Sept. 17, 2012. Over the past few years, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s Kids in Parks program has been installing a network of kid friendly hiking trails, called TRACK Trails, on and in communities along the Blue Ridge Parkway. To date, the program has installed more than 15 trails in the regions surrounding the Parkway; and in partnership with several land management agencies, including: the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, city and county parks, Virginia State Parks and North Carolina State Parks.
On Sept. 22, 2012, Kids in Parks will be expanding upon one of these partnerships by celebrating the grand opening of the TRACK Trail at Elk Knob State Park near Boone. The trail at Elk Knob will be the programs fourth in partnership with the North Carolina State Parks Department, adding to our other NC State Park TRACK Trail locations at Chimney Rock, New River and Mount Jefferson.
The Elk Knob State Park TRACK Trail will be located on a portion of the park’s Summit Trail that begins at the park’s main parking lot and climbs gently for 1.9 miles to the summit of Elk Knob (3.8 miles round trip). However, the TRACK Trail portion of the trail only climbs part of the way to the peak (1.2 miles roundtrip), giving visitors the option to go further, if desired.
“We are excited to have partnered with North Carolina State Parks on our fourth TRACK Trail together. The network of TRACK Trails we have formed within the state parks and other land management agencies in the region are giving kids and families from the area multiple options to get outdoors, get ‘unplugged’ and get connected to the resources and special places that make this region so wonderful. From New River State Park, to Mount Jefferson’s State Natural Area, and W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir, the region’s network of trails is one of the strongest networks in the TRACK Trails program,” said Larry Trivette, superintendent of Elk Knob State Park.
“The staff at Elk Knob State Park is excited to partner with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s Kids in Parks program to become the fourth NC State Park to have a Track Trail. It is great to see kids out in our parks and this trail will make their experience more exciting and educational.”
The grand opening celebration of the Elk Knob State Park TRACK Trail will be held on Sept. 22 at the trailhead located in the park’s main parking lot. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11:00am and will be followed by a ranger-led guided hike.
For more information, call 828-297-7261.