This Is Why You Need to Explore the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area

Orchard Inn is set back in the gorgeous mountains of Western North Carolina, and there are plenty of places to explore here. We even have our own nature trail on the property! If you’re looking for a day of adventures, head to the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. Here, you’ll find miles of trails and countless natural gems.

About the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area

The Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area is located just across the border from us near Cleveland, South Carolina. There are two state parks that you can use to get to the area: Caesar’s Head and Jones Gap. Either one is fantastic, and they span for about 50,000 acres. You can come back day after day to explore!

The Best Places to Explore in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area

Rainbow Falls | Jones Gap State Park

If you’re looking to see some gorgeous cascades during your stay at Orchard Inn, head to a place like Rainbow Falls. These falls drop 100 feet over a gorgeous rocky ledge. The hike to get here is just 2.4 miles, and you will ascend about 1,000 feet on your way to the falls. Due to the elevation gain, this trail is rated as strenuous. However, you’ll have more than enough time and space to relax and catch your breath as you gaze at the cascade.

El Lieutenant Rock Dome | Caesars Head State Park

Named after El Capitan of Yosemite National Park, El Lieutenant is a great rock formation that you can hike a 4.6-mile loop to see. This hike is considered strenuous because you will ascend 1,000 feet in the second half of the hike, but if you love a challenge, it’s worth it. When you reach El Lieutenant, you’ll be amazed at its size. It’s a 300-foot sheer cliff!

Bald Rock

You’ll find the trailhead to Bald Rock on the way to Caesars Head State Park. There’s a small pull-off on the east side of U.S. 276 about five miles before you get to the park. Here, you’ll find a large, flat rock the size of a football field. It will give you amazing panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Symmes Chapel at Pretty Place

We can assure you that you have never seen anything like Symmes Chapel at Pretty Place before. Whether you consider yourself to be religious or not, this one-of-a-kind church brings all kinds of visitors to its mountaintop. This is an open-air venue that boasts amazing views of the rolling hills of the Carolinas. Many visitors come for the solitude and stunning scenery, but there are also weekly church services on Sundays.

Book Your Mountain Getaway Today

Make Orchard Inn your home base for all your adventures! Whether you’re planning on exploring the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area or one of the many other parks and forests around our inn, you’ll love coming back to our cozy accommodations. The views don’t stop at Orchard Inn; we’re situated on top of a mountain with stunning views. Wake up to our complimentary breakfast to gaze out our floor-to-ceiling windows, or opt for a cottage or suite with a private porch. We look forward to seeing you!