Discover Boone: Trout Lake, A Serene Stroll

February 8, 2017
Trout Lake in North Carolina, Photo Credit: Laura McGarr
Trout Lake in the early phases of Autumn as seen through the branches of the trail.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is suffused with natural wonder and beauty. Offering more than its many overlooks and pastures, the Parkway is also home to Trout Lake, one of my favorite hiking spots, just 15 minutes from the center of Boone.


Surrounded by a mile long trail, the lake offers an opportunity to engage with nature at your own pace. On my hikes, I’ve observed a variety of North Carolina wildlife in their native habitat, ranging from chipmunks and squirrels to geese and heron. I’ve even seen several deer romping around the hills. The trail is pet friendly, making this spot one of my favorite places to bond with my dog, allowing us both to get out in nature and enjoy the mountain air.


I walk the trail as often as I can, typically at least twice a week, with friends or alone. The trail is wide and level, making it an ideal place for people of all ages and abilities to jog, stroll, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, explore by horseback.  There have been many days when I have seen the Appalachian State University track team running in packs along the shore of the lake. Perhaps one of my favorite places on the trail is patch of grass at the bank of the lake where I have delighted in picnics with my friends as we release the tensions of day to day life. It’s an ideal place to lay down a blanket and celebrate the day by doing anything from playing fetch with your pup to flying a kite, taking a nap, reading a novel, or practicing yoga.

Trout Lake in Winter
Frozen beauty on the bank of Trout Lake.

Trout Lake is a place where the seasons are experienced in their entirety. Rhododendrons burst into bloom during the Spring, painting the trail with color and life, while Summer brings lush shades of green and a variety of different birdsong.  My favorite season, Autumn, ignites the trees in shades of red and orange, exhibiting the full spectrum of Fall. Even in the depths of Winter, the lake is a sight to behold. Blankets of snow cover the ground while icicles drip from branches. Regardless of what time of year it is, you’ll feel the embrace of each season as you stroll along the lakeside.


Discovering the habitat of Trout Lake is easy, thanks to a paved parking lot off of Shulls Mills Road on the Blue Ridge Parkway Highway. However, I tend to drive straight from Boone, taking Winkler’s Creek road then continuing straight to Flannery Fork road, which has several pull-off spots directly on the trail.


By staying with us at the Art of Living Retreat Center and Spa, you can explore many of the hidden wonders of the Blue Ridge Parkway, like Trout Lake, that lay tucked away among the ancient mountains, and perhaps discover your own inner peace along the way.

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat , art of living retreat center , blue ridge parkway , hiking , hiking trails , seasons , trout lake

Discover Boone: The Blue Ridge Parkway, Jewel of the National Park System

By Dr. Harrison Graves, MD
December 14, 2016

In this series, we’ll explore the sights, sounds and surroundings of this beautiful area we call home – Boone, North Carolina. We’ll discover waterfalls, hidden byways and highways and some spectacular vistas along the way. Our first post comes from Dr. Harrison Graves, photographer, teacher and local resident. – the Editor


img_8870/blue ridge parkway

Take a journey with me high atop the Blue Ridge Parkway, with fall colors in peak season.

Outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities make the Blue Ridge Parkway one of the most visited sections of the National Park System.


Pass by split-rail fences, old farmsteads,  mountain meadows and scenic overlooks with endless vistas.

To start your video tour, click here:


America’s Favorite Drive

Often called  “America’s Favorite Drive,” the Parkway offers:

  • 469 miles connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah  National Park in Virginia
  • Stunning views, abundant trails, picnic areas, campsites and interpretative exhibits
  • Recreational opportunities for all ages and abilities, from hiking to canoeing to photography

Come stay with us at the Art of Living Retreat Center and Spa. While you’re here, discover the secrets of the Blue Ridge, via the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living retreat center , blue ridge parkway , fall , fall colors , harrison graves md , sri sri ravi shankar , video blog , yoga retreat

Learn more about our 2018 retreats and offerings!


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