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Feel free to ‘trail’ along with us (sorry, we just couldn’t help that one)…

trail-general…as we go over the more than 100 trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. That’s a lot of hiking and it goes thru some of the most beautiful countryside in all of the United States.

We’ve included them in milepost order here. If you’re interested in trails in a particular area you’re visiting, you can find them that way or you can go to our interactive map and choose the trails category. The map allows you to zoom in to wherever area you’re interested in. The icons have basic explanations and link directly to the more extended trail descriptions given here.

We’re giving you the trails as they are named and managed by the Park Service .

There are a great many trail extensions referenced in the Blue Ridge region online, a fair number associated with trails listed below. We ask that you stick to the officially documented trails – be they NPS, ShutIn Trail, Appalachian Trail, Mountains-to-Sea Trail or others where the public has permission to hike. Some of these extension trails are being created without permission of the property owners. You need to be aware of where you are, follow trail signs / blazes and not trespass on private property.

Jump to trails located at:
[MP 50] – [MP 100] – [MP 150] – [MP 200] – [MP 250] – [MP 300] – [MP 350] – [MP 400] – [MP 450]
or directly to:
North Carolina [MP 216.9]

Trail Head Milepost Trail Name Length (one way mi.) Elevation Change (ft) Map Link Highlights
5.9 Mountain Farm Self-Guiding 0.325 TBD trail-mtn-farm-lgYou'll also see this called simply the Mountain Farm Trail or the Farm Museum Trail. This is a short trail from the Visitor Center to the Mountain Farm pioneer farmstead. This interpretive trail meanders thru an outdoor museum that gives a glimpse into the lives of Appalachian families on a subsistence mountain farm on the ridges of the southern Appalachians in the 1890s. The cabins and outbuildings of the recreated William J. Carter farm is an authentic setting to explore the pioneering lifestyle that existed in some places when the Blue Ridge Parkway was built in the mid-1930s. The high point of this amble down an atmospheric lane is the wonderfully convoluted log barn and a gear loft where the family kept their “plunder” or personal gear. During the summer months costumed interpreters demonstrate southern Appalachian mountain life at the turn of the 20th century. The gravel path leads past the cabin to other outbuildings / structures associated with many mountain farms such as log cabin chicken house pig pen gear loft barn and a spring house. The trail ends at Milepost 6 of the Parkway. The slightly inclined gravel path can accommodate wheelchairs.
6.0 Humpback Rocks 2.0 700 trail-humpback-rocksThis trail was once part of the white-blazed Appalachian Trail and it rewards your effort with some of the best views in the northern Blue Ridge. It begins at the south end of the Humpback Gap parking area. The trail provides access to Humpback Rocks (1 mile) which is where our trail directions indicate to turn and loop back. However the trail does extend beyond this point to Humpback Mountain (2 miles) and beyond that to the Humpback Rocks picnic area (3.9 miles). The enormous greenstone outcrop of Humpback Rocks (3080 feet) offers wide-ranging views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west and Virginia’s Piedmont to the east. The trail head and parking can be found at Humpback Gap. This trail also offers access to the Appalachian Trail. Generally the Humpback Rocks trail is marked with blue blazes on trees rocks and other natural features. At times however the trail is also part of the Appalachian Trail and may be marked in white. When leaving Humpback Rocks don't turn right back down the mountain but go straight at the signed junction and then turn right again at the junction to go down the new trail and complete the 2.0-mile round-trip. If you go left leaving Humpback Rocks you'll end up on the old trail. There have been numerous reports of hikers making the wrong turn for their return trip from the Rocks and ending up hiking to Humpback Mountain or even worse becoming lost.
8.4 Catoctin Trail 0.3 TBD trail-catoctin-viewThis trail leads to a nice view of the Shenandoah Valley.
8.8 Greenstone Self-Guiding Trail 0.2 TBD trail-greenstoneThe short interpretive trail loops from the Greenstone Overlook and extends through oak/hickory forest and plant life. Past a right turn the trail opens up in to panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley. Further down some stone steps and past a crag you run in to a sign explaining the three types of rock present. It continues to climb past the crag and back to the parking lot.
17.6 The Priest Trail 0.1 TBD TBD This is a short trail to a bench with a view of the Religious Range where The Priest Mountain is the highest. Along with The Priest the other visible peaks include The Friar The Cardinal The Bald Friar and Little Priest. The Priest was named after the de Priest family who were one of the first settlers in the area.
18.4 White Rock Falls Connection Trail 1.6 TBD TBD trail-white-rock-fallsThe name White Rock came from the abundant quartz rock found in the area. The highlight of this hike is the impressive gorge which includes White Rock Falls and a natural wading pool. To locate the White Rock Falls Trail trailhead park at White Rock Trail Overlook [MP 18.5] cross the parkway and look for the White Rock Falls Trail marker. Follow the yellow-blazed trail as it unfurls beside lichen-covered rocks and gurgling White Rock Creek. The trail crosses the creek after 1.4 miles where you’ll find boulder-lined pools ready-made for wading. To locate the falls rock-hop across the creek to switchbacks that travel close to the falls. You can get more views by tempering the scenic pay-off with a steep 400-foot climb. An easy-to-miss side trail before the last switchback leads to hidden but stellar views of the 35-foot falls.
19.9 White Rock Falls Trail 0.9 TBD TBD trail-white-rockThis trail access provides an easier route to White Rock Falls. Starting at The Slacks Overlook [MP 19.9] cross the Parkway turn north and descend into the woods to the falls. At the trailhead find a sign honoring the Youth Conservation Corps who built the trail in 1979. Continue to descend and find beautifully striped quartz intrusions and pools surrounded by stone walls. There is a side trail that leads to the best view of the falls that can be easily missed while doing this hike.
20.0 Slacks TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SLACKS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.9 Start at The The Slacks Overlook [MP 19.9] and follow this trail south to the Homestead Ruins where a junction leads you to White Rock Gap Trail and onwards to Sherando Lake (a recreation area in George Washington National Forest 4.5 miles from the Parkway via VA 814 which offers swimming picnicking and camping). Here you will find steep switchbacks and large pools.
26.3 Big Spy Mountain TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BIG_SPY_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.1 Park at The Big Spy Mountain Overlook [MP 26.4] and follow this trail on the north side of the parking area to hike to a pasture for a view of Big Spy Mountain. Big Spy along with nearby Little Spy served as lookout posts for Union sympathizers during the Civil War.
34.4 Yankee Horse TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_YANKEE_HORSE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.2 trail-yankee-horse-railwayThis trail winds a short distance from the Parkway to two sites an old logging railroad grade and Wigwam Falls. Despite the forests that envelope the Parkway wilderness declined a century ago during massive timber harvesting often accomplished by railroad. Stroll the rails here and when the tracks end and give way to woods you’ll learn how to recognize when a trail follows an old railroad line. This site receives its name from a Civil War story that tells of a hard-riding Union man’s horse that fell and had to be shot. Today visitors can see the rail bed and the reconstructed tracks of a 200-foot section of the Irish Creek Railway near the 30-foot Wigwam Falls. Built in the early 20th century by the South River Lumber Company the narrow-gauge rail was used to gain access to swathes of trees that were considered untouched until the turn of the 20th century. The track used to carry more than 100 million board feet of lumber to the mill. Wigwam Falls was named after Wigwam Mountain where the locals maintain that an American Indian camp was once located.
38.8 Boston Knob TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BOSTON_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.1 The short trail from Boston Knob Overlook goes around a hill that stands above Nettle Creek and offers a chance to stretch your legs. Along the trail are log benches and picnic tables enjoy the dogwood trees and wild azaleas that bloom in the spring.
47.5 Indian Gap TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_INDIAN_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.25 Park at the Indian Gap Overlook and follow this short trail to a group of large-scale boulders. The town of Buena Vista is visible from here. This trail also has a good seasonal rhododendron display.
55.2 White Oak Flats TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_WHITE_OAK_FLATS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.1 Follow the short trail from the White Oak Flats Overlook [MP 55.1] at the south end of the parking area. The trail runs along Dancing Creek and is dominated by white oak. The white oak thrives in moist areas but can easily adapt to a variety of habitats.
60.8 Otter Creek TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_OTTER_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3.5 222 (from the campground trail head)158 (from the visitor center trail head) trail-otter-creekThe Otter Creek Trail starts near the visitor center but a path also leads along the first part of the stream from the picnic sites. It’s a wonderful chance to leave the placid silence where Otter Creek merges with the massive James and walk into the woods to see—and hear—the creek come noisily to life as a tumbling mountain stream. Otter Creek runs ten miles through the Blue Ridge Mountains and empties in to the James River. In recent years there have been several un-confirmed sightings of mountain lion in this area. Mountain lions were believed to have disappeared from the area during the 19th century.
63.1 Otter Lake Loop TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_OTTER_LAKE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.8 trail-otter-lakeThe trail passes along side the lake and crosses Otter Creek Trail twice. In the summer expect to find people fishing for bream and trout.
63.6 James River Canal TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_JAMES_RIVER_CANAL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.2 trail-james-river-canalA self-guiding trail to a restored canal lock dating from the mid-19th century.
