Let's Take a Hike at Elk Knob State Park

 One of the newest North Carolina state parks, Elk Knob State Park spreads over 1,800 acres in Watauga County, and was established to preserve the natural state of the second highest peak in the county, Elk Knob.  The Park is expanding and provides several recreational opportunities for visitors including ecology, hiking and picnicking.  For more information, please call (828) 297-7261 or visit http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/elkn/main.php

The idea behind Elk Knob State Park was to preserve the natural state of the environment surrounding Elk Knob.  According to Dr. Patricia Beaver, the state park is also surrounded by small mountain communities that used to thrive with dynamic energies and industries.  Meat Camp was the location of the historic Winebarger Grist Mill, which operated from 1850 until 2005.  Sutherland hosted a thriving cattle industry and each community featured a general store, office, church and small school.  Dr. Beaver’s students at Appalachian State University now dedicate time each year to preserve the historic communities and the items and themes that were commonplace throughout the history of Elk Knob.
Rittle Knob and Elk Knob is home to some of the rarest plants in the world, hosting plant species such as Gray’s lily, Rattlesnake root, Flame azalea, Purple fringed orchid and Trailing wolfsbane.  The State Park is also home to various hardwood trees such as Sugar Maples, Yellow buckeyes, and American Beech trees. Due to the high elevation, trees that are just a few feet tall can be well over one hundred years old.  The forests of the park host bobcats, wild turkey, deer, black bears and many more species of animals that call the mountains of North Carolina their home.  Elk Knob State Park has captivated the beauty of the surrounding peaks and valleys without destroying the natural surroundings and benefits of Elk Knob.      
Whatever reason you choose to visit, Elk Knob State Park offers guests a chance to explore nature and loose themselves in a peaceful environment.  Just a short drive away, Sugar Hollow Retreat offers lodging for your visit to Elk Knob State Park.  The staff at Sugar Hollow is friendly and willing to help, so don't hesitate to call at 1-800-957-1776, or visit us at http://www.sugarhollowretreat.com/.  Experience the wildlife and plant life of Elk Knob State Park today!