The Mount Jefferson State Natural Area is less than 30 minutes from the cabin and offers beautiful views of North Carolina and Tennessee, short hiking trails and terrific picnicking areas.
Those that are looking for a low-key drive with easy overlook parking points as well as those looking to get some exercise will enjoy this park.
As you drive into the park, there are two overlook stop areas on the way to the top. Sunrise and Sunset Overlooks have small parking areas where you can stop, get out, and enjoy the view. You can relax for a bit at the picnic tables.
With a (rentable) pavilion, washrooms and tons of wooded picnic areas, there is no shortage of places to eat, read or just relax. (And there are bathrooms, too!)
Mount Jefferson Natural area features a TRACK Trail (a Kids in Parks designed hiking trail for children).
A Bit About Kids in Parks (KIP)
Kids in Parks began through a need to get families unplugged and outdoors. What started with a vision in 2008 to improve the health of children and the health of parks by making existing trails more attractive and fun for novice users, it has expanded rapidly across the country, now with 130 TRACK Trails in 7 states, Washington DC, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation.
At that time, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, National Park Service and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation joined together to formally link the health of children to the health of parks by creating a strong network of trails and partners in the communities on and along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
KIP provides self-guided brochures and signs that turns visits into fun and exciting outdoors experiences. You can earn PRIZES for tracking your adventures!
The final stop on the drive through the Mount Jefferson Natural Area is Jefferson Overlook, where, if you look closely, you can see the clearing where Phoenix Mountain Lodge lies.