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The mountains of the southern Appalachians are ideal for a wide range of summer as well as winter sports. In fact, Boone has several festivals dedicated to outdoor activities. Even within the small town, there are three public parks and a Greenway Trail for hiking. Junaluska (Bear Trail) and Boone Jaycee Park (Horn in the West Drive) both have picnic areas, sports fields and playgrounds, while North Street Park, catered to smaller children, features a play area, benches and swings.
During the summer, the mountains provide great places to go hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching, camping, whitewater rafting, kayaking and cave exploring. The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area and Pisgah National Forest are tracts of land available for recreation. There are many streams that allow fishing, but stream classifications are tricky and licenses are required, so check with a fishing store first or visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission’s website at www.ncwildlife.org. Golfing is also an option; there is an 18-hole course at the Boone Golf Club on Fairway Drive ( www.boonegolfclub.com).During the winter, ski resorts open up, offering guests up to 120 days of skiing per season. Some of the popular ones around Boone are Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock ( www.appskimtn.com ), Ski Beech in Beech Mountain ( www.skibeech.com ), and Sugar Mountain ( www.skisugar.com ) and Hawksnest Ski Resort ( www.hawksnest-resort.com ) at Banner Elk.