Updated: April 2019
Stunning Panoramic Summit Views
The Elk Knob State Park is located circa 17 miles (27 km) north from Milepost 291 off the Blue Ridge Parkway and about 11 miles (18 km) north of Boone NC.
The 3,680-acre park opened in 2003 and offers from its summit at 5,520 feet (1,682 meters) stunning long-range panoramic views of the valleys below.
The summit has two lookouts, a south lookout, and a north lookout.
The park has four different trails. Please use your discretion.
A 1.9-mile (3 km) moderate to strenuous trail, known as the Summit Trail, leads to the top, a rise of 890 feet (271 meters) from the parking lot at 4,630 feet (1,411 meters). The trail is well marked with blue markers and generally well maintained.
Beech Tree Trail
The 1-mile (1.6 km) easy Beech Tree Trail loops around the Picnic Area and is ideal with young children. The picnic area has 11 picnic sites, each with a charcoal grill and a picnic table. Two of the 11 picnic sites are wheelchair accessible.
Maple Run Trail
The 0.5-mile (0.8 km) easy Maple Run Trail, located towards the park entrance, is designed for cross-country skiing.
The 2-mile (3.2 km) moderate to strenuous Backcountry Trail winds down into a valley, where the campsites are located.
Three sites will accommodate up to six people with space for two tents on each site. Campers can self-register at the trailhead.
The two group sites must be reserved at least three days in advance at the park office.
Zone Camping is a space along a ridge where campers can set up a tent on any part of the ridge between two posts marking the beginning and end of the ridge.
Weather permitting, the Elk Knob State Park stays open during the winter and offers cross-country skiing on the Maple Run Trail, located towards the park entrance. Skiers must bring their equipment.
5564 Meat Camp Road, Todd, NC 28684
From the Blue Ridge Parkway exit at Milepost 291, Boon exit, towards Boone NC. Follow US 321 for 5.5 miles (8.9 km). In Boone, turn right on US 221. Follow for 0.8 miles (1.2 km). Turn right on East King Street. Follow for 0.6 miles (1 km). Turn left on NC 194. Follow for 4.3 miles (7 km). Turn left on Meat Camp Road. Follow for 5.5 miles (8.9 km). The entrance to the Elk Knob State Park is on the right.
Tel.: → (828) 297-7261
November to February:
Mon. to Sun.: 8am to 6pm.
March to May:
Mon. to Sun.: 7am to 8pm.
June to August:
Mon. to Sun.: 7am to 9pm.
September to October:
Mon. to Sun.: 7am to 8pm.
Parking at the start of the Summit Trail or at the Picnic Area.
The Elk Knob State Park features four different trails. Please use your own discretion. The 1.9-mile (3 km) moderate to strenuous Summit Trail leads to the top of Elk Knob. The 1-mile (1.6 km) easy Beech Tree Trail loops around the Picnic Area. The 0.5-mile (0.8 km) easy Maple Run Trail, located towards the park entrance, is designed for cross-country skiing. The 2-mile (3.2 km) moderate to strenuous Backcountry Trail winds down into a valley, where the campsites are located.
Note: Hiking boots (best) or firm running shoes (at a minimum) are recommended, especially for the Summit Trail and the Backcountry Trail.
The park has 11 picnic sites, each equipped with a charcoal grill and a picnic table. Two of the 11 picnic sites are wheelchair accessible.
Restrooms are located at the Picnic Area.