The Appalachian range reaches its Apex in western North Carolina, the crowning glory of the eastern mountains. Mt Mitchell, at 6,684 ft is the highest point in the eastern United States and is companion to dozens of other peaks almost as high. Millions of years ago this region boasted a great mountain range, far higher than the Himalayas of today. What we find this century are old and weathered remains of that vast range, mountains formed from the debris of eroded summits that once soared over 30,000 ft.
Countless outdoor areas within sixty minutes of Boone provide everything from recreational to wilderness hiking. You’ll find information on some notable hiking areas below. Also, be sure to check out what we’re up to in our Trip Reports.
During all backcountry pursuits, one should include the basics: map of area, compass, extra clothing, fire source, headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries, a way to make water safe to drink, some extra food, basic medical kit (including sunscreen), whistle, pocket knife, bright clothing (during hunting season), and cell phone. Always leave your travel plans with someone in case of emergency. Many trails are poorly marked (especially in Wilderness designated areas such as Wilson Creek and Linville Gorge), so stop often to orient yourself and check your map and compass. Every year, hikers make simple mistakes that can cause big problems during an adventure. Please employ good judgment, and seek advice if you are unfamiliar with weather conditions or trail conditions of a certain area.
Please practice Leave No Trace backcountry ethics. These wilderness areas are in our back yard, and we want them to remain as beautiful as you found them!
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors