We are back from our Fall Family Trip to North Carolina – we had a fantastic time. One of the main activities that we planned for our trip was hiking. We made sure to do at least a couple of hikes every day. Some of the hikes were leisurely strolls through the mountains, others were more intense – like the bouldering we did at Hebron Rock Colony in Boone. Bouldering is Eben’s favorite type of rock climbing and I have to admit it is very high on my list.
Hebron Rock Colony is the perfect place to take active children since it is great for crawling, jumping and climbing. Hebron Rock Colony offers a long slope of giant boulders embedded in the river – this creates numerous small waterfalls and swimming holes. [It was definitely too cold to swim on this trip.] Hebron Rock Colony is well off the beaten path, it isn’t a hike that tourists know about – so you most likely will not see that many people there. When we went we were the only people there the entire day – it was great!
We didn’t realize this hike was going to be as intense as it was, it was a little tough to maneuver with Noodles [our Pug] and my camera. Note: Noodles loves to hike, however she did NOT appreciate this hike – she had a look of horror [above] on her face the entire time and we had to carry her for most of it.
If you are an active family with children old enough to climb on their own, this would be the perfect bouldering hike for you. It is a little dangerous, so I wouldn’t recommend very young children, elderly folks or anyone who doesn’t have at least a small amount of hiking experience. Also, make sure to wear excellent hiking boots with great traction – you will need it.
How to get there:
Take Highway 105 from Boone and turn left at Hound Ears Club on Shull’s Mill Road. You will see a fantastic old church on the left, take a right on Old Turnpike Road. Take the gravel road for about 7 minutes, if you are not looking for the trail head you will miss it. Park along the road where it curves sharply to the right. Follow the trail into the woods to the right, it is about a 10 minute walk to the river. 20 feet before the river, you will see a small path cutting up the hill through thick underbrush, it’s a difficult trail along the side of the mountain, in about 10 minutes, you will come out at the boulder field in the river.