Explore The Outdoors

The Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock in North Carolina is special to me. As a child, it was the first place my parents let me pack my own suitcase…which of course included everything from a bathing suit to a coat so I’d be ready for anything.

Two things I love about Blowing Rock – it’s legend and the fact that it snows upward at The Blowing Rock.

My mom and I were on a road trip and decided to take a detour to see The Blowing Rock again.  There were some wildfires around so it was hazy but beautiful nonetheless.


The Blowing Rock is a 250 million cliff formation and is dubbed North Carolina’s oldest attraction.


The legend of The Blowing Rock goes like this:  a Chickasaw maiden was daydreaming on the rock and spied a Cherokee brave in the wilderness below.  She playfully shot an arrow in his direction and so began a courtship. 

One day a strange reddening of the sky brought the two back to the Rock.  The brave saw the sky as a sign commanding him back to his tribe, but the maiden begged him not to go. Torn between duty and love, the brave leaped from the Rock into the wilderness below. The grief-stricken maiden prayed daily to the Great Spirit for his return. One evening with a reddening sky, a gust of wind blew her lover back up to the Rock and into her arms.

As the legend goes, from that day on a perpetual wind has blown up onto the Rock from the valley below. This same mysterious wind causes the snow to fall upside down.

The current of air flowing upward is really because of geology.  The Blowing Rock is an immense cliff sitting at 4,000 feet above sea level hanging over Johns River Gorge at 3,000 feet below.  The rocky walls of the gorge form a flume through which the northwest wind sweeps through with such strength it forces the snow upward, so it appears to fall upside down.

I didn’t get to see it snow upside down this trip but I did as a child. Talk about a wide-eyed girl watching that!

The Blowing Rock is easily accessible and views from the Rock and Overlook are breathtaking.

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