Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Roan Mountain - Soulful Destination

Posted April 11, 2006

One of my top Soulful Destinations is rugged Roan Mountain near Bakersville in Mitchell County. It’s right up there on the Tennessee state line. It’s tucked away from your usual tourist magnets of Asheville, Boone and Blowing Rock. But that is part of the pleasure. If you’re fortunate to go during the week you can go up to Roan Mountain and pretty much be by yourself. Of course, you’ll find plenty of company during late June and early July when the Catawba rhododendrons are in bloom. Your hiking options include Cloudland Trail and the Appalachian Trail which cuts across some of the most spectacular scenery in Western North Carolina. When I go up to Roan Mountain I usually stay at my cousin’s home. Jack & Leslie Dellinger have restored a grist mill on nearby Cane Creek. I will have more on this amazing project in a later blog. Once I stayed at the Roan Mountain State Park on the Tennessee side of the mountain. They have some nice cabins there as well as several campsites. You might also check out Laurel Oaks Farm Vacation Rental in Bakersville. The Roan rises about 6200 feet and offers awesome views. Even in the fog and mist you will find the special beauty and connection with nature here. Be sure to ask the locals why there are no snakes or thorns on the blackberries! To learn more about the natural wonders of Roan check out the following website:

I composed a song about this beautiful mountain and included it on my Peaceful Journey CD. It is called “On Roan Alone.” What a soulful experience that was. You can read more about the song and sample the music by following this link:

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Bill Leslie