Click the links below to view information about activities for this park.
Camping: Elk Knob State Park has recently opened backcountry campsites. It is an enjoyable hike down into a cove forest with beautiful streams. There are 3 individual sites that can accommodate no more than 6 people and two tents each, 2 group sites that can accommodate up to 25 people and is for organized groups, and a zone camping area that can accommodate 3 sites of no more than 6 people and two tents each. These are primitive sites with no facilities except one pit toilet to be shared by the 2 group sites. The closest sites are approximately a one mile hike and the farthest one is approximately a 2 mile hike. All supplies, including water, must be packed to the sites. To drink water from nearby creeks and streams, use a filtration device or boil the water for at least five minutes. Camp fires are not allowed. Cooking by camp stove is permitted. Reservations are required for the group sites while the other sites are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing: Elk Knob State Park allows many activities not offered at other State Parks including cross country skiing and snowshoeing. We strive to keep the park open in extreme winter conditions when many other parks are forced to close. This allows for unprecedented State Park access during some of the most extreme winter conditions. While we welcome cross country skiing and snowshoeing, snow boarding is not allowed at Elk Knob State Park.
Education and Events: Park rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Elk Knob State Natural Area. Watch for notices of these programs on park displays and through local media.
To arrange a special exploration of Elk Knob State Natural Area for your group or class, contact the park office. Elk Knob has a rich natural and cultural history, and by special request, park rangers will do on-site and outreach environmental education programs.
Hiking: The 1.9-mile (one way) Summit Trail to the top of Elk Knob has finally been completed with the help of over 6,000 hours provided by many volunteers over 5 and one half years. The beautiful and well maintained trail is a big part of the adventure but the breathtaking view from the top is the icing on the cake.
Along the trail, hikers will catch glimpses of the mountainous terrain of Watauga and Ashe Counties. Upon reaching the summit, hikers will have spectacular views of The Peak, Three Top and Bluff Mountains, Mount Jefferson, Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, Mt Rodgers (Va.), and the Iron Mountains in Virginia and Tennessee.
Nature Photography: Throughout Elk Knob State Natural Area, wildflowers cover the forest floor with an abundance of color from early spring through the fall. Professional photographers, as well as the hobbyist, will find beautiful wildflower and breathtaking landscape photo opportunities.
Picnicking: A small picnic area is available. There are 11 picnic sites with grills and tables.
N.C. Division of Parks & Recreation • 1615 MSC • Raleigh N.C. 27699-1615