Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Chinquapin Mountain & Highlands

July 22, 2022                                                                        Most Recent Posts:
Riverbend Campground                                        Moore Cove & Cove Creek
Lake Toxaway, NC                                                   Three Lakes & Bridal Veil

I really love the little town of Highlands and wasn’t able to see everything I was interested in the first time I went.  So today I went back to hike up the mountain for the views and then check out some spots in town including another restaurant.

I started out at the same parking lot I went to for Glen Falls  You can find that post here.   This time I’m going to actually take the trail up Chinquapin Mountain that I mistakenly started off on when looking for Glenn Falls.


Today was a bit wetter than the last time I came.  But the trail was still lovely and I crossed the bridge over the stream at the bottom and began my climb up.  I’ll just let the pictures tell most of the story.  The Rhododendron were fading but there were some blooms though you have to look closely to see them in the pictures.   The hike was wild, green and wet.




Do you suppose anyone lives under there in the winter?


There were multiple stream crossings.


Striped wintergreen was just coming into bloom on the ground.


The biggest waterfall I saw today.



Eventually I got high enough to see my first look out sign - Lookout 3.  Did I miss #1 and #2??  I followed the arrow and went down and down and wondered about climbing back up until I came to this view obviously not at the top of Chinquapin mountain but on the side.


I hiked back up to the main trail and continued up.  Still looking for the view from the top.   I decided to skip all the other “Lookout signs” and just get to the top and catch them on the way back down.


I didn’t realize I’d reached the top until I started down the other side.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  Would the trail go back up in a bit.  As I wondered I cam to a sign for Hwy 100.   I knew that wasn’t where I wanted to go so I climbed back up and at “the top” before heading back down to Ruby, I took this picture of “the view” from the top of Chinquapin Mountain.


Today’s token fungi picture for this hike.  There are more but. . . .


On the way down I thought I should at least try for one other view.  So I followed the sign for Lookout #1


Another lovely view from the side.  


On the way back, I looked more closely.  It turns out that the sign for Lookout 4 was on the ground.  I saw but skipped views 3, 4 and 5 deciding with the other things I wanted to do this afternoon I’d better not. Each of the previous lookout  trails was a minimum of 1/2 mile one way.  Thus I’d already added 2 miles to my hike for those views.  Good thing I skipped them since at the end of the day I had over 8 miles.

Feeling exhausted and a bit disappointed.  I drove back to Highlands and had a late lunch/early dinner at The Bridge at Mill Creek.  I find 2 or 3:00 to be the perfect time to eat.  You often can still get lunch prices but the restaurant is not busy.

You can eat inside or outside.


I chose outside where I had delicious North Carolina trout pan-seared and roasted with a wine butter and shallots sauce, cous cous and fresh broccoli.   And once they brought it, I didn’t take a picture of the fabulous looking plate.  Boy am I sorry.   My lunch companion, as usual, was a book.


Afterwards I wandered around the restaurant which was a few blocks off the Main street.  I had walked and was in no hurry.



There is an outdoor wrap around deck next to the mill stream for having cocktails.  I would highly recommend The Bridge and especially the trout.


IMG_1674From The Bridge I walked back up to Main Street for a return visit to Kilwins’ Ice Cream.  No pictures of me with my ice cream this time.  You’ll have to look back at my previous post.  I put the link above.  I can’t do a decent selfie even when I’m not holding an ice cream cone.

In addition to their ice cream, Kilwins makes fudge in house.  I resisted.



This photo is for my friend Pam, a dog’s best friend.  This fella was getting a ride while his lady waited in the ice cream line.


Highlands is awash with flowers.  Everywhere you look.  It’s just a darling town.


Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I am an incurable bibliophile and nearly always stop at the library in the towns I visit.  Highlands Library was fantastic both outside and inside.


If my childhood hometown library had had a reading nook like this I would have been sitting there for hours and probably brought my own pillow.  Outside reading….what could be better??



So many places to sit and read.  Why are these spots empty I wonder?


A cozy fire in the winter?


The children’s area was wonderful.  Huge stuffed friends to read to were on top of nearly all the book cases.  I’ll take the sheepdog please.

Hats off to the head librarian and all those who have planned and maintained this magic place.

IMG_2419It was late afternoon by this time but since it is also getting late in my time here in this part of North Carolina, I wanted to make sure that I at least saw the Highlands Biological Station even if I didn’t have time for a proper look around or hike before they closed for the day.

What a shame that I am not staying closer to Highlands so that I might have been able to take advantage of the wonderful programs advertised. 



