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John Rock is a pluton (a granite dome) just like Looking Glass Rock, but it's not as dominant or spherical. The view is nice, though and the hike is a bit more leisurely.


Off NC 276, just south of Looking Glass Falls, there's a paved FS road #475B that leads to the Fish Hatchery. Take this road until it ends in gravel where the Fish Hatchery is (about a mile). Park in the Fish Hatchery visitor center parking lot and on the end opposite the visitor center is the trailhead. While you're there, visit the visitor center and see huge pools just brimming with rainbow and brown speckled trout in various stages. See also the fishermen drool over them. Bring a quarter or two to feed these fish.


This is a very popular hike with locals and visitors. Its parking lot is the same parking lot used for the Fish Hatcheries, and i suspect many people start off on this hike on a lark. It does climb up sometimes a bit steeply, so it is rated 'medium', and probably a few day hikers don't bother trying to make it to the top, which is almost as good as Looking Glass. However, the lowlands, to me, are the best part of the hike anyway. Last time i went on this hike it was late March and the lowland flowers that preferred the rich, open woods were out in profusion. A great collection of trout lillies, many budding mayapples, jack-in-the-pulpits, bloodroot, and down by the creek many early trilliums (trillii?). A very pretty walk.



This picture was taken in very early spring before the deciduous foliage came out. You'll be looking out towards the Blue Ridge Parkway, and just over those mountaintops is Graveyard Ridge. To the Northeast you will be able to see the back-end of Looking Glass Rock.

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