Rough Ridge Trail

Located just outside of Boone, NC, Rough Ridge Trail is a magnificent hiking trail with beautiful views is a short but moderate climb of close to 2.5 miles. The trail is well used and maintained and with some of the best photo opportunities. Because of its popularity, this trail will be quite crowded at times.

  • Elevation gain from the parking lot to summit is 480 ft
  • Located in Pisgah National Forest
  • This trail is just a section of the 13-mile Tanawha Trail
  • Dogs are allowed but must be leashed
  • Roundtrip in and out 1.5 miles

You’ll find the jagged, rocky terrain excellent for not only photos but also spread out along the trail making the hike even more interesting. There are a few narrow spots where passing while trying to social distancing will be difficult.

No matter which spot you stop the views are breathtaking. There are many boulders along this short hike where you can stop to rest and take some great photos. There is a boardwalk with several benches just ⅓ mile up the trail from the parking lot that helps protect the fragile vegetation. Just another ½ mile and you reach the summit of Rough Ridge at an elevation of 4,773 ft.

The parking lot at Rough Ridge Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Post 302.8 was getting crowded but I found a spot easily to park. You may need to get to the parking area early if you want to beat the crowds.

Grab yourself a picnic lunch, head to the top, and find a great spot to eat with your friends.

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