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Hiking around Boone this weekend

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Hiking around Boone this weekend

It's been a long, hard summer trying we need a break. We are taking off Fr-Sun an want to go somewhere within ~ 4 hrs of Raleigh, NC. A friend suggested Charlottesville to see Monticello and hiking nearby. I thought about hiking Old Rag Mountain Trail in Shenendoah NP on Fri (if I can get my husband to drive up Thu) and then hike some more on Sat and go to Monticello on Sun. But the weather is supposed to be overcast.

I happened to check the forecast for Boone and it is supposed to be clear on Fri. Since views are so much better with blue skies I'm thinking maybe we should head that direction instead. Although we've lived in NC 27 years, we've only done short hikes in the mountains around Asheville with the kids when they were younger.

Can anyone recommend any great half day or full day hikes around Boone?

Chapel Hill, North...
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1. Re: Hiking around Boone this weekend

How strenuous?

You can hike up Grandfather Mountain. There's an attraction side that you pay for and you can hike the peaks from there, or you can start on the Boone Fork Trail off the Parkway or the Profile Trail off 105 and hike from the bottom to the top. It's very strenuous, but it's certainly doable in a day. There are portions with ladders and/or cables near the top. ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/grmo/trails.php

grandfather.com/worldofwonder/…

http://youtu.be/dxr0BZbSugw

http://www.appstate.edu/~marshallst/photos/boone_photos/attic_window.html

Otherwise, if you want a shorty hike with great views check out Rough Ridge or Beacon Heights off the Parkway near Grandfather. You can get amazing views from both. www.romanticasheville.com/beacon_heights.htm and www.romanticasheville.com/rough_ridge.htm

Another nice mid-lenght hike is at Moses Cone Park. You can go up to the old Flat Top fire/observation tower. …wordpress.com/2011/04/14/flat-top-tower/

http://youtu.be/BxBTUPqzmmQ

Linville Falls is also another nice short to mid-length hike. www.romanticasheville.com/linville_falls.htm

All these hikes are near Boone and Blowing Rock. Have a great weekend.

Also check out the thread "some ideas" thread for restaurant and other activity suggestions. Great list by UNCMickey. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g48975-i851-k58022…

Edited: 03 October 2012, 22:18
Chapel Hill, North...
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2. Re: Hiking around Boone this weekend

Oh, one more note—the weather in the mountains is even more variable than it is in the Triangle. Quite often it will be raining in Boone, but not on the backside of Grandfather or vice-versa, so be aware of the weather, but don't let rain at your hotel discourage you from checking out your hiking destination. Might be raining there, too, but it might not.

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3. Re: Hiking around Boone this weekend

http://www.highcountryoutdoors.com/hike.htm

The leaves may be near their peak this weekend. Maybe this site will help you.

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4. Re: Hiking around Boone this weekend

Panchopup: thanks for the info. We can handle 10-12 miles with 3000-3500' elevation gain in a day. My knees aren't great so really rough, steep trails take me a long time to navigate.

I found a trail up to Calloway peak on Grandfather Mountain that sounds good starting at the Boone Fork parking area on the Tanawha trail, to the Nuwati to Cragway to Daniel Boone Scout Trail to the Calloway peak and back down the Scout trail.

everytrail.com/guide/blue-ridge-parkway-to-g…

A friend suggested the Nanawha Trail but it's 13 miles one way. Any idea what parts would be the best if we only did 5-6 miles or so? We apparently would see a little of the north portion section on the hike to Calloway Peak.

Do you know how difficult it would be to catch a ride back if we tried going one way? There's got to be a bunch of people on the Parkway. We did a one way hike across the Haleakala volcano crater in Maui and they had an official hitchhiker stop. I thought that was pretty neat.

Queenie, yes, I noticed the leaves should be pretty good, although it may be hard to find a hotel.

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5. Re: Hiking around Boone this weekend

That's supposed to be the Tanawha trail, not Nanwha.

Marietta, Georgia
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6. Re: Hiking around Boone this weekend

The trail up Grandfather Mtn from Boone Fork parking area on the parkway is great. But try to go all the way to MacRae Peak if you can. The best part of the trail is from Calloway to Macrae. Also continue for about one fourth mile past Macrae Peak to see where the main ladders go down... no need to go down as you have already hiked the best part.

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7. Re: Hiking around Boone this weekend

Art622 Thanks. Any idea how much farther it is?

Chapel Hill, North...
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8. Re: Hiking around Boone this weekend

Not a lot of hitchhikers, so I wouldn't count on that. I'd just do an out and back if you want to try the Tanawha trail. I've done a bit of it, but not a whole lot. Portions of it join up with various other trails for awhile and then it branches back off again.

As far as Grandfather, it's pretty much definitely steep and rough, so you know how much you can take. The route you found is great, but the Cragway section is fairly rugged. Did you get the trail map from grandfather.com (grandfather.com/wp-content/…Trail-map.pdf)? The hike up the Profile Trail to Calloway is great, too. I agree with Art622 that if you have time to hike across the peaks that's the way to go.

I've hiked the Daniel Boone Scout Trail and on across the peaks (I mistyped the Boone Fork Trail upthread — that's also a nice trail, but much tamer and in Julian Price Park), but that's been a few years ago before the state took over the natural side of the mountain, so I'm not sure if any changes to the trail have been made. All the backcountry hiking is free now, though, so if you see mention of hiking fees online that's probably old info from before it became a state park. The "attraction" side with the Mile High Swinging Bridge and Nature Center, museum, etc, is still a buy a ticket thing.

Went up the Profile Trail as far as Shanty Spring much more recently back in May or April before a thunderstorm sent us scurrying back down. Both trails have rough sections with loose rock and you will have to use ladders to get to the peaks. The Daniel Boone Scout Trail follows a dry creek bed with lots of loose rock for a ways.

Here's a nice black and white shot of one of the ladders in winter with a little of the trail so you get some context (http://tinyurl.com/9f4b95g) . It's a great trail, but you know how much the knees can take. It's definitely a wonderful hike.

The actual Boone Fork Trail in Julian Price Park is a nice 5 mile trail, too. It doesn't have the elevation gain. It does have some rough/loose rock, but just for short stretches as far as I recall (been a few years).

Edited: 04 October 2012, 04:27
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9. Re: Hiking around Boone this weekend

Thanks for the info and the map. I was trying to find one but didn't see anything on the state site an was confused on the Grandfather mountain site. It was talking about trails there and I didn't know if those were the ones in the state park or different.

I'll have to think about the Cragway section. If it's not a doesn't offer a major scenic advantage, it's probably best to take the other route.

Chapel Hill, North...
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10. Re: Hiking around Boone this weekend

Cragway is very scenic. It's not rougher than the part at the top, but is rough so I don't know if you want to add that in or not. Ideally you could go up one way and come back the other, but you might decide to just do an up and back.

Here's a site with a lot of pictures if that helps: http://tinyurl.com/8rbdeza

Edited: 04 October 2012, 17:18