Directions: From Main Street in Blowing Rock, turn left on Hwy 221. Go approximately 1.5 miles and turn right on to Cone Road/SR 1571, the access road on to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Take the first left on to Shulls Mill Road. After going under the BRP bridge, the road forks. Make a left and continue on Shulls Mill Road looking for a small one-lane access road to the lake that takes you to the parking area.
Park is free to use, and a small parking area is located just off Shulls Mill Road in Blowing Rock.
Trout Lake, located near Moses Cone Park, (Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 292.7) is one of three man-made lakes in the area, Price Lake, Bass Lake and Trout Lake. Trout Lake, the smallest of the three, has an easy, 1-mile pathway, taking you close to the lake at times and at other times takes you through thick stands of conifers and rhododendron. Thanks to its higher elevation, if offers a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Of these three lakes, Trout Lake is the quietest and less used, so as a result, there is more wildlife to be seen and is a popular spot for birding. But be forewarned, it is also a popular horse trail, so be prepared to sidestep horse droppings. So despite it hiking shortcomings, it has some pretty awesome views, especially in the fall.
High Country Audubon Society is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization Donations to High Country Audubon Society are tax-deductible as allowed by applicable law.
Banner photo of Saw-whet Owl courtesy of Jesse Pope.