The seven-plus miles of Emerald Outback trails range in elevation from 4,700 to 5,400 feet, giving the park the distinction of being among the highest trail systems on the East Coast.
There’s a nice combination of single track, double track and gravel road trails traversing the mountaintop, all accessible from a trail head at the Summit Lot off North Pinnacle Ridge Road in the Town of Beech Mountain. It was designed by mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners to meet the recreational demands of serious outdoor enthusiasts.
Credit for building the park goes to Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation Department. Fitness and wellness coordinator Daniel Scagnelli conceived the idea in 2009, and spearheaded an impressive trail-building effort of mostly volunteer labor. Workers used hand tools and hand-held power tools. Heavy machinery was not involved for most of the trail system. The process reclaimed a few abandoned trails and blended them into a cohesive network of trails showcasing unique topography atop Beech Mountain.
There are rolling woodlands with small waterfalls and creeks rushing by, plus phenomenal mountain vistas and overlooks throughout. There also couple of bike-only sections which provide technical challenges. Because of the variety of trails, there is something for everyone in the Emerald Outback.Trails are well-marked and signage is visible throughout the system.
For trail park information, call (828) 387-3003, or visit: www.BeechRecreation.org.
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