What is over 3000 feet above sea level, has a legend with a ghost tied to it and has a beautiful, picturesque view? Jump Off Rock just outside of Hendersonville, North Carolina in the Town of Laurel Park.
There is an old Native American (Cherokee) legend about a young maiden who jumped from the rock after hearing that her beloved had died in battle. It is said that you can see her ghost on a moonlit night. Not interested in ghosts and legends? Not to worry, Jump Off Rock has more to offer.
We drove up to Jump Off Rock in the afternoon. The drive is only about 10 minutes from downtown Hendersonville. But, in 10 minutes, you are transported a world away.
You take one road as it twists, turns and winds its way up the mountain. When you get to the top, you arrive at a small grassy area with a few benches and a guard rail. It is very quiet and the air just smells so clean. You can stand up there overlooking the mountains and get lost in the view.
From the lookout point, you can literally see South Carolina as well as the peak of Cold Mountain, the tallest peak in the Blue Ridge area. There is a guide that shows you where to look.
There are three different trails available at Jump Off Rock; blue, yellow and red. Blue is the easiest trail and you can hike it in tennis shoes. The trail length is about 480 feet long and takes about 10 minutes or so. The yellow and red trails are 1221 and 1239 feet, respectively. Both are moderate in difficulty and you should wear hiking boots. The yellow trail takes about 14 minutes and the red trail takes about 25 minutes.
If you are in the area, take a drive up to Jump Off Rock. The views from the lookout point, on top of the rock, and the scenery along the moderate hiking trails are worth it. Safe Travels.