High Country Outdoor Family Activities

The High Country has many outdoor family activities to enjoy. Please view the list below, and we suggest creating a bucket list for your family to create many wonderful and lasting memories.  

Prices Lake Trail – This trail can be reached from the Price Lake Overlook (milepost 296.7) or the Boone Fork Overlook (milepost 297.1). This easy 2.7-mile loop circles the shoreline of 47-acre Price Lake. Low-growing evergreens flourish year-round near the trail. Ducks and loons take a spring and summer pause here in their yearly migration. TRACK Trail for first 1 mile.

Price Lake Boat Rentals – Price Lake is a 47-acre lake in which visitors are currently able to rent Canoes and Kayaks. Located just past Julian Price Park at Mile Marker 297. Come have a picnic at the park then come on down to the boat rental for a relaxing boat ride. All ages welcome!

Otter Falls Trail – Otter Falls Trails were debuted in summer of 2015 with an observation deck built in 2017, which offers wonderful views of Otter Falls. This moderately strenuous hike starts from a trailhead parking area at 825 Skyland Drive and descends about 230 feet to scenic Otter Falls on Valley Creek. The 0.6-mile hike to the falls creates a round trip of about 1.2 miles.

New River Paddle Trail – ExploreBoone.org states that this trail is popular for canoeing, tubing, and kayaking. Five sections of the New River Paddle Trail offer slow and peaceful waters and wildflower-covered banks, the perfect backdrop for a canoe ride or a lazy inner tube ride on a hot summer’s day. The New River Paddle Trail map is available at area outfitters: RiverGirl Fishing Co., Mast General Store locations, Magic Cycles in Boone, Boone Bike & Touring, and Waypoint Outfitters.

Beech Mountain Resort – Beech Mountain Resort opens for the summer season on Friday, June 5, offering scenic lift rides, mountain biking, hiking and disc golf. The resort will also have take-out food and beverage service that can be enjoyed at several outdoor locations on property.

Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster – Do you love speed? The thrill of wind whipping at your face as you barrel around tight turns, flying over bumps and waves? Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is just the ride for you! Our coaster will race you down 2390 feet of track with speeds reaching 27 mph. Don’t worry, you are in full control of the cart so if that’s a bit too fast for you, you can slow down by applying the brake to your desire speed.

Linville Falls Hiking Trails – Two main hiking trails lead to views of Linville falls. Both begin at the Linville Falls Visitor Center and pass through remnants of a virgin hemlock forest mixed with other familiar tree species such as white pine, oaks, hickory, and birch.

Rough Ridge Hiking Trail – Hike the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Tanawha Trail to awesome views on Grandfather Mountain’s Rough Ridge

Elk Knob State Park – Breathtaking views from the summit of Elk Knob are complemented by intimate forest scenes on a trail system that explores dramatic elevation changes and was created largely by volunteers. The park’s terrain can be steep and challenging, but rewarding.

Mount Jefferson State Park – An investment of little more than an hour’s time offers a high return as the beauty and diversity of the park is best seen while hiking along its trails. Spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and a closer look at the park’s vegetation are just a small part of the rewards reaped from a walk in this mountain forest.

Introducing BRAHM at Home

Our friends at Blowing Rock Art & History Museum have an exciting announcement. They are introducing BRAHM at Home.

Families can stay engaged virtually with the museum. To continue to connect with the High Country community, they have launched BRAHM at Home.

This new online initiative features a variety of artistic challenges, deep-dives, unique gallery tours, program highlights, and youth engagement. They aim to provide some creative light to these uncertain and challenging times.

Enjoy and be sure to follow BRAHM on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to connect with #BRAHMatHome

Please note: The Museum will remain closed until it is deemed safe to gather in public. Check BlowingRockMuseum.org for any changes.

2020 Summer Camps in the High Country

It’s that time of year for parents to start thinking about summer camp options. Please grab your planner as it is time to start the planning process. We have listed overnight camps, day camps, Parks and Rec camps, science camps, adventure camps, performing art camps, and lots more!

This page will grow as more information comes in about 2020 Summer Camps. Please contact Jen if you know of a camp, or would like yours listed. Premium Camp listings are available.

Coming in from out of town (or as we say, “Up the Mountain” for Camp? Check out High Country Host for places to stay and things to do in the High Country!

Day Camps

Overnight Camps

Sports Camps

Educational Camps

Performing Arts Camps

The Snowboard Phenom from North Carolina | Next Up: Luke Winkelmann

Red Bull produced a documentary about Blowing Rock native, Luke Winkelmann. He grew up on the slopes at App Ski Mtn and just competed in the X Games in Aspen.

Red Bull states that “Blowing Rock, North Carolina’s Luke Winkelmann is a budding superstar in the snowboarding world. After a breakout 2019 season, taking home “Rookie of the Year” honors at the Burton US Open and winning the MVP award at the first annual Red Bull Recharged, the nineteen-year old athlete is primed for an even bigger year in 2020. Get to know Winkelmann’s roots, and see why the snowboarding world is watching to see what he does next at events like the 2020 LAAX Open and X Games Aspen.”

