If you want to breathe in the crisp mountain air, or witness snowy top scenery, put on your boots and head out to some of our spectacular trails. Hiking during our winter months can be a great time to explore our mountains and provides a totally different experience. Here are some great hikes to check out during the winter.
Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Park
Moses Cone Park has 25 miles of carriage roads that offer great opportunities for hiking. Take the trail up to Flat Top Tower, where you can see great panoramic views of our mountains. On the way up, stop by Cone Cemetery which contains the tombstones of Moses H. Cone, his wife, Bertha Cone, and his wife’s two sisters. You can also stroll around both Bass and Trout Lake to observe the beautiful winter scenery as well as admiring the Maze and apple barn. Also in the winter, it is a great spot for cross-country skiers! You can access the Carriage Trails through the Blue Ridge Parkway, or they can be accessed by 221 and Shulls Mill Rd.
Segment 5 of the Mountain to Sea Trail features many of our great natural landscape spots. Depending on how much you hike, you can see views of areas such as Grandfather Mountain, Linn Cove Viaduct,Table Rock, Thunderhill, and Moses Cone. This section of the Mountain to Sea Trail also can be enjoyed as a series of 14 different day hikes. To view these hikes and to learn more information, visit Mountain to Sea Trail online.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Parkway is home to many fabulous hiking spots. Some amazing trails on the parkway include Rough Ridge Lookout, Boone Fork Trail , Beacon Heights Trail, and more! Even though there are trails and overlooks that are beautiful in winter weather, there may be times where the Parkway closes to inclement weather. To see whether certain parts of the Parkway are closed, make sure to either call (828) 298-0398 or visit them online. Many of them can be accessed by overlooks.
The Greenway is perfect for anyone that wants to take a quick stroll to see beautiful winter weather! The Greenway runs from one end of Boone to the other and hosts hikers, walkers, runners, cyclists and more. Parts of the greenway are paved, so it’s easily handicap accessible. The paved portion of the trail is less than 4 miles long. Following rivers and crossing several scenic bridges, it is a great excursion in the winter. There are gravel and light trails that weave through the paved part of the greenway, if you want to wander and see more! The Greenway also features plenty of parking, water fountains, picnic shelters, and restroom facilities!
Elk Knob State Park
Elk Knob State Park has one of the highest peaks in North Carolina’s high country at 5,520 feet. The entire park features 4 different trails that you can choose from, that offer great fun and beautiful views. Embark 1.9-miles on then Summit Trail, where you will catch panoramic views of Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, and more! You can also take their one-mile loop, kid friendly, Beech Tree Trail. They also feature great trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing! The park attempts to stay open throughout the winter. Between November and February, Elk Knob State park is open from 8am – 6pm. For more information, visit Elk Knob State Park’s website