The Town of Beech Mountain NC is the highest town east of the Rockies, which means it’s a perfect destination for those seeking mountain fun, whatever the season.
Most people think of a trip to Beech Mountain NC in the winter to Ski Beech, the surrounding resorts, or just to see snow — but more and more people are discovering Beech Mountain North Carolina during the spring and summer months too.
Of course leaf watching in the fall is beautiful and my boys and I enjoyed hiking, as well as the wildly popular Autumn in Oz at the Land of Oz at Beech Mountain.
Beech Mountain NC: Your Guide to Fun in Any Season
Beech Mountain NC: Your Wintertime Guide
Community Sledding Hill at Beech Mountain
Next to the Beech Mtn. visitor’s center, tucked behind a split rail fence is the Beech Mtn. community sledding hill for kids 12 and under. Sledding on the hill is free and open early December through mid-March, but BYOS – Bring your own sled.
If you don’t have a sled, rent one from Beech Meadows Ski Rental (two doors down from the visitors center), or purchase one from Fred’s General Mercantile (short walk).
During our adventure, there were two sides to the hill, one seemed to have more bumps, while the second was a bit smoother. There is a referee who monitors the hill to make sure visitors are adhering to the 12 and under rule and manage crowds if needed. Parents are allowed to go down with their pre-schooler, but otherwise, this is a kid’s domain.
There are clean, warm bathrooms located in the visitor’s center next door. If you are asking ‘does it snow in North Carolina,” don’t worry if there seems to be a lack of the white stuff in the area, the Beech Mountain NC community sledding hill has a snow gun to ensure sledding fun.
More Winter Time Fun in Beech Mountain NC
Beech Mountain North Carolina is also a great place to go snowshoeing and cross country skiing in NC. A well established set of trails called the Emerald Outback give skiers and snowshoers easy, moderate and difficult trails that range from less than a mile to four-and-a-half. You’ll have to bring your own cross country skis, but snowshoes are available at the Buckeye Recreation Center on Beech Mountain for FREE!
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
Beech Mountain Ski Resort has 17 trails and 95 skiable acres, and is just up the mountain from Sugar Mountain ski resort another of the popular North Carolina ski resorts. There are seven lifts including a high-speed quad lift to the top of the mountain. The resort can move over 10,000 skiers per hour!
Beech Mountain Terrain Park. In addition to the slopes, Beech Mountain Ski Resort has recently relocated, enlarged and upgraded its terrain park. It now has a dedicated snowmaking system and lighting system, as well as a surface lift tow just for boarders and skiers in the the terrain park. The terrain park has more features, rails and jumps than in previous years, and these are rotated on a frequent basis to provide a nice variety.
If you don’t know what all that means, join the club. I like to ski North Carolina mountains, not snowboard on them, but you can check out the website for the latest snowboard setup, it all sounds pretty impressive.
Ski Resort Webcam. Most ski resorts in NC have a resortcams, real time video of location. The High Country webcams show real time conditions in the towns and ski areas. Check Beech Mountain weather, and Beech Mountain Resort snow conditions with their resort webcam.
Snow Making. When snow is scare, the resort has 61 ultra high tech snow guns to keep the slopes white. They’ve even added special emphasis on their most difficult run, called White Lightening. But don’t worry if you aren’t a proficient skier, they also have three easy and six intermediate runs.
Follow Our Adventure. Beech Mtn. has some of the best skiing in North Carolina, probably because it is the highest ski area in the Eastern US with a peak elevation of 5,506 ft. It’s also a great place to enjoy some real wintertime fun without having to hop a plane out West. Here is a post on our first adventure skiing Beech Mountain, NC. This posts talks about skiing in NC, Beech Mountain Rentals (including skis equipment and ski clothing), ski lessons, mountain trails and ski sessions.
More NC Ski Resorts. For information on other NC ski resorts, see our post titled North Carolina Ski Resorts: Comparing High Country Resorts.
Off the Slopes at the Beech Mountain Ski Resort
There are several ski resorts in North Carolina, but Beech Mountain Ski Resort is the only one with an Alpine Village that includes shops like Ski Beech Sports and Beech Village Gifts, as well as restaurants, including the Beech Mountain Brewing Company and the View Haus Cafeteria.