Free One Day Autism Camp Offered November 2nd

Camp Crinkleroot, a one-day free camp to be held November 2, is recruiting campers ages 8 – 18 with an Autism Spectrum (ASD) or related disorder. The camp will be held at the Levine Hall of Health Science and will be staffed by trained Appalachian State University volunteers.  Space is limited to the first twelve applicants.

Camp Crinkleroot is a program sponsored by Appalachian’s Blue Cross North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services within the Beaver College of Health Sciences. The camp offers children on the autism spectrum the opportunity to participate in fun activities while building communication and social skills. Campers will be engaged and supported through activities such as meal preparation led by nutrition students and faculty, an AppalCart ride facilitated by communication sciences students and faculty, and an afternoon at Belk Library creating technology-based projects.

Parents and caregivers who are interested in signing up a child to participate in this program should visit http://www.ihhs.appstate.edu/crinkleroot . Questions may be directed to Mary Sheryl Horine, at horinems@appstate.edu

Back to School and Winter Sale in the High Country

Get ready to shop! Wee-Cycle Children’s Consignment sale has over 150 consignors so you need to ensure you get there early and get all your back to school needs and winter attire.

Please note this will be the only sale this season and includes baby items, clothes, toys, books, ski/snowboards, snow boots, jackets, Christmas, children’s furniture, and more! There are train tables, legos, barbies, dollhouse, ride ons, strollers, high chairs, cribs, car seats, and more!

Check out the sneak peek of the sale on Wee-Cycle’s Facebook page.

Happy Shopping!

Spring Break Staycation Ideas

Spring Break is one week away for families in the High Country. Many will travel out of state, but many will stay and enjoy our great outdoors. Here is a list of ideas for your family to make precious memories.

  1. Dollar Days at Grandfather Mountain – The Dollar Days promotion allows anyone who lives or works in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga or Wilkes counties — along with their guests traveling in the same vehicle — to visit at the discounted rate of $3 each.
  2. Doc’s Rock’s Gem Mine – (April 23-26, 2019) All Watauga County residents take 10% off all buckets and seeded ore. Please note that proof of residency is required.
  3. Ashe County Cheese Factory – Keep an eye on the cheese making calendar.
  4. App State Baseball – $2 Tuesday, April 23 at 5:00 p.m. and App State Softball (FREE admission) April 26 (5:00 p.m.), 27 (2:00 p.m.), and 28 (12:00 p.m.)
  5. Natural Pigments Workshop at Elk Knob State Park – Saturday, April 20 at 1:00. Explore the nature of natural pigments. Discover the art of paint making, create your own paint from objects in nature, and alter pigments to create more colors with various substances. Event will be moved indoors in case of inclement weather. Meet at the outdoor amphitheater just off the trailhead parking lot.
  6. Wildflower Walk at Grandfather Mountain State Park – Thursday, April 25 (3:00-5:00 pm) Join us for a ranger-guided wildflower walk at Grandfather Mountain State Park. Now with spring well underway, we are starting to see more blooms every day! Grandfather Mountain produces an amazing variety of wildflowers, which change from week to week, so join us throughout the season to experience the changes.
  7. Take a hike – suggested hikes: Rough Ridge, Price Lake Loop Trail, Bass Lake Trail
  8. Canoeing/Pedal Boats – Beech Mountain offers free canoeing and pedal boat rentals.
  9. Center 45 Indoor Climbing Wall – $10 Tuesday All day! all ages climb for $10.
  10. Earth First Friday – (April 26, 2019) Join the Town of Boone in celebrating the resilience of our community through trees, bees, music, and a whole of fun for the whole family. During the April First Friday Art Crawl, the Jones House will host Earth First Friday. Come out and learn about the Town of Boone’s sustainability programs and have some fun on the Jones House lawn.

Sole Impact Studios Hosts Summer Dance Camps

Are you looking for a camp that will get the family out of the house for a couple hours a day this summer? Sole Impact Studios is offering a variety of camps for all ages that is sure to bring lots of laughter and joy this summer.

Enjoy clogging, hip hop, musical theater and much more. Camps start in June and go through August 1st. Click here for information on each camp and to register.

WHS Pacer Dance Clinic K-8th Grade

Are you ready to dance? All children grades K-8th are invited to participate in the Watauga High School Pacer Dance Clinic on February 25-28, 2019.

The three-day clinic will be held Tuesday through Thursday, from 4:00–5:30 p.m. Dancers will be grouped according to grade level and taught age appropriate dances by the Watauga High School Pacers. The Clinic dancers will perform on Thursday (28th) at 5:00 p.m. during the WHS Pacer End of the Year Show. Clinic participants receive free admission to the show. Cost for the show is $5 donation.

The clinic fee is $35 and includes a t-shirt for participants to wear to the performance and keep afterward. (If you participated in the fall clinic and have a t-shirt, cost will be $25)

Please fill the form out below to register for the clinic:

2019 Winter Pacer Clinic Registration

Sled Hill Mania – February 2, 2019

Join in the fun from 10 am to 12 pm at Beech Mountain’s Sled Hill (403 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, NC 28604) for snow sledding, activities, and marshmallow roasting! Bring the whole family for a morning of free fun!