The Yankee Horse Trail
Along the Parkway are examples of just about every form of 19th-century industrial development. Yankee Horse Ridge Parking Area (milepost 34.4) has a short stretch of reconstructed narrow-gauge railroad track once known as the Irish Creek Railway, along with an exhibit on logging in the area. Yankee Horse is allegedly where a hard-riding Union man's horse fell and had to be shot. As you walk by the reconstructed spur of the old logging railroad you will see Wigwam Falls, a humble but beautiful waterfall, especially when there has been ample rainfall.
The Yankee Horse trail is the quintessential Parkway leg-stretcher trail. Great views of Wigwam Falls combine with an interesting exhibit about the logging railroads that carried off the region’s virgin timber; you really must make this stop on your journey along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
On the Blue Ridge Parkway, the interpretive trails communicate an amazing sense of how people affected the mountain environment. If you open yourself to the possibilities, you’ll start noticing the remains of old cabin sites and stone walls where you’d least expect them. The Yankee Horse trail will change the way you look at trails wherever you hike in the eastern United States.
If you have an interest in railroad history in the Blue Ridge you will want to read this very interesting article, “The Danville and Western Railroad” by Wayne Kirkpatrick!
I would like to thank, D. Michele Maki for the use of the images of “The Yankee Horse Trail” and “Wigwam Falls.” Please visit Michele’ homepage here!
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