Ben Long’s fresco The Return of the Prodigal, located in Montreat College’s Chapel of the Prodigal, has been named one of seventy stops on the Blue Ridge Heritage Trail. And a sign commemorating the honor has been installed in front of the Black Mountain/Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center in Black Mountain. Visitors with a smartphone can scan the QR code on the sign to access information about each heritage site—in this case, the fresco.
Information about all of the heritage sites is also available at interactive kiosks in five North Carolina welcome centers: I-77 southbound, mile marker 105; I-85 northbound, mile marker 2; I-26 westbound, mile marker 68; I-26 eastbound, mile marker 6; I-40 eastbound, mile marker 10.
The sites highlight important cultural, geographical, and historical places across the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, which encompasses the 25 westernmost counties in North Carolina.
Long’s fresco at Montreat’s Chapel of the Prodigal is site #38 on the Blue Ridge Heritage Trail. Other stops on the trail include architectural examples such as the Biltmore Estate and a 16th century Native American village in Morganton; geographical sites such as Grandfather Mountain, Linville Gorge, and Looking Glass Rock; and annual events celebrating cultural heritage, including the drama Unto These Hills in Cherokee and the “Shindig on the Green” concert series in Asheville.