63.6 Trail of TreesAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_OF_TREES_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.5 trail-of-trees-ex-viewThe trail passes several overlooks of the James River and climbs through a hardwood forest with informational plaques regarding several species of trees. You'll view the mighty James River as it forces its way through the Blue Ridge in a distinctive “water gap” formation.
74.7 Thunder Ridge TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_THUNDER_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.1 Thunder Ridge Trail provides a view of the Alleghenies Arnold Valley the towns of Glasgow and Natural Bridge and Purgatory Mountain. This is a perfect place to view the impact of air pollution on the Southern Appalachians. The trail takes you past overlooks of the James River climbing through a hardwood forest with informational plaques regarding several species of trees. Offers access to the Appalachian Trail. [1]
78.7 Apple Orchards Fall TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_APPLE_ORCHARDS_FALL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.4 1000 trail-apple-orchardIn this area some of the trails follow old logging roads that were established before 1917 when the land was owned by the Virginia Lumber and Extract Company. Then in the early 1990s the Forest Service placed 1 825 acres of this now old-growth forest under the Special Management Area status and the area’s purpose shifted from potential timber harvest to the development of wildlife and recreation. Hikers now experience a noteworthy north-facing watershed below the highest peak in this part of the Blue Ridge. Winter’s wind ice and snow have given Apple Orchard Mountain the appearance of a deserted orchard; the northern red oaks on the mountain have been pruned by the conditions. A golf ball-shaped tower visible from the Parkway is radar used by the FAA for air-traffic control. The U.S. Air Force stationed 120 people from the 1950s to the 1970s at this location.From the Sunset Field Overlook parking area [MP 78.4] take the bridge to the left of the kiosk to begin the trailhead. You will either be right next to streams or within sight of a stream for about 90% of this hike. This trail is a National Recreational Trail and this area is very popular mostly due to the beautiful 150 foot waterfalls. Even when the falls are diminished by drought Apple Orchard Falls are spectacular — a 200' multi-tier cascade bouncing from ledge to ledge down a sharp cliff. The National Forest Service has constructed a great wooden bridge with a viewing platform right below the falls. You'll also encounter wooden steps as you descend toward the base of the falls. Neotropical songbirds like the red-eye vireo oven bird and scarlet tanager can be heard here. Also the rare Peaks of Otter salamander can be spotted in this area.
79.7 Onion Mountain Loop TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ONION_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.1 trail-onion-mtnNamed for its large patches of wild onions Onion Mountain is also a fantastic place to visit in early June when mountain laurel and rhododendron are in full bloom. Take the short loop trail from Onion Mountain Overlook to see some large formations of lichen-covered boulders.
83.1 Fallingwater Cascades National Recreation TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FALLINGWATER_CASCADES_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.5 400 trail-fallingwater-cascadesIn a region known more for its peaks this waterfall loop provides a nice contrast to the rest of the scenery. Dipping into the Jefferson National forest this trail’s main attraction is a waterfall created by Fallingwater Creek as it tumbles into a gorge. This hike takes you through part of the Peaks of Otter Recreational Area. The trail has a steep section however there is only a total elevation gain of just under 400 feet making this a moderate hike. You actually have two options where to start this loop hike you can start either at the Falling Cascades Overlook [MP 83.1] or the Flat Top Mountain Trail Overlook [MP 83.5]. That said we'll describe the entry from the Falling Cascades Overlook where the trail almost immediately enters Jefferson National Forest. From the parking area turn right down the well worn trail lined with rhododendron. These usually bloom in late May early June making for beautiful scenery. Soon the trail gets very steep and there are some steps. Fallingwater Creek appears as it tumbles down the top of cascades on your left. At 0.3 miles you cross Fallingwater Creek on a footbridge. At this point you're above the cascades and the trail will begin to descend steeply at times. There are some steps plus a few benches through this section. Pass the base of the cascades and cross the creek on another bridge at 0.6 miles. The cascades aren't spectacular but are certainly worth the hike. You can retrace your steps from here and head back to the parking area for a 1.2 mile hike. This would be 0.4 miles less than the loop. We recommend doing the full loop. The trail continues past a bench and ascend gradually as you enter a higher hardwood forest. At 1.0 miles a side trail on your right leads to the Flat Top Mountain Trail Overlook. Past this junction the trail continues its gradual rise back to the Falling Cascades Overlook reaching the parking area at 1.5 miles. [2]
83.5 Flat Top National Recreation TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FLAT_TOP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4.9 1600 trail-flat-topFlat Top is one of the three mountains that make up the Peaks of Otter and from some angles it’s obvious why it was once called Round Top. This trail travels from the Flat Top Mountain Overlook over the summit of Flat Top to the Peaks of Otter Picnic Area. The Flat Top Trail is a quiet uncrowded yet difficult hiking trail that takes you to the highest point at the Peaks of Otter. It is a lovely trail full of wonderful views large rock formations and flora that changes with each turn of the trail – including huge oak poplar hickory and beech trees mountain laurel rhododendron and an assortment of wildflowers.
85.7 Abbott Lake TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ABBOTT_LAKE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.0 < 10 trail-abbottAbbott Lake is a 24-acre impoundment that was created soon after the Peaks of Otter Lodge was built in 1964 by flooding a high-mountain bog. It both ensured unobstructed views of the Peaks and was specifically designed to reflect Sharp Top Mountain on a still day. The lake is named after Stanley W. Abbott the Blue Ridge Parkway's first landscape architect and the man largely responsible for designing the Parkway. Ironically Abbott was against the construction of the lake. The loop trail around Abbott Lake is wheelchair accessible. This trail takes hikers through a woodland forest and open field offering a close-up view of this picturesque lake. There are awesome views of Sharp Top and a side trail reaches Polly Wood’s Ordinary an early one-room inn on the route across the Blue Ridge between Bedford and Buchanan Virginia. Most start this hike from the Peaks of Otter Lodge parking area.
85.8 Peaks Campground TrailsAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_PEAKS_CAMPGROUND_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.3 trail-peaks-campgroundThese short trails lead out and around the campground they're good for an easy forest walk and wild flower viewing.
85.8 Peaks Picnic Area TrailsAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_PEAKS_PICNIC_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.0 trail-peaks-picnic-areaThese short trails lead out and around the picnic area they're good for an easy forest walk and wild flower viewing.
85.9 Elk Run Self-Guiding TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ELK_RUN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.8 trail-elk-runThis trail starts at the breezeway between the visitor center buildings at the very end of the Harkening Hill Loop. The interpretive signs along the trail educate the visitor about the ecological interaction between animals and plants. Along the path are benches where the visitor can sit and enjoy the views. The trail rises to a historic cemetery before dipping back to the visitor center.
85.9 Johnson Farm Loop TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_JOHNSON_FARM_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.1 trail-johnson-farmThis short scenic trail portrays mountaineer lifestyles still found throughout Appalachia.
85.9 Harkening Hill Trail and Balance Rock SpurAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_HARKENING_HILL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3.3 800 trail-harkening-hillThis moderately long trail offers scenic interpretations of how southern Appalachian mountaineers lived. This trail enters a now wooded area that fifty years ago was cultivated. The trail begins behind the Johnson Farm Visitor Center and across from the amphitheater. This woodland trail climbs to a ridge where distant views are possible. A spur path near the summit leads to Balance Rock a large boulder balanced on a small rock.
86 Sharp Top Trail including SummitAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHARP_TOP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.0 1340 trail-sharp-topFrom the Peaks of Otter camp store you can take the concession bus to the mountain’s boulder-capped summit—or hike. This steep trail takes you to one of Virginia’s most prominent summits – Sharp Top. Enjoy great views from the summit of 3875-foot Sharp Top. Its conical peak capped by rounded boulders is visible from the foothills far to the east and the Great Valley on the western side of the mountains. There are 360 degree panoramic view from summit. There is a large stone summit shelter at the peak in case of inclement weather which can include direct lightening strikes.
86.1 Abbott Lake to Campground TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ABBOTT_CAMPGROUND_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.3 trail-abbott-campgroundThis is a short trail connecting the Peaks of Otter Campground with Abbott Lake.
86.2 Buzzards Roost Trail (off of Sharp Top)Adopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BUZZARDS_ROOST_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.1 trail-buzzards-roostIf you want to avoid the large crowds at the summit of Sharp Top take this alternate trail to Buzzards Roost a rocky crag that resembles a large foot or a dragon’s head depending on your vantage (neither of which have anything to do with buzzards).
96 Spec Mine TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SPEC_MINE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.8 1300 trail-spec-mineThis trail starts just south of Montvale Overlook and circles around Spec Mines Branch and Iron Mine Hollow. Along the way the trail passes above the 19th century Spec Mines and a large pine tree the Forest Service has marked as “wildlife tree” – not to be cut. The trail drops you down on VA 645. Keep an eye out the trail is popular with mountain bikers.
97.7 Glenwood Horse TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_GLENWOOD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.15 trail-glenwood-horseThe Glenwood Horse Trail completed in the early 1990s provides outstanding riding on terrain varying from gravel roads to difficult single-track trails through mountainous terrain. Area clubs and individuals help take care of the 65-mile trail. Despite the rough terrain of the Glenwood district most trails are surprisingly well kept well signed and easy to follow. The trail is part a larger system of horse trails totaling 65 miles in all. These paths lead to beautiful waterfalls wild trout streams unusual topography and spectacular scenery.
