11 Of The Best Hikes in Boone NC You Don’t Want To Miss Out On!


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Do you need recommendations for the best hikes near Boone, NC? For your next outdoor fix, look no further than these 11 best hikes in Boone NC!

When looking for amazing hikes in the US, Boone, a little town in North Carolina situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, might not immediately come to mind. But you can be sure that Boone is the place to be, whether you’re looking for a hard climb, beautiful waterfalls, or a slow and leisurely hike with great views.

The High Country has a lot to offer hikers looking for their next trekking or hiking adventure, with hikes to fit all levels of hiking experience and magnificent natural scenery.

We’ve compiled our top 11 hikes in Boone, North Carolina, in this post to encourage you to get your gear and head out for a trek in the state. 

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Don’t Forget To Grab These Hiking Essentials For Hiking in Boone NC!

How To Get To Boone, North Carolina

The town of Boone, which serves as the county seat of Watauga County in western North Carolina, is tucked away in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for its idyllic natural surroundings. 

The Tri-Cities Regional (TRI) Airport is the nearest local airport to Boone and is around 45 miles from the town. Other big airports near Boone are Asheville, which is 72.9 miles away, and Charlotte, which is 80.5 miles away.

Of course, this means that the best way to get to, and around Boone would be by car, and this would certainly be the case if you intend to explore all these awesome hikes near Boone!

If you’re not traveling by car already and plan to fly into one of these airports, then be sure to browse and book car rental options here through my favorite car rental platform, Discover Cars. 

Where To Stay in Boone, NC

It goes without saying that, being mountain country, Boone has no shortage of incredible accommodation options, ranging from charming self-catering mountain cabins to cozy hotel options.

Choose from this Charming Mtn Cabin set 2 miles from downtown, the 3-star La Quinta by Wyndham Boone, or the 3-star Hampton Inn & Suites.

Alternatively, use the map down below to search and browse for different accommodation options that include self-catered, hotels, and guest houses to find and book your perfect home-away-from-home whilst visiting Boone! 

11 Best Hikes Near Boone NC

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

One of the most well-liked hikes near Boone NC, is the Glen Burney Trail, which offers breathtaking scenery and leads to three lovely waterfalls. 

Although the track is about 3.2 miles long, it is trickier than it appears at first. On this 1.2-mile out-and-back trail, hikers will first descend to Glen Burney Falls before continuing on to Glen Marie Falls, which is another 0.4 miles down the trail. This is made slightly more challenging by the uphill climb on the way back. 

In any case, it’s a fantastic hike with stunning surroundings, which makes it even more worthwhile. Due to the popularity of this hiking trail, arrive early to avoid crowds. Dogs are welcome on the trail, which is typically open from March through October. Just make sure to keep them on a leash. 

The Boone Greenway

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

The Boone Greenway trail, which some people might argue is more of a walk than a trail, is a flat, easy path for hikers, walkers, and cyclists alike because it is entirely paved with some gravel sections scattered throughout. It works best for casual, impromptu strolls around Boone. 

This trail is 4 miles long and accessible from a number of locations throughout the town, such as Casey Lane, Deerfield Road, Clawson-Barnley Park/Watauga County Recreation Complex, and Southgate Shopping Complex.

As you follow the New River, you can enjoy the picturesque meadows and vibrantly colored forests, as well as a few picnic spots and historic sites.

For those who are new to hiking or who want to spend a laid-back family day out, the Boone Greenway walk is a great option. However, if you’re a serious hiker, this trail is most definitely not for you.

The Boone Fork Trail

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

The easily accessible Boone Fork trail route is the perfect paradise if you’re seeking trails close to some of the best falls in and around Boone, North Carolina. This 5.2-mile circular track can get crowded during the high season due to the influx of visitors.

The magnificent woodland areas and lush vegetation along this walk, set in the Julian Price Memorial Park, make the trek well worth your time. 

It’s not too strenuous either, and there aren’t many obstacles along the way, so it’s ideal for families with kids who want to enjoy a family day out in nature. 

If you plan on dipping your feet in the freshwater pool at the base of the waterfall, you may want to bring waterproof shoes because you will be traversing wet creeks. The waterfalls are absolutely beautiful, so don’t forget to take your camera along to capture the stunning scenery to your heart’s content! 

Mountains to Sea: Goshen River Trail

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

The Goshen River route is a lovely, short hike that crosses a few streams and passes by several breathtaking creeks and waterfalls. It is perfect for families seeking a kid-friendly hike that isn’t too difficult.

You should definitely bring along appropriate footwear if you wish to dip your feet in the water because its topography has one river crossing that is suited for taking a dip in the fresh waters. 

Since the trail is available almost all year and the terrain can get slippery and icy in the winter, ice cleats would be appropriate.

The trailhead can be found over a raised fence, so it could be challenging to discover. After climbing the fence, the 3.1-mile track is easily accessible all year. Other than the initial steep climb, there are no other challenging climbs or hazardous terrain on the path.

