Blowing Rock Picnic Ideas
The high country of North Carolina is a treasure trove for the outdoor adventurer, urban escapee and nature lover alike. Bordering the expansive Pisgah National Forest and the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, we're fortunate to be surrounded by some of the highest elevations east of the Mississippi River, crystal clear spring-fed streams and creeks, and a vast diversity of wildlife. It's said that on the most clear days, you can see the Charlotte skyline, some 78 miles to the southeast. So... where are the best picnic spots in and around Blowing Rock? Here's our list of our favorites, some of which we can setup for you, and some we can't. But here we go!
BASS LAKE - 0.9 Miles from town
Our first pick because of the serenity of almost any spot around almost 1 mile trail that loops the lake, some with dramatic views of Flat Top Manor. Easily accessible and plenty of space to find your own spot without feeling crowded out.
Pros: Convenient, tranquil
Cons: Crowded, foot traffic
CONE CEMETERY FIELDS - 3 Miles from town
2 Miles to Cone Manor Parking and a 1 mile hike toward Flat Top Tower brings you to an expansive field with views of Grandfather Mountain. Early spring is best when the grasses are short and the wild flowers are busting with color.
Pros: Long view, wild flower
Cons: Short hike uphill
CONE MANOR - 2 Miles from town
2 Miles to Cone Manor Parking walk down to the front of the front of the home. The only negative is the slope ground, but you'll enjoy views of Bass Lake below and the Cone Manor behind you.
Pros: View, convenient
Cons: Sloped ground, crowded
BROYHILL PARK - A short walk from town
One of the most convenient spots to downtown Blowing Rock, with a walking that circles a pond. In the venter, a gazebo makes a perfect location to lay a blanket and a food spread as you watch ducks and the occasional swan swim by.
Pros: Convenient to town & tranquil
Cons: Not as unique
MEMORIAL PARK - Basically town center
Located literally in the center of town, the park features newly updated playground equipment that sits atop padded rubber ground, a pavilion, basketball, tennis and pickle ball courts. Plenty of grass allows for space to layout your spread while you watch the kids play.
Pros: Very close to town, kid friendly
Cons: Usually very crowded
GLENN BURNEY/MARIE FALLS - 1.6 mile hike
From the trail head adjacent to Broyhill park, it's a moderate 1.6 mile hike down to the falls, all the while tracking along New Year's Creek. Pass by Glen Burney falls at mile 1.2, and find your destination. Sit on the rocks & enjoy watching water cascade 75' over three tiers. Enjoy it, because the hik back is tough!
Pros: Waterfall view
Cons: Strenuous hike back uphill
THUNDER HILL OVERLOOK - 3.1 miles from town
A short drive north on 321 and then north on the Blue Ridge Parkway and you find a 3,795 foot overlook with 180° views to the gorge below. Especially if you have an SUV, back it into a spot, layout your spread and enjoy the view that is one of the best in the high country.
Pros: Super long range views, close to town
Cons: You won't be alone
PRICE LAKE PICNIC AREA - 3.7 miles from town
Another short drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway, but to the south, you'll come to the Price Lake Picnic area. A dedicated picnic spot, with picnic bench sites with built in barbecue grills, this park is surrounded by mountain streams for the kids to frolic. But it gets crowded, fast! So go early!
Pros: Literally built for picnincing
Cons: You won't be alone