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Tanawha Trail via Beacon Heights

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Blue Ridge Parkway

Tanawha Trail via Beacon Heights is a 11.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Linville, North Carolina that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, fishing, and fly fishing and is best used from September until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 11.8 mi Elevation gain 1,427 ft Route type Point to Point
Dogs on leash Fishing Hiking Forest Lake River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

Note: Dogs are NOT allowed at a few points along the trail (even leashed) such as Rough Ridge. Please check with the park page to plan accordingly.

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Reviews (65)
Photos (1118)
Recordings (49)
Completed (275)
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Rachel Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble
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Lance Dotson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
MuddyRocky

Excellent trail. I logged 12.78 miles from the Price Park boat ramp to the Beacon Heights parking area. I started from Price at about 9:45 and kept a good pace until about mile 8 or so when things got much more rugged as I climbed Rough Ridge (a trail I hike often, but it's a different hike after 8 miles in 82* weather...) The final half mile or so as I approached Beacon Heights parking area wasn't marked very well and I had to back track in a couple spots. I got to the parking area at about 3:00. Sore knees and a couple blisters later and I can still say it's been one of my favorite treks to date. 10/10

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Tom Darden
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Hiking

Nice place, some steep steps, basically. Shaded.

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Cara D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddyRockyScramble

We started at Beacon Heights just before 10am and ended at Price Lake just before 5pm. Our mileage was 15.25m! Did anyone else notice that it’s longer than stated?! Lol. It was an amazing hike. We got monsooned on for a little bit which made scrambling up and down Rough Ridge a bit precarious but loved all the different terrains. Glad we chose to hike this direction down to Price Lake! Beautiful day overall. Thanks to all the rain we’ve had, all the little waterfalls were flowing really nicely.

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RA Keller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 1, 2020
Hiking

Lovely day hike. We started at Beacon Heights ~10:30a and finished at Price Lake ~5:30p. Made it back just in time as the sun was setting and didn't need our headlamps. We'll start earlier next time (by 9a) to have more time to enjoy the views. Lots of blowdowns. Road noise isn't ideal, but worth it for a longer hike. Will do this one again.

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Thomas Young
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HikingBridge out

this is a hiking only trail, and fyi! dogs are not allowed at a few points along the trail (even leashed), especially at rough ridge, so plan accordingly. beautiful hike, the best i have ever done. definitely do not regret starting at beacon heights (you do have to go up to the overlook, if you want to see the view there) as that was the more "strenuous" portion, but when we arrived at the back of rough ridge, I was surprised--length wise it was four miles, but not that strenuous at all, much more moderate! from there, i knew i could complete the whole thing, and it definitely felt like a trail walk down from rough ridge to price lake you cross through hardwood forests, rhododendron tunnels, high peaks, cavernous open spaces in the woods, meadows, and pastures. the parking area by holloway mtn road was beautifully set. when we arrives there we couldnt help but think about the shire. worth the trip, hope to do it again someday! we started at 1020 and ended at 5. driving point to point, however, required extra time! leaving this hike with a deep appreciation for this community and land. bridge IS OUT at boone fork creek (same outage affecting the daniel boone scout trail and cragway trail closures), even though the bridge looks fine. we called ahead of time the grandfather mtn state park folks and a woman there said that we could cross the creek, which we did right beneath the bridge, though would not recommend this as "easy" to do)

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Claire Rhoades
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By far one of my favs. Easy trail, but still interesting. Great views at the top

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Bill Van every
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This Trail is a slammalammajamma and one I often enjoy hiking in the nude

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Howard Stockett
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Hiking

This is a very long trail with multiple starting points. I choose to do a 2 mile loop that starts from a trail head on Holloway Mountain road which is accessed from Church road in Foscoe. From the Holloway Trail Head parking lot cross the road and turn left, walk about 25 yards and look for a gated forestry road on your right. The out trail after a mile connects with the Boone Fork Trail. Make a left and hike about 400 yards on Boone Fork and make another left into the forest to connect up to the return trail. Nice trail for walking the dog and when wild flowers are in bloom. I have also hiked this trail from the Holloway Trail Head towards the Parkway. From the parking lot hike straight up the hill /cow pasture in front of you and bear right. Watch out for cow pies. This section of trail goes all the way to the Parkway about 13 miles. I usually only hike it about 4 miles rt as an out and back. Lots of nice scenery and open meadows.

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Lara Pagano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 16, 2016
Hiking

Great hike! Takes you under the viaduct, up and over, in and out of the woods with just enough views to keep you anticipating. I will give away a secret here. There is a location just after you come up from the viaduct, maybe mile 1 or 2 that gives you one of the best views overlooking the viaduct. This is where A LOT of famous pictures of the viaduct are taken. Stumbled upon a famous photographer just sitting on this rock/overlook and found out later that a picture he captured that day was going to be featured in a nationally published Calendar and Magazine. It was neat to see it with my own eyes and then in the calendar! And it should be noted, I traveled in the fall with the brightest leaves I had ever seen in the Appalachians.

