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.
Waterfalls hikes also gush scenic splendor all across the High Country and novice hikers and experienced hikers alike can stroll the shore of one of the few Boone Area Lakes.
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. 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 Community 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 (gravel) 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 surface 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 draws. Bring a picnic, for the summit, or the picnic area.
Glen Burney Falls Hike - Take the Glen Burney Trail from the quaint village streets of Blowing Rock and you suddenly find yourself amidst waterfalls of remarkable beauty.
Grandfather Mountain State Park Hikes - There are easy lower-elevation hikes on this famous mountain, but serious hikers choose Grandfather Mountain for the rugged, alpine-like scenery on the highest peaks.
Linville Falls Hikes - A variety of easy to moderately strenuous 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 its 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.
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.
Make it Your Nature to follow Leave No Trace principles when recreating in outdoor spaces to help preserve the natural beauty of the Boone area for years to come.
Plan Ahead and Prepare - Take the time to plan out Big & Small outdoor excursions
Stick to Trails and Overnight Right - Protect rare species of plants off-trail by sticking to established trails and campsites.
Trash your Trash - Pack it in, pack it out. If recreating with pets, plan to pack out their waste too!
Leave it as you find it - Take only pictures, not plants or pinecones. Avoid stacking rocks, it can be harmful to Boone's rare salamanders.
Be careful with fire - Check regulations, buy firewood locally, and be sure all ashes are cool before leaving.
Keep Wildlife Wild - Never feed or approach wild animals.
Share Our Trails - Always be considerate. As a general rule of thumb, yield to those traveling uphill.
Check out Explore Boone's Sustainability Page for more information about how you can help Preserve the Awe.