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10 Best Hikes Near Boone NC You Shouldn’t Miss

By Mark Evans. This post on hiking near Boone NC contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Looking for the best hikes near Boone NC?

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone is a small town in North Carolina that is home to a plethora of excellent hiking trails.

Boone gets its namesake from 18th-century explorer Daniel Boone, one of the first real frontier explorers of the U.S. who was known to have camped several times at a spot located within the modern-day Boone city limits.

Whether you’re wanting a trail that offers a challenge or you’re just looking for somewhere to go on a peaceful hike, there are tons of options in and around the town of Boone to choose from.

Here are some of the best places to hike near Boone, North Carolina, that are worth exploring. 

🥾 Pro tip: Before going hiking, make sure to download the AllTrails app to have trail guides, maps, photos, and reviews right at your finger tips. You can also sign up for a free trial of AllTrails+ to download offline maps, get alerts for wrong turns, find trails by distance from you, and more!

💪 Safety: Additionally, whether you’re hiking solo or in a group, it’s smart to keep safety in mind. One piece of advice is to carry a She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm, which features a 130db alarm and flashing strobe light designed to deter an attack. I also love the Garmin inReach Mini, a compact satellite communicator with SOS capabilities that can truly save your life in an emergency.

What Type Of Hiker Are You? [Free Quiz]

But first, before we dive into this list of the best hiking trails in Boone NC:

best hikes near Boone NC
Click here to take the free quiz!

Discover your hiking personality in this fun and short hiker personality quiz, which also shares trail suggestions based on your results.

Then once you’ve grabbed the quiz let’s dive into some of the top hiking trails in the world.

By the end, it’ll be clear why Boone is home to some of the best hiking in North Carolina.

Best Hikes Near Boone NC

best hikes near Boone NC in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the best hiking trails Boone NC

1. Goshen River Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 4 miles

Trailhead: Bamboo Road

Trail Map: Click here for a map of the Goshen River Trail

About This Boone Hiking Trail:

The Goshen River Trail Is one of the best hiking trails in Boone NC, and it is a great option for people searching for easy hikes in Boone NC!

Located just a few minutes southeast outside of Boone, the Goshen River Trail is a fairly easygoing 4-mile trail accessible throughout the year. 

This trail features one river crossing, so if you plan on hiking around here you should bring along footwear suitable for wading. If you plan on visiting in the winter it can get pretty icy, so it may be a good idea to wear some ice cleats.

It can be a little tricky to find the trailhead since you have to climb over one or two fences to access it, depending on where you are.

Aside from this, the Goshen River Trail is a pretty unchallenging trail with no problematic climbs or other particularly treacherous terrain.

Traffic from the nearby parkway can be somewhat audible at specific points along the trail, but in general, the noise isn’t too disruptive.

While the trail doesn’t contain any remarkably breathtaking vistas, it is quite aesthetically pleasing in the areas near the creek.

2. Boone Fork Trail

The Boone Fork Trail is one of the best hikes in Boone NC
Caption: Boone Fork Trail under the bridge view

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 5.2-mile loop

Trailhead: Within Julian Price Memorial Park

Trail Map: Click here for a map of the Boone Fork Trail

About This Boone Hiking Trail:

If you’re wanting to check out some of the best waterfall hikes near Boone NC, this trail is for you!

The Boone Fork Trail is a 5.2-mile loop within the Julian Price Memorial Park. This trail can be fairly busy at times, but the scenery it offers, as well as its relative ease, makes it worth it.

The trail is suitable for hikers of all skill levels, and unless you’re bringing along either a very young child or a very old dog, you should have no problem using this trail no matter who accompanies you.

There are several creek crossings you’ll need to traverse, so you might want to bring some waterproof shoes along with you too.

With waterfalls, creek crossings, and even tunnels it’s one of the most memorable trails in Boone and in the entire state.

3. Rocky Knob Park Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 7.2-mile loop

Trailhead: Within Rocky Knob Mountain Park

Trail Map: Click here for a map of the Rocky Knob Park Trail

About This Boone Hiking Trail:

Close to Boone, Rocky Knob Park Trail is a 7.2-mile loop that is worth exploring from March to November due to the weather.

