A short hike to one of the best views on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Hidden just off the Blue Ridge Parkway is perhaps one of the best views from the parkway, Chestoa View. This fabulous overlook and short loop trail offer stunning views of the Linville Gorge area of the Pisgah National Forest. The overlook is a short walk from the parking lot and, as we learned on one Summer day, can deliver breathtaking views even on what seems to be the bleakest of days. We almost didn’t film the day we visited Chestoa View due to the numerous Summer storms that were present. It was raining when we arrived, it didn’t look like it was going to get any better, and we were certain the view would be negatively affected by all of the clouds. We really wanted a nice blue sky for our video but Chestoa View gave us this instead. We gladly accepted what was provided.
The Chestoa View Overlook is located at milepost 320.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway; a few miles south of Linville Falls . Look for the sign on the parkway. The parking area for the overlook is large and should be adequate for most days. There are a few picnic tables off the parking area that are available for use. The overlook is about 75 minutes from Asheville North Carolina or Johnson City Tennessee. There are no restroom facilities at the overlook.
The trailhead for the overlook starts in the far corner of the parking lot and is paved all the way to the Overlook. It is maybe 50 yards to the overlook down some steps past the Chestoa View trail which intersects just as the sidewalk turns. The view from the overlook is far, wide, and almost indescribable. If you visit the Chestoa Overlook, don’t rush it, make sure you allow time to linger here for awhile , you never know what view mother nature is going to provide.
When you are done enjoying the view, head back up the stairs toward the parking lot, or you could take the Chestoa View Trail that starts at the top of the steps. This 6/10’s of a mile loop trail is a wonderful walk through the forest and provides additional views of the valley and mountains. The loop part of the trail starts about half way in when you reach a fork in the trail. You could go right or left at this point and you will circle back. We went right on our walk.
As you circle around you will get a few spots with views through the forest before encountering an area with a wood fence and bench which is your best view on the trail. On busy days when the overlook is somewhat crowded, this view will be likely be less crowded and worth the short walk.
When you are done enjoying the view from the Chestoa View trail, finish the loop and then walk back to the parking lot.