Developed Areas Along the Parkway

North Carolina BRP Highlights Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway
Developed Areas

Julian Price
Memorial Park

Price Lake, Green Knob, Boone Fork Falls,
Boone Fork, Sims Pond, Bee Tree Creek



Julian Price Park, at 4200 acres, is one of the Parkway's most popular parks. The park provides picnic grounds, the largest campground on the Parkway, rest rooms, nature walks, an amphitheater, over ten miles of hiking trails, trout fishing and boat rentals. The trails in the park vary in length but all take you through the forests, by the streams and into the meadows of this fertile land.

Julian Price obtained the beautiful forested area in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He planned to use the land as an exceptional vacation refuge for the employees of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company. However, Julian Price's unfortunate death in 1946 postponed the plans. Jefferson Standard donated the land to the National Park Service for public use. Jefferson Standard did request that Boone Fork be dammed to create Price Lake as a memorial for Julian Price.

The large picnic area has over 100 sites and is very popular with visitors to the park.  The tough Boone Fork Trail can be accessed from the picnic area.  Price Campground has 129 tent sites as well as 68 RV sites and is the largest campground along the Parkway.  A few sites are even on Price Lake.  The "A Loop" of the campground has been called the "premier place to pitch a tent along the Parkway".  The Price Lake Loop Trail runs through the middle of the campground that is located near Price Lake.

Visitors who take to the trails will find scenery and solitude in abundance. Price Park is open year- round, however travel on the Parkway motor road is discouraged during inclement weather.  The Green Knob Trail is located at milepost 295.9 at the Sims Pond Overlook and is an unknown gem worth exploring.  There are panoramic views from the open meadows are well worth the hike.

Boone Fork Trail (5 miles)

The Boone Fork Trail provides solitude in several environments - clear streams, pastures, large rock outcrops, meadows, and shaded, rhododendron-filled woods. Colorful wood ducks sometimes swim in Boone Fork creek. Allow at least three hours of walking time on this strenuous five mile loop trail. Trail access is gained by crossing the wooden footbridge in Price Park Picnic Area at milepost 296.4 of the Parkway.

In the shadow of Grandfather Mountain, Boone Fork Trail is never far from water as it crosses Boone Fork and Bee Tree Creek at least 20 times during the five mile hike through Parkway land. An extensive birch grove is one of the highlights of this trail. Rhododendron tunnels leading to open meadows and the cascades of Boone Fork Falls are among the contrasts offered on what is called one of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s prettiest hikes.

This loop hike shares its pathway with both the Tanawha and Mountains-to-Sea Trail.  Watch trail signs carefully.  The North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail, marked with white blazes, runs jointly with the Boone Fork Trail for half its length. Signs indicate entry and exit points for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

From the trailhead at the picnic area, hike through an ancient lakebed whose rich soils support a variety of plants. The caves in the surrounding cliffs housed Native Americans long before Europeans arrived here.  For the first two miles, you will be paralleling Boone Fork (named not for Daniel Boone, but his nephew Jesse).

At mile 1.8, you will reach a view of Boone Fork Falls, which cascades 25 feet over immense rocks. A half a mile later reach Bee Tree Creek.  Now your ascending past large rock outcroppings until reaching a remote mountain pasture that affords great views of the backside of Grandfather Mountain, then the trail descends through a cool pine woods.

The trail continues through woods and meadows (bear left at forks in the trail) before passing through the campground on its way back to the picnic area.  You may be the only hiker on this trail.  There are numerous small cascades and waterfalls on this scenic loop hike.

Price Lake Trail (2.5 miles)

Price Lake Trail can be reached from the Price Lake Overlook at milepost 296.7 or the Boone Fork Overlook at milepost 297.1 of the Parkway. This easy 2.5 mile loop hike circles the shoreline of 47 acre Price Lake.  Low-growing evergreen galax and ground pine flourish year - round near the trail. Ducks and loons take a spring and summer pause here in their yearly migration.

An impressive boardwalk allows for handicapped access for part of this trail.  A section of the trail passes through Loop A of the Price Campground.  This is a wonderful hike for all family members.

Tanawha Trail (13.5 miles)

The 13.5 mile Tanawha Trail leaves Boone Fork Trail near Price Park Campground. It meanders through field and forest in Price Park and parallels the Parkway on the flanks of Grandfather Mountain, ending at Beacon Heights located at milepost 305.5 of the Parkway. Parking and access for the Tanawha Trail in Price Park are available at the Boone Fork Overlook located at milepost 297.1.

All of these hikes are featured in the hiking guide book Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Developed Areas Along the Parkway

North Carolina BRP Highlights Blue Ridge Parkway