Although some people might argue that the path doesn’t have any spectacular views, the area near the creeks is pleasant. You can take in the stunning scenery and breathe in the fresh air as you meander through the dense trees that rise along the pathways.

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

The 2.1-mile Price Lake Loop trail is perfect if you’re looking for a relaxing hike with stunning mountain and lake views.

This short circular hike circles Price Lake, which is located in the Julian Price Memorial Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Even though the trail is relatively flat, it still packs a powerful visual punch as you cross several streams, pass through dense forests, and, of course, take in the views of the various mountaintop vantage points! 

Additionally, keep an eye out for the abundant beaver activity in this area. You will also pass by a nice campsite on the way back to the parking area.

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

A 7.2-mile stretch of stacked-loop trails with varying degrees of difficulty can be found on the Rocky Knob track, which is situated in Rocky Mountain Park. From March to October, it is suitable to visit, and accessible to hikers, trail runners, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Mountain bikers, who like the rush of adrenaline that difficult terrain gives them, use it a lot as well.

It’s important to be aware of other users of the single-track trails, whether you’re biking or hiking because bikers might need to stop for hikers along the way. 

The Linville Falls – Best Hikes in Boone NC

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 

These trails are about 30 miles south of the city, close to Newland, so you would need to travel outside of town to find them. 

The Linville Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls near Boone NC, can be seen from a number of different viewing platforms along the Erwin’s View Trail, which is simple to follow and suitable for family hikes. Linville Falls is regarded as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area.

Both hikes begin at the Linville Falls Visitor Center, and both are stunning at different times of the year. In particular, during the fall season, you can see the forest burst alive with the brilliant colors of the season among the oaks, pines, birches, and hickories that grow there. 

Elk Knob Summit Trail

Summit Trail Footpath to Elk Knob – © 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

The Elk Mountain summit track, located in Elk Knob State Park, is most definitely for you if you revel in the awe of mountain tops

As one of the tallest mountains in the high country of North Carolina, its slopes are moderately challenging, allowing hikers to really test their hiking skills. It has a constant elevation with breathtaking views, a lovely landscape, and vibrant wildflowers. 

Cascades Trail – Boone NC Hiking Trails

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

In a small recreational area near the Blue Ridge Parkways is the Cascades Trail, one of the most popular Boone hiking trails. A mile-long loop leads to one of North Carolina’s most stunning waterfalls. 

Many people enjoy walking on this particular train, so be prepared for heavy traffic. The family-friendly picnic tables along the easy pathway make it a pleasant day out in the picturesque mountain scenery.

It is a generally straightforward hike that passes through a lovely forest. Do keep in mind that there are a few steps to negotiate to get to the lower viewing point, some of which may be more difficult than others, but the reward is unquestionably worthwhile! 

If you want to hike a little further, you can add the Cascades Trail and the Tompkins Knob Trail together to make a total distance of 2.2 miles.

Flat Top Mountain Trail

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

Look no further than the stunning Flat Top Mountain Trail if you’re looking for one of the more accessible yet stunning hikes near Boone NC.

The flat-top road, built for horse-drawn carriages, now runs beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway and makes for a wonderful hike, with a few switchbacks and winding through beautiful wildflower meadows and forests before reaching the summit with two excellent viewpoints. 

From here, you can gaze out from the top of the four-story fire tower that juts out just above the tree line and take in breathtaking views.

The trail starts at Flat Top Manor, but if you want a little extra adventure, you might also think about taking a side trip to the Cone Cemetery.

The Profile Trail to Calloway Park – Difficult Boone NC Hikes

Grandfather Mountain, Calloway Peak – © 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

In the High Country of North Carolina, Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak you’ll encounter. Unquestionably one of the best hikes in Boone NC, the Profile Trail to Calloway Peak is arguably one of the best trails leading you to this magnificent summit.  

Before crossing the Watauga River and continuing into a hardwood canopy forested area, you’ll pass through some pretty scenic wildflower (seasonal) pathways as you start this hike. The path gets steeper and more challenging as it passes Frescoe View and Shanty Spring. The last section requires careful footwork and is especially steep and rocky, making it more suitable for experienced hikers.

This hike is not recommended for novice hikers or for those who have pets because of the difficult terrain. Since there are no water stations along the way, hikers who attempt this trail must bring their own water.

Despite its moderate difficulty, this trail is one of the best Boone NC hiking trails to tackle, thanks to its breathtaking panoramas that are well worth the effort required to reach them.  

Final Thoughts – Best Hiking Trails in Boone NC!

These top hiking trails near Boone, North Carolina, are perfect for adventurers of all experience levels, allowing them to take in the region’s breathtaking scenery. 

I hope that this compilation of the 11 best hikes in the Boone, North Carolina, area has encouraged you to don your hiking boots and take in the breathtaking scenery, whether from the shores of a lake or atop a towering mountain.

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