Monday, September 15, 2008

Unaka Mountain Overlook

After years of neglect, the Unaka Mountain Overlook (a.k.a. Pleasant Garden) has received some badly needed sprucing up. The view has been reestablished by cutting away the overgrowth, which for years had all but completely blocked the spectacular mountain views. The short section of road leading to the Overlook has been scraped and smoothed - it's still the roughest section of road of the entire Unaka Mountain Road, but greatly improved! I'm hope that this place will once again become one of the most cherished and visited destinations in all of Unicoi County, TN. Far in the distance, barely visible above, is Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi.

This overlook is one of the many wonders to experience along the 12 mile long Unaka Mountain Road which climbs and curves its way over and around the mountain. For detailed directions and a list of all there is to see and do on Unaka Mountain, click here. Click here for a map of the area.

16 comments:

  1. Dee

    Wow....what a view.

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  2. Found your blog on the Knox News blog page, and I'm glad I did. Amazing photos.

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  3. Great shot! So real it's almost unreal. Does that make any sense?

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  4. Do you know the history of the marker just outside of this overlook? Driving into the parking area, there is a trail head directly across from the road entrance. It travels about 15 ft, takes a sharp left turn for some 40 ft, and passes thru two 4 X 4 posts, then turns right, and down the mtn. On the first 4 X 4, is hanging a cross, with a poem commemorating someone's life. No details, just the cross. Anyone know the history, or significance?? I suppose directly from the overlook it might be 10 ft to the right, but thru very dense thicket.

    If you follow the trail further, there is a blue blaze. I'm curious to know where it goes, but haven't hiked it, as we got sidetracked picking wild blueberries.

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  5. Hi Misty,
    No, I don't know of any story behind what you described, maybe someone will post here to let us know. That trail leads down Rattlesnake Ridge 3.5 miles to Rock Creek Park in Erwin.

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  6. If this is the same marker that i remember, the history of the marker is someone was horseback riding down the trail and unfortunately fell and died of a head injury and its a marker commemorating them.

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  7. Now that i think about it though, I'm from the North Carolina side of Unaka and my left is heading back towards NC rather than travelers who have came up the mountain from Tenn. so we may be thinking of different markers.

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  8. The history of the cross is that several years ago, a sixteen year old boy went up the Unaka road and wrecked his car. When he couldn't get his car back on the road, he hiked to the top and found a car parked with a young couple inside. He shot the both of them in the car, then left, not taking the car that they were in. I believe that it was in the mid 90's that this occurred. The family wanted to put the cross near where this took place, but the forestry service told them where to place it, where no one could see it while at the overlook. As for the blue blaze on the tree, the Appalachian Trail runs through that area and a blue mark on tree, post or stump signifies water and will lead you to a place where you can get a cold drink of mountain water (from a mountain spring). The white marks on the trees lets you know that your still on the Appalachian Trail.

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    1. That story is true. The couple that was killed were both friends of my son.

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    2. Lots of strange things happen there. These two were in a Band called Crystal Vision. May they both rest in peace. There are many trails on the Unaka. Get out and enjoy them while you can.

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  9. Does Unaka Mountain Overlook offer a view of Erwin? We plan to be on Unaka Mountain on July 4th and would like to see the fireworks.

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  10. I believe the better views of Erwin from Unaka would be from the Beauty Spot or from Horseback Ridge. Seems to me Unaka Mountain Overlook faces more South/Southeast, while the others look out more to the South/Southwest (and in the direction of Erwin).

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  11. A friend and I camped at the overlook on a whim one night. We had a VW van to sleep in.Built a bonfire and played a cassette of gypsy music and danced around the campfire. A carload of other people showed up, but they didn't stay long-guess they thought we were into witchcraft or just nuts. We were just into the wine and the full moon. Ah, youth.

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  12. Not that I've heard. You may be thinking of the old Cloudland Hotel that once sat atop Roan Mountain.

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