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Ecology

View from the summit of Elk Knob
Current status of park facilities   

Weekend delays: As we move into the fall leaf season, several state parks have been reaching parking space capacity on weekends. We are anticipating increased visitation at Elk Knob State Park in the next few weeks, so please be prepared. Once parking reaches capacity, vehicles will not be let in until others leave. The best time to visit is during the week; if you have to visit during the weekends, please be sure to arrive early morning or late afternoon, and have a backup plan in case the park is full when you arrive.

All park facilities are open as of September 11.

Hours for the park office may be limited; please call the park at 828-297-7261 for more information. A properly worn mask or face covering, covering both the nose and the mouth, is required to enter the park office. 

Campers, please bring exact change ($15 per site per night for tent campsites) and register and pay for your campsite at the trailhead when you arrive. The group campsite must be reserved in advance by going online or calling Aspira at 1-877-722-6762.

Please continue to follow social distancing guidelines throughout the park, regardless of the behavior of others. Bring a mask or face covering even if you are planning to only be outside; they are required to be worn when you cannot stay 6 feet away from park staff or other visitors. Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after your visit. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, October 7, 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.