11 Best Hikes In Boone NC

The 11 Most Spectacular & Best Hikes In Boone NC!

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Are you searching for the best hikes in Boone NC? Look no further than these 11 best hikes near Boone NC for your next outdoor fix!

Boone, a small town in North Carolina and set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, may not immediately spring to mind when searching for awesome hikes in the US. But, rest assured, whether you’re on the hunt for a challenging climb, a brisk walk, stunning waterfalls, or a relaxed stroll that offers incredible scenery, Boone is certainly the place to be and hiking is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Boone, NC.

Blessed with gorgeous natural beauty and hikes to suit all levels of hiking proficiency, the High Country has so much to offer hiking enthusiasts in search of their next hiking thrill.

In this post, we’ve collated our 11 favorite hikes in Boone NC to inspire you to put on your backpack and boots and get hiking in North Carolina! Regardless of whether you’re embarking on an RV or camping road trip, or simply visiting Boone, be sure to try out at least one of these Boone Hikes!

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5 Must-Have Hiking Essentials for Hiking in Boone NC

  1. A hiking day backpack
  2. Comfy pair of men’s boots, or woman’s hiking boots
  3. Hiking water bottle for hydration
  4. A cozy men’s and woman’s windbreaker for those gusty summits
  5. A set of hiking poles

11 Best Hikes Near Boone NC

The Boone Fork Trail

Boone Fork Trail
Boone Fork Trail
  • Distance: 5.2 Miles
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty:  Easy

If you’re looking for trails with some of the best waterfalls near Boone NC, then you can opt for the Boone Fork trail as it is the ultimate waterfall haven. It is a 5.2-mile loop track that can get busy when an abundance of tourists descend on the area during the peak season. 

This trail is located within the Julian Price Memorial Park, and the scenery it offers is well worth the hiking and includes beautiful wooded areas and flora. Again, it is relatively easy, and you might not face any difficulties on the trail, making it the best track for families looking for an easy hike with young children. 

You might want to bring waterproof shoes as you will be crossing wet creeks, and these may come in handy if you want to immerse your feet in the freshwater below the waterfall. Don’t forget to bring your camera as the waterfalls are stunning.

Mountains to Sea: Goshen River Trail

  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Route Type: Out & Back
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Goshen River track is an easy beautiful hike that includes a few stream crossings and some stunning creeks and falls along the way. It is well suited to families looking for a non-challenging hike with the kids. 

Its topography has one river crossing suitable for wading in the fresh waters, so you should definitely bring along suitable footwear if you want to immerse your feet in the water. Ice cleats would be suitable in winter as the river can get icy and since the trail is accessible pretty much year-round.

You might have difficulties finding the trailhead as it is located over an elevated fence. Once you climb the fence, you can easily follow the 3.1-mile track available throughout the year. Apart from the elevated entrance, the pathway does not have any other difficult climbs of treacherous terrain. 

Although some people might think the pathway does not have breathtaking vistas, it is aesthetically pleasing near the creaks. Here you can soak up the scenic view and enjoy the fresh air outdoors whilst meandering through the lush trees growing along the pathways.

The Glen Burney Trail – Hiking Boone NC

Glen Burney Falls – © Photo by Craig Zerbe from Getty Images by Canva
Glen Burney Falls – © Photo by Craig Zerbe from Getty Images by Canva
  • Distance: 3.2 miles
  • Route Type: Out & Back
  • Difficulty: Moderate

The Glen Burney trail offers stunning scenery leading to 3 beautiful waterfalls making it one of the most popular hikes near Boone NC. 

Although the track is roughly 3.2 miles, it is more complicated than it may initially seem. On this out & back trail hikers will first descend down 1.2 miles to reach Glen Burney Falls, then continue further along to Glen Marie Falls another 0.4 miles down. The return uphill climb is what makes this a tad bit more difficult.

Regardless, it’s a fabulous hike with gorgeous surrounds that makes it all the more worthwhile. Do make sure to get there early to beat the crowds as this is quite a popular hiking trail. The trail is usually accessible from March through to October and dogs are allowed along, just make sure they’re kept on a leash. 

The Boone Greenway

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Boone Greenway trail (some may argue it’s more a walk than a trail) is not technically inclined as it is entirely paved with some graveled sections throughout, making it an easy pathway for hikers, walkers, and cyclists alike. It is best for easy, spontaneous strolls within the town of Boone. It is 4 miles long and accessible from multiple different spots across town including Casey Lane, Deerfield Road, Clawson-Barnley Park/ Watauga County Recreation Complex, and Southgate Shopping Complex.

Following along the New River you’ll be able to take in the colorful forested scenery and beautiful meadows whilst also being able to take advantage of a few picnic spots and pass along some historic sights too!

If you’re a serious hiker then this trail will most definitely not be for you. But for beginner hikers or those looking for a relaxed family day out, the Boone Greenway walk is a perfect choice!

The Rocky Knob Trail

Rocky Knob Overlook – © Photo Daniel Mark Robertson from Getty Images by Canva
Rocky Knob Overlook – © Photo Daniel Mark Robertson from Getty Images by Canva
  • Distance: 7.2 miles
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Various levels of difficulty

The Rocky Knob track is located in the Rocky Mountain Park and offers around 7.2 miles worth of stacked-loop trails that vary in difficulty levels. It is suitable for exploration from March to October and is open to people hiking and also popular with trail runners but is predominantly used by mountain bikers who enjoy the adrenaline associated with the rough terrains.

Regardless of whether you are hiking or biking, it is imperative that you are aware of others using the single-track trails and bikers may have to yield to hikers along the way. 

