Trails, Waterfalls and Adventures

Hiking in and around Beech Mountain

The Emerald Outback
Beech Mountain's own trail system with miles of trails ranging in elevation from 4700' to 5400' and 100-mile views of the North Carolina High Country!
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Grandfather Mountain
Located on Highway 221 in Linville, NC or by Milepost 305 on the Blue Ridge Parkway (about 35 minutes from Beech Mountain). Features a mile-high swinging bride, animals, a nature museum, restaurant, hiking trails, & picnic areas! (800) 468-7325
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The Blowing Rock
North Carolina’s Oldest Attraction- an immense cliff, 4000 feet above sea level, overhangs the Johns River Gorge, 3000 feet below! A beautiful, short, scenic walk with a garden waterfall, gardens, observation tower, and unique shops. Open daily March through December and open weekends January and February, weather permitting 828-295-7111
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Linville Caverns
The only caverns open to the public in North Carolina! About 45 minutes from Beech Mountain, open daily March through November 30 & weekends only December through February. (800) 419-0540
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The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area
Sprawls over 10,000 acres, where visitors can enjoy fishing, hiking, & mountain biking a variety of terrain. Linville Falls, arguably the most popular of the High Country’s waterfalls, is situated in the Linville Gorge, about 45 minutes from Beech.
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Wilson Creek Gorge
Part of the Grandfather District of the Pisgah National Forest. Beautiful area offering hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, & swimming. South of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Appalachian Trail
About 25 minutes from Beech Mountain is an access point to the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Main. One of the most well-known and most hiked trails in the World!
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The Mountains to Sea Trail
Stretching 1,000 miles from the Great Smokey Mountains to the Outer Banks of NC, with a nearby access point crossing The Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Edge of the World
Whitewater rafting & canoeing, rock climbing & rappelling. Located in Banner Elk. (828) 898-9550
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River and Earth Adventures
Offering canoeing & kayaking, whitewater rafting, tubing, caving, rock climbing, & hiking excursions. Located between Beech Mountain & Boone. (866) 411-RAFT
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Waterfall Hiking

Area Waterfalls

Elk River Falls
85 feet near the village of Elk Park.  Access by auto is easy (via NC 194, then to US 19E, then Elk River Rd) and there’s a picnic area a short walk from the falls.
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Glen Burney/Glen Mary Falls
In the town of Blowing Rock the trailhead is well marked on Laurel Lane just two blocks from Main Street.  Descending steeply through John’s River Gorge, the trail also drops into warmer climates, be sure to wear layers of clothes you can shed.  Plan for an hour’s walk.  The trip back will take considerably longer.

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Linville Falls
A series of two falls, upper at 12 feet and lower at 90 feet, plunge into the 2,000 foot deep Linville Gorge.  Parking at Milepost 316 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  A one-mile round trip hike leads to the falls.  Restrooms are along the way.
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Laurell Creek Falls
85 feet just past Cove Creek/Sugar Grove on US 321 at Laurel Creek Road before Cove Creek joins the Watauga River.  Can hike to it from US 321.
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Boone Fork Trail Falls
25 feet on Boone Fork Trail leading from the picnic area at Julian Price Park, Milepost 295 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock.

Fleetwood Falls
Series of whitewater falls lasting about half a mile, in the Fleetwood Falls resort area a short distance off US 221 in Ashe County enroute to West Jefferson from Deep Gap.
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The Cascades
Series of three cascading falls, 30 to 40 feet in height, at E. B. Jeffress Park, Milepost 272 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Self-guided nature trail of one-mile round trip leads from a picnic area and restrooms.
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Crabtree Falls
60 feet at Visitor Center at Milepost 340 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  A half-hour walk along a nature trail leads to the falls.
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Upper Creek Falls
Just off 181 toward Morganton, (5.8 miles from Blue Ridge Parkway exit or 7.4 miles from 221/181 intersection) this 100-foot falls has trails to both the upper and lower ends.  The upper end is a bit scary because of its exposed rock face, but the lower end is tame enough for some swimming and sunbathing.
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