Hiking the Blue Ridge: Swannanoa and White Rock Falls

imageBy Kurt Michael

With temperatures in the 70s, it has been the perfect weekend for hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains. On Sunday, my daughter Julia and I started our journey at Swannanoa, a 1912 Italianate marble villa built on Afton Mountain. The mansion  is located at the gateway of the Blue Ridge parkway near Waynesboro and is now open for weekend tours.

image_2Swannanoa Mansion

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image_1 (2)The water tower at Swannanoa.

image (2)Looking from the tower of Swannanoa.

image_1After touring Swannanoa, we continued on to White Rock Falls located at the Slacks Overlook at milepost 18.5 along the Blue Ridge Parkway. A 2.5-mile moderate hike in Nelson County. The trail meanders along a mountain stream and the falls empty into an impressive gorge that features a natural wading pool. The name of the falls came from the presence of quartz rock in the area. Rhododendron is blooming along the Blue Ridge Mountains.

image_2 (2)Pool of water at White Rock Falls.

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Photos by Julia Michael
May 25, 2014

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