Explore Boone Area - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Boone Area Map

love it! beautiful!

Great trail! We hit it counterclockwise and headed for Hebron Falls. Wish I had brought board shorts and a beach towel, there are plenty of swimming holes along the way.

Fun, easy trail for a casual hike. We brought our small dog and he had a fun time leading the way.

We saw a lot of families with young children enjoying the trail. There is also a spot on the loop for renting kayaks for the lake.

3 days ago

Definitely more on the easy to moderate side. The only reason I would say it’s hard is the length of it and some areas can be tricky to go down to the water. Yet again the only reason why it took my boyfriend and I so long is because of all the stops along the way had so many photo opportunities! You’re by the stream the whole way to some falls. Kid friendly, they even have a scavenger hunt in the beginning for the kids who come along! Lots of dogs were there too! We stumbled onto this trail by accident and we were not totally prepared so the only thing I wish I had brought with us was bringing enough water and have proper footwear to go into the water! After the hike, you can explore downtown Blowing Rock! Only a few minutes away and lots to explore in their cute little town! Would love to come back again one day soon and be more prepared next time!

trail running
4 days ago

One of the best "loop" trails around Boone/Blowing Rock. I second that you should do it clockwise. Moderate to hard, due to the many creek crossings and boulder fields you'd have to traverse. Can't exactly trail-run the whole loop, but at least half is doable. Finished in just over an hour; had to wait to pass a few groups of hikers, had to walk in some tricky sections, etc.
Trail is mostly under the canopy, so if it has rained, you can expect mud in many spots, and overall wet conditions. Watch for orange markings on the trail - BFT shares sections of the Tanawha and Mountains to Sea Trails, so watch the signs and the markings. Almost went towards the outer banks by mistake =)

What a gem! But watch your footing as some trail sections are narrow and have steep drops. Very unexpected just a couple blocks from downtown.

We did this trail and absolutely loved it. My kids 10& 12 rocked it but there are places that are a little scary. During the first mile, there is a picturesque area with big rocks and and a mountain stream to take pictures and play in the water. As you wind your way up, it gets harder and becomes very steep. We climbed through rocky, dense tree areas and then reached the peak by climbing up man-made ladders onto boulders. Several trails merge so it was a bit crowded at the top. Beautiful views! One of our favorite family hikes!

trail running
10 days ago

Easy loop around Price Lake; multiple access points off of the Blue Ridge Pkwy. Trail itself can get quite muddy and there are lots and lots of roots and small rocks/boulders, so trail running shoes are a must if you're planning to run it; Most of it goes through the forest around the lake, so you only see the lake at certain points; Great views of Grandfather mtn from the opposite side of the lake. Trail goes through the part of the campground parking lot and it's easy to lose it; Overall, not the best trail around Boon/B.R.

Some steps, some switchbacks but generally a moderate climb. The parking lot leads down a winding trail for over a mile, so the return was a bit tougher than usual out and back climbs. Pack a jacket for the gusty stuff up top.

great trail with several great photo opportunities, it's a well marked trail I would rate it moderate to hard , I would suggest doing it clockwise going through julian price campground and finishing up in the picnic area less uphill this way.

Diverse and beautiful hike with a glorious view at the summit. Took us 5.5 hours up and back. Not a trail for those with balance or knee issues- parts of the trail flooded very quickly in the rain, and wooden steps and rock scrambles became very slippery - but would happily do it again!

17 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous!!! The epitome of Smokey Mountain Hiking!

Had an amazing hike with some beautiful scenery. Took us about 2 hrs and 45 minutes to hike BFT.

20 days ago

Parts of trail are easier than others. Going counter-clockwise from lake overlook parking area you will encounter many roots, low hanging branches and a very muddy area around a stream to cross. The area from the camp ground through the amphitheater and boat house and around the lake is flat and graveled- an easy walk . As you get further around the backside of the lake you will encounter muddy areas again. The north east side of the lake has some rocky areas in which one should be careful if it is wet as they can be slippery.
As other reviewers mentioned it is not a trail for vistas or extended views of the lake but the areas you hike through are varied and on the north east side there is a great view of the backside of Grandfather Mountain.

The main trailhead is still closed so we parked between mile 301 & 302, overall it was a good hike with decent views at the top

Not that much to write about. Super easy, mostly flat trail. Great for taking the dogs out.

No clue why this is rated hard. I’d say moderate edging toward easy. We took our year old Great Dane and all 4 kids (ages 7-19), and hiked it with no issue (and trust me when I say these mommas are no where close to “in shape”). Great hidden swimming holes along the way. I definitely recommend walking this one backward (start off to the left instead of going right after you cross the bridge at Julian Price).

on Glen Burney Trail

21 days ago

I did this hike yesterday, it’s rated hard but I think it’s more of a moderate trail mostly because of the length. You do you have to be careful because of the roots but it’s not strenuous. It’s wonderful hike especially since it’s so close to downtown Blowing Rock. I did it in a little over an hour and that’s was taking breaks to view the falls.

