Daniel Boone Scout Trail to Calloway Peak is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Blowing Rock, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
One of the Parkway's most rewarding hikes climbs 2,000 feet (one way) in 3.5 miles from the Boone Fork lot at Mile 299.5 Grandfather Mountain, the most iconic peak on the Blue Ridge Parkway between Asheville, N.C., and the Virginia state line, practically dares hikers check out to its highest crags. Because the peak is so prominent on the Parkway, it's only natural to answer Grandfather's challenge from one of the road's turnouts. My favorite way to hike this route is to start out from the Boone Fork parking area on the Tanawha trail, take the right turn at the Nuwati Trail, follow it to the left turn at Cragway Trail, and pause at the Flat Rock junction with the Daniel Boone Scout Trail. From there, I take the Scout Trail to the high point at Calloway Peak, and return on it all the way to the trailhead. Best time to go: The autumn colors of late early October will be spectacular, but the weekend crowds may dim the glow (weekdays should be far less crowded). The rhododendron bloom of early June is another great time to go. Early winter, before the first blizzards, and early spring, after the snow's melted, offer the best views of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. Winter is the least-advisable time to attempt this hike: the Parkway is typically closed and deep snow can totally obscure the trail.
Thoroughly enjoyed camping at both Hermitage and the Refuge. We were not in good enough shape to take our 40ish lbs packs up to the higher campsites. The Cragway is extremely difficult and you need to be in very good shape to trek a lot of gear up there. We camped at Hermitage the first night. It's a nice and secluded spot surrounded by dense trees. It's difficult to find level ground there though. The next day we took our site over to The Refuge and setup camp in the morning. That day we did the journey up to Calloway peak and back. The Refuge is a great spot and perfect for larger parties who need multiple spots for tents and has multiple fire rings. There is a stream nearby for water that is delicious (it's recommended that you boil or treat it first though we didn't). There are plenty of streams along the Nuwati trail but little to no water sources once you ascend the Cragway up to the peak, so be sure to pack plenty of water. We were there in late February and it was about 60 during the day and down to upper 30's at night. Such an amazing trip!!
From the Boone Fork parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I get on the Tanawha trail for just a short distance and then take the Nuwati and Cragway trails up, and then get on the Daniel Boone Scout trail about midway up to Calloway Peak, but when I come back down, I like to stay on the Daniel Boone Scout trail all the way down to the Tanawha trail, which borders the Parkway. The Cragway trail is pretty steep, and I just prefer to climb instead of descending when it is steep like that, whereas the Daniel Boone Scout trail is more of a gradual slope and easier on my old knees! On the way up near the top there is a fatal plane crash site from 1978 that claimed one life, the pilot's, about 60 paces past the Raven's Roost camping site tent pad on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail about 75 feet off of the trail to the right. The debris field is spread out quite a bit, and since this is like a memorial site, I would not suggest touching anything of course.
I have done the Profile Trail to Calloway Peak several times but this was my first doing Daniel Boone Scout Trail. I definitely preferred this route. I think it's slightly easier. We had one in our group huffing and puffing pretty good so i wouldn't call it an easy hike at all. The ladders on this route are more impressive than Profile Trail. Some fun rocks to climb along the way. The last half mile was the hardest part by far. Be sure to check out the plane wreck when you get to the ladder section. It's tucked in the woods to the right. The view is well worth the workout at the top. On the way back down to the Parking lot we took Cragway Trail which was a great choice. It leads you back to the. Natawa Trail which connects you to the parking lot section. Easy to find on the map. Some great views along the way if you go Cragway down. I wouldn't go that way on the way up though because it seemed MUCH more steep. On the way down it was a fun change up from the same route and views as on the way up. Overall this was a great hike and will be doing it many more times.
Awesome trail! We continued to MacRae peak, totally worth it, the view from that one is perfect. Even better than the summit!
This is a great hike. The view is spectacular! I imagine this route will be added to a longer trek. The over all route is moderate with solid footing but can be dodgy with leaves or after rain. The square footage at the peak is small and feels crowded at 10-15 humans. Be safe and enjoy!
Good trail, great view.
Definitely worthy of doing. The trail for the most part is fairly easy, until the last 3/4-1/2 mile when you encounter rock faces and ladders, but even those can be scaled by humans and animals a like (we did encounter one dog who was unable to make it to the peak, because of the ladders, but there were also some dogs at the peak).
Like others have mentioned, the peak is small and can get crowded sadly, but that is a good reason to do a little exploring and try to find a better spot to take a load off.
Awesome trail! Great for a 2-3 day hike!
Good workout. Well marked path.
It was very humid and sticky at the Boone parking lot. By the time I reached Calloway the clouds gave way to some sun and the breeze helped dry things out. Beautiful views and great boulder scrambles along the cliffs.
Very challenging! Went to grandfather mountain from here. Nice views. My three sons and myself had a great time. Definitely research and decide for yourself. It is strenuous. 10.5 hours is what it took us!