Jump-Off Rock, Hendersonville, NC  James Parton
  Oct. 29, 2007


Jump Off Rock is a scenic overlook which provides a panoramic view of
the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges. Legend has it that over 300
years ago a young Cherokee Indian maiden received word that her young
Indian brave, some say chief, had been killed in battle, so she
climbed to the edge of the rock and jumped off. Legend suggests that
on moonlit nights you can see the ghost of the maiden on Jump Off
Rock. The attraction is located about 5 miles from downtown
Hendersonville NC.

I drove up there yesterday to do a short hike on the Kessler trails
that ring the back side of the mountain below the rock itself. The
forest is dominated there by Hickories, Chestnut Oak & Tuliptree.
Maple is present also in smaller numbers. Some nice tall Black Locusts
are located at the woods edge, on top. The understory is mostly
Rhododendron & Mountain Laurel. Sassafras is present with its
brilliantly colored leaves & I found some American Chestnut that is
about 10 feet tall in the understory as well. The drive to the top was
really beautiful with the leaves near peak color this weekend. The
brilliant yellows or yellow-oranges of the Hickories. The Sassafras
ranged from nearly yellow to a deep red-orange. Tuliptree is yellow.
The Maples are anywhere from a deep crimson to fire orange. The
Chestnut Oaks were an off-orange color. American Chestnut is a yellow-
orange. None of the trees were exceptional in size but I bet some of
those tulips would push 100 years of age. It was a nice hike on a
clear blue day.

James Parton