The Boone area's natural, awe-inspiring beauty has moved countless explorers, artists, musicians, scientists, and others throughout its history. The gently rolling mountains are tinted all shades of blue by a chemical called isoprene, which is naturally released by local species of trees into the atmosphere. In fact, the area is home to many rare endemic species of flora and fauna, without which these mountains just wouldn't be the same. Experience the magic of discovering a rare colorful salamander near a clean mountain stream. Spend a day taking in the pleasant scent of spring wildflowers or watching fluffy snowflakes fall from above. Let the brightness of the Milky Way take your breath away along the Blue Ridge Parkway, where light pollution is minimal at night. While you fall in love with awe-inspiring Boone, you'll find plenty of reasons to preserve it.
Follow the 7 Outdoor NC principles listed below to be sure you're helping to #PreserveTheAwe in our area, and wherever else you may be exploring, for generations to come. Check out the Outdoor NC Website for more ways to #MakeItYourNature
Take time to learn about the attraction before you make a trip
Choose less popular sites, visit during a weekday when trails are less populated, or be strategic with your timing (try a sunrise or sunset visit!)
Pack enough food, water, and extra layers for the weather
Stay on designated trails or durable surfaces and only camp at designated sites
Be cautious and stay within your party's skill level
Pack it in, pack it out. Bring a garbage bag for any waste
Don't forget to pack out pet waste and human waste (if camping) properly
Take a picture of blooming flowers, insects, and pinecones instead of handling them
Leave rocks as you find them to protect salamander habitat and other creatures
If you plan to build a fire check local regulations and secure a permit if necessary
Gather wood locally - burning wood from other areas can introduce disease or pests
Burn wood completely to ash & check that it is cold before leaving
Observe all wildlife from a safe distance & never feed a wild animal
Store food securely
Be respectful of others' skill levels and how they enjoy the outdoors - all are welcome in our public areas
Be mindful of noise levels
Hikers traveling downhill should yield to those traveling uphill
Interested in volunteering your time to give back to the Boone area during your vacation? Check out our Voluntourism Page for opportunities with local organizations.
The following Boone area businesses have received state recognition for their exceptional stewardship of the environment. These businesses have been evaluated by NCDEQ sustainability specialists, earning points towards recognition for implementing recycling programs, increasing energy efficiency, and much more. Depending on the sustainable practices employed at the business, it may be awarded up to three dogwood blossoms - the state flower of North Carolina.