Moses Cone Manor National Park - Blowing Rock NC  
Moses Cone Manor National Park

One of the most popular and expansive attractions of the Blue Ridge Mountains is Moses Cone Manor Memorial Park, a 3,500 acre park full of pristine High Country beauty. At the heart of the North Carolina High Country resort area and Blowing Rock NC, Moses Cone Manor National Park is "historic splendor at its finest."

To understand and fully enjoy the park, one must get to know the man behind it. Moses Cone was a prosperous entrepreneur, conservationist, and philanthropist of the Gilded Age who sought out the Blue Ridge Mountains of the High Country to build his own mountain lifestyle. Moses and his wife Bertha bought 3,500 acres just north of Blowing Rock on land that included Flat Top Mountain, 500 acres of farmland, and virgin forests of various hardwoods and evergreens. Moses Cone began to put his grand vision into action by building three lakes stocked with trout and bass. In recognition of the 30 farmers who occupied some of the land he bought, Cone allowed them to remain on the land and hired some as informal tenants of the estate. Most grandiosely, the Moses Cone House began to take shape. When finished, Flat Top Manor stood as a 23-room, 13,000 square foot, immaculate white Colonial Revival home featuring large white columns, leaded glass windows, high dormers, and a curving banister for the grand sweep staircase made from one piece of cherry wood. Cone Manor NC was equipped with gaslights, telephone and a central heating system, and amazingly, all the lumber to build the home had to be hauled uphill for 20 miles from the Lenoir train station. Best of all, the Moses Cone House offered beautiful sweeping vistas of the mountains and accompanying estate countryside. Despite the luxury of the home, the Cones worked tirelessly to preserve the natural environment of the estate, importing whitetail deer, planting various apple varieties, replanting a tree for any that was cut, and seeking the advice of conservationists in planting white pine forests and hemlock hedges. Moses Cone also left a legacy of activism in the mountains as he gave four dollars to the schools of Blowing Rock for every dollar raised by its citizens and gave significant start-up funds to Appalachian State University and served on its original board.

Upon the death of Bertha Cone in 1947, she bequeathed the estate to The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro NC who in turn, gave the estate over to the U.S. Government in 1950. Today, visitors can enjoy the beauty that the Cones celebrated on their estate perched amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway traverses through the Cone Estate land for 2.5 miles. The focal activities of the park are the Flat Top Manor, hiking trails and horse back riding. Admission is free and inside the house is the Parkway Craft Center, featuring crafts from artisans spanning 9 states. Experience the luxurious and detailed intricacies of the Cone Manor NC; the rose gardens, 25 miles of smooth carriage roads (an accomplishment in the 1900s), four former orchards that contained 32,000 apple trees, stables, barns, carriage and apple houses, bowling alley and carbide plant, which provided gas and lighting to the manor.

Take a 20-minute walk on Craftsman's Trail, one of eight hiking trails in the Moses Cone Manor National Park, and the loop that the Cones walked each morning. Visitors can also enjoy Moses Cone Horseback Riding, located on US 221 between the Parkway and Blowing Rock, through the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve. Visitors can also enjoy trout and bass fishing on designated Wild Trout Water lakes and cross country skiing. A and W Rentals is proud to offer NC Mountain Rentals just down the street from the Moses Cone manor. View our rentals and begin planning your own Blue Ridge Mountain retreat!

Visiting the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park
Activities: Hiking, Horseback riding, Fishing, Cross-country skiing Facilities: Manor House Craft Shop and Book Store
Operation Dates: The Park is open year-round. The Manor House is open spring through fall. Trail Distance and Configuration: 25 miles of carriage trails for hiking and horses. Bikes are not allowed.
Fees: None Directions: Blue Ridge Parkway between mile posts 292 and 295
Elevations: Bass Lake, 3,560' to Flat Top Mountain, 4,558' Surface and Blaze:  No blazes but most are signed at trailheads and junctions. Trail floors are primarily crushed gravel.
Degree of Difficulty:  Easy to Moderate    

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