[Updated August 3, 2021]

The Blue Ridge Mountain town of Boone NC is best-known for its Christmas tree farms and out of doors recreation opportunities, offering every little thing from mountain biking and rock climbing to whitewater rafting and snow skiing.

The county seat of Watauga County has a population of around 20,000, which is fairly big for the Western North Carolina High Country.

That’s partly as a result of Boone is residence to Appalachian State University, whose student enrollment stats are neck-and-neck with the city’s population. As a result, there are a great deal of microbreweries, innovative eateries, and classy retailers here.

The university, the fantastic thing about the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the rich historical past of the area have created a splendidly inviting blend of character, panache, and panoramas that make Boone a pleasure to visit.

Another noteworthy attraction? The bevy of Boone NC hiking trails the area offers.

The charming mountain town is stuffed and wrapped in first-class trails. Whether it’s beautiful summits, simple strolls, or wondrous waterfalls you need to see, there are countless hiking trails near Boone worthy of exploration.

Read on for details on 15 of our favorite Boone trails for an epic outside experience!

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Boone NC

1. Bass Lake Loop
2. Boone Fork Trail
three. Cascades Trail
4. Summit Trail
5. Flat Top Road
6. Glen Burney Trail
7. Green Knob Loop
eight. Boone Greenway Trail
9. Price Lake Loop
10. Grandfather Mountain Profile Trail to Calloway Peak
eleven. Rocky Branch Loop
12. Rich Mountain Trail w/Trout Lake
13. Beacon Heights Trail
14. Otter Falls Trail
15. Tanawha Trail

READ MORE: The Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in North Carolina

Fall colours in Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, photo by CarlTyer through CanvaBass Lake Loop
Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

BRP Milepost 294

Hiking Distance: 1 Mile

Named for the area’s notorious “Denim King,” Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is situated only a few miles from Downtown Boone.

It may be accessed either by way of the Blue Ridge Parkwayor through US-221, simply west of Blowing Rock. Either method, it’s just under a 10-mile drive.

The park itself is fantastic to visit, and actually provides several worthwhile hikes. However, the loop trail around Bass Lake ranks among the best possible Boone hiking trails .

This is an easy one-mile route that circles one of NC’s most lovely mountain lakes. It’s accessible for wheelchairs and child carriages (via US-221), and there are plenty of pretty photographs to take and picnic spots to cease at along the means in which.

The Bass Lake hike could be extended a number of miles by ranging from the Parkway and adding detours to the Cone Manor House, Apple Barn, and a winding trail known as The Maze.

Most of the trails in Moses H. Cone Memorial Park are suitable for horseback using and even horse-drawn carriages, so that’s another bit of fun to have within the area.

READ MORE: The Top 15 NC State Parks within the North Carolina Mountains

Boone Fork Trail, Photo by Dawson TozierBoone Fork Trail
Julian Price Memorial Park

BRP Milepost 297

Hiking Distance: 5 Miles

Julian Price Memorial Park is one other lovely leisure space, positioned proper on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s home to several of our favourite places for hiking near Boone.

The 4,200-acre plot was originally bought by insurance magnate/philanthropist Julian Price as a retreat for his staff. After Price’s death in 1946, his household donated the land to the Parkway.

The Boone Fork Trail is among the hottest hiking trails in Boone NC. Due to its relative ease, however noteworthy magnificence, the five-mile loop has every day visitors, and can get notably busy on the weekends.

The trail follows along cascading creeks, tunnels beneath thickets of rhododendron, and weaves betwixt large boulders. It even exhibits off a number of the area’s most beautiful waterfalls.

The Boone Fork Trail additionally circles right by the Price Park Picnic Area, so why not deliver alongside a pleasant spread to take pleasure in whereas you’re out for the day?

READ MORE: The 15 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes for NC Day Trips

Cascades Waterfall, Photo by Dawson TozierCascades Trail
E.B. Jeffress Park

BRP Milepost 271.9

Hiking Distance: 1 Mile

Located just north of Boone on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the 600-acreE.B. Jeffress Parkis a small leisure space by Blue Ridge Parkway standards.

But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in waterworks.

