Hays, North Carolina

Looking for the best backpacking in Hays? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Hays. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Backpacking Spots in and near Hays

  • Hays, North Carolina

    Hike along Basin Creek in Doughton Park

    5.0
    11 mi / 1800 ft gain
    A treasure in North Carolina that doesn't get as much attention as it should, Doughton Park has some of the best trails around. It is the largest park operated by the Blue Ridge Parkway and has over 30 miles of trails available.  The parking area for the Basin Creek Trail is small, but rarely cro...
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  • Mouth of Wilson, Virginia

    Mount Rogers via Appalachian Trail

    5.0
    9.1 mi / 1549 ft gain
    First of all, who doesn't love wild ponies!  There are tons of ponies here, and although they are wild, they are not afraid of people and you can get pretty close (just don't feed them!).   Once you enter Grayson Highlands State Park, you will see a parking lot for Massie Gap a few miles in, par...
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  • Mouth of Wilson, Virginia

    Backpack the Grayson Highlands

    4.8
    9.1 mi / 1549 ft gain
    Spanning roughly 4500 acres, located in a portion of Jefferson National Forest, looming under the highest peak in Virginia lies the Grayson Highlands. A part of Virginia’s State Parks system and a United States National Landmark, located in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, the Highlands are home to wil...
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  • Mouth of Wilson, Virginia

    Mount Rogers Loop

    5.0
    15.6 mi / 1079 ft gain
    For an awesome 2-3 day trip, start hiking at the Massie Gap trailhead, which can be reached from Grayson Highlands State Park. Take the Rhododendron Trail up the ridge to connect with the AT, keeping an eye out for wild ponies in the Massie Gap area as they like to hang out here. Some of these po...
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  • Elk Creek, Virginia

    Camp at Comers Rock Recreation Area

    1 mi
    I didn't have any issues putting "Comers Rock Recreation Area" into my phone's GPS (Waze) and arriving exactly where I was supposed to. When you turn off US 21 (aka the Grayson Turnpike/Elk Creek Parkway) to Jefferson National Forest Road 57, you'll see a sign a parking lot that says "road not su...
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  • Troutdale, Virginia

    Hike the Appalachian Trail from Elk Garden to Buzzard Rock

    5.0
    6.6 mi / 1000 ft gain
    Starting at the Elk Garden Parking Area hike the Appalachian Trail south (do not cross the road, follow the trail from the parking area). Hike along the trail following the white blazes and at 2.4 miles you'll reach a campsite on your left. This is a great place to camp overnight if you decide to...
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  • Seven Devils, North Carolina

    Calloway Peak via Profile Trail

    7.11 mi / 2493 ft gain
    Calloway Peak via Profile Trail is an out-and-back trail with waterfall views located near Banner Elk, North Carolina in Grandfather Mountain State Park.
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  • Morganton, North Carolina

    Hawksbill Mountain Trail

    4.9
    1.87 mi / 633 ft gain
    Hidden far above the beautiful Linville Gorge stands Hawksbill Mountain, among many other fantastic hikes. The roughly 1.7 mile hike from the dusty gravel parking lot is steep but worth every step. It took me about an hour to conquer with a few water bottle-guzzling stops. At the top, you are al...
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  • Morganton, North Carolina

    Camp at the Chimneys in the Linville Wilderness

    5.0
    1 mi / 138 ft gain
    The Chimneys area is a lesser-known camping destination within the Linville Wilderness. The Chimneys are a series of rock formations that rise above Linville Gorge and provide unobstructed panoramic views of the gorge and surrounding mountains. These rocks sit adjacent to Table Rock which hosts w...
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