110.6 Stewarts Knob TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_STEWARTS_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.1 trail-stewarts=knobEnter the trail as it continues slightly uphill into a lush forest where you will find switchbacks and bench situated at a split-rail fence overlook. From here Roanoke lies in the distance.
114.9 Roanoke River TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ROANOKE_RIVER_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.5 100 trail-roanoke-riverThis self-guided river trail is made up of two trails – one is a steep fishing trail to the river's side and the other is a loop that provides a view of the hemlock-dotted forest and the river. At an easel find early photos of the Niagara Power Plant which can be seen across the river. The plant and dam were constructed in 1906 and today it’s the smallest hydroelectric plant in the country’s electric power system. The plant was the first to provide Roanoke with electricity. Along the way you'll find a mixed deciduous and evergreen forest with black locust tulip tree white pine and eastern hemlock.
120.4 Roanoke Mountain Summit TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ROANOKE_MTN_SUMMIT_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.36 60 trail-roanoke-mtn-summitThe trailhead is found at the top parking area of the Roanoke Mountain Loop Road (car loop). To get here take the Roanoke Mountain Loop Road to the top and begin at either of the summit parking lots. The trail is a short loop that crosses a craggy summit.
120.5 Chestnut Ridge TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_CHESTNUT_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5.25 320 trail-chestnut-ridgeThe Chestnut Ridge Trail is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a wide and well-graded path lined with mountain laurel and rhododendron. It is a 5.4 mile figure-eight loop trail that can be shortened to 2.5 and/or 3.4 miles (these are round trip mileages). This trail features strange topography created by early mining operations that has now been re-forested. Craters and hummocks are signs of extensive quarrying that took place in many places in the area. Roanoke has extensive quarries.
121.4 Roanoke Valley Horse TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ROANOKE_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 18.5 trail-roanoke-horseThe Roanoke Valley Horse Trail has two separate parts. The first section begins at Milepost 121.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway (just off Highway 220). It travels in a loop around Roanoke Mountain Day Use Area then parallel to the Parkway ending around Milepost 116. The total distance is approximately 12 miles. The second section of this horse trail is located at Milepost 111 on the Blue Ridge Parkway and can be traveled to Milepost 114.5. Access for this section of the trail can be found at the Stewarts Knob Overlook. These two trails make up the Roanoke Valley Horse Trail but are not connected because there is no horse access across the Roanoke River. Together they total approximately 18.5 miles in distance.
123.2 Buck Mountain TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BUCK_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.5 300 trail-buck-mtnThe trail is located off the upper parking lots of the 4 mile automobile loop on Roanoke Mountain. This is a family-friendly hike with the trail being wide enough for three or four people to walk side by side. This is a nice forest hike that includes maples pines and oaks. It takes you away from the parking lot and instantly into a virtually untouched spot in nature. There are rocks to climb trees to explore and wonderful spots to sit and listen to the birds around you. In May azalea and mountain laurel blossom. In late 2001 a fire burned this part of the Parkway and neighboring lands. As a result this trail offers insight into how a charred forest reinvents itself.
154.5 Rennet Bag TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_RENNET_BAG_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.25 The Rennet Bag Trail is named for the creek that heads in Smart View and flows down the mountain to join the Smith River. In days gone by farmers made cheese by curdling milk in the baglike "true" stomach or rennet of a calf. The local story is that someone placed the rennet bag by the stream and it got washed down during a rainstorm. The trail is dense with azaleas and red-buds that bloom in the Spring.
154.5 Smart View TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SMART_VIEW_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.45 160 trail-smart-viewThis trail mixes meadows with deep stream drainage a visit to a 1890 cabin and a pleasant walk through scenic forests. At 1.2 miles perched atop a magnificent view is the Trail Cabin built in the 1890s by the Trail family. It is representative of typical rough log buildings built by pioneers throughout the United States.
167.1 Rock Castle Gorge National Recreation TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ROCK_CASTLE_GORGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 10.0 1800 Credit: Take a Hike! (take-a-hike.info) blog on Blue Ridge Parkway - Rocky KnobThe Rock Castle Gorge Trail was named a National Recreation Trail in 1984 because of it's geographical and historical significance. At 1.5 miles you will come upon an early twentieth-century white clapboard house with a privy and outbuildings and a barn. Built in 1916 the Austin House was the most luxurious house in a community of thirty-plus families. The population decreased when wage-earning industries began settling in the region. This undermined the subsistence farming lifestyle of the area and the community shrank. The community grew corn oats apples buckwheat and the cash crop chestnuts. This trail is named for the area’s abundant six-sided quartz crystals which reminded early settlers of castle towers. You’ll also pass an old CCC camp that’s now a backcountry site then the early twentieth-century Austin House at mile 1.5. The trail continues past an old chimney. Here's what Leonard Adkins' "Walking the Blue Ridge" has to say about this hike: "High open meadows precipitous views tumbling cascades historical sites and free backcountry camping make this a hike you shouldn't miss."
169 Black Ridge TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BLACK_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.9 486 This trail begins at the Rocky Knob Visitors Center. At the 0.4 mile mark a towering chimney marks a cabin site. With warm fertile valleys suitable for farming not too far away someone chose this high inhospitable place to make a living. Dismal mist cold fog and winter snow visit this north-facing slope.
169 Rocky Knob Picnic Loop TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ROCKY_KNOB_PICNIC_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.2 120 Credit: Floyd County</td>
<td > VA "The Best of the Blue Ridge" Rocky Knob Picnic Loop TrailThis is an easy loop around the picnic area that makes a nice start to a hike up Rocky Knob. It offers a pleasant walk through a mature forest of large oaks ashes hickorys Fraser magnolias hemlocks and other native trees and shrubs. Views peer impressively into Rock Castle Gorge a once thriving farm community now growing up in forest. Pause at the rustic old trail shelter: one of the first built on the Appalachian Trail. Yes this was once the Appalachian Trail (AT) until Parkway construction destroyed the trail here. The road forced the AT’s relocation farther west and left the shelter here. The area is excellent for bird watching particularly in the nesting season.
176.2 Mabry Mill TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MABRY_MILL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.2 trail-mabry-millThis is a short trail around the mill connecting historical exhibits about life in rural Virginia and allows visitors to view the gristmill sawmill and blacksmith shop. It is a paved trail with wheelchair access. The gristmill is one of the Parkway’s most photographed sites called Mabry Mill. Mabry Mill is among the most active interpretive sites on the Parkway. Edwin Mabry a blacksmith miner and chair maker built the mill in 1910. Along with his wife Mintoria Lizzie Mabry Edwin lived and ground corn for the Meadows of Dan community until 1936. In 1945 the National Park Service chose this mill to represent others of the period restored and landscaped it.
176.2 Mountain Industry TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTN_INDUSTRY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.34 Credit: Get Out & Hike! Review of Mountain Industry & Mabry MillThe Mountain Industry Trail is an easy educational walk of less than a half of a mile. During your hike you will find buildings farm implements a whiskey still and other displays which illustrate what rural life was like in the Appalachia and other rural areas of the eastern United States. Along the way notice the elaborate Rube Goldberg aqueducts that supplement the mill’s meager main stream.
179.2 Round Meadow Creek Loop TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ROUND_MEADOW_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.4 100 Credit: CNY Hiking "Round Meadow Creek Loop Trail"From Round Meadow Overlook take the right fork of the paved path. A combination of evergreen hemlocks rhododendron mountain laurel and deciduous hardwood trees provide the quintessential Blue Ridge Parkway woodland scene. This short loop through this forest and along a rushing stream makes this one of the best short easy hikes.
213.5 High Meadow TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_HIGH_MEADOW_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.1 trail-mtn-highThis trail is dedicated in memory of Pete Bramley a member of the FRIENDS Fisher Peak Chapter and a tremendous supporter of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Pete Bramley contributed his time and expertise to building and maintaining this trail. This easy trail beginning near the Blue Ridge Music Center will take you through a hayfield and a wetland with an abundance of wildflowers and birds. It also winds through a forest with a rich display of rhododendron ferns and rock outcrops. Trailhead parking is located on Foothills Road (State Route 612).
213.5 Fisher Peak Loop TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FISHER_PEAK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3.5 290 trail-fisher-peakThis trail is dedicated in memory of Pete Bramley a member of the FRIENDS Fisher Peak Chapter and a tremendous supporter of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Pete Bramley contributed his time and expertise to building and maintaining this trail. The trail winds up the side of Fisher Peak through a variety of vegetation. At the lower elevation the trail follows a stream through mixed pine and hardwoods. Higher up the blooms of azaleas mountain laurel and Catawba rhododendron provide a spectacular display in May. They give way to a diverse second growth forest of oak poplar maple and sourwood trees. Look for abundant signs of animal life — woodpecker holes deer tracks and turkey dust baths. This trail is part of the Blue Ridge Music Center and it is for hiking only; bicycles motorized vehicles and horses are prohibited.
217.5 Gully Creek TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_GULLY_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.5 800 trail-gully-gapDescend from the parkway’s heights to a topographically fascinating watershed. Explore the dense rhododendron in the colder and wetter hardwood forest and then dip down from the slopes to a dry and sunny forest where a layer of pine needles scents the air. The trail has views of a mountain stream.
