Boone’s Best Hikes

If you are looking for wonderful places to hike in Boone, NC and the surrounding areas, this is the post for you! Regardless of season, my friends and I love spending time together hiking and finding new places to hike. Here are the places we have been, our photos, and our ratings, sorted from best to worst [also note that I will be constantly updating this for every new place we find!]:

1. Hebron Rock Colony

[Photos by Elizabeth Fowler – my wonderful roommate and friend!]

Difficulty: ★★

Mileage: ~1.2 mi

Awesomeness: ★★★★

This is by far, one of my favorite hikes! It is a short, moderate hike to get there, and once you do, there are rocks everywhere to climb and jump on! As college students, we loved bouldering those massive things, but it is an awesome place to go with kids as well. Just be careful about bringing your parents. I brought my crazy mom and she nearly fell off a boulder and slid down a waterfall, so again, be careful with your parents. Also note that if you are not paying attention to the trail, you just might end up taking a detour – not enough to get you lost, but just enough to make you think you are lost.

Location and more: http://alltrails.com/trail/us/north-carolina/hebron-rock-colony

2. Snake Mountain

[Photo by yours truly – taken of my friends Stephen, JB, and Connor]

[Photo by Austin – taken of Sam. What would I do without those goofballs?]

Difficulty: ★★★★

Mileage: who knows? ~45 mins – 1:00

Awesomeness: ★★★★★

Snake mountain is awesome and has AMAZING views, but it is not for the lighthearted. You rarely get these kinds of views without going uphill, so just take it at a good pace. Luckily, the trail is easily distinguished. My mistake was letting the boys lead, so I was huffing and puffing all the way up trying to keep up with those rowdy mountain men. By the time we arrived at the pole mid-way, I had forgotten all about the pain in my mooing calves because of the gorgeous view. I would definitely recommended this hike, assuming you are not bringing kids – unless of course, you have crazy hybrid hiker kids who never whine about a bit of walking.

Find driving directions here, and hiking directions here.

3. Rough Ridge

[Photos by yours truly – taken of good old Sam again]

Difficulty: ★★

Mileage: ~1.2 mi

Awesomeness: ★★★★

Rough Ridge is truly the perfect chill-day hike. The views are lovely, and it is a fairly moderate hike. It is perfect for children and pets and seems to be a happy-medium length. There is a boardwalk at the mid-way point, and if you keep going up you will find the peak that is roped off on some sides. If you are up for an adventure, shimmy on down the other side of the big peak at the end (this is not a trail) and walk around the base of the rock formation (where the closest above picture was taken). That is where you can find some awesome views., and don’t worry, getting down there looks a lot steeper and harder than it actually is. I can’t think of any complaints about rough ridge other than I have been there far too many times.

Location: go to http://www.exploreboonearea.com/PlacestoPlay/Hiking/RoughRidge/tabid/328/Default.aspx

4. Glen Burney Trail

boulderin8

[photo by my dear friend Patric – Ashley and I bouldering at the second waterfall]

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[photo by yours truly – the first waterfall and the big sunning rock]

Difficulty: ★★★★

Mileage: ~3.2 mi round trip

Awesomeness: ★★★★

Despite my predispositions, Glen Burney trail turned out to be a bit more than an “old lady hike”.  The entire hike there is gradually descending, so that when you finally hike back up, you realize that 1.6 miles back uphill sucks a lot. There are two waterfalls along the way, both fairly equivalent in awesomeness. We tried bouldering the second waterfall, but took our time climbing back down because we forgot where all our handholds were. This is a hike you want to set a good four hours aside to enjoy it. Also, I recommend you bring your chacos or rafting shoes. If you want to climb on rocks and wade through the river, chacos are the way to go. If you have kids, I recommend stopping at the first waterfall and heading back. It was a long hike for us college students, so I know it would be a long hike carrying your tired kid back. The waterfalls were really lovely, and I truly enjoyed hiking all that way just to lie in the sun on a giant boulder to watch the waterfall beside me spill over and hit the rocks far down below.

For directions and more information, click here.

[I have more, trust me! To be continued…]

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