In the high country, hikers can follow the Appalachian Trail across Roan and Hump Mountains where waving grasses offer alpine vistas, climb ladders to scale cliffs a mile above surrounding valleys to MacRae Peak at Grandfather Mountain State Park, explore the wild canyon of the Linville Gorge Wilderness, follow the gushing gushing, waterfall filled drainages of the Pisgah National Forest's Wilson Creek area, and explore the Blue Ridge Parkway where entry-level Boone area hiking is at its best.
In the Boone area, the outdoors is a lifestyle. Some trails may start a short walk from your inn or hotel. Boone's great paved greenway trail follows the pastoral South Fork of the New River. Boone's spectacular Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park is complete and open for hikers and bikers. Blowing Rock's Glen Burney Trail leaves quaint streets, plummets into a gorge, and follows waterfalls off the face of the Blue Ridge. Valle Crucis Park trails wander past wetlands and streamside sounds. Up on Beech Mountain, the East's highest town, mile-high trails are cool on the hottest summer days.
Bass Lake Hike - A classic, handicapped-accessible hike around a scintillating High Country lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock, NC.
Boone Greenway - Don't miss this diverse trail system that welcomes hikers and bikers. The Greenway is a backcountry setting right in town where gravel and natural suface trails complement a wonderful assortment of paved riverside walks and rides. There are plentiful picnic spots, a rustic, historic ruin, and interpretive signs that make this a great place for nature study and birding.
Crabtree Falls Hike - For many, the Southern Appalachians' prettiest waterfall, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, south of Linville Falls and north of Mount Mitchell.
Elk Knob State Park Hike - Elk Knob is one of a handful of geologically unique amphibolite peaks that rise north of Boone. Great hiking and great views are the draw. Bring a picnic, for the summit, or the picnic area. Check out the video on this trail page.
Glen Burney Falls Hike - Take the Glen Burney Trail from the quaint village streets of Blowing Rock and you suddenly find yourself in amidst waterfalls of remarkable beauty.
Grandfather Mountain State Park Hikes - There are easy lower elevation hikes on this famous mountain, but the serious hikers choose Grandfather Mountain for the rugged, alpine-like scenery on the high peaks.
Linville Falls Hikes - A variety of easy to moderately strenous hikes lead to views of Linville Falls, the Blue Ridge Parkway's biggest cascade.
Price Lake Hike - Price Lake is a memorable lakeshore walk around a High Country "golden pond." It passes through the lakeshore "A" loop of Price Lake Campground-easily one of the premier places on the Parkway to set up a tent.
Roan Mountain / Appalachian Trail in Summer - One of the most scenic Southern summits, Roan and neighboring peaks offer almost-alpine scenery. This High Country portion of the Appalachian Trail is one of the legendary path's premier locations for awesome scenery. In winter, deep snow piles up for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park - You can also hike at the brand new Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park in Boone with its eight miles of awesome trails-plus a rustic playground.
Rough Ridge Hike - Great views of Grandfather Mountain on a moderate hike up the Blue Ridge Parkway's Tanawha Trail.
The Cascades Hikes - These moderate hikes to a Blue Ridge Parkway waterfall teach about trees and feature historic cabins.
(For the best coverage of Boone area trails, consider trail guides by local trail expert Randy Johnson-"Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway," "Best Easy Day Hikes Blue Ridge Parkway," or "Hiking North Carolina."