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13 hours ago

Wonderful little hike on a paved trail around a small pond and park area. Recommended for all levels.

Don't go on a rainy day. very muddy and you will get your feet/shoes wet. fall would be better. not very scenic.

Plenty of interesting things to look at. Enjoyed the Hebron rock community and the many creek crossings. Would def recommend

Super spidery, poorly marked, heinous hills with little to no reward. Waterfall was meh and no view to speak of. Also, park ranger was hateful. Would not recommend.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike! Did it solo a week ago and didn't see any other hikers. Today hiked with a friend, and we saw 13 other hikers. So glad we followed advice from someone else and started from the other side of the parkway. We went up the steep part, rather than down. Much easier on knees, and less tricky to negotiate.

4 days ago

Very nice trail. It is well maintained, the path is wide enough for two small groups to easily pass each other head-on while walking/running 2 abreast. The walking path is covered with mulch most of the way, so runners have a soft, but firm surface that removes some of the body pounding of the activity. The one shortcoming of the route is that while it is possible now to make a complete loop around the lake, which is contrary to what some of the online brochures state, one has to run/walk next to the busy road for a little less than a quarter mile on the part of the trail that crosses the dam, near the park entrance. That was the bad news. The good news is that while walking along that part of the path, one can see the very nice path that will soon cut through the woods and remove the necessity of walking next to the road to complete a loop.

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.

trail running
4 days ago

by far my favorite trail in holly Springs!!! beautifully maintained and spacious. park does not open until 8am however.

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.

hiking
5 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!

hiking
6 days ago

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

There aren't any outstanding landscape compositions on this trail. The summit is an open meadow but its completely surrounded by trees with no views. The lake is just mediocre with no good compositions. There are some nice meadows if you enjoy those.

The best photo op I saw is a possible nice shot of the trees along the trail once the leaves change color. I marked the spot on my trail record.

Bottom line: There's a lot of other good hikes and viewpoints along the Blue Ridge. Spend your time there.

trail running
7 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 =)

It’s was very fun and pretty easy, Nice for an afternoon hike... went with some children who enjoyed it a lot as well

Did this trail in combonation with holden mill, today on recommendation of a very nice lady at the office? Followed her directions to do a figure 8, starting with the right branch of buckquater then crossing over to stay with the river on our left, then coming back with the river on our right. Went with a friend and our 3 dogs. We all had a blast, we were in and out of the river to play. A bit more traffic as the day went on but not bad until we got back to the beginning of the trailhead where everyone was in the river. We will definitely be back.

trail running
12 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.

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.

hiking
15 days ago

Brought my dog for a scenic river trail hike. A little sketchy to get to. Not much parking. Trails are only slightly labeled. Won’t be going back even though this is so close by.

backpacking
19 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.

We had 4 kids under 6 years old, the trail was not only informative and scenic enough for them, but the adults too! There are multiple trails which you can choose from to vary your distances too. Very clean and we’ll maintained.

hiking
22 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.

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

Same as with Boone Fork, I can’t believe this is rated hard. I’d definitely put it on the moderate to easy side. The hardest part is the descent at the end. We got caught in a small rainstorm, and the ground was pretty slick coming down. Great little trail.

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).

hiking
26 days ago

Hiked this trail today. After parking on Globe Road, walk up the Jeep road thru the gate that does not say Keep Out. About a quarter mile in the trail breaks off to left between two trees marked with white paint. About a half mile down trail you have to cross stream above a pretty cascade. Too deep to cross this time of year without getting feet wet so we turned back.

Good trail well marked.

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.

hiking
30 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

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