Great hike with classic Appalachian beauty: big rhododendrons, views of rolling blue-green hills, ferns, a lovely creek, and large flat boulders at the top. The trail was nice in most places, with patches of slippery rocks and roots. I was visiting NC from my home in WA state and this was a great "bang-for-your-buck" hike to experience this area.

Based on other reviews I thought it would be more difficult. Although it wasn't exactly easy, I made it to the top in 2 hours, but maybe it's because I'm fortunate to be able to hike hilly trails a couple of days a week at home. When I got to the top there were patches of clouds blowing in and out, so there were only partial views, but it was still worth it to hike through the lovely green forest. All in all, maybe not for the out-of-shape or new hiker, but if you are an avid hiker, it's not too bad. :)

Trailhead is closed but trail is open. Official Park detour is to park at Boulderstone lot between mm 302 and mm303. From there the hike is back along Tanahwa trail 2.5m to intercept Scout Trail (most of this is within earshot of parkway) so this way will tack on 5m to round trip. Met another hiker on way down who said shorter detour trail that starts from 221. Besides detour issue our hike on Scout Trail was nice cool work out for early July morning as we were in and out of clouds after 2m mark of trail. Had clouds at Callaway peak so limited views but still nice.

Me and my family hiked the Boone fork trail during Winter in January. This was my/our families first trail. It was hard but mainly because of our family situation, lack of information, and the weather we were in. The trail physically is moderate but with the winter weather things can be hard if you aren’t prepared. Let me explain because I think this information will be helpful to someone who’s planning something similar to what we did.

It was me (32), my pregnant wife! (34) and our 5 kids (2,8,9,11,12). The temperature outside was between 10 and 20 degrees when we started. Mind you this was our first outdoor experience in that kind of weather. We are from Florida. We had breakfast just before we started at 10am and we went (clockwise) through the campsite to begin the trail. I read reviews saying 3 hours to finish the trail on average so I figured we could take our time and be done by the end of the day no problem. Well boy was I wrong. It took us 6 and a half hours to complete the trail. That’s more than an hour per mile. If you’ve never hiked before or your considering doing this hike with your kids during the winter my suggestion is to expect an hour or more per mile. And you want to start at a time where you know you can finish before dark. Luckily we made it back at 5:30. The sun was almost down, the temperature was dropping fast (7 degrees) and it was pretty scary to be in that situation. The later half of the hike was extremely stressful for us and took the fun out of it that we initially had. Some of my kids were exhausted and struggling to carry on and I literally carried my 2 year old on my shoulders the whole way except for give or take a mile in the beginning. What’s worse is my 2 year old began fussing non stop towards the last 1.5 miles and I panicked thinking she may be getting hyperthermic. I wrapped her up to my stomach using a backpack in reverse and began to lead my family in survival mode through the end of the trail. Luckily some gram crackers (I forgot I had) rejuvenated her a little in my arms and a little chant of “you can do it, you can do it!” kept her awake enough the rest of the way. The trail opened up and you could tell we were almost to the parking area and relief set in after worrying about the quickly fading sun and temperature drops. Amazing hike and scenery but extremely dangerous if you don’t know what to expect and you’re not prepared.

So that’s why I must share. If you’re wanting to do this trail in the winter with your small children don’t read my experience and automatically decide against it. You CAN do it you just need to know what to expect and how to plan for it so that you and your family are safe. Here is my advice:

1. Dress waterproof and warm. Have kids wear ski type gear and gloves/mittens that are as water proof as possible. Don’t let them make snowballs a lot. Their gloves will get wet and they will need to keep their hands warm some other way. Staying dry is most important in 0-20 degree temperatures.

2. Don’t let kids play on iced over creeks. One wet foot is going to end your trip. Imagine being 3 hours in and your son gets his boots soaked. You’ll have to dry his boots over a fire, or give him some extra shoes that you brought or give him your socks and carry him. All these options aren’t worth your time and energy. You will have to step on ice to cross creeks if you hike this trail in the winter so you need to lead and you as a parent need to decide what path across the ice your family should take to avoid any accidents.

3. Tell kids not to cross anything unless you are with them. Many times we approached a creek only to see half our kids already on the other side. The creeks get bigger the further into the hike you go. Some requires makeshift bridges to cross safely!! Make them wait! This is so important. One wrong step. Fun is over and so is your trip. One waterway was fast flowing and deep and a small kid could easily fall in and get sucked under the ice. That’s when I made a bridge .

4. If they are big enough have kids bring backpacks for extra items like socks, gloves, water and food. Multiple times I ended up carrying their stuff because they were hot and it would have been so much easier had they each had a backpack (minus the 2 year old). Plus backup items can save your trip and trying to fit everything in one backpack may mean you end up not bringing something. Thank goodness I had an extra pair of my gloves that my son was able to use after soaking his playing in the snow.

