June 10, 2017
Surrounding Boone, there are a plethora of State Parks ripe for day hiking with families. On Saturday, while Emily and Ramona went to the movies to see Wonder Woman, Alice and I ventured to Ashe County. Known for its cheese and laid back atmosphere, it is also home to the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area. Mt. Jefferson, elevation 4,665 ft. provides ample views of Jefferson, West Jefferson, and the Appalachian Mountains. The road to the trailhead winds almost to the top of the mountain, taking away much of what would be a stark climb from the base.
There are two (2) non-difficult miles of trails from the top parking lot, Summit Trail, Rhododendron Trail and Lost Provision Trail. There are also two great vistas worth the trip, the summit and Luther Rock. My favorite portion was the Lost Provision Trail, a .75 loop at the southern end of the park that immerses one into the depths of oak foliage and flowering rhododendrons.
After the hike, we drove to West Jefferson to walk around. We greatly enjoyed the Ashe County Cheese Factory and accompanying shop. This is a very family friendly excursion and highly recommended.
Total mileage is 2.22 miles.