217.5 Cumberland Knob TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_CUMBERLAND_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.6 100 This was the site where construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway was started in 1935 as part of President Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps. It was the first recreation area to be opened in 1937 to the public along the Parkway. Take the trail and picnic in the shelter atop Cumberland Knob. The mixture of lush woodlands and open fields housing a variety of birds and other wildlife is ideal for leisurely walks.
218.6 Fox Hunters Paradise TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FOX_HUNTERS_PARADISE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] < 0.1 negligible Credit: CNYHiking "Fox Hunters Paradise Overlook"This spot was once used by hunters to track the sounds of their hounds while fox hunting. To reach the short paved trail drive through the gate on the south end of the overlook at the same milepost then continue to a paved parking lot and the trailhead. The trail ends at a circular rock wall and provides an opportunity for solitude away from Parkway traffic.
230.1 Little Glade Mill Pond TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_LITTLE_GLADE_MILL_POND_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.4 negligible Credit: Every Trail "Little Glade Mill Pond"Trail loops around a pond which offers glimpses of snapping turtles frogs newts dragon flies and a wide variety of fish. Rhododendron adorns the creek and rose hips cover bushes in the fall. Many picnic tables overlook the pond.
235.2 Mountains-to-Sea Trail from Mahogany Rock to Brinegar Cabin TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTS_MAHOGANY_BRINEGAR_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.0 negligible Credit: Danny Redd PhotographyThe Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) got its start in the 1970s with the intention of connecting the Great Smokies to the Outer Banks. Martin Brinegar built the cabin and lived in it until the 1930s. Presentations and exhibits are presented during the tourist season.
238.5 Cedar Ridge TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_CEDAR_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4.6 2000 Credit: Hiking Upward Beginning near Brinegar Cabin the trail descends from forested ridgeline 4.5 miles to the Grassy Gap Fire Road. Find rhododendron and mountain laurel in late May and early June. Cinquefoil and fire pink also accompany the hikers in the spring.
238.5 Bluff Mountain Trail (and Mountains-to-Sea section)Adopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BLUFF_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 7.4 320 credit: CNY HikingThis trail offers many scenic vistas and traverses relatively level terrain. The trail runs near the Parkway and is easily accessible from many locations along its 7.5 mile route from Brinegar Cabin to Basin Cove Overlook. Car shuttles can be arranged to make the hike as long as you wish. Filled with diverse views this trail is one of the best on the Parkway.
241 Fodder Stack TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FODDER_STACK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.0 negligible trail-fodder-stackStart just past Bluffs Lodge on the broad bluff that juts out into the void of Basin Cove. Peer over at Caudill Cabin then hike the 1-mile trail out to Fodder Stack for a great view. The name of this trail fits the bumpy lump that extends from the ridge and stands above steeply dropping terrain. The trail runs in a mixed pine and hardwood forest and has wild flowers in Spring. Along the trail views to the east are clear allowing early risers to watch the day begin in peace and solitude.
241 Bluff Primitive Trail (aka Bluff Ridge)Adopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BLUFF_PRIMITIVE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.8 2000 Credit: CNY Hiking "Doughton Park"This trail is the shortest but steepest route into Basin Cove. Near the Parkway it offers fantastic views but it soon enters heavy woods as it drops 2000 feet in less than 3 miles. This is a very strenuous hike when hiking in the opposite direction. Hikers will find the three-sided trail shelter atop Bluff Mountain. This shake-roofed timber-and-stone shelter is a great place to stop and enjoy the views.
241 Wildcat Rock TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_WILDCAT_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.2 negligible overlook-wildcat-rocksThe trail leads to a bench with a view of Caudill Cabin. If you don’t have much time for a hike but would like to have a great introduction into the beauty of Doughton Park this trail serves that purpose. Look beyond the lodge a rocky wall makes up the Wildcat Rocks where you can survey the watershed.
243.7 Grassy Gap Fire Road TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_GRASSY_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 6.9 negligible trail-grassy-gapA long leaf-covered lane wide enough for hikers or horseback riders to travel side by side. Along the way explore the home sites of former inhabitants of the Basin Cove area. The headwaters of Cove Creek are also known to carry a large number of native brook trout. Along Cove Creek find a campsite with eight widely spaced sites and fire grills.
243.7 Basin Creek TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BASIN_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3.3 negligible Credit: Hiking Upward "Basin Creek HIke"The trail is accessible only from the Grassy Gap Fire Road and winds past small cascading waterfalls to the century-old Caudill Cabin former home of the Martin Caudill family. Part of the once-thriving Basin Cove community the Caudill cabin was one of the few structures that withstood the devastating 1916 flood. The Caudill family was large in numbers and lived in and farmed the hidden reaches around Basin Creek. [3]
244.7 Flat Rock Ridge TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FLAT_ROCK_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5.0 negligible trail-flat-rockThe trail begins on the mountain-top meadow at Basin Cove Overlook and ends on the damp cool banks of Basin Cove Creek alongside the Grassy Gap Fire Road. It offers glimpses of rugged mountain slopes that attracted and challenged early settlers. This trail is noted as being one of the best backpacking trails in the Blue Ridge. Fantastic views of the Basin Cove are accessible from this trail as well as rock outcroppings and rhododendron and mountain laurel that seem to line every inch of the trail. Watch out for turkey deer and the occasional black bear.
244.8 Mountains-to-Sea Basin Creek Overlook to Hwy 18 TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTS_BASIN_18_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3.2 1800 Credit: Hiking Upward "Basin Creek Hike"Beginning at Basin Cove Overlook hikers have many length options but the Mountains to Sea circuit to Highway 18 is one of the best backpacking trips available. This section is rugged with frequent ups and downs but it’s well maintained and has the best scenery and most frequent views of the rest of the rugged routes in the area. This section veers away from the Parkway twice: at the very beginning and at the very end. Otherwise the Parkway is your companion.
248.1 Mountains-to-Sea Basin Creek Overlook to the Northwest Trading Post TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTS_BASIN_NW_TRADING_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5.0 Credit: Caudill Famil Cabin HomesteadVisit one of the most isolated and evocative spots in Doughton Park: Martin Caudill’s late-nineteenth-century cabin on this trail. Read more about the cabin and family history at the Caudill Family Cabin Homestead website.
258.8 Mountains-to-Sea Basin Creek Overlook to Hwy 16 TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTS_BASIN_16_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] destinations-nw-trading-postNice easy trail for a quick walk that ends at a charming country gift shop featuring local artisans and HAND MADE IN AMERICA timeless craftsmanship.
260.3 Jumpingoff Rocks TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_JUMPINGOFF_ROCKS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.0 negligible Credit: Donald Lee Pardue "Jumping Off Rock"This wooded trail with switchbacks and up-and-downs leads to a rocky bluff that overlooks a cascading stream and the surrounding Uwharrie National Forest. Any legends aside Jumping off “Jumping off Rock” is strongly discouraged. The trail is lined with pepperbush galax and trailing arbutus. The end of the walk is a peaceful and secluded area great for picnics at an observation post atop rock formations. The observation deck offers an expansive view of surrounding land that has been transformed by the harvesting of timber and development. This trail is not related to 'Jump Off Rock' in Hendersonville North Carolina.
264.4 The Lump Trail (includes Mountains-to-Sea from Lump Overlook to Hwy 321 in Blowing Rock)Adopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_THE_LUMP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.3 negligible overlook-the-lumpThe trail leads to hilltop view of Yadkin Valley and a multitude of ridges. The “lump” is a high open meadow that ascends quickly from the Parkway.
271.9 Cascades Self-Guiding TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_CASCADES_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.0 negligible trail-cascadesTake this 1-mile interpretive loop to study local plants then enjoy Falls Creek leaping off the edge of the Blue Ridge. Visitors can extend the hike by starting at Tompkins Knob Overlook Milepost 272.5. Take the trail from there to stroll by Jesse Brown Cabin and Cool Springs Baptist Church then reach the Cascades Overlook Milepost 271.9 at 0.7 mile. Continue on to The Cascades and back to your car for a 2.4-mile hike.
272.5 Tompkins Knob TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_TOMPKINS_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.6 negligible trail-tompkins-knobThe trail brings you to Cool Spring Baptist Church where itinerant preachers rallied people from miles around and Jesse Brown's Cabin the home where the preachers often stayed the night. These are both old log structures. Jesse Brown’s Cabin was occupied in the late 1800s. The Cool Spring Baptist Church is noteworthy for its rib-pole roof construction.
290.5 Thunder Hill Overlook Trails to cemetery and down mountainAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_TOMPKINS_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.6 negligible overlook-thunder-hillThe trail brings you on a short hike to a historic cemetery and then on down the mountain.
