In 2013 Judaculla Rock, located in Cullowhee, North Carolina approximately ten minutes from Western Carolina University, was put on the National Register of Historic Places. Although, it is just a rock it holds more than just being a nature display for the public. If you are a person who is interested of Native Americans history, enjoy simple sightings, or just simply love to learn new facts than this a good little stop to visit while you are up in the Western North Carolina region.
Judaculla Rock is 30 miles from the Qualla boundary, home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Native Americans today. In fact, Cullowhee used to be a historic Cherokee town as well as the site of a council house mound. The rock, according to Cherokee legend, was believed to have served as a boundary for hunting grounds and was guarded by the slant eye monster Judaculla.
It was said that Judaculla lived on Balsam Mountain and he guarded his hunting grounds from the Devil’s Courthouse (a site that is access nearby the Blue Ridge Parkway) in which was his judgement seat. One day a group of hunters intruded Judaculla’s land and this was disrespecting the giant. Angry, he chased them away and landed near Caney Fork Road. While trying to balance himself using a nearby large boulder he left traces of his palm on the rock. If you looked closely at the rock, you can start to make out some line traces like that of a palm.
There are also other markings and drawings on the rock made by the Cherokees, this is known as Petroglyph and began around 1500 years ago until the Cherokee’s life and tradition were broken by European settlement. These markings or drawings may have symbolized notable events or created during rituals.
The Parker family, for 100 years, have been guarding the rock for generations to keep it away from vandalism. And it is one of the America’s most important historical places since it is an important ancestral place to the Cherokee.
And though there may not be much of a view to see, do enjoy the short beautiful view once you turned onto Caney Fork Road. Plus, you can make a quick stop at East LaPorte Park where there a beautiful lake for you to enjoy, relax, and take a quick swim.