The Tanawha Trail is a diverse, well-marked 13.5 mile trail that runs from Julian Price Park to Bean Heights Overlook. It runs along the Blue Ridge Parkway, makes up a chunk of the Mountains-to-Sea trail, and waddles around Grandfather Mountain.
You should hike it.
Overall, Tanawha is a challenging and immensely enjoyable hike filled with fresh air, varied landscapes, and solid blazing. Recommendable to anyone who wants to challenge their “how many miles can I do in a day”, and even better for hikers trying to up their “thru-hiker readiness” in preparation for longer trips like the Appalachian Trail.
I started my journey at 7:50 am on Black Friday — November 27, 2015. I started at what many state as the “technical” endpoint of the Tanawha Trail — Julian Price Park. Books, maps and online guides claim as much too — but I’m a unique butterfly (and I was staying in Blowing Rock for the week, only 5 minutes drive from this trailhead) so I did it in reverse.
The results did not disappoint. I started at 7:50 am, and hiked until 2:15 pm. I didn’t hoof it, nor did I stroll necessarily, but I did want to complete another 10+ mile hike for the first time in a month. The Tanawha Trail seemed like the perfect candidate for a long-distance hike I could complete in a single trip, by myself, without having to refill on water or food.
Again, results did not disappoint. Let’s see some pics, shall we?