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Trails

Summit view at Elk Knob State Park
Trails

Breathtaking views from the summit of Elk Knob are complemented by intimate forest scenes on a trail system that explores dramatic elevation changes and was created largely by volunteers. The park’s terrain can be steep and challenging, but rewarding.

 

Backcountry Trail
Location: Begins and ends at the Trailhead PVA.
Description: The 2-mile (one way, moderate) Backcountry Trail winds down into a valley where the backcountry campsites are located. The Backcountry Trail is known for the headwaters of the North Fork of the New River and the spring bloom of the Trout Lily.
Point of Interest: Trail features the headwaters of the North Fork of the New River. Cascades are located along and within a short distance of the trail. Trail side is covered in Trout Lilies in April.
Length:
2.00 miles
One-way
Difficulty:
Moderate
Blaze:
orange diamond
Surface: Natural surface
Beech Tree Trail
Location: Begins and ends at the Trailhead PVA.
Description: The Beech Tree Trail-our Kid's Track Trail-is an easy 1-mile loop around the picnic area. The majority of the trail penetrates a large American Beech forest at 4,500 ft. The Kid’s Track Trail is part of the Kids in Parks initiative. This program rewards kids with small prizes for their hiking achievements.
Point of Interest: Hikers will explore a forest dominated by the American beech.
Length:
1.00 miles
Round Trip
Difficulty:
Easy
Blaze:
yellow diamond
Maple Run Trail
Location: Begins at the Trailhead PVA and ties into the Beech Tree Trail.
Description: The 1-mile Maple Run Trail (still under construction) is designed for cross country skiing and hiking. This easy loop trail connects the office to the trailhead parking area. Wake Robin and Giant Trilliums may be seen from the trail in spring.
Point of Interest:
Length:
0.50 miles
One-way
Difficulty:
Easy
Blaze:
red diamond
Surface: Natural surface
Summit Trail
Location: Begins and ends at the Trailhead PVA.
Description: The 1.9-mile (one way, advanced) Summit Trail was completed with the help of over 6,000 hours provided by many volunteers over a five year span. 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. Upon reaching the summit of Elk Knob hikers 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.
Point of Interest: 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
Length:
1.90 miles
One-way
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Blaze:
blue diamond
Summit Trail at Elk Knob State Park
Surface: Natural surface, Gravel
Contact:

Elk Knob State Park

5564 Meat Camp Road
ToddNC 28684
Phone828-297-7261
elk.knob@ncparks.gov
Latitude: 36.332586
Longitude: -81.690640

Park Hours:

November - February: 8am - 6pm
March, April, May, September and October: 7am - 8pm
June - August: 7am - 9pm
Closed Christmas Day

Park Office Hours
8am - 5pm weekdays
Closed state holidays