Yesterday’s talk was  by a woman I had coincidentally heard speak at Ivy Creek during the Festival of the Book in Charlottesville back in May.  She was excellent and the talk very interesting.   So many other interesting presentations coming up.  Lucky Highlanders.

I reluctantly skipped the inside exhibits and headed out on whatever walk through the gardens I had time for.

Lovely paths through the woods.


Benches for contemplation.


A nice pond with water lilies.

Green tunnels to walk through.


And a boardwalk to send me back to my car after a wonderful day in Highlands even if the top of Chinquapin  Mountain has no view.



  1. So, Sherry, when will you find the time to publish a book about your adventures?

    1. Probably not something I'd want to spend the money on to self publish. I want to have adventures until I'm too feeble to do anything like write a book.

  2. What a picturesque little town. Love the library and great little reading nooks.

    1. If there were a nearby rv park that would be easier to get to, I would be interested in spending time song time some summer closer to Highlands but the roads going in-and-out are more than I would want to take on.

  3. very lovely town...love libraries, too....thanks for sharing this wonderful hike!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the hike Jeannie. Thanks so much for your comment

  4. Seems hikes aren't always about views but shouldn't be misadvertised. Highlands looks like a delightful town.

    1. Most of my hikes are about waterfalls So I thought I would do a view from the top for a change. But the information did not make clear that all the views were from the side which was fine but unexpected.

  5. Many years ago I spent a great deal of time in the Highlands I got to work on the ole Edwards Inn which had been done and redone many times since Happy you are having such a an interesting summer. Have you made Florida winter plans ? Jackie

    1. Lucky you to spend a great deal of time in Highlands Jackie. Unfortunately I fear if one hasn't made Florida RV plans by now for next Winter one is not going.

  6. What a great town! Lovely library and neat biological station!! Seems like some of the views on the hike have been overtaken by nature...hard to complain too much about that, although someone might want to be nice enough not to raise expectations with those lookout signs!

    1. I was expecting a view from the top but I imagine there are views from all 5 of the signs leading to an additional half a mile hike out to the edge.

  7. Hi Sherry. Glad to see you are doing well and doing the things you love. We actually stopped in Highlands last October as we made our way back to Florida from Wyoming. It was lovely then too! And we also made a stop at Kilwins :-). I give you credit for continuing to blog. I did write this summer as we finally made it to Alaska, but I am behind. I will get the summer entries finished up sooner or later!

  8. I'll bet the area was absolutely gorgeous in October Karen. I give you credit for going to Alaska. We had been there but never in the RV. I too will get all my summer entries finished up sooner or later. Great to see you in the comments. Thanks for being here.

  9. Highlands was one of our favorite little towns last summer, too. The town is beautiful, the trails are delightful, and the restaurants are terrific. We liked it so much we made several trips there from Lake Toxaway. You discovered a great restaurant that we missed...so now we have to return, LOL. Your little waterfall is cute. :-)

    1. Highlands and Blowing Rock were my favorite little towns. Can't thank you enough for discovering this area for me. But OH MY the stress if getting here.

  10. I don't think I realized you went to Highlands twice although it's certainly worthy of many visits especially when Kilwin's is involved at the end of the day!

    1. I wish I could have gone more than twice but they were just so many waterfalls all over the place.

  11. I'd like to take up residence in the Highlands Library. Think they would notice? What fun . . . and so cozy!

    1. Me too Judilyn or at least meet the head librarian whom I assume is responsible for this great place.

  12. Reading is one of my greatest pleasures. I too like to read at meals. And I never read just one book at a time, I have several scattered all around my house and lots in my Kindle. Last cruise we just took I read 13 books. Would have read a few more but the meals they served stole a lot of my time! :cD

    1. Not sure even I could read 13 books on a cruise Paul. What are some of your recent favorites?

  13. Wow, that's a hard question to answer. I read a varity of mysteries, history and historical fiction. I'm in process of reading C.S. Foresters Horation Hornblower series, I read them years ago and am enjoying them again. For some reason nautical stories catch my interest. ;c)

    1. I went back and started reading Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot series again after many years and I'm enjoying it just as much and don't remember most of the plots. Is that an advantage of aging? Hmmm, nautical, Coast Guard.😉

  14. I wonder how long it will be before there just aren't any lookouts with views along those trails? Highlands is on my list of places I want to visit while in Asheville, but with our reduced time there I'm afraid it might have to wait until next time. I love that amazing library!!! Thanks for taking me along to this wonderful little town.

    1. Not sure how far Highlands is from Asheville but it is definitely a cute place. Hope Bill is feeling much better.

    2. Too far - it was Hendersonville I was thinking of :-)


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