The Cascades Trail is a one-mile loop, and it is likely considered one of the most heavily trodden trails within the NC High Country. That’s because it’s home to top-of-the-line waterfalls near Boone, with loads of cascades to appreciate along Falls Creek.

To add some size to the hike, it’s possible to combine the Cascade Trail with Tompkins Knob Trail, which brings trekkers past Jesse Brown Cabin, Cool Springs Baptist Church, an old spring home, and Tompkins Knob Overlook.

Combined, these two trails add as much as about 2.2 miles of hiking. Again, there are some nice picnic tables here, suggesting that guests may prefer to linger for some recent mountain air and a hearty snack.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls in North Carolina

Elk Knob State Park NC, picture courtesy of NC.govSummit Trail
Elk Knob State Park Meat Camp Road

Hiking Distance: 3.8 Miles

Approximately 10 miles north of the city of Boone, Elk Knob State Park encompasses over 4,000 acres of wilderness and features one of many region’s highest peaks, the 5520-foot Elk Knob.

If you’re keen on the challenge of a great summit trek with steady elevation acquire, Elk Knob is a great option.

The Summit Trail presents a strenuous 2-mile climb to the highest, from which successful climbers can see beautiful highlights corresponding to Grandfather Mountain, Mount Jefferson, and Mount Mitchell in all their glory.

This Boone NC hiking trail is all about scenic vistas, and there are a handful of chosen viewpoints from which to soak it in along the finest way.

Backcountry tenting, picnic tables, an educational trail for kids, and a park workplace are all available at Elk Knob State Park. So it’s positively value a visit even if a daunting two-mile climb doesn’t peak your curiosity.

READ MORE:Things to Do in Elk Knob State Park Near Boone NC

Flat Top Road in Moses Cone Memorial ParkFlat Top Road
Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

BRP Milepost 294

Hiking Distance: 5 Miles

Crossing beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Carriage Barn near the Cone Manor House, visitors run into Flat Top Road.

It was originally constructed for horse-drawn carriages.Now it’s a hiking trail, and immensely gratifying to stroll.

The seemingly flat, broad gravel path travels about 2.5 miles to the summit of Flat Top Mountain (4,558 feet). There, a historic lookout tower provides 360-degree panoramas of the Blue Ridge Mountains and North Carolina Piedmont.

The stroll along Flat Top Road winds by way of meadows laden with wildflowers, into sections of lush forest, and beneath loads of contemporary air and sunshine. For these fascinated, a slight detour will also convey you to the Cone Family Cemetery.

This is a outstanding summertime hike. But please make certain to carry loads of water, as there is plenty of solar exposure alongside the route.

READ MORE: The Best Things to Do in DuPont State Forest, NC

Appalachian Mtn Vacation Redux, picture by sheffieldb is licensed underneath CC BY-ND 2.0Glen Burney Trail
Downtown Blowing Rock

243 Laurel Lane

Hiking Distance: 3.2 Miles

This hiking trail is believed to have been utilized by Native Americansin the pre-Colonial period. It has positively been used by tourists because the 1800s, in addition to loggers in the early 1900s.

The trail has been periodically updated through the years, however the primary cause people have used it for therefore lengthy remains– the attractive cascades alongside New Year’s Creek.

The hike on Glen Burney Trail is deceptively tough. The one-way trail descends 1.2 miles to Glen Burney Falls, then continues down another zero.4 miles to Glen Marie Falls.

The downside is that this requires hikers to turn around and climb 1.6 miles to get again to the trailhead! Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic hiking trail that’s often marked with a colorful rainbow’s finish (caused by the mist on the waterfalls).

Plus, the trail is positioned right in the coronary heart of Blowing Rock, so a good meal and a pint of microbrew shall be waiting nearby when all of the trekking is over.

READ MORE:The 15 Best Things to Do in Bryson City NC & Swain County

Green Knob Trail beneath BRP, picture by Dawson TozierGreen Knob Loop
Blue Ridge Parkway

BRP Milepost 295.9

2.2 Miles

Accessed by either the Sims Creek Overlook (Milepost 295.3) or Sim’s Pond Overlook (Milepost 295.9), which has better parking, the Green Knob Loop is very regarded as an easy-to-hike trail with lots of fairly options.

