East Side Trails
Note: East Side Trails are accessed from Blue Ridge Parkway.
There are two points for accessing the east side trails in the Grandfather Mountain State Park (free admission). Most hikers use the Boone Fork Parking Area at mile 299.9 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The alternative is the Asutsi Trail, which begins on U.S. 221 approximately 1.6 miles south of Holloway Mountain Road. This is the only winter access when the Parkway is closed.
From the Boone Fork or U.S. 221 parking areas, hikers follow the Tanawha Trail south to connect with the Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trailheads. The Tanawha Trail winds easily along the mountainside parallel to the Parkway. Built and maintained by the U.S. Park Service, no camping is allowed along its length. The Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout trails are part of Grandfather Mountain State Park.
To check on current State Park trail conditions, call their office at 828-963-9522.
Daniel Boone Scout Trail (moderately strenuous with cables and ladders)
Ascending about 2,000 feet over 3 miles, this hike begins at the Tanawha Trail and climbs to the summit of Calloway Peak (5,946′), one of the highest points in the Blue Ridge Mountain range. About halfway up, at Flat Rock View, hikers reach the junction of Cragway Trail. From Boone Fork Parking Area (Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 299.9), follow the Tanawha Trail south for 0.6 miles to the Daniel Boone Scout Trailhead.
The upper half of the Daniel Boone Scout Trail is rough-going with some exquisite views, including one of Price Park and one of the Linn Cove Viaduct. Just before Calloway Peak, in-place ladders and cables help hikers through steep sections. The upper portion of this trail is not recommended for pets.
- Daniel Boone campsite and Cragway junction: 1.3 miles, 2 hrs. round trip
- Briar Patch campsite: 2.1 miles
- Hi-Balsam Shelter: 2.7 miles
- Raven’s Roost Campsite: 2.8 miles
- Calloway Peak: 3.0 miles, 4.5 hrs. round trip
Nuwati Trail (easy but rocky)
This trail, meaning “medicine” in the Cherokee language, follows the print of an old logging road 1.2 miles. It’s an easy but rocky hike, ending at Storyteller’s Rock and a truly spectacular view of an isolated valley. Along the way, there are stream crossings, a solitary stand of quaking aspens and reminders of logging days gone by.
- Nuwati Spring: 0.2 mile
- Nuwati-Cragway junction: 0.6 mile
- Streamside campsite: 0.7 mile
- Storyteller’s Rock campsite and Boone Bowl view: 1.2 mile
- Refuge Campsite: 1.4 miles
Cragway Trail (rocky & strenuous)
A steep, strenuous hike with lovely vistas. Boulders and crags jut out here and there opening up elevated (and elevating) views of the Boone Fork Bowl. This trail links Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails and makes a great loop hike, passing through rhododendron and blueberry thickets. A hiking option coming down the Daniel Boone Scout Trail when returning to cars is to follow Cragway Trail to the Nuwati.
- Top Crag: 0.4 miles
- Flat Rock View and junction with Daniel Boone Scout Trail: 1.0 miles
Asutsi Trail (easy & short)
Asutsi means “bridge” in the Cherokee language. This short, easy trail (0.4 miles) provides alternative access to Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout trails. The Asutsi trailhead is on U.S. 221, 0.6 miles south of the U.S. 221 intersection with Holloway Mountain Road. This trail is the only winter access to the east side trails when the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed.