Located around Milepost 409 on the Blue Ridge Parkway there’s a short day hike with amazing views. From the parkway leave your car at the gated entrance to Forest Service Road 450, but DON’T BLOCK THE GATE. The trail is the old road bed, occasionally used by forest service vehicles to access the towers on top of Frying Pan Mountain. This 0.7 mile trail climbs about 400 feet in elevation in order to reach the 5,340ft mountain summit. A less visited day hike off of the parkway due to it being in between two well known stops, Black Balsam and Mt. Pisgah. Warm weather hikers can see a beautiful display of wildflowers along the road bed. Once at the top, climb the 70ft high tower for a wonderful panoramic view of the Southern Appalachians. You can’t go all the way to the top deck, but you can climb to the last platform and enjoy the wind in your hair. From there you can see Mount Pisgah, Cold Mountain, the Shining Rock Wilderness, and Pisgah National Forest.
This hike is a wonderful place for picnics and pictures!