Ravenel Park and Sunset Rock

Categories: Play, Hiking & Backpacking, Kid-Friendly, Outdoor Fun, Parks & Recreation Areas


  •  Elevated and exposed rock face overlooking downtown Highlands NC 
  •  Excellent Sunsets & West/NW Views of Downtown Highlands & surrounding mountains 
  •  Bird Watching Sanctuary & Info Kiosk w/Brochures about Highlands Nature Society 
  •  Park Benches to relax on 
  •  Excellent place for picnic (no tables but rock face offers a unique picnic oppotunity)
  •  Romantic place for a blanket and bottle of wine 
  •  Wildflowers growing out of rock face

The Local Scoop

Bring your sweetheart to this romantic area for sunset drenched views of Downtown Highlands, surrounding Western mountain ranges and the stars above. We recommend packing a picnic lunch/dinner, a blanket and a bottle of wine and take in the gorgeous Fall foliage that surrounds you around late October.  Or plan on a little bird watching and wild flowers during the spring and summer months. Bring your binoculars for a closer view of downtown Highlands. We would recommend avoiding this area in the Winter due to ice on the rock face as well as the access road could be gated and a road hike up the mountain would be required. Enjoy this area in the Spring, Summer and Fall months. This area is family friendly and is recommended due to the close proximity of Highlands, N.C. and views of downtown/sunsets.  And although we say "family friendly" you should be aware of the sheer cliffs created by the rock outcropping here.  If you pay attention and tell your kids to stay away from going down the rock face, things should be just fine.

The Local Directions

From main intersection of U.S. Hwy-64/ N.C. Hwy-28 in Highlands, NC drive through main street until the road turns into Horse Cove Road (just past Mtn. Fresh Grocery on your Right). Drive for 1 mile until you reach the entrance for the Ravenel Park/Sunset Rocks and Sign on the Right. Take this fairly rough, gravel road for 0.6 mile to trailhead and parking.

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Difficulty Levels

  • Hike1What's this?
35.04687, -83.18714
Hike Distance
0.1 mile
Moderate via Horsecove Road
and gravel/rough Ravenel Park Road
Nearest City
Macon County
Distance From
Highlands, 1.6 miles