The forecast was for more snow and ice but we drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the road was open to the Manor. This was not our first trip but this one doesn't get old. There are many trails and views even when the Manor itself is closed for the season. The hoar frost was long on the limbs, leaning away from the winds, and everything was covered with crystal. It was a windy day but the road up to Flat Top Fire Tower was clear enough to hike. It's the only fire tower remaining open to the public in North Carolina and the 5.6 mile round-trip walk is worth it. Tips; there are many trails for hikers and horseback riders, or you can just soak up the fabulous views down to Bass Lake and across the old orchards. Seasonally, the Manor opens with displays of North Carolina artisans and interesting history of the plantation that the Cone family gifted us. Just outside of Blowing Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it's a short trip worth making.
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