The Alpine Village also includes a 7,000 foot ice skating rink, kids 4 and under skate free with a paying adult. And the latest addition for playing in the North Carolina snow is a tubing park, located adjacent to the Alpine Village at the base of the mountain. Here chutes are up to 700 feet long. There are daily sessions lasting an hour and 45 minutes. Riders must be at least 42” tall and this is an activity to do before or after skiing, as no ski boots are allowed.
Beech Mountain NC: Your Spring and Summertime Guide
Although many think of the mountains in North Carolina as a wintertime getaway, more and more folks are heading to Beech Mountain NC in the warmer months, for hiking and mountain biking, as well as the gorgeous views.
The Buckeye Recreations Center on Beech Mountain
Beech Mountain has 30 miles of trails through the beautiful mountains in NC, and the Buckeye Recreation Center on Beech Mountain is a great place to start your warm weather adventure. They offer an affordable daily pass fee schedule, as well as weekly, monthly and yearly passes. This 22,500 square foot Center has indoor tennis, fitness room and classes, indoor basketball court and a foam mat filled room for the little kids.
Outside is an unusual playground built by Beanstalk Builders, the same folks that did the playground and zip line adventure course at Catawba Meadows Park in nearby Morganton NC.
The Center offers special programs throughout the year including free-guided hikes. During summer months, rent a canoe from the Center and paddle around Buckeye Lake, or go fishing. The Center also rents fishing poles, however, you must provide your own bait, but that shouldn’t be too hard to find in the forest. Rumor has it the trout like corn, so maybe pick up a few ears at the Food Lion on your way in.
The Emerald Outback trail system has a seven mile network designed by former National Mountain Bike Series Champion Todd Branham from Long Cane Trails for both hikers and bikers. The trails vary in difficulty and length, from easy to difficult and from under a mile to four-and-a-half miles.
All the trains are at approximately 5,000 feet elevation with a change through the entire system of 450 feet. An old gravel-logging road gives hikers and bikers an easy option to get back to base quickly. Get a map before heading out at the Buckeye Recreation Center or Fred’s General Mercantile.
Buckeye Lake Trails. The last time we visited Beech Mountain, rainy weather kept us from doing too much hiking, but the rain held off long enough for us to do the moderate 1.5 mile Falls Trail loop which starts at the Buckeye Recreation Center. We passed gorgeous waterfalls where families can cool off with a swim during the warm summer months. The trail ended at Buckeye Lake, which is stocked with trout. There is plenty of free parking at the Buckeye Recreations Center trails.
Emerald Outback Biking. For the Emerald Outback trails, there is parking and easy access to the trails in Downtown Beech Mountain, next to the Brick Oven Pizzeria or the EMO Base Lot as it’s called. Another parking lot is the EMO Summit Lot located near the top of the mountain.
Again, weather foiled our attempt to experience the trail, but I read some reviews on a site called Single Tracks that give a decent overview of what you can expect.
Bike Rentals. Don’t have a bike? No problem. You can rent bikes at White Wolf Lodge or Ski Beech Sports at Beech Mountain Resort. Note: If you are bringing your own bikes, be sure they can handle the trails. A front suspension is usually required for mountain trails.
Summertime Festivals at Beech Mountain NC
Summer also brings several popular festivals to Beech Mountain NC. Although I have not been to these festivals (my favorites are in the fall), these weekend events come highly recommended.
Annual Roasting of the Hog
What better way to celebrate American independence than a pig roast cooked by the local fire department. Held the Saturday closest to the Fourth of July, this event is put on the by Town of Beech Mountain, the Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department and the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the BBQ, there is also music, chilren’s activities and of course fireworks.
Crafts on the Green, Beech Mountain NC
This annual event is held the first Saturday in August and highlights craftsman from around the mountain region. There is also food, musical entertainment and children’s activiites, but it’s the shopping that really takes center stage.
Mile High Kite Festival, Beech Mountain NC
This is the one I’d like to see, The Mile High Kite Festival held each Labor Day weekend. There are kite flying demonstrations, contests and free kites for the first 200 children.
Autumn Fun at Beech Mountain NC with Fall Festivals
Fall in Beech Mountain NC is beautiful with the changing leaves. It’s also the time when the town hosts my favorite festivals, the Woolly Worm Festival and Autumn at Oz.
Land of Oz: Beech Mountain NC
Follow the yellow brick road to Beech Mountain and the Autumn at Oz festival. In the 1970’s a Wizard of Oz theme park sat at the top of Beech Mountain. The theme park closed, but it’s memory lives on in this annual fall festival.