294 Bass Lake Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BASS_LAKE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.7 negligible trail-bass-lakeThis trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park. This particular trail is an easy pathway teeming with wildlife. Set in an impressive hemlock-dominated cove forest with ancient conifers and thickets of rhododendron Trout Lake offers a diversity of plants and birds common to the higher-elevation spruce-fir and northern hardwood forests. Bird species include solitary and red-eyed vireos (Vireo solitarius and Vireo flavoviridis) rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) Acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) black-throated blue warbler (Dendroica caerulescens) and Canada warbler (Wilsonia canadensis). [4]
294 Maze Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MAZE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.3 negligible trail-mazeThis trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park. While there is no fear of getting lost in The Maze an area of trees designed by Gifford Pinchot and planted to form sharp switchbacks this perplexing trail twists and turns through forests of pine oak and more magnolia. Pinchot's influence is again felt in the careful placement of the trees. Golden-crowned kinglets (Regulus satrapa) and blackburnian warblers (Dendroica fusca) can be heard singing high above in the white pines. You'll also be able to see the Cone's apple barn on this walk. [4]
294 Mountains-to-Sea Trail (Bluffs-South District)Adopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTS_BLUFFS_SOUTH_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 60.0
294 Rich Mountain Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_RICH_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4.3 negligible Credit: Blue Ridge Blog "Rich Mountain</td>
<td > North Carolina"This trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park. This trail is a hike to the park's upland meadows with spectacular views along the way and at the 4370 foot summit.
294 Flat Top Mountain Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FLAT_TOP_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3.0 negligible trail-flat-top-mtnThis trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park. On the trail you'll be able to see mountain vistas from the lookout tower at the top of the mountain. The trail also passes the Cone Cemetery.
294 Watkins Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_WATKINS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3.3 negligible trail-watkinsThis trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park.
294 Black Bottom Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BLACK_BOTTOM_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.5 negligible This trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park. The trail passes the apple barn and goes near The Maze and Bass Lake.
294 Deer Park Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_DEER_PARK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.7 negligible This trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park. With the large number of deer that are seen along the Parkway today it’s difficult to believe that the deer population was almost decimated at the turn of the 20th century. Moses Cone recognized the problem and imported herds from further north and kept them in “deer parks.”
294 Duncan Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_DUNCAN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.5 negligible This trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park. Trail ends near the Bass Lake loop. Cone and Pinchot collaborated in the design design this trail which passes by stands of planted white pines and several apple orchards.
294 Rock Creek Bridge Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ROCK_CREEK_BRIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.7 negligible This trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park. This trail has become popular for horseback riders. It ends on Laurel Lane.
294 Deer Park Carriage Trail #2Adopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_DEER_PARK2_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.0 negligible This trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park.
294 Bridle Path Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BRIDLE_PATH_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.8 negligible This trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park.
294.1 Figure-8 Self-Guiding Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FIG_8_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.4 negligible This trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park. This self guiding interpretive trail gives hikers a sense of the local woods as well as Moses Cone. This trail was Mr. and Mrs. Cone's favorite path and the one they shared with their guests. The trail starts off to the left of the Manor House.
294.6 Trout Lake Carriage TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_TROUT_LAKE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.0 negligible This trail is part of the 25 miles of gently sloping carriage roads in Moses Cone Memorial Park. Loop trail around Trout Lake. The trail is almost perfectly leveled and is approximately one mile which makes it extremely popular with the locals as a jogging track. Its most outstanding feature is a hemlock-dominated cove forest something that is quite rare along the Parkway.
295 Mountains-to-Sea from Carriage Trails to Boone Fork TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTS_CARRIAGE_BOONE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] negligible Access to the Mountain-to-Sea Trail is available here which takes you from a carriage trail to Boone Fork Overlook.
295.9 Green Knob TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_GREEN_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.0 500 Credit: Hike Western NC "Green Knob HIke"This trail is part of the system located in Julian Price Memorial Park. The trail is diverse in its scenery moving from being near a pond to following a creek walking through towering trees and to walking through meadows on hilltops with panoramic views. Starting at Sim's Pond Parking Area at milepost 295.9 of the Parkway hikers should cross the Sims Pond spillway bridge and follow the well worn trail around the pond. A steady climb through pasture meadow and woods leads to the top of 3920 foot Green Knob with panoramic views from the open meadows. The last section descends a steep hill with a view of Calloway Peak on the horizon. [5]
296.2 Johns River Road TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_JOHNS_RIVER_ROAD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.9 negligible This trail is part of the system located in Julian Price Memorial Park. It is a nice walk around gated gravel road.
296.5 Boone Fork TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BOONE_FORK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5.0 440 Hiking the High Country "Boone Fork Loop Trail"This trail is part of the system located in Julian Price Memorial Park. The Boone Fork Trail provides solitude in several environments – clear streams pastures large rock outcrops meadows and shaded rhododendron-filled woods. Colorful wood ducks sometimes swim in Boone Fork creek. An extensive birch grove is one of the highlights of this trail. Rhododendron tunnels leading to open meadows and the cascades of Boone Fork Falls are among the contrasts offered on what is called one of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s prettiest hikes. For the first two miles you will be paralleling Boone Fork (named not for Daniel Boone but his nephew Jesse). The caves in the surrounding cliffs housed Native Americans long before Europeans arrived here. This loop hike shares its pathway with both the Tanawha and Mountains-to-Sea Trail so watch trail signs carefully. The North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail marked with white blazes runs jointly with the Boone Fork Trail for half its length. At mile 1.8 you will reach a view of Boone Fork Falls which cascades 25 feet over immense rocks. A half a mile later you'll reach Bee Tree Creek. At this point the trail ascends past large rock outcroppings until it reaches a remote mountain pasture that affords great views of the backside of Grandfather Mountain. The trail then descends through a cool pine woods. The trail continues through woods and meadows (bear left at forks in the trail) before passing through the Julian Price campground on its way back to the picnic area. There are numerous small cascades and waterfalls on this scenic loop hike. [6]
297 Price Lake Loop TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_PRICE_LAKE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.5 negligible Credit: CNYHiking "Julian Price Memorial Park"This trail is part of the system located in Julian Price Memorial Park. This trail circles the shoreline of 47 acre Price Lake. Low-growing evergreen galax and ground pine flourish year-round near the trail. Ducks and loons take a spring and summer pause here in their yearly migration. An impressive boardwalk allows for handicapped access for part of this trail. A section of the trail passes through Loop A of the Price Campground. This is a wonderful hike for all family members. [6]
298.6 Gwyn Memorial TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_GWYN_MEMORIAL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] < 0.1 50 This is an access trail to out-and-back walks that allow the visitor to sample the Tanawha and Mountains-to-Sea Trails in an area noted for magnificent meadow views. 299.9 Asuti TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ASUTI_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 360 This trail offers a view of hemlocks and hardwood forests.
304.4 Linn Cove Viaduct Access TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_LINN_COVE_VIADUCT_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.2 50 trail-linn-cove-viaductWhen riding along the viaduct you will marvel at the structure and the amazing views. This is a wheelchair-accessible paved path that leads under the Linn Cove Viaduct and proceeds as a rougher trail through Linn Cove. The turnaround point offers a postcard view of the viaduct.
305.2 Beacon Heights TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BEACON_HEIGHTS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.4 130 Credit: Romantic Asheville "Beacon Heights on the Blue Ridge Parkway"Named by A.M. Huger in the 1890s Beacon Heights features a view of bare quartzite. This is the southern trailhead for the Tanawha Trail as well as a connector with the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Beacon Heights features a spectacular 360 degree view with little effort. There is a great view of Grandfather Mountain from the Beacon Heights Parking Area. Table Rock Hawksbill Grandmother and Grandfather Mountain all can be viewed from the site at the top of Beacon Heights. [7]
305.5 Tanawha TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_TANAWHA_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 14.1 2026 trail-tanawhaCompleted at a cost of $750 000 in 1993 the Tanawha Trail was unique in its construction. Some of the bridges were dropped into place via helicopter. The trail stretches from Julian Price Memorial Park to Beacon Heights and runs parallel to the Blue Ridge Parkway on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Tanawha the Cherokee word for fabulous hawk or eagle is an appropriate name for this trail that offers hikers spectacular views of distant mountains. The trail traverses a fragile and ancient ecosystem and leads hikers through a surprising range of biological and geological terrains. Some sections tunnel through thickets of laurel and rhododendron. Others dip down into remote hardwood coves and then ascend into evergreen glens. Boulder fields and cascading streams punctuate the landscape.
308.2 Flat Rock Self-Guiding TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FLAT_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.7 100 Credit: Blue Ridge NC Guide "Hiking Trail - FLAT ROCK</td>
<td > Blowing Rock"The trail comes off Flat Rock Overlook. Flat Rock is a quartzite outcrop on the west side of Grandfather Mountain. On the summit you'll find two copper dials that indicate the direction of several mountains including Yellow Mountain Mount Mitchell and peaks in Tennessee.
315.5 Camp Creek TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_CAMP_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.1 negligible The trail follows Camp Creek which flows into the Linville River through laurel and rhododendron. The creek was named for the Camp brothers of Chicago who logged the area in the early 1900s when white pine and broadleaf trees filled the forest. It's popular amongst local fishermen.
316 Linville Falls Picnic Area TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_LINVILLE_FALLS_PICNIC_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.2 negligible trail-linville-falls-picnicThis trail is part of the Linville Falls Recreation Area trail system. It connects the Linville Falls Visitor Center to the picnic Area. This trail loops around the picnic area for a nice easy walk.
