Town of Banner Elk, North Carolina

    Outdoor Activities


    Greenway Trail System

    For 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 runs down Shawneehaw Avenue toward the Mill Pond.  From there you cross the 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.

    Town Park

    Tate-Evans Park

    Tate-Evans Park provides a walking trail, two playground areas - one area for smaller children and Fort VonCanon for more active children.   There are wading pools, a volleyball court, picnic tables, and a covered picnic shelter.  Restroom facilities are available from April though September.  The amphitheatre holds the Summer Concert Series each Thursday night beginning in June.  Other festivities are 4th of July celebrations, the annual gathering around the campfire in the park (a final farewell to summer celebration), a Spook-tacular event at Halloween, and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Caroling.  We cannot describe the park without mentioning the birthday parties, reunions, and weddings that regularly occur there.

    Outdoor Activities

    The Town of Banner Elk offers a diverse recreational palette.There are activities for every season of the year, many of which are outdoor activities.  The most valuable attraction is the natural beauty of this area, regardless of the season.  In addition, there are amenities that can be accessed through local area communities, some public and some private.

    Grandfather Mountain State Park is within driving distance.  Fishing, Swimming, Summer Camp, Hiking, and outdoor Camping can be found at Wildcat Lake and Holston Presbyterian Camp.  Biking and Whitewater Rafting can be an enjoyable experience and there is no shortage of businesses to help promote those activities.  Horseback Riding is also available with some of the local stables.  Golfing is available with some private and some public courses.  Skiing and tubing are winter sports and are also available to our area depending on the weather.  Festivals and Arts and Craft events are sprinkled here and there throughout the year.

    Of course all this talk of activity can make one very tired.  If rest and relaxation is what you’re looking for, we have that too.