Northern Peaks State Trail

About the trail

The planning corridor for the Northern Peaks State Trail is approximately 40 miles long, beginning in Boone and ending at Mount Jefferson in Ashe County. It will connect Boone, Elk Knob State Park, and Mount Jefferson State Natural Area. There is a conceptual plan that was developed for the Northern Peaks Trail, with cooperation and funding from stakeholders, including: the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Watauga County Tourism Development Authority, Ashe County, Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, West Jefferson Tourism Development Authority, Town of Boone, and High Country Pathways, Inc. DPR staff will continue the planning effort for the trail.

Each state trail is a unit of the state parks system and must be authorized by the General Assembly. When any new state trail is added to the system, the Division of Parks and Recreation engages in a planning process, including a feasibility study for the new trail. Effective planning is essential to determine a corridor for the trail and identify potential partners. Planning includes extensive data collection, outreach to potential partners, public input, and mapping of the trail corridor.

Constructed trail within the identified corridor is not part of the state trail until it is designated by the Secretary of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. All designation applications are evaluated by the North Carolina Trails Committee.