Greenway Trail SystemFor those who desire a more challenging walking experience, there is an opportunity on the Greenway Trail System. Banner Elk has approximately 1.1 miles of trails. The trail begins in the park and follows a couple of different paths where they currently end behind the Art Cellar Gallery.
The first path is a little more challenging and leads through The Cottages of Banner Elk subdivision, where it turns left and follows the sidewalk along Banner Road. It then turns right and downhill, runs along the left side of the newly renovated Recreation Center on Lees-McRae’s Campus, and comes to a crossing of the Elk River via a footbridge just below the Mill Pond Dam. This path continues along the Mill Pond Road and crosses Hickory Nut Gap Road in front of the Banner House Museum. Also of noteworthy interest is the access to Hemlock Trail from Mill Pond Road. The length of Hemlock Trail is 3,986 feet or roughly ¾ miles.
The second pathway crosses Shawneehaw Avenue in front of the Banner Elk Consignment Cottage via a wooden staircase. This section, aptly called Pine Needle Hill, traverses a hillside via a boardwalk coming out at Jackson’s Corner. From there you cross Banner Road and access another boardwalk that runs parallel with the Mill Pond where it ends on Hickory Nut Gap Road. The two very different paths connect in front of the Banner House Museum and then travel to another footbridge crossing behind the Art Cellar Gallery. This trail is 1,832 feet or 1/3 of a mile.