Situated in Blowing Rock, Mystery Hill is both the name of a business and the name of a unique phenomenon that exists here. Mystery hills, also called gravity hills, are places that feature a special type of optical illusion that makes slight downhill slopes look like uphill slopes. Thus, if you put a ball on the ground here, it might appear to be rolling uphill and not downhill.
Mystery Hill is built atop one of these mystery hills, the only such one in North Carolina (although many say what is at work here is much more than just an optical illusion). The property was purchased by (and remains under the ownership of) the Underwood family in 1958. The family started the property as an apple orchard, but they quickly realized something wasn’t quite right with the land with how things moved across it. At around this same time, more and more visitors were flocking to the area to see the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and so the orchard idea was scrapped, and instead, the family started building up Mystery Hill to share with the world.
And the people certainly did come. A lot of exciting attractions have been added to Mystery Hill to accentuate both its own unique natural phenomenon as well as highlight the history and culture of this part of Appalachia.
Some of the most popular attractions at Mystery Hill include:
Natural Gravitational Anomaly Guided Tour
This is certainly the biggest draw at the theme park as here guests are taken on a guided tour throughout the property to see for themselves just how differently gravity behaves here. You’ll enjoy a number of demonstrations as well as get to test out gravity-bending experiments on your own.
Hall of Mystery
This is an interior space set up for kids and adults to explore other types of scientific quandaries, including touch lighting.
Bubblerama connects to the Hall of Mystery but is its own large room in which friends and family members can play around with giant, human-sized bubbles.
A newer attraction, Tomahawk Hill features two long rows of private ax throwing booths. Have your group measure up their might and accuracy, not to mention get some of that angst out, with some tomahawk throwing. You can even opt for throwing knives instead while younger children have the option of safer foam throwing tools.
Bull Riding Challenge
The “bull” at Mystery Hill is a mechanical one surrounded by an air mattress ring that will safely catch riders once they get bucked off. The mechanical bull here can be set to accommodate a number of skill ranges so that everyone from the youngest, newest rider to the most seasoned can enjoy a fun challenge.
Note that while there are a lot of attractions on-site at Mystery Hill, not all of them are going to be included with the price of a base ticket. There are three levels of ticket prices with the most inclusive being about twice the price of the entry-level one. Both are generally reasonable prices for what they offer and being a theme park in this area, but what is right for your family will depend upon interests and attention levels. Make sure to visit their website or ask for a full brochure before booking your ticket. There is also a flexible option for visitors to “build their ticket” with just the activities that interest them the most.
-Going earlier in the day is better than later as there are a couple of on-site museums that close a touch earlier than other portions of the theme park.
-While several of their activities do take place outside, most of the attractions at Mystery Hill are inside and within heated and air-conditioned spaces. This makes Mystery Hill a good backup choice if you find yourself suddenly forced to do inside activities due to unexpected rain or snow.