest Road 130 as you reach parking lot #2. The trailhead is at the visitor information booth in the parking lot.
Elevation: 6,200 feet
Elevation Gain: 120 feet
Distance: 1.0 miles
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Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
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