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Ecology

View from the summit at Elk Knob State Park. Photo by J. Mickey.
Current status of park facilities   

Trails and restrooms are open. The park office, gift shop, and amphitheater remain closed.

Backcountry campsites are open. Please bring exact change ($15 per site per night) and register and pay for your campsite at the trailhead when you arrive. The group campsites remain closed.

When visiting, please follow social distancing guidelines, regardless of the behavior of others. Please try to stay 6 feet away from other visitors and park staff or wear a mask or face covering. Try to touch as few surfaces as possible and do not enter areas that have been closed off. Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after your visit, and stay home if you are sick.

 

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide. Phase 2 has been extended until at least September 11, 2020.

 Last updated on: Thursday, August 6, 2020


Map of North Carolina – Elk Knob State Park


Contact the park
 

828-297-7261

elk.knob@ncparks.gov
 

Address
 

Park office

5564 Meat Camp Road
Todd, NC 28684

GPS: 36.3325, -81.6906
 

Hours
 

► 

  • November to February:
    7:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • March to May:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • June to August:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • September to October:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • Monday to Friday:
    8:00am to 5:00pm
     
  • Closed state holidays
     

 

 

 

Natural resources

Elk Knob is one in a series of amphibolite mountains in the southern Appalachian range. The area contains a high diversity of natural communities, many of them uncommon or rare. A very diverse flora is found in Elk Knob State Natural Area, due partially to the high elevation and the rich soils. The rich, or "sweet" soils, are derived from the weathering of amphibolite, a metamorphic rock type. Rare and endangered plants such as Gray's lily, trailing wolfsbane, large purple fringed orchid, and flame azaleas are found in the natural area.

The North Fork of the New River has its headwaters in the high elevations of the surrounding amphibolite mountain known as Elk Knob. The New River is thought to be one of the oldest rivers in the world.

Elk Knob contains an excellent example of a northern hardwood forest which includes a beech gap subtype on the summit. The northern hardwood forest, typically found above 4000 feet in elevation, consists primarily of sugar maple, yellow birch, American beech, and yellow buckeye. Trees growing on the northern slopes and on the summit of Elk Knob are gnarled and stunted by the harsh weather conditions.

The forests and rock outcrops support breeding ravens and a number of neotropical songbirds. Black bear, bobcat, wild turkey, white tailed deer, and a number of smaller mammals inhabit this rugged mountainous area.