Lake Toxaway is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is part of the larger Appalachian Mountains range that runs from Georgia to Pennsylvania. The range is named for its bluish color when seen from a distance; according to A Naturalist’s Blue Ridge Parkway by David Catlin, “trees put the “blue” in Blue Ridge, for hydrocarbons released into the atmosphere by the forest contribute to the characteristic haze on these mountains and to their distinctive color.”
Lake Toxaway is located in a valley surrounded by Toxaway Mountain, Ravenrock Mountain, Cold Mountain, Panthertail Mountain, Little Panthertail Mountain, and Hawk Mountain. The tallest of these peaks rise to nearly 4,800 feet above sea level—that’s 1,700 feet above the lake surface—resulting in dramatic elevation changes and incredible long-range views.
Yes, it’s that Cold Mountain!
The 1997 best-selling historical novel by Charles Frazier, which was adapted into an award-winning film in 2003, was based on Frazier’s great-great uncle, who lived near the real Cold Mountain just north of Lake Toxaway.