The trail contains Sim’s Pond, in addition to a couple of crossings of Sim’s Creek. Additionally, there are wildflower meadows, dense forests, and noteworthy views of Grandfather Mountain.

For these seeking an easy-like-Sunday-morning hike, the Green Knob Loop would possibly match excellent.

Plus, the Green Knob Loop is only a couple of miles north of Price Lake (Julian Price Memorial Park) and south of Bass Lake (Moses H. Cone Memorial Park).

So there may be loads of different stuff to do and see round this a part of Boone. Heck, 5 of the hikes on this list are within a couple of miles of one another.

READ MORE: The Best Christmas Lights in North Carolina

Boone Greenway, photo courtesy Explore Boone/Watauga TDABoone Greenway Trail
Clawson Burnley Park, Boone

355 Hunting Hills Lane

Hiking Distance: four miles

Strutting via downtown Boone, with sections alongside Winklers Creek, the Middle Fork, and South Fork New Rivers, the Greenway Trail in Boone is a paved path that provides an excellent walk without leaving city at all.

Officially known as the Lee & Vivian Reynolds Greenway, this walkway is accessible from throughout town.

There are routes feeding into it from the Southgate Shopping Center, Watauga High School, Watauga County Recreation Complex, and the Boone Wastewater Treatment Plant.

All-in-all, the trail is about four miles, most of which is waterside. Included on the trail are picnic tables, a historic dam web site, and coated bridges straddling the New River, one of many oldest rivers in the world!

READ MORE: The 20 Best Western NC Small Towns to Visit (& Live In)

Lake Price in Julian Price Memorial Park, photo by Bret Love & Mary GabbettPrice Lake Loop
Julian Price Memorial Park

BRP Milepost 297

Hiking Distance: 2.7 Miles

There is one thing magical about being at excessive elevation, with the wind transferring via timber and the world down below as you walk beside a lake.

Lakes are beautiful wherever you go, but they somehow seem rattling near miraculous in the mountains!

One of our favorites is Price Lake, which is situated in Julian Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Magically, there is an agreeably straightforward 2.7-mile loop trail circling it.

The trail has nice bridges over streams, routes through rhododendron thickets, boardwalks atop marshy spots, and plenty of mountaintop vistas.

Lots of hikers go for the Boone Fork Trail or Tanawha Trail once they visit this park. But the Price Lake Loop is the shortest and most relaxed possibility for these looking for that sort of laid-back expertise.

READ MORE: The Best Western NC Christmas Tree Farms in Boone, Asheville & Beyond

Grandfather Mountain Calloway Peak View, picture by Emma GallagherProfile Trail to Calloway Peak
Grandfather Mountain State Park NC Highway a hundred and five N

Hiking Distance: 10 miles

There are many various ways to summit Grandfather Mountain, the tallest peak in North Carolina’s High Country. But the Profile Trail is arguably the most beautiful route.

The Profile Trail itself is 3.6 miles, the first half of which dances forwards and backwards over creeks and cascades.

The second half starts a extra severe ascent, providing beautiful views of the encircling valleys, peaks, and rock formations.

At the top of the Profile Trail, hikers can (and should) choose to hike one other mile or extra to summit Grandfather Mountain at Calloway Peak.

This route does require a certain stage of health: You want to have the power to stroll 10 miles and climb a pair thousand toes in elevation. If that sounds doable, then this hiking trail near Boone is properly definitely price the effort!

READ MORE:Things to Do at Grandfather Mountain State Park in Banner Elk NC

Mountain Biking in NC, photograph by way of CanvaRocky Branch Loop
Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park

285 Mountain Bike Way

Hiking Distance: 1.6 miles

The Rocky Branch Loop is part of Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, a nationally-known mountain biking paradise with a fantastic choice of average to superior trails.

This particular trail is rated as the simplest of the bunch for cyclists, and therefore finest fitted to novices.

But for hikers, it’s probably a bit extra appealing as a end result of it doesn’t have all of the switchbacks and different difficult elements that steeper mountain biking trails tend to have.

While most of the park’s trails are open to each hiking and biking, the park asks the hikers and bikers to move in opposite directions in an effort to avoid collisions.