5. Give your kids whistles. I gave everyone a whistle in case we got separated. At one point we discovered my sons hat was missing. I back tract but had no luck finding it. Speed walking ahead and blowing my whistle ever 5-10 seconds allowed me to know when I was catching up to my family. Much better in an emergency situation than yelling! They could collectively whistle back and it brought piece to hear them.

27 days ago

6. Start the hike early and pack a lunch. Try to start by 8am and plan to take a break for lunch half way through. We had 4 water bottles and no food for 7 people and 6 1/2 of hiking. Apart from having more daylight, having a decent lunch would have greatly affected our situation. But instead we felt the pressure of starvation and exhaustion. The big kids were okay but it was too scary with a 2 year old. Again, problem solved if you just pack a lunch and had more time to get back. Multiple people with backpacks will make bringing food possible . If you started by 8am in 3-4 hours (by noon) you would be half way done if you hiked casually. That would give you 6 hours of daylight to eat and hike back to the car. And you could actually enjoy it!!

7. Consider bringing a machete. I had one and had to use it to make a safe passage across a high flowing part of the river/creek. I could have searched for stuff already down but it saved time and gave me the piece of mind knowing I had protection and the ability to gather things in the event that I needed to start a fire or build a shelter for some reason.

8. Plan to carry your 2-4 year olds. There’s no way my 2 year old who could barely walk in her snow boots could make this entire hike. Have some way of harnessing your child to you for hiking. An actual harness is best but if you have to you can always put your child’s legs through your back pack arms and carry them on your chest or your back. Just have some cordage to tie the back pack straps together so that the straps don’t slide off and you do t have to strain to hold your backpack on like I did!!!

So these are some of the most important things to do for safety and planning. One other thing you can do is to plan to hike for a certain amount of TIME and turn around knowing you only have the same amount of time to get back. Whatever you do though plan to be back by 5pm. In January between 5-6 it started to get dark. You do not want to be stuck in the woods with your family while it’s dark and freezing cold. We did not have cellphone reception (ATT). We could have died if that happened. Which reminds me, bring head lamps just Incase and be prepared to make fire and shelter if you need to. Near the waterfalls there are giant boulders you could Shelter up against and make a fire in front of if you had to. If you start early though you shouldn’t have to worry about shelter or fire.

The truth is my experience started out great but ended on a dangerous note. We all loved it and hated it at the same time. If you take my advice though and plan accordingly you and your family could have a wonderful experience hiking in the winter outdoors. We loved it but I never want to fear for my two year old like that again. And I don’t want that for you either. So you dont have to rule out a winter hike, just take my advice and you will have fun. I’m planning on doing it again but with more time , backpacks with extra gear and food.

Planning to hike the Boone Fork Trail in the winter with your family and want to know more? You can email me at billy.james.bright@gmail.com

1 month ago

Excellent trail. We got there early as this one seems best enjoyed before the large groups arrive. Would recommend regular shoes if you can step carefully, but plenty of beautiful spots to stop by water along the way.

nice trail along the Creek for about the first two miles. Hebron rock colony - car sized boulders in the river all the way down to the valley. we had for small children with us and they did great. very scenic

Excellent. Hiked with my wife and sons (9.5 and 7). Both did well. Total time was just under three hours. Trail is next to water for 75% of the time. Wonderful to hear the sound of running mountain stream. Multiple crossings. After rain, these crossings could be a bit messy; prepare to get feet a bit wet. My youngest did the hike in Keen sandals and was perhaps best prepared!

Very rocky. Not suitable for dogs. It was cloudy/foggy but had some amazing areas/overlook places. Overall a very amazing trail!

It’s a great hike if you like a challenge. The trail was wet which made it pretty hard, harder than when it’s dry. It’s quite a steep climb and the descent is challenging. I would have rated it 5 stars probably if it was dry. Lots of wild life.

REGULAR ENTRANCE IS CLOSED! Amazing trail with views. Also has a downed plane a little off the beaten path. Can only be accessed between mile marker 301 and 302 then taking the Tanawa trail to the trailhead this adds an additional 2.8 miles to the trek so plan ahead.

trail running
1 month ago

I only did 6 miles (RT). I started at the Walker Knob overlook, off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take path to the Left that points in the direction of Big Butt. You will be on Big Butt Trail. In 6 miles (RT), you can ascend and descend Pt. Misery (no view), and climb to Little Butt Overlook. There is a rock outcropping with a view here. I kept going pass Little Butt overlook for another half-mile. The trail is a bit less well-maintained after Little Butt, but still very obvious for the additional half-mile that I took. When I got to 3 miles, I turned around and returned to parking lot. Nice trail. Enjoyed the hike. Ran for much of it. Do this is you want a great walk in the woods. Trail has lots of steps--see photos.

This trail would have probably been less strenuous starting from the left. If you start on the right, the first 3.5 miles are very uphill. If you bring a dog, consider going with someone. It was very difficult to get my dog over the ladders and stairs by myself. Wear shoes that can get wet! There are numerous stream crossings with slick and unstable rocks. If you are out of shape or not entirely sure of your balance, the middle three miles are quite difficult.

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