The charming WNC town of Boone is well-known for its natural beauty, hiking trails, whitewater rafting, and, of course, App State. The area also provides endless options when it comes to getting outdoors and staying fit and healthy. To get to the bottom of finding the best places in the area to help you reach your fitness and health goals we consulted with the doctors and staff at ORTHOCAROLINA’S Boone Office at 950 State Farm Rd. as our June experts on Locals Living the Healthy Life, Boone Edition.
Best Places to Walk/Bike/Run in Boone
There’s no better place to get in a daily walk, run, or, ride than the Boone Greenway. The trail is a mixture of paved pathways and well marked dirt/gravel sections that wind through peaceful, shady forests, open meadows, flower fields, and across the New River. There’s also a covered bridge, historic ruins, picnic areas, and resting benches along the way. There are several different access points to the greenway around town and several different routes to take depending on how much milage you want to get in. Here’s a look at all the different options. (The trail is also fully accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.)
The Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park is a cyclists dream with eight miles of trails spread throughout five routes that vary in difficulty and terrain. Additionally, there are four different skills areas that allow bikers of all levels to work on their riding techniques. There is no admission to the park and it is open from dawn to dusk.
Best Places to Walk Your Dog in Boone
Not only is the Boone Greenway Trail a great place to get in your daily walk or run, but it’s also the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll with your favorite doggo. The trail runs from one end of Boone all the way to the other, so you can walk as far, or as little, as you want. (Dogs must be on a leash at all times on the greenway.)
For an off-leash option visit the three-acre Watauga Humane Society’s Arko Park where pups can run free, splash around in doggie pools, and play fetch to their heart’s content. As a safety precaution there are separated parks designated to keep smaller and larger breeds apart. The park is open daily from dawn til dusk and does require a membership. A day pass can be purchased for $10 and a yearly pass for $85.
Most Underrated or Unknown Exercise Options in Boone
Reach new heights and try something new at Center 45 Climbing & Fitness, an indoor climbing gym with 2,000 sq. ft. of bouldering terrain. Visitors can test their climbing skills, strength, and agility making their way up the center’s 14 ft. walls. Leery of heights? There’s also a fitness area with free weights to use, a bench-press, tread mill, stationary bike, rope climbing, gymnastic rings, and medicine balls. A day pass is $14 and monthly memberships start at $69.
Best Free or Almost Free Fitness in the Area
Explore the 47-acre Price Lake by kayak for only $10 through Price Lake Boat Rentals. You’ll enjoy the serene surroundings and peacefulness of the lake so much that you’ll completely forget how hard of an arm workout it is. (Canoes can also be rented for $15 per hour.) Afterwards check out the 2.3-mile hiking trail that goes along the perimeter of the lake for a leg workout.
Best Nearby Outdoor Activities for Families
Get some adrenaline pumping while taking on some of WNC’s best whitewater rapids with one of Boone’s most popular rafting companies, Wahoo’s Adventures. The company offers three different rafting options, including a trip down the Watauga River, Nolichucky River, and Wilson Creek, which is the most extreme with Class 5 rapids. Trips range in price from $41 to $125. If you want to do something that’s a little less adventurous — or have little ones in tow — Wahoo’s Adventures also offers tubing, canoeing, and kayaking trips.
For a family-friendly day at the park head over to Boone Jaycee Park, where you’ll find playground equipment, swing sets, sand boxes, and a variety of play stations that are perfect for children of all ages. To make an entire day of it pack a lunch and enjoy it at the park’s picnic area.
Best Nearby Outdoor Activities for Dates
Skip your typical dinner date for something a little more exciting at Hawksnest Zipline, where you can take in some of the best panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains while soaring through the air at 50 mph. Hawksnest boasts 20 different ziplines with some reaching as high as 200 ft. and as long as four miles. Tours start at $70 per person.
Best Neighborhood Studios in Boone
High Country Yoga offers a wide array of classes that range from deep stretch and restorative yoga to heated vinyasa flow and Mat Pilates. All classes typically last between 45 to 90 minutes and are designed to accommodate all skill levels, giving everyone the opportunity to try each of the classes without feeling overwhelmed. They also offer outdoor yoga classes, workshops, and retreats. New students can take their first class at the studio for $5.
Consider becoming a member at the Deer Valley Athletic Club for the ultimate gym experience in Boone. Members of the club have access to a newly remodeled 3,000 sq. ft. fitness center that’s outfitted with the latest cardio and weightlifting equipment, basketball and racquetball courts, both an indoor and outdoor pool, six outdoor tennis courts, and a long list of group exercise classes. As an added perk, Deer Valley also offers childcare for members while they workout during the week.
Best Vegetarian/Vegan/Juice Restaurant in Boone
Kindly Kitchen’s main goal is to serve only the freshest, locally available food to diners. Everything on the menu is made in-house and is plant-based, gluten free, and sugar free. The menu — which is heavy on the salads —changes daily to keep up with serving only what’s in season, so there’s always something new to try.
Stop by Juice Boone for a delicious and healthy cold pressed juice. There, they press small-batch juices daily and serve delicious options like Morning Matcha and Mocha Latte. Along with the large selection of juices, the store also serves a variety of smoothies, superfood smoothie bowls, and salads. You can also stock up on alkaline water and kombucha at Juice Boone.
Best Place to Eat After Your Workout
Post-workout drop into Coyote Kitchen where you’ll find an impressive menu full of healthy options that range from hearty, gourmet salads and tofu bowls packed to the brim with fresh veggies to vegan burgers and tempeh. Coyote Kitchen also offers a variety of gluten free options.
Best Neighborhood Outdoor/Athletic Store to Buy Your Gear in Boone
Footsloggers Outdoor and Travel Outfitters has been a mainstay in the Boone and Blowing Rock areas since its opening 1971. With everything from top-of-the-line hiking boots and camping tents to climbing and backpacking gear, they are the go-to source for any thing you may need to strike out on your next outdoor adventure.
Now that you’ve seen our list of bests, we’d love to hear about the ways you stay fit, active, and healthy in Boone. Leave a comment with your favorite places to get active or grab a healthy meal.
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