Boone area trails on and off the Parkway are specifically designed to entice non-hikers and serious hikers alike. On the Parkway there are a large variety of trails. Easy trails allow anyone to step into the woods and meadows to take a break in their drive, and nationally significant serious hikes let serious hikers keep trekking on.
Start just past Bluffs Lodge on the broad bluff that juts out into the void of Basin Cove. Peer over at Caudill Cabin, then stroll to great views on the 1-mile trail out to Fodder Stack.
Martin's Caudill's 100-plus-year-old cabin is Doughton Park's most isolated spot It's a lengthy day hike and an easy backpacking trip. Exit the Parkway at milepost 248 and go east down NC 18. About six miles from the Parkway, turn left on NC 1728. At four miles, turn left again onto NC 1730, the gravel Longbottom Road. Three miles from that turn, park on the right at Basin Creek bridge. Take Grassy Gap Fire Road on the left for an easy 1.7 miles to the backcountry campsite (great base camp/permit required). Turn right up Basin Creek Trail for another 3.3 miles to the cabin. As a day hike, it's 10 miles roundtrip.
This 1-mile interpretive waterfall loop teaches about local trees. Extend the hike by starting at Tompkins Knob Overlook, Milepost 272.5. From there, stroll by Jesse Brown Cabin and Cool Springs Baptist Church, and on to Cascades parking area at .7 mile. Hike that trail and then back to your car for a 2.4-mile hike. Check out our Boone Area Top Trails Guide to The Cascades.
To circle two great ponds, exit the Parkway at US 221. For Trout Lake, turn right on Shull's Mill Road a short distance to park and hike around hemlock fringed Trout Lake. Or go left on US 221, and in 1 mile turn left into the Bass Lake Trail, a scenic, 1-mile lake loop with views up to Cone Manor House. Check out our Boone Area Top Trails Guide to Bass Lake.
This awe-inspiring area of alpine-like vegetation surveys a nearly 5,000-foot drop from Grandfather Mountain's peaks to flatland North Carolina far below. Boardwalk views are a mere .3 mile, and the summit is 1.2 miles round-trip. Check out our Boone Area Top Trails Guide to Rough Ridge.
Cross the trailbridge for an easy ramble to waterfall views. For a more strenuous hike, stay on the visitor center side of the river and take the Linville Gorge Trail to the base of the cataract at the head of Linville Gorge. Check out our Boone Area Top Trails Guide to Linville Falls.
Perfect spring day hike after rain-the 2.5-mile, moderately strenuous waterfall loop passes a classic, dancing, fan of foam. Check out our Boone Area Top Trails Guide to Crabtree Falls.
A rhododendron tunnel trail leads from the visitor center to a CCC-built picnic shelter and left to views at the grassy summit of Craggy Gardens (0.8 mile roundtrip).
For more information on Boone Trails on and off the Parkway pick up FalconGuides "Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway" or "Best Easy Day Hikes on the Blue Ridge Parkway" by Randy Johnson (http://www.randyjohnsonbooks.com/).
Click any map symbol and information packed balloons pop up to describe locations all along the route. In the map balloons, click "Directions" to add your address and get step-by-step directions to Parkway locations from wherever you are. Start in the north, follow the road south, for a local's introduction to your own Boone-area Parkway adventure.