▶ BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
Julian Price Lake
Blue Ridge Parkway’s Hub for Outdoor Recreation
Address: Milepost 297 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Whether you’re looking to hike, canoe, fish, camp, or picnic, this 47-acre lake will not disappoint outdoor enthusiasts or families wanting to relax and enjoy picturesque views from the Parkway.
Just past Moses Cone Manor, enter the Price Park picnic area (milepost 296.4) on your right to enjoy a family picnic at one of the 100 sheltered picnic sites along the lake’s creeks.
Drive .4 miles south of the picnic area to spend a relaxing summer afternoon exploring Price Lake by boat. Canoes and kayaks can be rented by a Parkway concessionaire (milepost 298) just beyond the lake. Boats are available for rental from 10am to 6pm in April and from 8:30am to 7pm from May 3 through Sept. 30. Canoes are $13 per hour and kayaks are $10 per hour plus tax; only cash or checks accepted. Snacks, drinks, firewood for the campground, and lifejackets are also for sale. For more information, call 828-963-2292 or visit the website.
Grab a pole and head to the lake for a chance to catch some trout. Fishing is not permitted from the lake dam or from the footbridge in the Price Lake picnic area. A North Carolina or Virginia fishing license is required for all fisherman.
Hikers can choose from several trails of varying difficulty, including the Price Lake Trail (milepost 297.1), an easy, 2.7 mile loop around the lake. Those up for the challenge can tackle the 5-mile Boone Fork Trail (milepost 296.4) through steams, pastures, large rock out-croppings, and rhododendron filled woods. Scale the top of Green Knob on a moderately strenuous 2.3 mile trail (milepost 295.9) and on clear days enjoy views of Price Lake and Calloway Peak on the horizon. The Tanawha Trail and Mountains-to-Sea Trail also crisscross Price Park, meandering through lush forests and blossoming wildflowers in the spring. The kids don’t want to miss a one mile, brochure-led nature education hike, which begins at the picnic area and is part of a nationwide Kids in Parks initiative to get the young ones outside and on the trails.
Nestled in the woods right down the road from the lake, this spacious campground (milepost 296.9) features 129 tents and 68 RV sites. The campground opens May 9. Reservations can be made by calling 1-877-444-6777. During the summer, the nearby 300-seat amphitheatre also hosts interpretive wildlife programs and is the starting place for ranger led guided walks and evening campfire programs.