One of the most stunning views off the Blue Ridge Parkway is known as Devil’s Courthouse. Don’t let the name scare you – this view is a short hike away and what a view it is! Located near milepost 422, look for the parking right off the parkway. Although less than one mile and partly paved, the trail has some steep places so many consider this a “moderate” hike. The reward is a panoramic vista that extends in every direction. Here you can see peaks in the Pisgah National Forest, much in South Carolina, plus views of Georgia and Tennessee, which is not surprising considering you are at 5,720 feet! While taking the trail for this extraordinary view, take notice of the native plants surrounding the trail. Many rare, high-altitude plants thrive in this area.
So why does such a beautiful place have a name like Devil’s Courthouse? It may have received this name due to the rock formation, which some consider sinister. One legend says the devil held court in the caves that is beneath the rock. In the Cherokee lore, that cave was the home and dancing chamber of a giant. Regardless, a memorable name for a memorable place!