BRMC Trail System:
Enjoy unspoiled nature along BRMC’s 52 plus miles of Mountain Wilderness trails. These trails are for moderate to advanced hikers with occasional steep areas and stream crossings. The reward, however, is the opportunity to enjoy numerous headwaters, small waterfalls, swimming holes and the pristine beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many of our trails can be found on the website www.alltrails.com by searching BRMC. Alltrails also has an app that can be downloaded onto smart phones.
- The Nickajack Fitness Trail: Named for the historic Nickajack Trial that provided the Native Americans a trading route between Boone, Blowing Rock and Lenior, this trail spans eight feet wide and is 2.3 miles long. Traversing the community’s Watson Gap section, the trail incorporates several scenic overlooks, boasting 30-mile views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Nickajack Trail has a relaxed terrain, with a grade generally under 8 percent, to be accessible to hikers of all ages and fitness levels.
- Dugger Creek Trail: content
- Upper Laurel Creek Trail: Named for Laurel Creek which it follow along. This is a 6.9 mile moderate trail that was recently redone as a Capital Project from 2018 into 2019. Upper Laurel Creek from the Reynolds Parkway down to the Laurel Creek Campsite on Middle Laurel now rivals or exceeds what you may find on the best National Park Trail. Our trail company used sustainable practices such as harvesting dry Locust that had fallen in the area and an Alaska saw mill and milled the lumber and built the bridges onsite. When they had to move earth they used a micro mini excavator. We wanted to have as little impact as possible and the results show. Several images of Laurel creek can be seen in our Amenity Video. This trail is open to hikers and mountain biking.
- Blue Hole Trail: Named for a scenic swimming hole, pictured above, at thew bottom of the trail. This trail is about 1.1 miles and is a moderate trail.
- West Ridge Trail: context
- Hikers need to be aware that weather conditions in the mountains can change quickly and take necessary precautions accordingly.
- If you would like a community map, call the POA office or North Gate.
- It is always best to let someone know where you are going, prior to your hike.
- Be aware that there are thousands of acres on the Blue Ridge Mountain Club Property and that we share our homes with many native animals. These include: squirrels, multiple birds, deer, skunks, and even bears and poisonous snakes. Be cautious of all native animals and do not disturb them, as they are also sharing their homes with us.
- Hike quietly. Speak in low voices and turn your cell phone down, if not off. Enjoy the sounds of nature and let others do the same.
- Don’t toss your trash – not even biodegradable items such as banana peels. It is not good for animals to eat non-native foods and who wants to look at your old banana peel while it ever-so-slowly decomposes? If you packed it in, pack it back out.
- When bringing a pet on a hike, be sure to keep your pet under control and have a leash that is quickly accessible. Don’t forget to pack out pet waste.
- Don’t feed the wildlife. While many animals stay hidden, others are not so shy. Giving these creatures food only disrupts their natural foraging habits.
- Leave what you find. The only souvenirs a hiker should come home with are photographs and happy memories. (And maybe an improved fitness level!)
- When relieving yourself outdoors, be sure to do so 200 feet away from the trail and any water sources. Follow Leave No Trace principles.
- Walk through the mud or puddle and not around it, unless you can do so without going off the trail. Widening a trail by going around puddles, etc. is bad for trail sustainability. Just because it looks easy to cut the corner off of a switchback doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Help preserve the trail by staying on the trail.
- Stay on the trail. Do not cut switchbacks or take shortcuts.
- Stay to the right on wider paths.
- Pass on the left. When overtaking someone, let them know you are approaching and will be passing on their left. You may hear a biker, runner, ATV call out, "On your Left!" as he comes up from behind. That means you should stay to your right.
- Whenever you stop for a view, a rest, or to yield, move off the trail so it is free for others. If you are selecting the spot for a rest, get off on a used area or a durable surface such as a rock, dirt, or snow.
- Hikers, Bikers, ATVs going uphill are working hard and should be given the right of way over hikers coming downhill. Sometimes uphill hikers will prefer to stop and let you pass coming down so they can get a short break. The uphill hiker should get to make the call.
- Greet people you meet. This makes sure they know you are there and polite.
- When hiking in a group, yield to single or pair hikers. It's harder for a group to get off the trail so often times singles will stop and let you all pass, but it’s their call.
- When hiking in a group, hike single file or take no more than half of a wide trail. Make sure everyone in your group understands what actions to take when encountering hikers, bikers, and horses.
- Be respectful of the land and other hikers.
Leave No Trace Principles
Leave what you find, take only photos and memories.
- Plan ahead and prepare. Know the type of terrain and possible weather conditions you might encounter. Minimize impacts by keeping groups small and avoiding high use times for the trail. Walking single file and avoiding shortcuts will limit damage to the trail and surrounding ecosystems.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces. Focus activity on resilient ground. Surfaces consisting of sand, gravel, rock, snow, or dry grass are durable and can withstand heavy use. Walk through mud/puddles to avoid widening the trail.
- Dispose of waste properly. Pack it in, pack it out! This includes not only food wrappers, but also biodegradable waste such as banana peels, etc. Also practice “negative trace” by picking up trash left by others. Dispose of human waste in “catholes” dug 6-8 inches deep in soil at least 200 feet from any water source. Pack out all toilet paper and hygiene products.
- Leave what you find. You can look, but please don’t take. Leave everything that you find in the wilderness where it belongs. Avoid moving rocks, picking plants, and disturbing cultural or historic artifacts.
- Minimize campfire impacts. Keep your campfire small—or go without. Use previously constructed fire rings or mounds. Only burn small diameter wood found on the ground. Do not damage live or fallen trees. Be aware of the level of fire danger of the area. Make sure your campfire is completely smothered before you leave camp. Small camping stoves are much more efficient for cooking, and leave no impact on the site.
- Respect wildlife. Let the wild be wild. Keep your distance and do not attract or approach animals. Never feed them food intended for humans as this disrupts their natural foraging habits. Control pets in natural areas and always keep them restrained.
- Be considerate of other visitors. Show respect for other trail users. Keep voices/noises from getting intrusively loud. Obey any posted trail rules including rights of way. Orient rest spots and campsites away from the trail. Attempt to minimize visual impacts by wearing clothes that are earth tone colors (unless, of course, hiking in the vicinity of hunters): brown, green, tan or black.