Old NC10

Filpus Roadgeek - Point Lookout


Old US 70/NC 10 - Point Lookout - McDowell County

This section of NC-10 climbed Mount Bernard from Old Fort to Montreat. At Point Lookout was a tourist stop overlooking the valley which was called the Royal Gorge. A postcard showing Sandy the Bear at the tourist trap is here. It is now gated off for pedestrian and bicycle use only. Gribblenation has a page on this road. Postcards of Point Lookout: from the UNC library archives can be viewed here, from Genweb here. A postcard of Andrews Geyser (north of Point Lookout) is here.

On October 20 2008, the road was formally opened to the public as Point Lookout Trail. A flagpole was raised at the old Point Lookout. The rest of this page was done before the trail was built.

Point Lookout - Area Map
Point Lookout - Area Map (high-res)
Point Lookout - Detail
Detail Map - (high-res)

Trail Landmarks

Point Mileage
(mi)
Elevation (ft) Notes
Start 0.0 1690 Park by Piney Grove Church. Unmarked gate on the road.
Jeep Trail 0.2 1732 Access to National Forest Lands. Posted no motorized vehicles.
Tunnel 2.47 2327 East end of railroad tunnel 1. The entrance is above the road and not visible directly from the road. There is an access trail up from the road to the railroad tracks.
Point Lookout 2.55 2280 The site of the old tourist scenic overlook from the road. The topo map shows a building there, which no longer exists.
Tunnel 2.80 2452 West end of railroad tunnel 1. The entrance is directly below the road. It has obscured visibility from the road. The road now passes out of National Forest land onto private property. This is not marked here, but the gate at the west end is clearly marked.
Tunnel 3.06 2440 East end of railroad tunnel 2. Clearly visible from the road.
Tunnel 3.10 2471 West end of railroad tunnel 2. Not visible directly from the road.
End 3.52 2563 Gate on Old US 70 marked Private Property - No Trespassing

Point Lookout

This road stills has original concrete pavement. Some of the pavement has an asphalt overlay. Other pavement has asphalt patches. This photo shows the double yellow centerline still visible on the road below Point Lookout. Below Point Lookout, the centerline is white.
Point Lookout
Point Lookout
Sections that have no forest cover are overgrown with kudzu. This view and the panorama below appear to be from the same location as the postcard from Gribblenation.
Point LookoutPoint LookoutPoint Lookout Panorama from the road of the Royal Gorge.
Point Lookout A train passing above us from the east entrance of railroad tunnel 1.
Point LookoutPoint Lookout One vestige of modernity. This concrete vault protects an now nonfunctional telephone distribution block (in left photo).
Point Lookout Point Lookout. There was a building on the left, probably on pillars.
Point Lookout
Point Lookout
The view from Point Lookout. This vantage looks due east toward Old Fort and Morganton. This view is also seen in the postcard from Gribblenation.
Point Lookout
Point Lookout
An old concrete railing over the west entrance of railroad tunnel 1. This railing is also seen in the postcard on Gribblenation.
Point Lookout The east entrance of railroad tunnel 2.
Andrews Geyser
A couple of miles north of the east end of the trail on Old US 70 is one of North Carolina's curiosites. The fountain is the Andrews Geyser, named after a railroad executive. It was built by the railroad in 1885 to memorialize the 120 men who died building the railroad over Black Mountain. The geyser was built within a hairpin curve of the railroad, so it could be seen from the trains from multiple angles. There was a hotel next to the railroad overlooking the fountain, but it burned in 1903. The fountain is gravity fed from a lake built up on the mountain by the railroad for that purpose. The lake is now the location of the Inn on Mill Creek. After the geyser, Mill Creek Road becomes a gravel road over Black Mountain to the west end of the trail.




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©2014 Dave Filpus, all rights reserved. Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.