As our namesake implies, when you visit the High Country, you are never far from a high elevation with a great vista. Many of the highest points are surprisingly easy to access by car or by path.
Mount Mitchell (6,684 ft)
Part of the Black Mountains, Mount Mitchell’s summit is the highest point east of the Mississippi river. A 300 yard paved path, that is stroller and handicap accessible, will take you to the summit. Many other easy-strenuous trails, camping, restaurant, education center and a gift shop are also located at the Mount Mitchell State Park.
Roan Mountain (6,285 ft)
Roan Mountain is located on the North Carolina and Tennessee border and has great views of both states. Roan Mountain has the largest Rhododendron gardens in the world, with over 600 acres of gardens. The best time to catch the blooms and the view is mid-June. You can drive to the top of Roan Mountain State Park and take short paths to the views.
Grandfather Mountain (5,946 ft)
Grandfather Mountain is located in Linville and is recognized as an International Biosphere Reserve due to its 16 ecological communities and 73 rare and endangered species. The best way to see the view from the top is to visit the handicap accessible Mile High Swinging Bridge. The Mountain also has many hiking trails and nature walks, wildlife habitats, a nature museum & restaurant.
Tater Hill (5,585 ft)
Tater Hill, located in Vilas, is known to have the best views for paragliders and hang gliders. This park is private. Visit flytaterhill.com to schedule a visit.
Elk Knob (5,566 ft)
Located in Todd, the Elk Knob State Park has a 1.9 mile trail to the summit. The park also has other hiking trails, a picnic area and backcountry camping.
Beech Mountain (5,506 ft)
Beech Mountain is the highest town on the east coast with temperatures rarely exceeding 79 degrees. The Beech Mountain Adventure Trail Park features over 8 miles of trails with 100-mile vistas.
Mount Jefferson (4,616 ft)
The Mount Jefferson State Natural Area Summit Trail in West Jefferson is an easy 0.3 miles long and takes you to the highest point on the mountain. The park also features a beautiful wooded picnic area.
Howard’s Knob (4,420 ft)
The Knob offers unparalleled views of Boone and Appalachian State University and is located less than a mile from the downtown Boone area.
Hanging Rock (3,944 ft)
Hanging Rock is located in the community of Seven Devils. The best way to take in the view is by zipline. Hawksnest Zipline offers over 4 miles of zipline riding at speeds up to 50 mph!
The Blowing Rock (3,566 ft)
The Blowing Rock is the oldest attraction in North Carolina and features an immense cliff jutting 4,000 feet above sea level. The current of air flowing upward from The Rock prompted the Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not cartoon about “the only place in the world where snow falls upside down.”