Elk Knob is one of the newer state parks in the state of North Carolina. Located near the New River, the land for this park was donated in 2003 and was soon after given to the park service in North Carolina to care for the land. This park, primarily, protects one of the amphibolite peaks in western North Carolina. The park service now protects this area and keeps it from being developed so that generations to come can visit the resources of the southern Appalachians.
Elk Knob is named, obviously, for the elk herds that roamed the lands under its panoramic view. Thousands of years ago, the native people of the area that would be called the Cherokee, hunted the elk that numbered in the thousands. Though the elk has been moved on, the view over the surrounding valleys are still there. Elk Knob is the second tallest peak in Watauga County, standing 5,520 feet. It is easy to see when you stand at the top of this mountain the reason why it might have been an elk herd tracking point for the Cherokee.
While you are Elk Knob, you can go camping, hiking or bring the family for a picnic. And there is even something a little different about Elk Knob. Due to the altitude and the terrain, you will be able to go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the frozen winter wonderland. While many of the other parks are closed during the winter, the park service tries to keep Elk Knob open so that people can enjoy a winter time activity that is usually off limits in the national park.
Another unique aspect the Elk Knob offers to the visitors that come to the area each year is the chance to take some great photos of the wildflowers that carpet the floor of the mountainsides. Whether you are a professional photography or strictly an amateur, the wildflowers that come out in the spring will keep you guessing as to where you would like to point your camera. And trust me, you will see professionals crawling along the landscape looking for tat perfect shot as well.
Pay a visit to Elk Knob the next time you are in western North Carolina. It is a park that keep changing every time you turn around. They are constantly improving the area and adding more and more activities. Visit it at different times throughout the year and see how the season effect not only what you can do but the way that the landscape looks as well.