The Blowing RockThings To Do In The Smoky Mountains
Photo credit Smoky Mountain Trail Rides and Bison Farm website
North Carolina’s Oldest Travel Attraction Since 1933
The Blowing Rock, located in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is a prominent natural attraction with a rich history and fascinating geology. Established as North Carolina’s oldest travel attraction since 1933, The Blowing Rock offers visitors a unique experience with its remarkable features.
A captivating legend surrounds The Blowing Rock. It tells of a Chickasaw chieftain who brought his daughter to The Blowing Rock for protection. The daughter, while at the cliff, encountered a Cherokee brave and they fell in love. One day, observing a sign in the sky, the brave felt compelled to leave. Distraught, the maiden prayed for his return. Miraculously, a gust of wind blew him back onto the rock and into her arms, a phenomenon believed to be the origin of the perpetual wind blowing upward from the valley below.
Geology and Formation
The Blowing Rock’s geological formation dates back over 250 million years. The rock is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which were formed through immense pressure that squeezed and metamorphosed the rocks in the region. The specific type of rock found here is classified as “gneiss,” aged at about 1,055 million years. This gneiss is characterized by a striped appearance due to mineral alignment and has undergone significant weathering and erosion, leading to its current shape.
The Name and Phenomenon
The name “The Blowing Rock” is derived from its unique natural phenomenon. The rock is an immense cliff that stands 4,000 feet above sea level, overhanging the Johns River Gorge 3,000 feet below. The gorge’s rocky walls form a channel through which northwest winds sweep with such force that they can return light objects cast over the void. This wind pattern is so unusual that it was once featured in Ripley’s “Believe-It-Or-Not” cartoon, noting it as the only place where snow falls upside down.
Visitors to The Blowing Rock can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including notable peaks like Hawksbill Mountain, Table Rock, Grandfather Mountain, and Mount Mitchell. The Blowing Rock’s history, legend, and geological significance make it a must-visit destination for those interested in natural wonders and cultural folklore.
For more detailed information and to explore this remarkable site’s history, you can visit the official website below