A must stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway is an historic mountain estate with thousands of acres and grand mansion to explore. Located at Milepost 294, it's about 88 miles north of Asheville and 11 miles north of Grandfather Mountain. Built by textile entrepreneur and philanthropist Moses H. Cone as a summer retreat, it includes 25 miles of the original carriage roads. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places. Adjacent to the estate is Julian Price Park.
The centerpiece of the 3,500-acre estate is the 1901 Flat Top Manor, a 20-room mansion with spectacular mountain views from the front porch.
On the first floor of the mansion, browse the Parkway Craft Center operated by the Southern Highland Craft Guild with handmade crafts by hundreds of regional artists. Artists demonstrate crafts such as quilting, embroidery, weaving, pottery, glass-blowing, and woodcarving on the front porch of the house. The first floor is handicap accessible.
The upstairs of the Manor is open on Wednesdays from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM for informal, self-guided tours with rangers on hand to answer questions. Ranger guided tours of the second floor are conducted every Saturday and Sunday at 10 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM and 3 PM. Tour is approximately 45 minutes long. Reservations are required and are accepted beginning at 10 AM on the Friday prior to the requested tour: call 828-295-3782 or sign up in person at the Manor House.
Hours & Admission
Flat Top Manor and the Parkway Craft Center are open March 15 - November 30 (closed Thanksgiving), 9 AM-5 PM every day. Admission is free.
Favorite Mose Cone Park Hiking Trails
The 25 miles of trails are used for horse drawn carriages, horseback riding, and hiking with plenty of beautiful mountain scenery.
- Figure Eight Trail is a 7/10-mile self-guided interpretive trail was Mr. and Mrs. Cone's favorite path and the one they shared with their guests.
- Flat Top Road is a 5.6-mile roundtrip hike to the 4,558 foot summit of Flat Top Mountain. Hike through open meadows, by a lake and stop at the family cemetery. The highlight is climbing the historic fire tower at the summit for 360-degree views. It's a moderate hike with 580 feet in elevation gain.
- Bass Lake can be seen below from the front porch of the mansion. An easy 8/10-mile accessible loop trail around the lake can be reached from a separate parking area along US 221. Or you can hike down from the house via the Deer Park Road (1.8 miles to the lake) or Duncan Road (2.5 miles to the lake). You can also combine this for an epic double loop hike.