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.
Mountain Hike & Wine Package 2013
Includes two nights in an inn, condo or chalet with wine tasting for two at Banner Elk Winery, mini golf for two, day pass for two to Buckeye Recreation Center, Emerald Outback biking trail map and Beech Mountain 20-mile hiking map. Offered June-October, excluding week of July 4th. $159 for two nights, two persons! Click here to visit their Web site
New for 2013: Ride the Scenic Chairlift
On summer weekends (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) June 7-September 29, the Beech Mountain Ski Resort will be operating its chairlift to provide lift access for mountain bikers. Load up your bikes and ride to the top, then ride the Emerald Outback trail system down the mountain. Also, ride the newly-opened trails at Beech Mountain Ski Resort. Or you can ride the chairlift just to enjoy the mountain views! Hours for the chairlift are: Friday: 12– 6 PM, Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM, Sunday: 10 AM – 6 PM. Lift Ticket Prices: All Day: $30, Single Ride: $10
Click here to visit the Beech Mountain Web site.
Also new for 2013 is an 18-hole disc golf course. This one-of-a-kind course will be designed and built by Pat Farrell of Disconcepts. Nova discs will be available for purchase in Ski Beech Sports.
Beech Mountain Hiking
Their 20 miles of designated 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.
Summer Beech Mountain Trail Guided Hikes
The Town of Beech Mountain hosts guided hikes on the mountain on the first Tuesday of each month from April through October. All hikes are led by Recreation Staff and Volunteers. For additional information please call the Buckeye Recreation Center at 828-387-3003. Hikes are subject to weather condition and may change.
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.
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 new full-service bike shop, complete with bike rentals at Ski Beech Sports, across from the Beech Tree Bar and Grille.
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.
Bikes, Brews N’ Views Beer Fest: July 19-20, 2013
Enjoy craft brews while watching professional bikers defy gravity. Features 40 different brews, many from North Carolina including Blowing Rock Summer Ale, Southern Tier Hop Sun, Krombacher, Shock Top IPA, Leffe, Brooklyn Brown, Abita Purple Haze, Lonerider Sweet Josie, Natty Greene Old Town Brown, Fatty Maddy, Kind Beers Pale Ale, Oskar Blues, New Belgium Fat Tire and Carolina Strawberry. Also features live music and games throughout the afternoon. Shuttles provided to lodging offices throughout Beech Mountain. Tickets are now on sale.
Lift rides showcasing views of the races and the Blue Ridge Mountains will be available. Click here to visit the Beech Mountain Web site.
Beech Mountain 10K ClimbMax: June 22, 2013
This challenging road race takes advantage of the altitude with a demanding run with 800 total feet of elevation gain. The first two miles will be mostly downhill, winding along a scenic stretch of Beech Mountain Parkway toward the ski village. From that point, it's a long, steady uphill climb - punctuated by several switchbacks and long-range vistas - to a height of 5,443 feet, just below the mountain's summit..It will be unlike any other race course we know of on the East Coast. There will be a simultaneous fun run/walk for family members and others of all ages. Strollers and pets are allowed, and encouraged, in the fun run. Course-side lodging specials will be available, along with post-race activities. The entry fee for adults is $30 through May 20; and $35 from May 21 until race day. Race day registration is $40. Children 13 and under may register at any time for $20. Entry fees include a t-shirt, goodie bags, and post-race activities. Click here to visit the Beech Mountain Web site.
USA 10km Trail Runners Championships: June 29, 2013
These national championships, officially sanctioned by USA Track & Field, move to Beech Mountain this summer. The races are designed to challenge the country's best 10-kilometer trail runners in a variety of age groups. They chose the Emerald Outback for its topography, high elevation and unique terrain. He believes the trail system will be an excellent proving ground for determining the top runners in the nation. Because the championships are open to all, they occasionally produce surprise winners. The championships begin at 9 AM. Entry fee is $35 per person until May 31, and $40 through June 15. Click here to visit the Beech Mountain Web site.
Golf Package: Beech's Summer of 79°: May 12-October 20, 2013
Beech Mountain not only promises comfortable playing temperatures, it guarantees them as part of its Summer of 79° package. 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. Although Beech Mountain Club is private, access to the course has been available for several years via local stay-and-play packages. The Summer of 79° Package is available May 12-October 20, 2013. Double occupancy prices start at $79 per person, per night, in a standard room with a two-night minimum. Upgrades to condos, chalets or vacation homes are available as well. Click here to visit their Web site.
Mile High Kite Festival, Labor Day Weekend
The fun Kite Festival takes place on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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 the Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society (WACKOS) and the Richmond Air Force club from Richmond, Va. Prizes will be given for biggest kite, smallest kite and best decorated kite. Also see a variety of craft and food vendors.
Autumn at Oz
See the Land of Oz, only open one weekend a year in October. 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 Guidel