BOONE, N.C. - Of all the trails in the Boone area, the easiest one to get to is probably the most overlooked.

The Boone Greenway Trail is a snaking trail that covers more than three miles one-way, or six miles roundtrip. The entire trail is located within the Boone town limits, making it an urban oasis for hiking, biking, rollerblading and exploring.

Much of the trail follows the meandering South Fork of the New River. This 1.85-mile section is the most secluded, creating a sense of solitude that belies its location. Along this stretch are suspension bridges, a picnic area, Boone's only covered bridge, and multiple benches. This stretch also includes the historic ruins of a 1920's-era dam that generated hydroelectric power and provided the first electricity to Boone.

"If you're looking for a scenic, easily-accessible trail in the Boone area, make it the Boone Greenway Trail," says Wright Tilley, executive director of the Boone Tourism Development Authority. "It's a tucked-away treasure right here in the heart of town."

Although this paved greenway trail is a bit tame for serious hikers, it's perfect for beginners and intermediates, as well as families. And, it includes several gravel loops that deviate from the paved path into meadows and woods.

Parking and access are available at several points along the greenway. The western-most section is so urban that it runs directly underneath U.S. 321 and across a large shopping center complex.

"There are entry points along the greenway's western section that allow hotel guests to walk out the front door and access the trail within seconds," Tilley explains.

For greenway info and a detailed map, visit: