Best trails in Banner Elk, North Carolina

2,933 Reviews
Looking for a great trail near Banner Elk, North Carolina? AllTrails has 19 great hiking trails, trail running trails, forest trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Grandfather Mountain State Park or Elk Knob State Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Julian Price Memorial Park or Moses H Cone Memorial Park. Ready for some activity? There are 7 moderate trails in Banner Elk ranging from 1.1 to 3.6 miles and from 3,487 to 5,324 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Banner Elk, North Carolina
Top trails (19)
#1 - Calloway Peak via Profile Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1140)
Length: 7.1 mi • Est. 3 h 52 m
This trail begins at the Profile Trail parking area at 4198 NC Hwy 105 N and ends at the Grandfather Trail at Calloway Gap. Beginning as a scenic, rolling pathway through seasonal wildflowers, this trail crosses the Watauga River and travels under a hardwood canopy for much of its length. Upper sections, beginning around Foscoe View, get steeper. Shanty Spring, at 3.2 miles, marks a transition into a strenuous pathway of tumble-down rock that joins the Grandfather Trail after a climb of 0.4 mile. It makes the transition out of the hardwoods and into the Canadian fir zone of the crest area. The upper section is steep and rocky and calls for careful footwork; this section is not recommended for pets. Use extreme caution on stream crossings — do not attempt in high water.Show more
#2 - Crab Orchard Falls Trail
Banner Elk, North Carolina
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(418)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 51 m
Loose rocks and protruding roots make the steep trail somewhat challenging. Good balance recommended. It is a very long steep climb, so recommended for high energy kids and seniors with good cardio. Falls are worth the effort, even in low water times. Pools and cascades with tons of rocks to climb on.Show more
#3 - Otter Falls Trail
Banner Elk, North Carolina
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(435)
Length: 1.1 mi • Est. 37 m
This trail is moderate/easy and in good condition. You get to view a beautiful waterfall for very little effort. A wonderful trail for all! The sign out front says ""strenuous"" which is incorrect; whoever did the sign has never hiked a strenuous trail.Show more
#4 - Calloway Peak and MacRae Peak via Profile Trail and Grandfather Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(216)
Length: 10.7 mi • Est. 6 h 25 m
Difficult, technically challenging trail. This route has lots of bouldering with challenging sections to get up and down some big rocks. Extremely exciting, with amazing views, this trail is well worth the time and effort if you are up to an adventure!Show more
#5 - Nuwati Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(212)
Length: 3.0 mi • Est. 1 h 35 m
Nuwati or "medicine" in the Cherokee language follows an old logging road. It's easy and rocky, ending at Storyteller's Rock and a great view of the Boone area. Trail has stream crossings, big-tooth aspens and offers campsites. This trail follows the track of an old logging road. It's an easy but rocky hike, ending at Storyteller's Rock and a spectacular view of the Boone area. There are stream crossings, a solitary stand of big-tooth aspens and reminders of logging days gone by. Show more
#6 - Lower Pond Creek Trail
Banner Elk, North Carolina
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(76)
Length: 1.4 mi • Est. 33 m
#7 - Jackalope's, Northview, Southern Ridge, Oz Forest and Wizards Way Trail
Emerald Outback Trail System
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(105)
Length: 3.6 mi • Est. 1 h 48 m
#8 - Linville Peak via Profile Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(49)
Length: 10.3 mi • Est. 6 h 9 m
#9 - Upper Pond Creek Trail
Banner Elk, North Carolina
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(57)
Length: 2.0 mi • Est. 1 h 4 m
#10 - Wizards Way
Emerald Outback Trail System
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(38)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 33 m
Wizards WayShow more
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