316.4 Erwin's View TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ERWINS_VIEW_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.8 Credit: EveryTrail "Linville Falls - Erwin's View Trail"This trail is part of the Linville Falls Recreation Area trail system. It offers hikers four overlooks each revealing a different aspect of the Linville Falls area. The first overlook is 0.5 mile from the visitor center and is a moderate walk with a slight loss of elevation. Here the Linville River spills gently over the upper falls where it widens and pauses. Drifting into a narrow canyon the water suddenly spirals out of sight and plunges 45 feet over the lower falls. The next overlook Chimney View 0.7 mile from the visitor center is the first point on the trail where the lower falls can be seen. It offers an excellent chance to photograph both the upper and lower falls. The overlook is named for the chimney-like outcroppings located to the right of the waterfall. The trail is strenuous in this area with considerable elevation gain. At Gorge View Overlook hikers can see the Linville River cutting its way through the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. The Erwins View Trail ends at Erwins View Overlook 0.8 mile from the Linville Falls Visitor Center. From this vantage point hikers can enjoy a panoramic view of the Linville Gorge and a distant view of the upper and lower falls. [8]
316.4 Linville Gorge TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_LINVILLE_GORGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.7 Credit: Every Trail "Linville Gorge Mini Grand Loop South - North Carolina</td>
<td > United States"This trail is part of the Linville Falls Recreation Area trail system. The trail to Linville Gorge forks 0.2 mile from the visitor center. The left fork winds down through rock cliffs to the bottom of the falls where the force of the water cascading over the falls creates a large pool. Please note – swimming and climbing on the rocks is extremely dangerous and both are prohibited.
316.4 Plunge Basin TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_PLUNGE_BASIN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.5 Credt: Every Trail "Linville Falls - Plunge Basin to Gorge - North Carolina</td>
<td > United States"This trail is part of the Linville Falls Recreation Area trail system. The trail to Linville Gorge forks 0.2 mile from the visitor center. The right fork takes hikers to Plunge Basin Overlook where they can view the lower falls and the Chimneys. Please note – swimming and climbing on the rocks is extremely dangerous and both are prohibited.
316.4 Duggers Creek TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_DUGGERS_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.3 negligible Credit: Romantic Asheville "Duggers Creek Falls</td>
<td > Blue Ridge Parkway"This trail is part of the Linville Falls Recreation Area trail system. Duggers Creek Falls is a little known gem tucked into a tiny hollow near the Linville Falls Visitor Center. The trail takes you across a wooden bridge from which you can look upstream and view Duggers Creek Falls.
316.5 Linville River Bridge TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_LINVILLE_RIVER_BRIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.2 190 trail-linville-river-bridgeThis trail is part of the Linville Falls Recreation Area trail system. It offers a short hike near the Linville Falls Recreation Area picnic grounds. The trail travels through a rhododendron thicket and reaches a high overlook where you can view the Linville River in about 500 feet and then continues to the base of the largest arched bridge on the Parkway spanning the river in four sections. The structure was built in 1940 by a work camp set up in the community of Linville Falls. Linville Falls is probably the most famous waterfall in the Blue Ridge.
320.8 Chestoa View TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_CHESTOA_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.6 negligible trail-chestoa-viewA short trail leads to a stone observation deck that many call the best view on the Parkway. For more views there is the Chestoa View Trail which is a loop. The word “chestoa” comes from the Cherokee word for rabbit.
339.5 Crabtree Falls Loop TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_CRABTREE_FALLS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.5 600 trail-crabtree-fallsThis trail is one of the best waterfall hikes in western North Carolina especially after some significant rain. At the base of the trail is spectacular Crabtree Falls where water cascades over a 60-foot rock cliff. Many types of ferns and wildflowers thrive in the hollow benefiting from the fall's cool spray. The wet rocks here are slippery. Please do not climb on the rocks. After viewing the falls hikers can return either by retracing their steps or by continuing on a longer but more gradual ascent back to the parking lot. The longer route begins as a moderately steep switchback that provides another beautiful view of the falls. Once reaching the top of the ridge the path levels out and meanders across Crabtree Creek and its tributaries. A Parkway snack bar and campground are near the trailhead.
345.4 Mountains-to-Sea at Sling Cat Ridge Overlook TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTS_SLING_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] This access to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail starts at Singecat Ridge Overlook. While it brings unusual images to mind the origin of the term 'singecat' has been lost to time.
361.2 Glassmine Falls TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_GLASSMINE_FALLS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.1 negligible trail-glassmineThis trail is not really a hike just a short walk from the parking area to a view of the falls. At the base of the falls are the remains of the old Abernathy Mine a mica mine that operated at the turn of the 20th century and the site of a mica miner’s cabin. Mica is referred to as isinglass and as glass by the locals hence the name. There is also access to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at this point.
364.2 Craggy Pinnacle TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_CRAGGY_PINNACLE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.7 252 Credit: All Trails / National Geographic</td>
<td > John Carter "Craggy Pinnacle"Craggy Pinnacle Trail offers the exceptional views for the least amount of walking. This moderate 20-minute walk begins from the upper level of the Craggy Dome Overlook (just north of the tunnel that is in view from the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center). Visitors are rewarded with a breathtaking 360-degree view from its summit. Tunnels of rhododendron gnarled sweet birch trees and wildflowers abound from the trail's beginning to its crest. A spur trail to the right just before the summit leads to an observation point surrounded by rugged rocky terrain. Although stout in appearance this is fragile habitat for many rare plants. To preserve the unique environment necessary for these plants' survival it is imperative that hikers stay on the designated trails and off of the rocky outcrops. During mid-June but depending on the weather the rhododendron at Craggy Dome (elevation 6 085 feet) and Craggy Gardens color the area purple. Those with white blossoms are referred to as Rosebay rhododendron.
364.2 Craggy Gardens Self-Guiding TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_CRAGGY_GARDENS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.8 145 trail-craggy-gardensThe Craggy Gardens Trail can be accessed from the south end of the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center parking area or from the north end of the picnic area. From the parking area the trail begins as a self-guided nature trail with a moderate uphill climb for .3 miles to a large trail shelter. The self-guiding portion ends at the trail shelter and a short spur trail to the left crosses the rhododendron bald to an unobstructed view of the town of Montreat and the lofty Black Mountain Range. In June and July hikers will find blooming rhododendron azaleas mountain laurel blueberries May apple Turkscap lily and blackberries. Craggy Gardens got its name from the Great Craggy Mountains so called because of the rock outcroppings on the mountain summits. The main trail descends gradually from the shelter and enters a mixed-hardwood forest and in another .5 miles reaches the picnic area. Half-way from the shelter to the picnic area a narrow loop path to the right leads to a small gazebo nestled in the forest and overlooking the valley below. Many wildflowers embellish the Craggy Gardens Trail from spring through fall and blueberries on the bald offer an extra late-summer treat.
364.3 Douglas Falls TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_DOUGLAS_FALLS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.0 1326 Credit: All Trails / National Geographic "Douglas Falls Trail"</td>
<td > Ryan RThis rugged and sharply descending trail sends the visitor to a major waterfall and a good campsite in an inspiring virgin forest. You can access this trail from the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MTS). From the Greybeard Mountain Overlook travel the MTS Trail south for one mile to the intersection with this trail. Follow the trail three miles through a mixed hardwood forest to its termination at the falls. The trail winds past a series of cascades and two virgin hemlock groves before reaching the 70-foot Douglas Creek Falls. This strenuous but rewarding hike is a popular one.
366 Bear Pen TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BEAR_PEN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.0
367.2 Craggy Vista Trail (from picnic area to the shelter / vista)Adopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_CRAGGY_VISTA_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] The Mountains-to-Sea Trail can be accessed from this trail.
374.4 Rattlesnake Lodge TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_RATTLESNAKE_LODGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.4 negligible Credit: All Trails</td>
<td > National Georgraphic "Rattlesnake Lodge Trail"</td>
<td > Amanda WhittA favorite hike for locals the Rattlesnake Lodge Trail is a fun trip back in time. You hike to the "ruins" of a lodge that was the summer home for Dr. Chase P. Ambler and his family beginning in 1904. Additional historical details on the lodge and Dr. Ambler may be found here and here. A prominent pulmonary physician and noted conservationist Dr. Ambler created a rough-hewn mountain estate for his family from the virgin land thick with oak hickory birch black walnut (Juglans nigra) and American chestnut (Castanea dentata). The estate eventually included a two-story lodge workshop springhouse log barn corn crib tenant's house swimming pool and tennis court. His wife died in 1918 and he never returned to the lodge. He sold it and it burned in 1926. All that stands today are the still-impressive stone foundations of the lodge itself the walls of the springhouse and a few apple trees from the orchards. The National Park Service purchased 233 acres from Dr. Ambler's estate in the mid-1970s. There are two trails that lead to the site: a 1.4 mile gradual climb from Ox Creek Road and this steep climb from the Blue Ridge Parkway. This shorter and more strenuous trail crosses a couple small dry creek beds. There is a decent cascade near Milepost 374.4 where you can park on either side of the Parkway. The trail follows a small babbling brook most of the way up. Going further up the trail you can see some nice mountain panoramas.
382 Mountains-to-Sea TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 100.0 Credit: North Carolina State Parks "Mountains-to-Sea Trail"This section is proposed as a connection between the western mountain country and the seashore of North Carolina the Mountains-to-Sea Trail when completed will be the state’s longest trail (approximately 900 miles).