This trail is open to both hikers and mountain bikers. Since it’s intended primarily for bikers, hikers should exercise caution when using it.

While the Rocky Knob Park Trail isn’t the best place for beginner bikers, due to some of the steep inclines and technical obstacles you’ll have to deal with on the cycling trails, it makes a great place for more experienced bikers to explore.

Even if you’re not visiting for biking, there’s still plenty to see and do here. The trail is a quality place to birdwatch, and there’s also a playground for kids to use.

4. Glen Burney Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 2.3 miles

Trailhead: Annie Cannon Gardens

Trail Map: Click here for a map of the Glen Bruney Trail

About This Boone Hiking Trail:

Located right in Blowing Rock, the Glen Burney Trail is another scenic trail that features some great waterfall views as its main attraction — making it one of the best trails near Boone NC.

While the path is only around 2.3 miles long, it’s known for being somewhat more complicated than it might initially seem, thanks to the abundance of rocks and tree roots that can trip you up if you’re not careful.

The trail is close enough to the town that you can see houses nearby during the first half of the track, but once you get a little further in, you can expect to see some very picturesque sights. Since it’s so close to the town, it often gets a lot of traffic, so be prepared to see many other people on it. 

The trail can get quite slippery when it’s wet, so if you’re hiking on a rainy day, be sure to wear some quality shoes and consider bringing some hiking poles. 

5. Blowing Rock Trails

Blowing Rock Trail is one of the best  hiking trails near Boone NC
Caption: Blowing Rock Trail View

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 1 mile – 5 miles

Trailhead: Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

Trail Map: Click here for a map of the Blowing Rock Trails

About This Boone Hiking Trail:

About eight miles south of Boone, you’ll find the town of Blowing Rock, NC. The area around Blowing Rock is home to a number of great trails.

With so many beautiful places perfect for exploring, it’s no surprise the location is close to where so many summer camps in the state are hosted. Here are just a few of the trails the area has to offer.

The Tanawha Trail is a moderately difficult 2.5-mile trail with plenty of places to take in the beautiful scenery.

This trail can get pretty crowded at times, and some parts of the course contain fallen trees that can be slightly difficult to traverse, but the path is open year-round and you’re allowed to bring your dog with you on your hike, as long as they remain leashed.

There’s also Flat Top trail, which is a 4.8-mile trip if you want to hike all of it. While it is a relatively long trail, it’s also pretty wide and doesn’t contain any steep inclines, so it’s considered to be an entry-level trail for hikers.

If you follow this course, you’ll eventually reach a fire tower where you can enjoy a great view just above the tree line. Like the other trails on this list, the Flat Top trail is also accessible throughout the year.

If you’re looking for easy hikes near Boone NC and Blowing Rock, Bass Lake Loop is another easy trail that is suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

This trail is a flat one-mile loop that goes around Bass Lake and is a perfect place for going on a relaxing, low-key walk. Bass Lake is also a great place to look for beavers and ducks if you enjoy spotting wildlife.

6. Greenway Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 3.1 miles

Trailhead: Casey Lane

Trail Map: Click here for a map of the Greenway Trail

About This Boone Hiking Trail:

While the Greenway Trail in Boone is a great place to walk, it’s not technically a trail. This is because the Greenway Trail is entirely paved and is located within the Boone city limits.

Nonetheless, the Greenway Trail is an excellent place to visit if you just want to go on an easy, casual stroll.

The trail runs in a loop that is about 3.1 miles long and is accessible at many points throughout the town.

Most of the trail is waterside, and along the length of the trail, you’ll be able to see several exciting examples of Boone architecture, including a historic dam and a variety of covered bridges.

7. Elk Knob Summit Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 3.8 miles

Trailhead: Near Old Woods Road and Backcountry Road

Trail Map: Click here for a map of the Elk Knob Summit Trail

About This Boone Hiking Trail:

Located about 10 miles north of Boone in Elk Knob State Park, the Elk Knob Summit Trail is a 3.8-mile trail that leads up to the top of Elk Knob, which at 5,520 feet tall is the third-tallest mountain in North Carolina’s Watauga County.

