The Northern Peaks Trail was signed into law as a North Carolina state trail on July 1, a designation that provides funding opportunities for trail development. The path will connect Boone to West Jefferson in 40 scenic miles, featuring areas like Elk Knob State Park and Three Top Mountain Game Lands in between.
Trail planners aim to educate visitors and conserve the unique biodiversity, geography and culture of the High Country. Project Manager Eric Woolridge stated that work could begin at Howard Knob Park, a node on the trail, in 2020 or 2021, and that the overall trail-building timeline will be shaped by the state’s ongoing development of a master plan for Elk Knob State Park. — By Rachael Kelley