Grandfather Mountain, Nature on a Whole Different Level

Nature Walks & Hiking Trails

Backcountry Hiking - Trail Descriptions:
East Side Trails

There are two points for accessing East Side trails. Most hikers use the Boone Fork Parking Area at mile 299.9 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The alternative is the Asutsi Trail which begins across from Serenity Farm on US 221-the only winter access when the Parkway is closed.

From Boone Fork or Serenity Farm parking areas, hikers follow the Tanawha Trail south to connect with the Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trailheads. The Tanawha Trail winds easily along the mountainside parallel to the Parkway. Built and maintained by the US Park Service, no fee is charged for the Tanawha Trail's use and no camping is allowed along its length. There is a charge, however, for use of the Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails (built and maintained by Grandfather Mountain).

Click on the name of a trail for a more detailed description.

Trail name Rating Blaze Length (miles)
Daniel Boone Scout Trail Moderately strenuous
with cables and ladders
White-Blazed 3 mi.(4.8 km)
from trailhead
Nuwati Trail Easy but rocky Blue-Blazed 1.2 mi. (1.9 km)
Cragway Trail Rocky, strenuous Orange-Blazed 1.0 mi. (1.6 km)
Asutsi Trail Easy Hiking No blaze 0.4 mi. (0.6 km)

Daniel Boone Scout Trail
Ascending about 2,000 feet over 3 miles, this hike begins at the Tanawha Trail and climbs to the summit of Calloway Peak (5,964'), the highest point in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. About half way up, at Flat Rock View, hikers reach the junction of Cragway Trail.

The upper half of the Boone Trail is rough-going but spiced with some exquisite views, including one of Price Park and one of the Linn Cove Viaduct. Just before Calloway Peak, in-place ladders and cables help hikers through steep sections. (Closest permit outlet: Grandfather Mountain Country Store at the junction of US 221 and the Holloway Mountain road.)

Daniel Boone Campsite and Cragway junction 1.3 mi (2.1 km) 2 hrs. Round trip
Briar Patch Campsite 2.1 mi (3.4 km)  
Hi-Balsam Shelter 2.7 mi (4.3 km)  
Raven's Roost Campsite 2.8 mi (4.5 km)  
Calloway Peak 3.0 mi (4.8 km) 4.5 hrs. Round trip

Nuwati Trail
This trail, meaning "medicine" in the Cherokee language, follows the print of an old logging road 1.2 miles. It's an easy but rocky hike, ending at Storyteller's Rock and a truly spectacular view of an isolated valley some geologists say was carved by a glacier. Along the way, there are stream crossings, a solitary stand of Quaking Aspens, and reminders of logging days gone by.

Nuwati Spring 0.2 mi (0.3 km)
Nuwati-Cragway Jct. 0.6 mi (1.0 km)
Streamside Campsite 0.7 mi (1.2 km)
Storyteller's Rock Campsite and Boone Bowl View 1.2 mi (1.9 km)
Refuge Campsite 1.4 mi (2.3 km)

Cragway Trail
A steep, strenuous hike with lovely vistas. Boulders and crags jut out here and there opening up elevated (and elevating) views of the Boone Fork Bowl. This trail links Nuwati and Boone Trails and makes a fine loop-hike, passing through rhododendron and blueberry thickets. A hiking option coming down the Boone Trail when returning to cars is to follow Cragway Trail to the Nuwati.

Top Crag 0.4 mi (0.6 km)
Flat Rock View and junction with Boone Scout Trail 1.0 mi (1.6 km)

Asutsi Trail

Asutsi means "bridge" in the Cherokee language. This short, easy trail (0.4 miles) links Serenity Farm on US 221 and the Tanawha Trail, providing alternative access to Nuwati and Boone Trails. Winter access to the East Side Trails.

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