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Tracy P.
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Since the Linn Cove Visitor Center was closed off to cars driving in, we hiked from the Stack Rock parking area to Rough Ridge and back. I would consider the section from the Viaduct to Rough Ridge a rocky and moderate one - definitely NOT in the easy category. This made for a 6 mile out and back point to point. Would love to finish the rest of the trail sometime from Rough Ridge going north to Julian Price!

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Kenzie Creswell
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Rock climbing

Started the trail at beacon heights, lots of great bouldering spots. Favorite trail to take my dog on!

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Kenneth bowen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2015

My fiancé and I started the trail at beacon heights this morning and finished in around seven hours. First off the trail is over the measured to be 13 miles one way... second the rating of easy was true for myself whom is an experienced hiker but for someone who is not very experienced the portion of the trail from rough ridge to beacon heights is the hardest with a good portion of it being what I would consider "stairs". This portion is also the most scenic with good views, large walls to check out and rough ridge which is one of the better places to see on the parkway. Overall the hike was good and I will do it again.

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Liane f
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 14, 2015
Hiking

We did a nice section of this trail today. Beacon Heights to Rough Ridge! I was surprised at how rugged the trail was... For it to be rated easy, it was pretty tuff on my knees! There was a lot of diversity from the green grasses, Boulder fields, tunnels of rhododendron... Surprising little water falls nestled among the rocks. Definitely like this trail and maybe we can complete the other half soon! *** this was one of the cleanest trails we've hiked... Very little trash and litter! Nice to see people taking care of Mother Nature!

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Thomas Blalock
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Hiking

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this trail, honestly. It wasn't too hard, in terms of the hike itself, really, although it's somewhat long. It does also have some interesting things to see, especially when you go under the Viaduct, and near the start/end when you cross over a river with a small waterfall. Part of the trail is just a nearly endless stretch of rhodedendrons, though. For us, it was the last... I'd say quarter... of the trail, and it was a bit boring to me. Perhaps because I'd been hiking a while, instead of doing it at the beginning, but it just seemed to drag on. Now, I know, nature should never be boring, but it was to myself, and to the guy I was hiking it with. Despite that, it was a very enjoyable hike. We also found, by pure happenstance, a geocache along the way, on a rock outcropping that climbed up and overlooked the parkway itself. It was a really cool surprise in the middle of our hike.

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Dallas Parker
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Hiking

Hiked this trail today, it was great! It is really easy, I took my 12 year old lab with me and she did just fine. Very gradual incline, some nice little creeks, and leads to Storyteller's Rock and some good-looking campsites. Took only 2 hours, and that included a plenty of "sniff stops" and a small break. I would recommend this trail to anyone, and dogs and kids can handle it, no problem.

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Deni Huttula
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Hiking

oh....and it took us 11 hours...but we did have about an hour and a half to 2 hours of breaks along the way.

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Brandon Thrower
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classic

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Navigator B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2013
Hiking

This trail is also an awesome trail, part of the Mountain-to-Sea. Did the entire trail in 2007, but I do sections all the time. Highlights include Rough Ridge, Boone Fork, and Linn Cove. Great views, and other trails spur off it. The Holloway mtn. rd. access along the east side of the trail is getting a parking area and a trail re-route. Trail ends at the Price Park campground.

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Tyler Mikita
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2013
Hiking

I only went from the visitors center to the opposite side of the viaduct. It was a nice little hike and once you get to the end of the viaduct there is a boulder you can climb to get a clear view of the viaduct and mountains beyond. One of the nicest views I have seen.

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Kevin Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 23, 2012
Hiking

Just did the Ruff Ridge to Linn Cove section. Nice views across the ridge and under the viaduct, trail was not too strenuous. Made for a good several hour hike.

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Ken Rogers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2012
Hiking

Great trail. Hiked the upper portion only to Ruff Ridge, awesome views. Some mud, lots of low hanging trees. Five stars!

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Jacqueline T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 27, 2012
Hiking

Amazing views. Amazing topography. Lots of boulder out croppings for several miles. Blazes are far apart and especially near boulders you can sometimes "lose" the trail. But you never get lost. Tree tunnel to open pastures. Can't wait to go back and due this one again.

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Ryan R
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Hiking
First to Review

The Tanawha Trail actually totals 13.5 mi, but is accessible from many sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I only hiked a section of it, and proceeded to go up the eastern side of Grandfather mountain. On the section I went on, the trail parallels the parkway, crosses it a few times, and you'll get to see the Linn Cove Viaduct from below. The variety of places to access the trail make it very accommodating, I would do it again and hike the entire trail.

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