The Elk Knob Summit Trail is a moderately difficult trail that offers hikers the opportunity to take in some stunning views at the top.

This trail features a steady gain of elevation, meaning it’s a good challenge for novice hikers without being too punishing.

The gorgeous views that the summit offers make the Elk Knob Summit Trail a popular spot for hikers, so depending on when you visit you might find the trails to be a bit crowded.

You can bring your dog with you on this trail, but once again, your dog must be leashed the entire time.

8. Linville Falls Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 0.9 miles

Trailhead: Linville Falls Visitor Center

Trail Map: Click here for a map of the Linville Falls Trail

About This Boone Hiking Trail:

If you don’t mind going for a little bit of a drive outside of Boone, you can find tons of other incredible trails to explore.

About 30 miles southwest from Boone, near the town of Newland, North Carolina, you’ll find the popular Linville Falls Trail.

If you’re looking for some of the best family hikes near Boone, this one certainly fits the bill, especially as it includes waterfalls!

This 0.9-mile trail is excellent for casual hikers and features several viewing platforms where hikers can admire the scenic Linville Falls themselves. 

Linville Falls Waterfall is one of the best waterfall hikes near Boone NC
Caption: Linville Falls Waterfall

While some parts of the trail are a little rocky, overall it’s a very undemanding trail, and it’s a good place to go hiking with your kids or dog. All dogs must be leashed while on the trail.

It’s a pretty short hike as well. Even if you bring kids along, the hike probably won’t take you much longer than one-to-two hours to complete. Don’t forget to get them some quality kids hiking shoes if they tag along.

This is a pretty popular hiking spot, so you can expect lots of other foot traffic if you happen to visit. This trail is best used between the months of April and November if you want to avoid it.

9. Brookshire Park Loop

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 2.8 miles

Trailhead: Within Brookshire Park

Trail Map: Click here for a map of the Brookshire Park Loop Trail

About This Boone Hiking Trail:

The Brookshire Park Loop is a riverside trail that is accessible to hikers of all skill levels. This loop is about 2.8 miles long, about one-third of which consists of a paved walkway, and the rest of the trail is gravel. 

Located within the Boone town limits, the Brookshire Park Loop is an easy hike that typically sees low to moderate amounts of foot traffic.

At its highest point, it offers some great views of Boone and is also a nice place to walk your dog as long as it’s leashed. 

10. Appalachian State Nature Park Loop

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 1.2-miles loop

Trailhead: Within Appalachian State University Nature Park

Trail Map: Click here for a map of the Appalachian State Nature Park Loop Trail

About This Boone Hiking Trail:

Located on the Appalachian State University campus, the Nature Park Loop is just over a mile in length and offers hikers a great place to walk through the forest. Students of the university also use the loop often to get around campus, so you can expect to see a decent amount of foot traffic if you decide to hike the path.

Dogs are allowed on the trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.

In addition, the signage on this trail isn’t the best, so unless you’re familiar with the area or are with someone who is, it can sometimes be hard to tell if you’re on the right path or not.

Hotels Near Boone NC

Looking for comfortable and cheap hotels near the best hikes in Boone NC?

Click here for a list of local hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays? 

Click here to check out unique local rentals! 

You can also use the map below to search for local stays:

Getting Around Boone NC

The best way to explore the best hikes in Boone NC as well as the many fun things to do in North Carolina is by car.


Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!

Top North Carolina Tours

After you’ve checked out the best hiking trails near Boone NC, explore North Carolina through a local tour, like:

➡️ Click here for a full list of North Carolina tours.

Boone NC Travel Insurance

When visiting North Carolina or hiking in Boone — or anywhere else in the world — make sure to get travel insurance.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

What trails would you add to this list of best hikes near Boone NC?

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About Mark Evans

Mark Evans is a summer camp outdoors guide and camp consultant. He routinely takes kids and adults on camping and hiking trips.

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1 Comment

  1. Egyptoria Tours on at 1:29 am

    Great article, Thank you for sharing your experience.

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