Trail Descriptions: East Side Trails
There are two points for accessing the east side trails. 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.
Click on the name of a trail for a more detailed description.
|Trail name||Rating||Blaze||Length (miles)|
|Daniel Boone Scout Trail||Moderately strenuous
with cables and ladders
|White-Blazed (will soon be white diamond)||3 mi. (4.8 km)
|Nuwati Trail||Easy but rocky||Blue-Blazed (soon to be blue circle)||1.2 mi. (1.9 km)|
|Cragway Trail||Rocky, strenuous||Orange-Blazed (soon to be orange circle)||1.0 mi. (1.6 km)|
|Asutsi Trail||Easy hiking||No blaze||0.4 mi. (0.6 km)|
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.
The upper half of the Daniel Boone Scout Trail is rough-going but spiced 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.
|Daniel Boone campsite and Cragway junction||1.3 mi (2.1 km)||2 hrs. round trip|
|Briar Patch campsite||2.1 mi (3.4 km)|
|Hi-Balsam Shelter||2.7 mi (4.3 km)|
|Raven’s Roost Campsite||2.8 mi (4.5 km)|
|Calloway Peak||3.0 mi (4.8 km)||4.5 hrs. round trip|
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 some geologists say was carved by a glacier. Along the way, there are stream crossings, a solitary stand of quaking aspens, and reminders of logging days gone by.
|Nuwati Spring||0.2 mi (0.3 km)|
|Nuwati-Cragway junction||0.6 mi (1.0 km)|
|Streamside campsite||0.7 mi (1.2 km)|
|Storyteller’s Rock campsite and Boone Bowl view||1.2 mi (1.9 km)|
|Refuge Campsite||1.4 mi (2.3 km)|
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 fine 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 mi (0.6 km)|
|Flat Rock View and junction with Daniel Boone Scout Trail||1.0 mi (1.6 km)|
Asutsi means “bridge” in the Cherokee language. This short, easy trail (0.4 miles) links Serenity Farm on U.S. 221 and the Tanawha Trail, providing alternative access to Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails. This trail is the only winter access to the east side trails when the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed.