Hiking is perhaps one of the most popular outdoor activities in the High Country. There are numerous places to check out, and a variety of trails that would be appropriate for any level. Hiking is a wonderful way to see the many breathtaking views around the High Country.

There are many great hiking trails located all along the Blue Ridge Parkway and near the many parks in the area. A very popular trail spot is at the Moses H. Cone Julian Price Memorial Park. You can hike on trails like the Boone Fork Loop Trail, the Tanawha Trail, and the many carriage trails within the park.

On the parkway, moving closer to Grandfather Mountain and the Linville area, there are also many popular hikes. In this area you can hike the Linville Falls Trail and see the upper part of Linville Falls and the gorge as the river runs through it. On Grandfather Mountain there are many well-maintained hiking trails that are mostly for more experienced hikers. On these trails, hikers must hike over cliff-faces that lead to Grandfatherís three highest peaks. These trails are a great way to see miles and miles of views of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains.

For those that are looking for a less strenuous walk, there are many great scenic walks in the area that allow you to get out and enjoy the mountains and see some gorgeous mountain scenery. One of the most popular scenic walks is the Lee & Vivian Reynolds Greenway Trail. Located near the Watauga County Recreation Complex, the Greenway trail is a 3 mile paved trail great for walking or jogging. The Valle Crucis Park Walkway is a short, paved walkway located near the Mast Store Annex.

When going hiking, be sure to wear the appropriate shoes and clothing for the weather and the types of trails you will be hiking on. It wouldnít be a bad idea to carry along with you a pocket knife, some matches, a flashlight, a compass or trail map, and a whistle which can be used in times of emergencies. Some hikers bring along extra clothes and socks and extra food to eat on the trails as well.

For an ideal family experience, hiking the High Countryís trails canít be beat. Itís inexpensive, enjoyable, educational and physically rewarding, and it also encourages you to appreciate and respect the environment.

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