Hikers enjoy panoramic views from the Emerald Outback
Hikers enjoy panoramic views from the Emerald Outback



 
The Emerald Outback at Beech Mountain is a year-round destination for hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers.

At 5,400 feet high in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, the Emerald Outback has nearly seven miles of gorgeous and challenging trails. The system includes mostly single-track and double-track trails, interspersed with a few grassy roads and a gravel fire road.

The setting atop Beech Mountain is unlike that of any other trail park in the Southeast.

Wind-swept gnarly Beech trees, lush undergrowth and small streams form an emerald forest that inspired creation of the Land of Oz theme park, which operated nearby from 1970-80.

And, did we mention 50-mile vistas from scenic overlooks?

The Emerald Outback was built and maintained by the Town of Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation Department. It's free and open to the public seven days a week, dawn until dusk. The Trailhead for this system is at the Summit Lot, which can be accessed by following the Beech Mountain Parkway to North Pinnacle Ridge Road. Parking is free.

From June through September, lift access to the Emerald Outback is available 10-6 Thursday through Sunday via the chairlift at Beech Mountain Resort. The resort's lift includes trays to carry mountain bikes to the summit, with riders following closely behind in a traditional lift chair. Hikers are welcome to ride the lift as well. The lift ride is $12 per person.





 
The scenic beauty of Beech Mountain
The scenic beauty of Beech Mountain
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