Lesser Traveled Often Quiet Hike: Rattlesnake Lodge
June 23, 2020 by: Diane Rogers
When you come to Asheville and stay at Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast, guests who want to hike have hit the jackpot. From waterfalls to mountain balds and everything in between, the hardest part is choosing where to go. We have our favorites like Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak east of the Mississippi, or Fryingpan Mountain Tower. We love the views from these popular hikes but they can take all afternoon and can be quite crowded.
Some days you want to hike in solitude but still have time for other activities. That’s when we head to Rattlesnake Lodge Trail. This close-in trail is mostly forested and opens up to a long-range view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, all within a 20-minute drive from Pinecrest. The 3.7-mile round trip hike is moderate with 600 feet change in elevation, not steep but a steady incline.
This hike is part of the Mountains to the Sea Trail system and you can access the trail from 2 different points. Limited parking is available off Oxbox Road. Follow the trail for a short distance until it intersects with the familiar white blaze of the Mountains to the Sea Trail (MST.) Turn left and head up a series of switchbacks, complete with a split-rail fence. Along the way, you will see rock outcroppings and a glimpse of the Blue Ridge Mountains (Bull Creek Valley and Swan Mountain) at 1.1 miles. Continue on until you reach the ruins at 1.5 miles. You can turn around at any time or continue on the MST to explore the ruins and take the blue blaze fork (Rattlesnake Lodge Trail) for a longer hike that eventually loops back.
Rattlesnake Lodge was built in 1903 as the summer home of Dr. Chase P. Ambler and family. Complete with tennis courts and swimming pool, the living room ceiling at one time was covered with the skins fo 41 rattlesnakes. The lodge was destroyed by fire in 1926 and mostly all that remains are the rock foundations and retaining walls. There is a clearing and some fallen logs that can double as benches to enjoy a picnic. Add-on our Take A Hike picnic package and your lunch will be ready to go when you are.
The Road Less Travelled
Book your stay at historic Pinecrest, a 5 bedroom B&B located in historic Montford. Our desirable location is close to all the major highways and a one-mile walk to downtown Asheville on tree-lined streets. Innkeepers Dan and Diane can help you make the most of your trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.