Fodor's Expert Review Cold Mountain
About 15 miles from Waynesville in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area of the Pisgah National Forest, this 6,030-foot rise had long stood in relative anonymity. But with the success of Charles Frazier's bestselling novel Cold Mountain, people want to see the region that Inman and Ada, the book's Civil War–era protagonists, called home. For a view of the splendid mass, stop at any of a number of overlooks off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Try the Cold Mountain Overlook, just past mile marker 411.9, or the Wagon Road Gap parking area, at mile marker 412.2. You can climb the mountain, but be prepared—the 10-mile hike to the summit is strenuous as you ascend nearly 3,000 feet in elevation.