382 Folk Art Center ADA TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FOLK_ART_CENTER_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.25 negligible Credit: Asheville Cains of Willow Winds "Easy Hikes Near the Blue Ridge Parkway"This is a educational loop with information about the local wildlife and foliage. It's a perfect trail for young children and inquisitive minds.
384.3 Destination Center Loop TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_DESTINATION_CENTER_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.4 negligible destination-brp-centerThis trail starts from the parking lot of the Asheville Destination Center and joins the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. This hike is especially well suited for those with children—and for those who are children at heart. Start at the Destination Center to learn about the Blue Ridge Parkway through educational exhibits and interactive technology. When it is time to move on to the trailhead you will see a child-friendly sign that describes the hike and provides information and activity brochures that correspond with the ensuing 1.6-mile loop.
391 Mountains-to-Sea LoopsAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTS_LOOPS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.9 negligible trail-mts-loopThis loop is a short extension of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
393.7 Shut-In National Recreation Trail / Bent Creek – Walnut CoveAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHUTIN_BENT_WALNUT_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3.1 Credit: Zen's WNC Nature Notebook "Shutin Trail"Shut-In Trail is a long historic route which travels from North Carolina Hwy 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area. This is the northernmost section of the trail and you'll find the trailhead actually off the Parkway. The instructions that follow are those offered by Zen's WNC Nature Notebook [9] we have not followed them ourselves but the author provides a lot of nice detail. Take the exit for North Carolina Hwy (NC) 191 (Brevard Road) and the trailhead will be on your left just before you get to the entrance of the North Carolina Arboretum. It is best to park your car down at the Bent Creek park so continue on and go right at the light. To start on the trail follow the path that leads thru the bridge under NC 191 cross the street and go left until you see the trailhead. Since this is a moist area with lots of moss and fallen trees keep on the lookout for shelf fungus and cantrelles along the way. You may have noticed already that you're passing thru Rhododendron thickets alternating with hardwood forests. This is characteristic of this trail and you'll be going thru parts of the Bent Creek Research Forest. The trail follows the hollow of Bent Creek for a while until you come to a gated fence. Rather than continue on into the backwoods of the Arboretum turn left and follow the path up the hill to where it again intersects with the Shut-In trail. This and the next part is the most difficult part of the trail because you're heading up the mountain to the ridge. Notice that some trees are marked and others have experiments ongoing with them but don't disturb any of that please. This part of the trail has a tremendous number of black walnut trees. If it's late in the season squirrels will be squandering these and the chestnuts around. The trail is well-kept and white blazed (marked with white dots of paint on trees). About 1/2 way up the ridge you will see a side logging road splitting off to the left. Follow it left and continue around the mountaintop. Once up the ridge you won't have to do any strenuous hiking as the trail follows the ridge and has ups and downs but no major climbing. You will be working yourself slowly up from 2 000 feet at the river to 2 700 around Glenn Bald and the trail will be wide and road-like. During non-summer times you will get forest views of both sides of the mountain. These can be semi-obstructed by trees in the summer. To your left will be Walnut Cove and to your right is the Bent Creek Research Forest. You will see the parkway come into view after about 3 miles. Where the trail intersects is the Walnut Cove Overlook. [9]
396.4 Shut-In National Recreation Trail / Walnut Cove – Sleepy GapAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHUTIN_WALNUT_SLEEPY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.8 Shut-In Trail is a long historic route which travels from North Carolina Hwy 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area. Walnut Cove (looking to the east) is a pretty cove of farms and houses that takes one back to simpler times. This section of the trail is across the street to the north. Go left at the intersection. At this point the trail veers away from the Parkway and even during heavily trafficked times you're walking on the other side of Lance Mountain and won't be bothered by voices or traffic. This short segment of the trail is pretty and relaxing. After a while you'll come close to the Parkway again then after a mile you will come to the parking for Reynolds Gap. [9]
397.3 Grassy Knob TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_GRASSY_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.0 Elevation Change (feet) The Grassy Knob Trail is a difficult trail compared to many others along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trailhead is not very well marked the hike is very steep for .9 miles and doesn't level off once. As a result it doesn't offer much of a 'beaten path'. The Grassy Knob trailhead is located in the Sleepy Gap Area the very first overlook on the right after you pass through the Grassy Knob Tunnel (heading south).
397.3 Shut-In National Recreation Trail / Sleepy Gap – Chestnut Cove TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHUTIN_SLEEPY_CHESTNUT_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.9 Shut-In Trail is a long historic route which travels from North Carolina Hwy 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area. The trail here follows the Parkway thru a leisurely stroll and if you're more comfortable with this kind of walk it's a good opportunity. It's just shy of a mile to Chestnut Cove Overlook and you're never very far from the road to walk back. [9]
398.3 Shut-In National Recreation Trail / Chestnut Gap – Bent Creek GapAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHUTIN_CHESTNUT_BENT_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3.0 Shut-In Trail is a long historic route which travels from North Carolina Hwy 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area. This section of the trail begins on the north side of the Chestnut Cove Overlook parking lot and right away moves away from the Parkway. A sign along the trail indicates that it is 4.7 miles to Beaver Dam Gap Overlook but this section stops at Bent Creek before then. This part of the trail is more secluded than most of the Shut-In Trail. Again you will be alternating between Rhododendron thickets and open hardwood forests. It's interesting to go from the dark twisty thickets with misshapen trunks and deep soft mosses to wide open dappled oak and poplar forests blanketed with ferns and crunchy leaves. You will be weaving in and out of little coves with intermittent streams but nothing at all too difficult to cross. [9]
400.3 Shut-In National Recreation Trail / Bent Creek Gap – Beaver Dam GapAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHUTIN_BENT_BEAVER_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.9 >800 Shut-In Trail is a long historic route which travels from North Carolina Hwy 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area. The instructions that follow are those offered by Zen's WNC Nature Notebook [9] we have not followed them ourselves but the author provides a lot of nice detail. Just north of where Bent Creek Gap Road exits there is a small trail leading to the Shut-In Trail. Either take that or start off on Bent Creek Gap Road itself to the north. You will be working your way up towards Ferrin Knob and away from the Parkway and its noise. You will be going from about 3 200 feet to 4 060 feet in about a mile so take it slow. Take time to notice some of the larger trees old bristly oaks and others that have been around for a long time. Once you reach the top it becomes grassy and originally there was a fire tower here built in 1933. Notice too that there's an gnarled apple tree that probably provided many a fire-watcher with a snack. Work your way down and you'll be at the Beaver Dam Gap Overlook. [9]
401.7 Shut-In National Recreation Trail / Beaver Dam Gap – Stoney BaldAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHUTIN_BEAVER_STONEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.9 Shut-In Trail is a long historic route which travels from North Carolina Hwy 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area. This is a very popular hike with locals and visitors. Its parking lot is the same parking lot used for the Fish Hatcheries and many people probably start off on this hike on a lark. It does climb up sometimes a bit steeply and probably a few day hikers don't bother trying to make it to the top which has almost as good a view as available at Looking Glass. However many feel the lowlands are the best part of the hike anyway. In late March depending on weather the lowland flowers that prefer the rich open woods can be found in profusion. A great collection of trout lillies many budding mayapples jack-in-the-pulpits bloodroot and down by the creek many early trilliums. It's a very pretty walk. [9]
402.6 Shut-In National Recreation Trail / Stoney Bald – Big RidgeAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHUTIN_STONEY_BIG_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.2 Shut-In Trail is a long historic route which travels from North Carolina Hwy 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area.
403.6 Shut-In National Recreation Trail / Big Ridge – Mills River ValleyAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHUTIN_BIG_MILLS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.1 Shut-In Trail is a long historic route which travels from North Carolina Hwy 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area.
404.5 Shut-In National Recreation Trail / Mills River Valley – Elk Pasture GapAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHUTIN_MILLS_ELK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.2 Shut-In Trail is a long historic route which travels from North Carolina Hwy 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area.
405.5 Shut-In National Recreation Trail / Elk Pasture Gap – Mt PisgahAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_SHUTIN_ELK_PISGAH_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.9 Shut-In Trail is a long historic route which travels from North Carolina Hwy 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area.
407.6 Mt Pisgah TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MT_PISGAH_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.3 750 destination-mt-pisgah2This heart-pumping climb leads the hiker on a rocky steep climb through Northern hardwood forests and rhododendron and mountain laurel tunnels to amazing views 260 degree atop the summit of one of western North Carolina’s landmark mountains. The peak of Mount Pisgah once part of the Biltmore Estate can be reached by a winding trail from the Mt. Pisgah Overlook. At the summit you'll find the transmission tower for WLOS-TV Channel 13 and an observation deck and a fine vista of Cold Mountain the summit made famous in Charles Frazier’s National Book Award winning 1997 book (a great read before a Parkway tour). The nearby Shut-In Trail (a National Recreation Trail) is part of a longer route that Vanderbilt originally created for his hunting parties. Today the area adjoining the Parkway is part of the Pisgah National Forest and is still playing host to nature enthusiasts. Equipped with lodge restaurant campground and more Mount Pisgah has the distinction of having by far the highest elevation of any developed area along the Parkway. Be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions. The recreation area is the one area on the Parkway frequented by the black bear and visitors are advised to watch for them. Elk and buffalo were gone by 1800; beaver disappeared by 1900. The mountain lion or panther is thought to have disappeared by 1920. There is a very thorough accounting of the hike to be found with a map / photos here.
