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, Moses Cone Memorial Park is about 88 miles north of Asheville and 11 miles north of Grandfather Mountain. Built by the textile entrepreneur and philanthropist as a summer retreat, it includes 25 miles of the original carriage roads and the Flat Top Manor house. 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.
New for 2018: See exhibits about Moses and Bertha Cone and the estate, along with a short film. Park rangers expand the popular house tours to feature several newly opened rooms of Flat Top Manor including the home’s kitchen.
Hours & Admission
Flat Top Manor and the Parkway Craft Center are open April-November (closed Thanksgiving). 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.