The Blowing Rock
432 Rock Rd., Blowing Rock
HOURS: Jan.–Feb. Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.,
Mar.–May Mon.–Sun. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.,
Memorial Day–Labor Day Mon.–Sun. 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m.,
Sept.–Oct. Sun.–Thurs. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Fri.–Sat. 9 a.m.–7 p.m.,
Nov.–first week of Jan. daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m.;
all hours are weather permitting
COST: $6 adults, $5 seniors (60+), $1 children 4–11
It’s possible to sit atop the Blowing Rock where the Native American legend began. The oldest travel attraction in North Carolina, dating back to 1933, the Blowing Rock sits 3,000 feet over Johns River Gorge and is part of a larger recreation area that offers scenic overlooks, gardens, and nature trails. The rock itself isn’t that impressive but the views are spectacular.
The Legend of the Blowing Rock
The Blowing Rock got its name from a Native American folktale. According to the legend, a Chickasaw chief was afraid that his daughter was falling in love with a white man, so he sent her to live with a squaw near the rock.
The girl would sit on the rock, which towers 3,000 feet above the Johns River Gorge, to daydream. Once, she spied a Cherokee brave in the gorge below and shot an arrow to attract his attention. It worked, and he appeared at her wigwam later that evening. The two began courting and often spent time together on the rock.
During one such outing, the brave noticed that the sky had turned red and believed that it was a sign that he was being called to return to his tribe in the plains. The girl begged him not to leave. Torn by the desire to be with his lover and the obligation to return to his tribe, the brave leapt from the rock into the gorge below.
Grief-stricken, the girl returned to the spot daily to pray for her lover. One evening, as the sky turned red, a gust of wind blew the brave back onto the rock from the valley below.
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition