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Emerald Outback | Hiking | Land of Oz | Mtn Biking | Packages | Skiing | Sledding | Snowboarding

Emerald Outback 001A visit to the Town of Beech Mountain offers exciting outdoor recreation and mile-high relaxation.

In summer, adventure seekers flock to the Emerald Outback at Beech Mountain, a trail park which features more than eight miles of gorgeous trails near the top of the mountain. Hiking, mountain biking and trail running are prevalent in the Emerald Outback, as well as on several other miles of in-town trails maintained by the parks & recreation department.

Downhill mountain biking trails, complete with lift service, are available during the warmer months at Beech Mountain Resort. Those trails range from beginner to advanced. The most challenging trails at the resort have twice hosted USA Cycling's Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships. The resort's biking operation is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and offers bike rentals and lessons in addition to lift service.

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Families and seniors also covet summer vacations on Beech – hiking to waterfalls, enjoying 100-mile mountain vistas, visiting the animal habitat at nearby Grandfather Mountain and taking in a round of mini-golf in mild temperatures that average in the low to mid 70s.

At the town's Buckeye Recreation Center, activities include indoor & outdoor tennis, volleyball and a state-of-the-art playground. There's also a modern fitness center and indoor basketball. The Buckeye Recreation Area also features an official NC Birding Trail, home to nearly 130 species throughout the four seasons.

Beech-Mountain-GolfIf golf is your game, the manicured fairways of Beech Mountain Club provide some of the most spectacular scenery in Western North Carolina. Golfers can see four states from this ridge-top layout. The club provides the exclusive amenities of a private resort, yet is accessible to most visitors via on-mountain lodging.

Fly anglers enjoy finding hidden trout streams across the mountain, while recreational fishing is available at Buckeye Lake and Coffey Lake, both of which are stocked annually. Coffey Lake also has a paved 1/8-mile trail around the lake that's ideal for walking and jogging.

Ski BeechIn winter, Beech's high elevation and average annual snowfall of 84.6 inches create a snowy wonderland for Beech Mountain Resort, the premier ski and snowboard destination in North Carolina.

Beech Mountain Resort, at 5,506 feet in elevation, is the highest ski area east of the Rocky Mountains. It has a nice variance of open trails that accommodate all levels of skiers, the fastest chairlift in North Carolina, and two terrain parks with regularly updated features that cater to snowboarders.

5506 skybar BeechThe resort is also home to something truly unique in the North Carolina ski industry - a glass roundhouse skybar at the top of the mountain as you exit the chairlift. Named "5,506" after the mountain's signature elevation, the skybar provides indoor food and beverage service, along with a 2,700-square-foot deck outside for relaxing with friends and family. The skybar complex includes heated restrooms, several picnic tables and a Bald Guy Brew mini coffee shop.

Meanwhile, the Town of Beech Mountain operates a free youth sledding hill complete with its own snow gun. The sledding hill is for children 12 and under, and is open daily at no charge, weather permitting.

An emerging activity is snowshoeing on the town's Emerald Outback trails at the mountaintop. The Beech Mountain Parks & Rec Department has snowshoes available for rental at very reasonable rates. There's also an annual snowman building contest, guided winter hikes throughout the season with the Rec Department staff, and a "Totally 80s Retro Ski Weekend" in late February.

Families enjoy winter vacations on and off the slopes. They stroll along the greenway, stop by the gazebo in the park, and visit shops throughout the town.

Recent additions to the ski village at the base of the slopes include: a craft brewery, expanded gift shop with tons of souvenirs, and a Burton Learn-to-Ride Center focusing on snowboard lessons for beginners all the way up to advanced riders. Boarders can also rent top-of-the-line Burton snowboards with the latest technology.

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Beech Skier Jump

 

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