What: Hiking North Carolina
Where: Buckeye Recreation Center, 206 Grassy Gap Creek Rd., Beech Mountain, NC 28604 | (828) 387-3003
When: Hikes Anytime. Rec Center Hours vary by season. In the Fall Mon. – Fri.10 – 7 pm, Sat. 10 – 5 pm, Closed on Sunday
Cost: Hiking is FREE.
Buckeye Recreation Center Rates: Daily Passes start at $3. Weekly passes start at $20 and Monthly start at $40
Photos: View Field Trips with Sue’s Virtual Tour on Buckeye Recreation Area or Field Trips with Sue on Facebook
One of the most popular activities for families during a weekend at Beech Mountain is hiking. Beech Mountain has 33 miles of trails through the beautiful North Carolina high country. The Buckeye Recreation Center on Beech Mountain is a great place to get hiking information, or sign up for a guided hike.
Buckeye Recreation Center
Even visitors to Beech Mountain can enjoy the Buckeye Recreation Center. This 22,500 square foot facility has indoor tennis, fitness room and classes, indoor basketball court and a foam mat filled room for the little kids. Outside is an unusual playground built by Beanstalk Builders, the same folks that did the playground and zip line adventure course at Catawba Meadows Park in nearby Morganton NC. There are special programs throughout the year including guided hikes, and sports leagues. During summer months, rent a canoe from the Center and paddle around Buckeye Lake.The Center offers an affordable daily pass fee schedule, as well as weekly, monthly and yearly passes.
Hiking North Carolina
The weather during our trip kept us from doing too much hiking, but the rain held off long enough for us to do the moderate 1.5 mile Falls Trail loop which starts at the Buckeye Recreation Center. We passed gorgeous waterfalls where families can cool off with a swim during the warmer summer months. The trail ended at Buckeye Lake which is stocked with trout. Visit the rec center and borrow a fishing pole. You must provide your own bait, but that shouldn’t be too hard to find in the forest. Rumor has it the trout like corn, so maybe pick up a few ears at the Food Lion on your way in. Soon a crossover will connect the Falls Trail with a new section creating 15 miles of interconnected muti-use trails.
In addition to hiking, Beech Mountain has a growing number of mountain bike trails. The Emerald Outback is eight miles of trails that wind through Beech Mountain and the first phase of the Beech Mountain Adventure Trail Park, which will eventually include 25 miles of trails. There is plenty of parking and easy access to the trails in Downtown Beech Mountain, next to the Brick Oven Pizzeria. Weather foiled our attempt to experience the trail, but I read some reviews on a site called Single Tracks that give a decent overview of what you can expect. One thing Beech Mountain doesn’t have at the moment is a bike shop where you can rent bikes. Bring your own or rent them in nearby Boone before heading to Beech Mountain.