Bass Lake is a lovely man-made lake just outside the town of Blowing Rock. Built in the very early 1900s by Moses Cone, the “Denim King” and builder of Flat Top Manor, it has been preserved as part of the Moses Cone Memorial Park. The lake has a .75 mile flat gravel trail around it, and it’s a perfect destination any time of day all throughout the year. I’ve grown up going to Bass Lake, and even now I’ve been known to run up there on my lunch break to do a power lap around the lake.
Bass Lake is one of those great locales that is beautiful in any season. Here, let me show you.
As you can see, Flat Top Manor, which is now the home of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild, overlooks Bass Lake. The porch of the manor offers a terrific view into the valley, but that’s a post for another day.
A variety of activities await at Bass Lake. When I was there last January, getting the shot of the lake covered in snow, there were cross country skiiers going around the lake. In warmer weather, you can always walk or jog around the lake, and during fishing season you’re bound to see anglers of all ages trying their luck. A short part of the trail is shared with horseback riders, as the lake joins with several other trails in the Cone Park system, many of which are open for equestrians.
As you can see, Bass Lake is also a great place to go to see wildlife. I’ve spotted mallards, Canadian geese, and wood ducks there, plus beavers and deer.
Besides the wildlife, Bass Lake is also a beautiful place to view sunsets if the conditions are good. During mid spring, the water lilies are in full bloom, and they are always lovely.
No matter what your pleasure, Bass Lake is a relaxing destination for the entire family!
Where Is It?
Turn onto Highway 221 at the intersection by the Speckled Trout restaurant off Main Street in Blowing Rock. About three quarters of a mile down on the right you’ll see small brown signs for the Bass Lake parking area to the right. If you get to the turnoff for the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ve gone too far.
All text and photos copyright Cassandra Hartley and Blue Ridge NC Guide, 2011