Beech Mountain, a ski paradise in the winter, is a hiking and mountain bike paradise in summer and early fall. No need to go driving around looking for hard-to-find trails; you can simply walk from your inn, condo or house rental. If you are not a outdoors adventurer, Beech Mountain is also a quaint, small village perfect for a quiet romantic getaway atop a mountain. And it's the coolest town in North Carolina, literally. Since it is eastern America's highest town (elevation 5,506 feet), temperatures seldom exceed 72 degrees! That's a nice treat in the middle of a hot summer in the lowlands. In addition to shopping and dining, there is plenty of see and do near Beech Mountain, including nearby Banner Elk and Grandfather Mountain.
Lodging Special: Hike & Wine Package
May 1-November 14, 2016 (excludes July 4th week): Includes two nights accommodations for two (any time of week), town of Beech Mountain hiking map (10 trails, 20 miles), Emerald Outback trail map (8+ miles), wine tasting for two at Banner Elk Winery, two guest passes to Buckeye Rec Center and mini golf for two. $169/couple for two nights. Click here to visit their Web site
Golf Package: Summer of 79°
Beech Mountain not only promises comfortable playing temperatures, it guarantees them as part of its Summer of 79° package (May 7-October 16, 2016). If the temperature exceeds 79 degrees any day that a stay-and-play golfer tees it up at Beech Mountain Club, the club refunds all golf fees. The picturesque course at Beech Mountain Club is perched on a number of north-facing ridges with superb views into Tennessee and Virginia. Noted architect Willard Byrd took advantage of high mountain terrain to craft a playable, yet challenging, 18-hole layout. The par-3s are especially dramatic, with three of them routed downhill over ponds. Click here to visit their Web site.
Beech Mountain Hiking
Their 20 miles of designated year-round hiking trails are perfect for all skill levels - from strenuous climbs to easy strolls. If you stay the night in Beech Mountain, you can often hike directly from your inn, cabin rental or condo! Wooded trails take you through old growth forest, where waterfalls abound, over an old logging road, and beside a railroad grade that once carried the logs harvested on the ski slopes. They even have a 1/4 mile paved handicap accessible trail around Lake Coffey. Pick up a trail map and get info at the Beech Mountain Visitor Center, GPS address is 403 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mtn.
Sampling of Hikes
All of the designated trails are marked. Maps displayed at each trailhead are easy to follow and include trail descriptions and helpful information. Here are just a few of our favorites:
- The Emerald Outback: Nearly 10 miles of gorgeous, flowing trails, situated between 4,700 and 5,500 feet in elevation. Great for hiking and biking! The Emerald Outback offers a wealth of unique terrain and vegetation, as well as overlooks with stunning vistas of the Elk River Valley.
- Buckeye Gap Loop Trail: This 5.1-mile loop is a vigorous hike that takes you over a variety of terrain including grassy paths and old logging roads. This will test your hiking stamina and give you a great hike.
- Falls Trail: A moderate 1.5 mile loop, with a 450 feet elevation change, starts with rock steps downward, then meandering back and forth toward Buckeye Creek and the Falls.
Take a summer ride on the ski lift to the top through September 4, 2016. The Beech Mountain Ski Resort will be closed in fall 2016 for trail work. Then they will reopen for ski season in late November or December.
Summer Disc Golf
This chairlift-accessed 18-hole disc golf course hosts multiple tee locations accommodating all skill levels. Expect unique tee locations. Walk the course for free, or use the lift to better access some of the upper holes.
Take a scenic lift ride to the top of the ski slopes to find 5,506’ – a bar hosting panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in a cozy, glass roundhouse. Unwind with food, drinks, snacks and the best view in the high country. Plus, enjoy live music every Saturday afternoon at 2:30 PM, from June 4-September 3.
Mountain Biking & Rentals
Follow the route of Lance Armstrong and the Tour Du Pont or enjoy 50 miles of great riding for all skill levels on the town's road bike routes. Beech is a biker's mountain offering something for everyone. The Adventure Trail Park is a series of trails on both public and private land, maintained by the Town of Beech Mountain. All trails have been designed by hikers, bikers, and trail runners to better meet the needs of such outdoor enthusiasts. There is also a full-service bike shop, complete with bike rentals at Ski Beech Sports, across from the Beech Tree Bar and Grille (open through Labor Day).
The Emerald Outback 10-mile trail is the top spot here for mountain bikers with single track, double track, technical downhill runs, free ride areas, fire roads, and gravel roads. Take into account an average high temperature of 72 degrees in July and August, and you have a perfect summer training ground! On weekends this summer, ride the chairlift up and bike down the mountain!
The trails also provide for a fun, rolling and long descent from altitudes of 5,400 ft. down to the bottom of falls trail loop at 3,200 ft, potentially 2,200 ft. of elevation change that meanders through high mountain balds, across scenic overlooks, rolls through untouched forest land, and finishes in the gorgeous 65 acre Buckeye Lake Recreation area. Annually, hundreds of bikers ascend the south side of the mountain from Banner Elk to the site of the Tour Du Pont finish line. A climb in elevation of 1,400 feet in 3.5 miles, the Beech Mountain Parkway offers a great route most of the year.
Once on Beech, a variety of great road biking awaits you with the town's 51 miles of paved bike routes. All routes begin at the visitors center, adjacent to the town hall. Traffic is usually minimal and Beech's 25 mph speed limit is a positive for cyclists. For more biking info and maps, visit the Beech Mountain Web site.
New in 2016! Beech Mountain Adventure Tours give 75-minute excursions that begin in town, venture out into the backcountry, then ascend to the summit of the 5,506-foot mountain in deluxe, four-seat ATVs.
Beech Mountain Summer 2016 Events
Family Fun Month, June 2016
30 straight days of organized family activities paired with great lodging specials for families. Activities include guided hikes, movies under the stars, tours of the old Land of Oz, mountain biking, mountain biking lessons, pickleball, scenic chairlift rides, ATV adventure tours, discount tickets to area attractions and a whole lot more. Visit the Beech Mountain Web site.
“A Cool 5” Race Weekend: June 10-12, 2016
Join the competition for every fitness level and every member of the family. The bulk of racing takes place Saturday morning, June 21, with a 5-mile run; 1.5-mile fun run/walk; and a pet-friendly 1.5-mile walk & wag. All three begin at town hall at 8:30 a.m. On Friday afternoon is the first Kids’ Cool Popsicle Relay. The “Buck-A-Thon” fundraiser features runners collecting dollars for each lap they complete on the walking track. Course-side lodging specials are available, along with multiple pre/post-race activities.
Mile High 4th of July: July 1-4, 2016
Neighboring towns of Banner Elk and Beech Mountain join for a variety of events all weekend: Art on the Greene, summer theatre Mary Poppins, roasting of the pig, fireworks, outdoor concerts, Fourth Parade & Party in the Park. Go to their Web site.
Mile High Kite Festival, September 4, 2016
The fun Kite Festival takes place on Sunday, from 10 AM to 4 PM in the town meadow, located above 5,000 feet in elevation. Ample room is available for everyone to fly, plus there's a reserved field for demonstrations from kite clubs. Prizes will be given for biggest kite, smallest kite and best decorated kite. Also see a variety of craft and food vendors. Dog lovers should make plans to attend BJ's Dog Show, 10 AM to 4 PM Saturday at the Bark Park, adjacent to the town meadow.
Autumn at Oz
See the Land of Oz, only open one weekend a year in September. Read more about Autumn at Oz!
Winter brings plenty of snow, turning Beech Mountain into a wonderland for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing and sledding. See our Beech Mountain Winter Guide.