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Legends and Geologic Facts Equally Intriguing at The Blowing Rock

Legend has it that after a Chickasaw maiden’s warrior love had leapt from the Blowing Rock, she prayed daily to the Great Spirit to return her warrior beloved to her and was granted her wish when the brave was blown back up by the winds surrounding the rock.

Geologists with the US Geologic Survey estimate the metamorphic igneous rock to be about 1,055 million years old and have determined the wind comes from a flume formed by the rocky walls which sweeps the wind up, along with any objects in its current . Whether fantasy or fact draws people to The Blowing Rock, the immense cliff that hovers at 4,000 feet above sea level – and 3,000 feet above the Johns River Gorge just below, the experience is magnificent and a great stop on a visit through the Boone/Blowing Rock area in North Carolina’s northern mountains.

The strong current of air flowing upward from the Blowing Rock – easily explainable by modern day meteorologists – prompted a Ripley’s “Believe-It-Or-Not” cartoon about “the only place in the world where snow falls upside down.” The phenomenon is great fun for visitors who enjoy tossing lightweight objects over the ledge, only to have them returned by the air current.

The geologic beauty of the region is equally inviting – visible from The Rock down the gorge to the southwest are Hawksbill Mountain and Table Rock – to the west are Grandfather Mountain (the highest peak in the Blue Ridge chain) and Mount Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Rockies).

The Blowing Rock is located in Blowing Rock, NC, and is open year-round; it is open only on weekends during January and February, 9AM-5PM. Due to the precarious nature of the weather in the area, it is wise to call ahead – The Blowing Rock is closed in bad weather. Admission is $6 adults, $5 seniors, $1 (children 4-11 years), and free for children 3 and under.

For more information about The Blowing Rock, please call 828-295-7111, or visit their website,