Hike the Elk Knob Summit Trail

Elk Knob State Park

As one of the newest additions to the North Carolina State Park System, the Elk Knob summit trail gives you some breathtaking views in a relatively short hike.

There are no bathrooms at the trailhead, so if needed, drive a little past it to the park bathrooms on the left. Park at the summit trailhead and start your hike on the new gravel path. The trail gains 1000 ft in elevation in just under 2 miles so take your time if need be - and bring plenty of water if it's a hot day. There are a couple of benches for resting along the way and a beautiful sitting area about half a mile from the summit. The trail splits in 2 at the summit - one leads to the northern view towards Virginia and Mount Rogers, the other to the southern view where you can see all the way to Mt. Mitchell. The park has put up mountain range placards at each summit to help you identify all of the peaks. The northern summit has a more unobstructed view of the mountain ranges for picture taking. 

Depending on the season the park closes at different hours so check before you leave. It is only closed on Christmas Day. 

Click the link for maps of the park and different trails in the area. 

Elk Knob State Park 

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Wind breaker
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RT Distance 3.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 1000 Feet
Activities Photography, Running, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Fun for the family

Our family of five (kids 2, 5, & 11) journeyed to the summit. We enjoyed every step of the way with all sorts of flora and rock formations to dazzle the eyes. Although it was foggy that day, we reached both summits and imagined the view.

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