Elk Knob is one of North Carolina’s newest state parks, saved from the prospect of second- home development by The Nature Conservancy and local residents. One of many high peaks north of Boone, Elk Knob is an amphibolite mountain, a unique
geological composition of metamorphic rock that is rich in nutrients and supports many rare plants. This peak rises to more than 5,500 feet, the equal of more southerly Boone- area peaks like Beech Mountain, the East’s highest town and ski resort, and Hump Mountain, on the Roan Highlands part of the Appalachian Trail.
The park’s “all-new” but “interim” facilities include an administrative office, a picnic area, and a 1.9-mile Summit Trail to 5,520-foot Elk Knob built with the help of hundreds of volunteers. The easy yellow diamond-blazed Beech Tree Trail, the park’s interpretive TRACK Trail, is a 1-mile loop around the picnic area. The red diamond-blazed Maple Run Trail (0.5 mile) is another easy loop. The 2-mile, orange diamond-blazed moderate to strenuous Backcountry Trail leads to pack-in campsites.
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