By Morgan Baker – ENO College Brand Ambassador
Appalachian State University is situated in Boone, NC, the heart of the High Country. The student body is full of outdoor loving individuals who spend every free moment they’re not going to class or studying exploring the beautiful surroundings of Western North Carolina. Here are my top 5 things to do in and around Boone!
Boone is full of great trails with spectacular views. Many of the local favorites are right off the Blue Ridge Parkway!
- Boone Fork Trail
- Profile Trail- This 7-mile trail ascends Grandfather Mountain, you know, the one with the swinging bridge?
- Rough Ridge- Are you really an App State student if you haven’t been to Rough Ridge? This is a great bang-for-your-buck trail at 1.5 miles with awe-inspiring views. This trail is on protected ecosystem land though so please don’t stray off the trail or bring your dog because it can harm the delicate plant communities.
The mountains surrounding Boone are stocked with climbing spots for the many rock climbers in our community. The Blowing Rock Boulders, Holloway, and the Dump will hold you over until your next trip to the Red River Gorge.
If you love the outdoors, you probably love camping too! There are plenty of official camping sites around and there are State Parks around too! Elk Knob State Park is a great place to camp either in backcountry or group sites. Elk Knob has numerous trails to offer and is open to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter.
There are three ski resorts within a 45 minute drive of downtown Boone: Sugar Mountain, Appalachian Ski Mountain, and Beech Mountain Resorts. The university offers physical education classes in learning to ski and snowboard at App Ski Mountain every spring. More experienced skiers and riders will probably want to visit the bigger resorts, Sugar and Beech. Even in the Southeast these winter sports can be heartily enjoyed!
5. Hanging Out
Step foot on campus on a beautiful day and you will see droves of students literally “hanging out” in their hammocks. The beginning of the fall semester always brings business to local outfitters when freshmen realize that hammocks are an essential piece of school supplies at Appalachian. Durham Park, Sanford Mall, and Duck Pond are prime spots on campus to slap those straps around a tree and study, socialize, or snooze.