Hiking Elk Knob

Last Sunday was a terrible day to view hike. It was overcast and chilly with a few raindrops falling every now and then. The Mr. and I were both itching to get outdoors, STAT, so despite the weather, we packed our bag and drove out to Elk Knob anyway. About halfway to our destination it started pouring, but we kept driving. We pulled into the parking lot and joined two other cars full of eager hikers waiting out the rain. We sat and waited. And waited. And waited. The rain finally let up and a group of eight hopped out of a van and began putting on jackets and backpacks. I turned to the Mr. and said, “two dogs and a handful of children. Make haste!” So we threw on our hats, grabbed our pack, and took off running up the trail.

Elk Knob 1

The trail is beautifully landscaped and free of debris, so since it was a cloudy day, the trail lays beneath a thick canopy of trees, and we were already soaked, we just kept running. Up, and up, and up we ran through the fog and the mudslides and the puddles and all the way to the top.

Elk Knob 2

Elk Knob 3

Elk Knob 4

When we reached the top, we were not expecting much of a view. It is typically a beautiful panorama of the neighboring mountains, but this is all we got from the north view . . . . . . .

Elk Knob 5

and the south view.

Elk Knob 6

Oh well. (In my best Nacho accent: You can’t win them all!) So we made it a cloudy photo-op instead.

Elk Knob 7

Elk Knob 8

Elk Knob 9

Since there was no view to eewwww and aaaahhhh over, for entertainment we sat at enjoyed our snacks at the north view overlook and studied the foliage and snakes.

Elk Knob 10

Elk Knob 11

Elk Knob 12

Elk Knob 13

Elk Knob 14

(Yes, these are two different snakes.) Even though the sunshine and mountain tops were covered in clouds, our clothes and shoes were soaked, and we never had the opportunity to see the view, we were thankful for the peacefulness of an uncrowded trail and time to explore.

How To Get There:
From the intersection of Hwy 194 and Hwy 421 (at the Hardee’s) in Boone, drive about 4.5 miles up Highway 194 to the intersection with Meat Camp Road (in the middle of a curve). Turn left and you will spot a brown sign pointing to Elk Knob State Park. Drive about 5.5 miles up Meat Camp Road, and just as you crest the hill, you will see a small wood sign on the left pointing for the right turn into the park. There is also a flagpole with the US flag and the NC state flag.

(This post was originally published on our sticks or stones blog, which is no longer in publication.)

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