Living in Boone
Welcome to the hub of the High Country!
The High Country is the jewel of Eastern America's highest mountains. Boone, its economic hub, is home to Appalachian State University, affectionately known as App State, which is noted for its academic and athletic excellence. Boone is more than a cool college town, however, with a vibrant culture of its own that emphasizes local arts and outdoor adventures all within easy reach of the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can learn more about our region in the New York Times' travel adventure 36 Hours in Boone.
Below are some of our favorite ways to spend time when we are not seeing patients.
Our Favorite Hikes
Greenway Trail: Along Winkler Creek, this trail is easily accessed at several points in town. Great for running, walking, and easy cycling. A favorite access is right next to the Lowes hardware store on Hwy 321. Several miles of creekside and in-town trail are a quick internet search away.
Elk Knob State Park: About 15 minutes north of Boone on Meat Camp Road. The trail to the top is about 2 miles long with switchbacks, so it is never very steep. Beautiful 360-degree views at the top. Allow for 3 hours of total time.
Rocky Knob Cycling Park: Biking trail park just east of Boone off of Hwy 421. Lots of trails are challenging and technical, but there are good maps that identify the easier routes.
Beacon Heights: Near Linville and Grandfather Mountain at milepost 305 near the Hwy 221 crossing. Very short hike—less than 1/2 mile to a beautiful overlook. Great picnic spot and easy grade.
Rough Ridge: Another short trail near milepost 303—just 1/3 mile from parking lot, gaining about 500 feet in elevation with great views and picnic spots.
Grandfather Mountain: A great place to hike—about a mile south of milepost 305 on the parkway on Hwy 221. There is a $20 entrance fee for adults, but this is a popular tourist attraction that includes a mile-high swinging bridge, a museum, and an animal park. At the parking lot across from the swinging bridge, there is a trailhead for a well-maintained trail to the top of McCrae Peak. It is steep in places and becomes very steep after a mile. Ladders and cables enable access to the summit. The trail is safe but exposed.
Blowing Rock Trails
Glen Burnie Trail: Short trail with a pretty waterfall that is steep at times and about a mile roundtrip. The trailhead is in the town of Blowing Rock at the Annie Cannon Park.
Bass Lake: Great for walks and runs (no bikes) just 1/2 mile south of Blowing Rock on Hwy 221. Flat one-mile loop around the lake with lots of extensive easy side trails through Moses Cone Park. It is possible to create a 15-mile trail run. A map is posted at the Bass Lake parking area.
Trout Lake: On the other side of the Blue Ridge Parkway off Shull’s Mill Road. This is another mile-long trail around a beautiful lake.
We would be remiss if we didn't mention the three neighboring ski resorts that offer year-round recreational opportunities for adults and children of all ages.