Western North Carolina is full of hiking. Fantastic hikes. Far hikes.
Rattlesnake Lodge is a close gem.
Less than an hour up the Parkway is very do-able. Bonus: there's often few others there.
When we're pressed for time (we also have to wash the dog, go to the grocery, do laundry, meet friends for drinks, etc.), this is our hike of choice.
The uphill incline is great exercise and you can go as far as you like. Once you hit the ruins, it is a good spot for a brief water break.
The summer months are lush and emerald green.
The winter is clear and blue as you peer through the bare trees to see the mountains.
After an hour of exploring, it's time to head back down the mountain & straight to Sunny Point.
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