The bike park is positioned proper outdoors of Boone off US-421, earlier than it crosses paths with the Blue Ridge Parkway.

READ MORE:20 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Overlooks in NC & VA

Tunnel underneath the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Carriage House, picture by Dawson TozierRich Mountain Trail w/ Trout Lake
Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

BRP Milepost 294

Hiking Distance: 7 miles

You’ll notice that Moses H. Cone Memorial Park has made this list 3 times, and that’s with good cause: It’s an enormous place to explore, has pleasantly lengthy but easy trails, and has three lakes to take pleasure in.

The Rich Mountain Trail may be accessed from the principle Blue Ridge Parkway parking area on the park (near Cone Manor), which includes a cool tunnel beneath the BRP.

The trail meanders its approach to the summit of Rich Mountain. It was initially designed for horse-drawn carriages, so the path is broad and has solely a very gradual slope.

On the trek again from summiting the mountain, a detour to check out Trout Lake provides a few worthwhile miles to the otherwise 5-mile hike.

READ MORE:Things to Do at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park Near Blowing Rock NC

Beacon Heights Overlook, photograph by BlueRidgeKitties by way of CC BY-NC-SA 2.0Beacon Heights Trail
Beacon Heights Overlook

BRP Milepost 305.2

Hiking Distance: 1 mile

The Beacon Heights Overlook is actually only a parking space on the Blue Ridge Parkway. To reach the actually gorgeous scenic vistas, visitors must hike to the summit, which is at the finish of a short 1/2-mile trail.

While temporary, the hike does climb a big 1,four hundred ft in elevation in a somewhat short amount of time. But the payoff for your efforts is a extremely good one!

At the summit, two large rock outcrops provide jaw-dropping panoramic views that embrace Table Rock, Hawksbill Mountain, Grandmother Mountain, and Grandfather Mountain.

It’s certainly one of our favourite locations in the area to observe sunrises and sunsets.

The Beacon Heights Trail is the start of the much longer Tanawha Trail, which goes all the best way to Julian Price Memorial Park (13 miles away). Just keep in mind to veer right when the trail splits, which will take you to Beacon Heights.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Places for Snow Skiing in North Carolina

Otter Falls Observation Platform, picture by Bret Love & Mary GabbettOtter Falls Trail
Town of Seven Devils

825 Skyland Drive

Hiking Distance: 1.2 miles

The chance to visit a stable, shapely waterfall is all the time a quality reason to get out and go for a hike.

Otter Falls isn’t skyscraping. It isn’t big. But it’s obtained the best stuff to make for a beautiful walk within the woods.

The Town of Seven Devils has dabbled in winter sports activities for a while now, with a premier snow tubing resort there. The city additionally has zip strains and a beautiful hiking trail— the Otter Falls Trail —to get pleasure from.

The Otter Falls Trail is short, with a couple of loops and two in-and-out routes that supply benches, statement decks, and the waterfall because the prize on the finish.

Otter Falls begins with a slide down a mossy rock ledge, a plunge onto splash rocks, and a few cascades till becoming a daily creek that kids take pleasure in romping in.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Cherokee NC & the Qualla Boundary

Linn Cove Viaduct, photo by Bret Love & Mary GabbettTanawha Trail
Julian Price Memorial Park

Holloway Mountain Road

Hiking Distance: thirteen.5 Miles

This trail requires a critical dedication, and might be only suitable for really confident hikers. But if that doesn’t deter you, it’s an amazing route and offers real adventure!

The Tanawha Trail is a section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, an 1,175-mile hiking route connecting Clingman’s Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

The thirteen.5-mile stretch is one-way, meaning it’ll be essential to both leave a automotive or organize a pickup where the trail ends on the Beacon Heights Overlook.

The trailhead nearest to Boone is in Julian Price Memorial Park, but it ought to be accessed by way of NC-105 rather than the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Named after the Cherokee word for “fabulous hawk/eagle,” the trail offers many highlights, including the Linn Cove Viaduct, Rough Ridge, Raven Rock, Grandfather Mountain, and Boone Fork Creek.–by Jonathon Engels; lead picture via Canva

The 15 Best Boone NC Hiking Trails To Explore
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