A Legendary Connection

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Read the Master Plan

The Northern Peaks Trail Master Plan is funded by the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Watauga County Tourism Development Authority, Ashe County, Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, West Jefferson Tourism Development Authority, Town of Boone, and High Country Pathways, Inc.

The Vision

The NPT will be a world-class hiking trail that traverses an ancient mountain chain while educating and connecting users to unforgettable landscapes entirely unique to this region.

Protect. Connect. Educate.

The Northern Peaks of the High Country are situated between the mountain communities of Boone and West Jefferson, dividing the vital New River and Watauga River watersheds. The region is home to nationally-significant biospheres boasting unparalleled ecological diversity; the protection of which is paramount.

The North Peaks Trail Master Plan was completed summer 2017.

The planning corridor for the trail is approximately 40 miles long, beginning in Boone and ending at Mount Jefferson in Ashe County.

Brand Platform

  1. The NPT’s greatest opportunity for differentiation is its significant, protected biodiversity and the connectivity it provides between two classic WNC mountain towns.
  2. The trail must connect hikers directly into the Main Streets of both Boone and West Jefferson.
  3. The trail traverses multiple nationally significant biospheres and some of the tallest peaks in North Carolina, offering unparalleled views of the NC High Country.
  4. NPT will be a progressive eco-tourism development project.


A highly accessible, world-class hiking trail across an ancient mountain chain, through a nationally significant biosphere, that connects two classic WNC mountain towns.


Biodiversity. A nationally significant biosphere, containing rare plant, animal species, and forest communities. Geography. Part of the world’s most ancient mountain chain, offering unparalleled views of the NC High Country. Connectivity. Traverse significant public lands between two historic Main Street communities. Education. Provides unparalleled opportunities for environmental education.


  1. Elevate Watauga & Ashe counties as an outdoor recreation hub with easy access to some of the most unique biodiversity in the eastern US.
  2. Galvanize support for securing additional public lands along the Northern Peaks.
  3. Encourage trail use among locals and tourists.


Amphibolite Macro Site

The NPT contains the largest concentration of amphibolite substrate in the WNC mountains. Amphibolite rock has a unique mineral composition producing unusually rich soils, giving rise to a high level of diversity in exotic flora & fauna.

Rare Species

Rare Plants

Rare Animals

Rare Plants

Rare Species

Rare Animals

Natural Heritage Areas

Natural heritage areas are chiefly important to conservation of the natural biodiversity of North Carolina.

Acres of Public Land

Protected lands in this area are either publicly owned, conservancy owned, or conserved by an easement.


Trail Character

Facility Design

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Total Miles


Complete by 2020

New trailheads by 2022


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