407.6 Buck Springs TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BUCK_SPRINGS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.1 480 Credit: Internet Brothers Meanderthals Hiking Blog "Buck Spring Trail to Pisgah Inn</td>
<td > Pisgah National Forest"This moderately easy trail provides a pleasant walk from the Pisgah Inn to the site of George Vanderbilt’s Buck Spring Hunting Lodge. The mostly graded trail gradually climbs through scenic vegetation with many small stream crossings.
408.5 Frying Pan Mountain TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_FRYING_PAN_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.9 410 Credit: CNYHiking "Mount Pisgah"The path enters a damp green corridor through dense rhododendron and spruce forest then goes on to allow visitors to appreciate views of the Pisgah area from the base of a fire tower at about 5 260 feet.
418.8 Graveyard Fields Loop TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_GRAVEYARD_FIELDS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2.2 3000 trail-graveyard-fieldThe trail reaches three waterfalls and explores a high alpine-like valley. The three waterfalls in the Graveyard Fields are easily accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The main trail descends from the Graveyard Fields Overlook parking area by means of steps that give way to an asphalt path necessary due to the popularity of the area. Many parts of the trail beyond the asphalt portion have been worn into deep ruts which are often muddy due to the frequency of precipitation. For those who wish to hike beyond the Yellowstone Prong Valley the spur off the Graveyard Field Trail to the Graveyard Ridge Trail which leads to (among several places) Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain where spectacular views buckets full of blueberries and grassy balds await.
419.4 John Rock TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_JOHN_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.1 negligible Credit: Romantic Asheville "John Rock & Cedar Rock Falls</td>
<td > Pisgah National Forest"This short trail takes the visitor to the edge of the ridge line for a view of the Davidson River Valley. To prevent erosion and for safety’s sake visitors are prohibited from taking the unauthorized trails that descend steeply over the mountainside. John Rock apparently got its name from a horse that fell to its death there.
422.4 Devils Courthouse TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_DEVILS_COURTHOUSE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.4 258 Credit: Blue Ridge National Heritage Area "Devil's Courthouse"According to Cherokee belief the devil had a courtroom in a cave inside this mountain where he delivered judgment to those who went astray. So especially in this area avoid damage to rare plants and stay on the trail. This trail climbs through a spruce-fir forest to the 5 462-foot summit of Devil’s Courthouse. The 360-degree view encompasses three states: South Carolina Georgia and Tennessee. A metal compass-like plaque pinpoints mountains on the horizon. This is the southernmost spot on the Parkway to watch the annual hawk migration.
427.6 Bear Pen Gap TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_BEAR_PEN_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.2 negligible Credit: NC WaterFalls "7-30-05"Long ago bear hunters would stack up logs and rig a trip line attached to bait. When a bear pulled at the bait the logs would fall on the bear killing it. These bear pens were built in gaps where the bears would travel. Only the first 0.2 miles of this trail are actually part of the Parkway’s Bear Pen Gap Trail and the rest is part of the Mountains to Sea Trail. The trailhead is at Bear Pen Gap Overlook. There are multiple nice cascades / small falls along the creek you'll find on this trail.
431 Richland Balsam Self-Guiding TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_RICHLAND_BALSAM_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1.2 390 Credit: Romantic Asheville "Richland Balsam Overlook & Hiking Trail</td>
<td > Blue Riidge Parkway"This self-guiding trail walks you through the remains of a spruce-fir forest. The highest point of the Parkway is found at the trailhead at 6 053 feet – the trail actually reaches 6 410 feet. This trail is the perfect counterpoint to the rest of the Parkway trails which are generally well groomed. The imperfection of this trail is a reminder that nature can be beautiful in its roughness. This is also the best trail to experience the aromatic lushness of the cloud-dampened spruce-fir forest.
433.8 Roy Taylor Overlook TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_ROY_TAYLOR_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] < 0.1 0 Credit: All Trails</td>
<td > National Geographic "Roy Taylor Overlook Trail"</td>
<td > Alan BourneThe Roy Taylor Overlook is a very nice hike that is 100% flat and even paved to a deck that overhangs the mountainside. There is plenty of seating on the deck which really makes a wonderful spot for families to watch the sunset or take a break and eat a packed lunch.
443 Mountains-to-Sea Trail south of Balsam GapAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MTS_SOUTH_BALSAM_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] Credit: The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina MountainsThe Mountains-to-Sea Trail ascends from the Blue Ridge Parkway into the Nantahala National Forest on a mix of trails and old forest roads. Wildflowers are abundant here. No-trace camping is allowed on National Forest land.
451.2 Waterrock Knob TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_WATERROCK_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.5 472 trail-waterrock-knobWith an elevation of 6 400 feet this trail goes higher than any other trail along the Parkway. The Waterrock Knob Trail climbs from a small visitor center (Waterrock Knob Visitor Center) on a steep paved path to developed viewpoint then continues on a rockier tread to the wilder summit of Waterrock Knob. More than 80 percent of mature firs on this part of the Parkway have perished due to the balsam wooly adelgid and the damage is evident on the way up this trail. The Plott Balsam Range and the Great Balsam Range meet at Waterrock Knob the second highest point on the Parkway.
458.2 Masonic Marker TrailAdopted by: [insert_php]echo TRAIL_MASONIC_MARKER_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 0.3 National Parks Traveler "Masonic Marker</td>
<td > Blue Ridge Parkway"The Masonic Marker is quite large but still it is not a feature that a visitor driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway will bump into accidentally. It's located at Black Camp Gap on Heintooga Road at the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Note that Heintooga Road considered a minor entrance into the Smokies is only open from mid-May to the end of October. The multi-level monument was built with rocks sent from most states and 41 countries. Many stones are labeled – Summit of Pikes Peak Colorado Malta and the former Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). Other stones come from the local area including a token from Waynesville Masons. Waynesville is one of the closest towns to the Marker. A metal fence surrounds the monument protecting it from vandals and it is covered by a wooden roof. Thirty-four concrete steps lead to the monument. The vertical portion of each step honors a mason group — most are from North Carolina but Ohio New Jersey and Oregon are also represented. The short Masonic Marker Trail is lined with mountain laurel rhododendrons and maple trees. In spring flowers such as bluets Robin's plantain and wood betony are in bloom. Elk occasionally graze in the fields below the monument. According to a large information plaque put up by the Blue Ridge Parkway next to the Marker Family Gatherings Revivals and Assemblies are rooted deeply in the culture of Appalachia. So gathering of Freemasons can be likened to Decoration Days at cemeteries for descendants of families who lived in the region. The plaque ends with a note on the scenic setting of this Marker surrounded as it is on all sides by national park lands which was chosen to signify the universality of the Masons. Their ideals of equality morality charity and a brotherhood of humanity are symbolized in the cement that binds these stones and bricks. To locate the Marker: On the Blue Ridge Parkway heading south toward Great Smoky Mountains National Park make a right turn on Heintooga Road at Milepost 458.2. Drive 3.6 miles to Black Camp Gap and park at a parking area on the right. This trail also has access to the southeastern corner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. [10]
Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Recommendations
Trails in this region often use color blazing to mark their path – you’ll see trees marked with blue, green, white etc. paint blazes. Many trails run jointly for sections, cross etc. so be mindful of the type of markings used for the trail you’re following.

  • Always be prepared for an overnight in the wilderness.
  • Always carry water (and food / snacks if it’s a longer hike).
  • Many hikes in the Blue Ridge are higher altitude hikes, weather can change quickly and you should wear / carry clothing that allows you to adjust to that.
Footnotes
Because we’re a National Park Service (NPS), Blue Ridge Parkway official partner organization we are listing the trails as they are named and managed by the Park Service. You will find trails listed on many Blue Ridge Parkway related sites and there are a lot of inconsistencies between them. We know, we looked at them all. In addition, there are a myriad of other trails that intersect in the Blue Ridge and where those are popular / interesting and it makes sense we’ll list them and note that they are not part of the Blue Ridge Parkway trail system because they are all fun to hike.

If you see blanks in the table above, it’s because we don’t have that information. We’ll be working on improving the information offered and filling those blanks over time.

We welcome additional information, corrections and additions to our list. Please feel free to contact us at staff@friendsbrp.org if you can add to what we’ve put together. We especially appreciate trail photos, condition notes. The photos we can provide to give visitors more information and condition notes will be passed on to our Chapters or the individual/group that has adopted the trail. If you’d like to learn more about our Adopt-a-Trail program, please read more here.

Citations
[1] Best of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Nye Simmons
[2] CNY Hiking, “Fallingwater Cascades”
[3] CNY Hiking, “Doughton Park”
[4] Sherpa Guides, “Moses H. Cone Memorial Park”
[5] CNY Hiking, “Green Knob Trail”
[6] CNY Hiking, “Julian Price Memorial Park”
[7] CNY Hiking, “Beacon Heights Trail”
[8] United States Department of Agriculture, Forestry Service, “Linville Falls”
[9] Zen’s Western North Carolina Nature Notebook, “Shut-In Trail”
[10] National Parks Traveler, “A Masonic Marker on the Blue Ridge Parkway”