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The 4,200 acres of Julian Price Park (Milepost 297) and the 3,500 acres of Moses H. Cone Memorial Park next door make up the largest developed area of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Julian Price features a lake open to fishing and non-motorized boating, a large picnic grounds, the Parkway's largest campground (below), several trails and ranger programs conducted at a 300-seat amphitheater.
Many people from around Blowing Rock (seven minutes away) and Boone (20 minutes away) consider Julian Price a local park for picnicking, hiking and days on the lake.
Canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the lake, where bank fishing is also allowed.
On the July 2014 Saturday we were there, the picnic grounds parking lot, below left, was crowded late into the afternoon.
The Julian Price campground has 197 campsites on six loops, one of which is on the lake. They include tent and RV sites with and without electricity. Each loop has a centrally located bathroom with flush toilets, and a drinking-water faucet. Like other Parkway campgrounds, many sites can be reserved but several are left for walk-up registration.
Our campsite was on Loop B (below), which is across the road from the lake. Campsites have a tent pad, concrete picnic table, fire ring with grill, and lantern post.
Tent sites on Loop A (below) can be small and close together, but some are on the lake. RV sites are adjacent to Loop A and tend to be larger and consist of a parking site and a grass lawn.
Two of Julian Price's main trails, the Price Lake Trail, a 2.3-mile trial that circles the lake, and the 5-mile Boone Fork Trail, cut through the campground, running right next to many campsites, like the one on Loop A below and our site, where our tent sat a few steps from the trail.
The 13.5-mile Tanawha Trail, which runs under the Linn Cove Viaduct at Grandfather Mountain, ends at the Boone Fork Overlook on Price Lake, as well.
We walked a leg of the Boone Fork Trail Saturday evening based on erroneous information that said Hebron Falls was just a few yards down from the trailhead at the Julian Price picnic grounds. It is actually one-mile moderate hike over a constantly changing trail.
Below is a slideshow of scenes along 1.5 miles of the Boone Fork Trail from the campground's Loop B to Hebron Falls. Below it is video of the scenic Hebron Falls area.
Take our slideshow tour of a portion of the Boone Fork Trail at Julian Price Park. (Controls below photo.)
In addition to Moses Cone (below), which is home to a craft center and several trails, and the Boone / Blowing Rock area, Julian Price is a good base camp for day trips to Linville Falls, Linville Gorge, Wiseman's View, and more.
Julian Price is accessible from U.S. 221 or 321 near Blowing Rock in south Watauga County. The park is approximately where the camping symbol is on the map between the Parkway and N.C. 105.
This fellow below was at the park the Saturday morning we were there.