Lunch Rocks Trail

Lunch Rocks View 1

Pack a lunch for this moderate trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway

What to Expect

Lunch Rocks HikeThis section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) leads from the Folk Art Center to a beautiful view of the Haw Creek valley at Lunch Rocks. After your hike, be sure to stop into the Folk Art Center to discover art and handicrafts made by local artists.

Park in the Folk Art Center parking lot. Follow the white circle of the MST, which goes in front of the building. This section of the MST on a graveled nature trail is lined with interpretive signboards, highlighting native trees and their traditional applications.

At 0.2 mile, the MST and the nature trail split. Take a right to stay on the MST. The trail crosses Riceville Road on a bridge on the left side of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Though you are now fully in the woods, you'll pass a bench at 0.4 mile and another one soon after. At 0.9 mile, a side trail shoots off to the left. Stay on the MST, which parallels the Parkway. 

At 1.1 miles, cross the Blue Ridge Parkway and look for an MST post showing you the way. The trail starts climbing above the Parkway. It passes a blue dot trail on the left, which you should ignore.

Reach a side trail to the left at 2.4 miles. The tree on the right side of the MST might have a small red dot along with a white circle. Take a left and go down a little to Lunch Rocks/Haw Creek Overlook. You're on a large rock outcropping with a shelf convenient for sitting, surrounded by pitch pines and blueberry bushes looking west on the Haw Creek Valley and the Parkway at Haw Creek Valley Overlook at MP 380.  Return the same way on the MST.

Hike Details

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance from Asheville: About 15 minutes  

Length: 4.9 miles round trip 

Region: Blue Ridge Parkway

Duration of Hike: About 2-3 hours

Elevation Gain: 900 feet

Pet-Friendly? Leashed dogs welcome 

Multiple Use? No

Blazes? White

Facilities & Parking: Parking lot (Folk Art Center)

Natural Features: Rare rocky outcrop ecosystems, high elevation forests, spectacular views of Haw Creek Valley.

Directions

From downtown Asheville, take Tunnel Road east about 5.4 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Travel north on the Blue Ridge Parkway about a mile to the Folk Art Center at MP 382.

GPS Coordinates

N35.5927945, W82.4819549

Photos by Danny Bernstein.