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.
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.
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.
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.
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.