Things to Do in Elk Knob State Park Near Boone NC

Elk Knob

There is no shortage of stunning state parks in the North Carolina mountains. We’ve been fortunate to visit a good number of them, staring up at wondrous waterfalls and conquering skyscraping climbs to mountain summits with panoramic views. Nevertheless, our trip to the oft-overlooked 4,400-acre Elk Knob State Park last week proved to be another unique … Read more

The 10 Best Boone NC Hiking Trails to Explore

Best Boone NC Hiking Trails, Image via Canva

The Blue Ridge Mountain town of Boone NC is best-known for its Christmas tree farms and outdoor recreation opportunities, offering everything from mountain biking and rock climbing to whitewater rafting and snow skiing. The county seat of Watauga County has a population of around 20,000, which is pretty big for the Western North Carolina High Country. … Read more

Top 15 NC State Parks in the North Carolina Mountains

Chimney Rock, NC

[Updated April 5, 2021] When we first moved to NC in 2017, I was beside myself envisioning the many cascading waterfalls and breathtaking vistas to be seen in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Needless to say, the region’s rugged landscapes and natural wonders did not disappoint. My wife Emma and I wasted no time … Read more

The 15 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls in North Carolina

The Best Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls: Soco Falls in Cherokee NC

North Carolina waterfalls are both plentiful and stunning as they cascade down the state’s ruggedly majestic peaks, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Balsams, Black, and Craggies. In fact, the waterfalls of North Carolina are flowing all over the western side of the state! Of course, if ever there were a perfect scenic road for … Read more

15 Highlights of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in Western North Carolina

Pilot Mountain NC

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail (a.k.a. the MST) stretches from North Carolina’s western border with Tennessee all the way east to the Atlantic Ocean. This epic NC hiking trail passes through 37 different counties, three national forests, and 10 North Carolina State Parks. Stretching from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge in … Read more

The Hickory Ridge Living History Museum and “Horn in the West” in Boone NC

Hickory Ridge Living Museum/Horn in the West

The Southern Appalachian Historical Association was formed to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Watauga County and the surrounding areas in the North Carolina mountains. It does this in a variety of ways– through theatrical performances, educational programs, and an excellent lliving history museum. Located in Boone, the seat of Watauga County, the Hickory … Read more

The Best Things to Do in DuPont State Forest, NC

Dupont Waterfall

The DuPont State Recreation Forest, more commonly known as DuPont State Forest or just DuPont Forest, offers 12,000+ acres of blow-your-mind beautiful wilderness in the North Carolina mountains. The natural scenery here is so remarkable that several movies— including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans—have used the forest as a film location. Tucked away … Read more

The 20 Best Pisgah National Forest Hiking Trails in North Carolina

Pisgah National Forest Hiking Trails

If you enjoy getting deep into the forest, exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, and looking up as gorgeous waterfalls cascade down, then Pisgah National Forest is going to be a winner. Encompassing over 500,000 acres in Western North Carolina, Pisgah Forest offers lots of room to roam. Its hundreds of miles of trails provide an ample … Read more

The 15 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes for NC Day Trips

Best Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Trails

The Blue Ridge Parkway road trip is an American classic. It’s possible to traverse the entire 469-mile route on rubber alone, stopping at some of the 200+ overlooks for those famous scenic mountain views, without ever breaking a sweat. The list of the area’s attractions is so extensive, your Blue Ridge Parkway itinerary could easily … Read more

The 15 Best Western North Carolina Mountains For Hiking

RV on Blue Ridge Parkway at Grandfather Mountain NC

North Carolina is home to the five highest mountains east of the Mississippi: Mt. Mitchell, Clingman’s Dome, Mt. Guyot, Richland Balsam, and Potato Knob. In fact, over half of the tallest 20 mountains in the eastern US are in Western North Carolina! And we aren’t talking run-of-the-mill mountains here. These are the Appalachians, replete with … Read more