Elk Knob Summit Trail

Summit Trail Footpath to Elk Knob - Boone NC Hiking Trails– © Photo James Robert Smith from Getty Images by Canva
Summit Trail Footpath to Elk Knob – © Photo James Robert Smith from Getty Images by Canva
  • Distance: 3.7 miles
  • Route Type: Out & Back
  • Difficulty: Moderate

If you enjoy mountain tops, then the summit track to the top of Elk Mountain set in the Elk Knob State Park is for you. Considering that it is one of the tallest mountains found in the NC high country, its slopes are moderately difficult, allowing hikers to really challenge their hiking prowess. It has a steady elevation that features stunning views and beautiful scenery including colorful wildflowers. 

Cascades Trail – Boone NC Hiking Trails

  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Cascades Trail, one of the most popular Boone hiking trails, is located in a small recreational area around the Blue Ridge Parkways. It is a mile loop leading out to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in NC. 

Be prepared for heavy traffic as many people enjoy walking on this particular train. It is an easy pathway and is family-friendly as it has nice picnic tables, making it an enjoyable day out in the beautiful mountainous surroundings. For the most part, it is an easy hike that takes you through a beautiful forested area. Do bear in mind that to reach the lower viewing point you will encounter a number of steps that may be more challenging in nature, but the endpoint is definitely worth it! 

For hikers wanting a bit more length in their hike, why not combine the Cascades Trail with the Tompkins Knob Trail which will extend your total to 2.2 miles worth of hiking.

The Linville Falls

Linville Falls – © Photo Nathan Farber from Getty Images by Canva
Linville Falls – © Photo Nathan Farber from Getty Images by Canva
  • Distance: 1.6 miles – Erwins View Trial | 1.4 miles – Linville Gorge Trail
  • Route Type: Out & Back
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate 

You would need to drive out of town to find these trails that are located about 30 miles south of the city near Newland. Following along the Erwin’s View Trail is easy and is suitable for family hiking, and you can soak in the natural beauty on this pathway that leads to several different viewing platforms that offer uniquely different views of the ever-popular Linville Falls (considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Boone NC).

Both hiking trails start from the Linville Falls Visitor Center and are especially beautiful during Fall when you’ll get to encounter a vibrant display of fall forest colors (here you’ll find oaks, pines, birch, and hickory trees), whilst in spring the trails are adorned with a beautiful wildflower display.

Flat Top Mountain Trail

  • Distance: 4.7 miles
  • Route Type: Out & Back
  • Difficulty: Easy

If you are on the lookout for one of the easier yet most beautiful hikes near Boone NC, then look no further than the gorgeous Flat Top Mountain Trail.

Originally intended for use by horse-drawn carriages, today the flat-top road crosses under the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a fantastic walk offering a few switchbacks and meandering through beautiful wildflower meadows and forests, reaching the summit where you’ll get to enjoy two good overlooks along the way. 

From here you can admire striking views from up top the 4-story high fire tower that peaks out just above the tree line.

The trail begins at Flat Top Manor and for some added adventure, you may also consider including the detour and visit the Cone Cemetery along the way.

Price Lake Loop – Hiking near Boone NC

Julian Price Lake – © Photo skiserge1 from Getty Images by Canva
Julian Price Lake – © Photo skiserge1 from Getty Images by Canva
  • Distance: 2.1 mile
  • Route Type: Circle
  • Difficulty: Easy

If it’s a beautiful mountain and lakeside scenery you’re after, then the easy 2.1-mile Price Lake Loop trail is definitely the one for you.

This easy circle hike loops around Price Lake, set in the Julian Price Memorial park that can be found on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The hike is fairly flat but definitely packs a mighty punch by way of the beautiful scenery you’ll stumble upon as you cross several streams, walk through forested areas, and of course admire the various mountain top vantage points! 

Also, be on the lookout for beaver activity that’s in abundance here! Heading back to the parking area, you’ll also pass through a nice campsite too.

The Profile Trail to Calloway Park – Difficult Boone NC Hikes

Grandfather Mountain, Calloway Peak - Hikes near Boon NC– © Photo WerksMedia from Getty Images by Canva
Grandfather Mountain, Calloway Peak – © Photo WerksMedia from Getty Images by Canva
  • Distance: 7 miles
  • Route Type: Out & Back
  • Difficulty: Strenuous

Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak you’ll encounter in the High Country of North Carolina. Arguably one of the best trails leading you to this spectacular summit is the Profile Trail to Calloway Peak, undoubtedly one of the best Hikes in Boone NC. 

As you embark on this hike you’ll pass through some pretty scenic wildflower (seasonal) pathways before crossing the Watauga River and continuing on into a hardwood canopy forested area. Passing along Frescoe View and Shanty Spring the path becomes progressively steeper and more difficult. The final bit is especially steep and rocky and is definitely more suited to experienced hikers with special care and attention to footwork required!

Considering the rough terrain, this hike is not suitable for inexperienced hikers or for pets. There are no water points along the way, so hikers will need to bring their own water along when taking on this trail.

Whilst this trail is certainly not the easiest to hike, it certainly makes up for it by offering up spectacular sweeping views that will more than make up for the challenging hike up and down and is undoubtedly one of the best Boone NC hiking trails to take on. 

Final Thoughts

No matter your skill level, these best hiking trails in Boone NC will offer you a chance to explore the stunning natural beauty and landscapes of the High Country. Whether it’s lakeside or mountain top views you’re after, I hope that this list of the 11 best hikes in Boone NC has inspired you to strap on your hiking boots and explore this gorgeous area of North Carolina!

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