9 Best Hikes in Boone, North Carolina

So, you’re visiting Boone in North Carolina and fancying a hike. Well, you’re in luck! There are tons of great hiking spots just around that area. Yet, where do you start exactly?

Without further ado, read on to find the best hiking spot for you!

Before You Start Your Journey

We know how excited you must be about exploring these beautiful trails, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind first. 

First and foremost, plan your trip ahead. If you’re staying for just a couple of hours, you won’t need a lot of supplies.

However, if it’s a long, rugged trail, then make sure you have enough food and water for yourself–and maybe some extra if you’re going with friends or family.

Plus, avoid bringing any heavy snacks that could upset your stomach. Sticking to fresh, natural foods like apples or bananas is best.

Second, please ensure you’ve told someone close where you’re headed so they know where to look in case something goes wrong.

Last, try not to litter as much as possible while out there. Instead, pack all your trash in your bag to avoid harming animals.

The Best Hiking Trails in Boone, North Carolina

Now that you know how to prepare for your hike, it’s time to start the adventure! Here are a few of our favorite options:

1. The Grandfather Trail

  • Length: 4.1 miles
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Location: Grandfather Mountain

While the Grandfather Mountain Trail might be one of the most beautiful on our list, it’s also one of the hardest. In fact, there are certain spots on the trail where you’ll find yourself having to use the built-in ladders and cables!

Regardless, if you’re looking for a challenge, you can easily access the trail through the Grandfather Mountains State Park. You’ll have to pay an admission fee, though.

The Grandfather Mountain trial is a challenging mountain terrain that stretches from the Swinging Bridge Area to Calloway Peak for almost 2.4 miles. 

On your walk, you’ll see that this trail is full of beautiful flowers, fir, and spruce trees. Plus, there are plenty of open spaces with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

The trail could take you five hours to complete because of how challenging it could be, so it’s best to avoid bringing kids and pets with you. 

2. Tanawha Trail

  • Length: 13.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Location: Blue Ridge Parkway
Tanawha Hiking Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway on Grandfather Mountain

If you’re searching for another long, scenic stroll, look no further than the Tanawha Trail. This picturesque trail is around 13.5 miles from Julian Park to Beacon Heights. 

Because of its proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway and its vast open space, you can easily spot Grandfather Mountain on your stroll.

Moreover, you can access the Linn Cove Viaduct from this trail. The Tanawha trail is also part of a network of trails in that area, including the Boone Fork Trail and the Price Lake Trail. So, if you want to extend your hike, you can follow either trail.

Finally, be sure to remember this is a one-way hiking path. This means you’ll have to properly prepare yourself for the 13.5 miles trek. So don’t forget your supplies, and bring your camping gear if you plan on exploring for a few days.

3. Rough Ridge Overlook Trail

  • Length: 4.7 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Location: Blue Ridge Parkway (near Linn Cove Viaduct)

The Rough Ridge Overlook Trail is one of the most popular trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with good reason. It’s a short hike, but it’ll give you a thorough workout and a fantastic view at the end!

The trail is around 0.8 miles long (1.6 miles if you count the trip back) and takes you more than 4.500 feet above sea level! Moreover, once you get to the top, you’ll notice multiple boardwalks around the summit. 

These boardwalks allow hikers to enjoy their surroundings while protecting the ecosystem from foot traffic.

And lastly, if you’re a beginner, it’s best to be well prepared as the terrain is steep and bumpy. You can reach this trail path through MP 302.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

4. Flat Top Mountain Trail

  • Length: 4.8 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Moses H Cone Memorial Park

The Flat Top Mountain Trail offers a bit more unique than other trails: it gives you a chance to connect with nature and history.

Initially, this hiking trail was built to carry people across horse-drawn carriages, but now it’s a vast, gravel-paved hiking path that curls through beautiful meadows.

The trail is a one-way, 2.8 miles trip inside Moses Cone Manor Park, so you’ll have to double back once you reach the end. However, before doing just that, make sure to check out the old fire tower at the top!

It’s almost four stories tall and provides lovely views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and North Carolina Piedmont

The Flat Top Mountain Trail also offers you a spooky adventure! On your walk, you can make a slight detour to visit the old Cone Cemetery and enjoy the mysterious atmosphere in the area.

5. Glen Burney Trail

  • Length: 2.3 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Location: Pisgah National Forest

So far, we’ve talked about views of beautiful trees and mountaintops, but what about magical waterfalls?

The Glen Burney Trail is a moderate hike that takes you to three beautiful waterfalls, including Glen Marie Falls and Glen Burney Falls. It’s located in Annie Cannon Park, just after the ChargePoint Charging Station.

The trail is around three miles long and includes a lot of slippery roots, mud, and rocks. Moreover, once you’ve started your trek, you’ll notice that the trail takes you on a downhill trip throughout the first 1.4 miles.

As a result, on your way back, the entire trip turns into a climbing journey! So, make sure to watch your step and wear sturdy shoes.

And finally, if you’re a dog owner, you’d be pleased to learn that you can bring your furry friend on this adventure with you. Don’t forget his leash and snacks, though!

6. Price Lake Loop Trail

  • Length: 2.2 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Julian Price Memorial Park

Lakes are a beautiful sight to behold, especially when surrounded by towering mountains, with the sun setting slowly behind them.

Luckily for you, this beautiful scenery is readily available at the Price Lake Loop Trail in Julian Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It’s the perfect trail for families with young children, as it’s completely flat with almost no rocks or other obstacles. The Price Lake Trail is around 2.3 miles and loops around the lake, passing through a beautiful forest. 

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that the ground can get very muddy after rain or snow. So, make sure you’ve got the proper footwear!

7. Bass Lake Loop Trail

  • Length: 0.9 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Moses H Cone Memorial Park

Sadly, many of the trails on your list aren’t suitable for wheelchairs or strollers because of the rough terrain. Fortunately for us, the Bass Lake Loop Trail is an excellent, safe option for people of all ages and abilities.

You can bring your family to enjoy the 0.9 miles stroll around the lakeshore and enjoy the various picnic areas along the way. 

While you’re there, you can also take a peak at the Cone Manor House and discover how life looked like for the original owners. 

The Bass Lake Loop trail is also connected to a longer pathway called the Maze. Of course, you don’t have to follow this trail, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can combine the two paths together for a longer hike.

This trail is easily accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway, but you can also head there through the US 221 (The Blowing Highway).

8. Greenway Trail to Kennedy Trail

  • Length: 2.9 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Casey Lane, Boone, North Carolina

Though some might tell you it’s not an actual trail, the Greenway Trail is another excellent option if you’re looking for an accessible hiking path. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the city to reach it!

This 4 miles trail is entirely located within the Boone city limits and is available for hikers, cyclists, and people with special needs. You can also take your dog with you, but don’t forget his leash!

The trail takes you on a lovely journey throughout the town, with parts winding along Winklers Creek and the south and middle forks of the New River.

The trail also offers you a glimpse into the past with various historic Bonne architecture all around and signs that teach you about the place’s history.

9. Boone Fork Trail

  • Length: 5.2 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Location: Julian Price Memorial Park

The Boone Fork Trail is five miles looped trail in Julian Price Park. This trial is undoubtedly one the best trails on your list today because it’s really easy to hike and offers stunning views of the park.

You’ll start your trek at the picnic area in Julian Price Park and follow the trail through gorgeous meadows, mountain creeks, and even blockfields! So, make sure your shoes have good traction and are waterproof.

If you’ve got the time, make sure you visit Hebron Falls, also known as the Boone Fork Falls, along your journey. You can enjoy the fresh air with the sound of crashing water.

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