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Buckeye Knob

Land Manager: CCC for Buckeye, CCC owned recreational easements on private property for Barn Boulders

Area rep: Andy Thorsell

Fantastic boulders located just outside of Boone. Comprised of 2 main areas, the upper Buckeye Knob boulders and the lower Barn boulders. Buckeye Knob is more of a back country experience, with a long (30 minutes) approach and a solitary feel. The Barn boulders are close to the road and concentrated in a small, circuit-friendly area.


Put 839 Laurel Branch Rd. Vilas, NC 28692 in your GPS to get you to the vicinity.

From Boone, take 421 North for about 8 miles and then turn left on Walls Road. Take a right on Joe Shoemaker Rd and after 1 mile, turn left onto Silverstone Rd. 0.5 miles later, turn left onto old US 421 and then right on Laurel Branch Rd. Follow Laurel Branch Rd for 0.7 miles and then look for a barn on the right with skis on the side of it. The new CCC parking lot, suitable for 3-4 cars, is located next to this house with skis. Please use this parking lot. Floow the trail up to Barn Boulders (.3 miles) or keep going to Buckeye Knob Boulders (1.2 miles). 

If the small parking lot is full:  There is a steep, one lane paved driveway that goes up a hill just left of the driveway for the barn, take that and then take a right on the first gravel road just about 100 feet up the hill. Stay right at the fork and follow that a short ways to an obvious set of parking spots (go slow, this road is rough in spots). Pull off in one of the spots and please don't block the road / driveway. If the parking area is full, you can park along the side of Laurel Branch Rd with your wheels off the road and not blocking any entrances. You'll see a sign and blue flagging directing you to the trail from the parking area. Follow the trail from the parking area up the valley and then left and over a small ridge. At the next trail intersection, take the left-hand trail and follow two minutes to the Barn boulders. For Buckeye Knob, take the right-hand trail and follow .5 miles to the ridge. Once on the ridge trail, look for a blue-flagged left-hand trail just past the obvious Grantitic Arete Boulder. This blue flagged trail will take you into the Buckeye Knob Boulders. The 1.2 mile Buckeye Knob Trail is under construction as of 2019, thanks to an RTP grant, thanks to many CCC volunteers, and thanks to the Access Fund's Conservation Team. Trail is unfinished but open for use and relatively easy to follow.






What to expect

High quality bouldering on solid stone with problems ranging from V0 to V13. Slabs, overhangs, aretes, cracks, this area has it all. There are a number of classic lines and a concentration of high-quality and diverse problems in the Barn boulders and more spread out and occasionally highball lines on the Knob.

Access notes

  • Please use the outhouse in the parking area
  • Please keep noise down and be respectful of the people who live in the area
  • Please do not approach the boulders from any other way than the mapped trails


Camping is not permitted in any areas except at the backcountry site behind the V9 Boulder and Satellite Boulders. There is a spring near the campsite. A backcountry bouldering camp site is very unique for NC. Please leave no trace and pack out what you pack in. Three day stay maximum.


Purchase Joey Henson's Buckeye Knob map.

Access Partners

We have aquired a Recreational Trails Program grant through the NC State Trails Program to build a sustainable trail and look into other easements at Buckeye Knob. REI has given us a grant to help support the parking lot build. The AMerican Alpine Club funded two biologists to conduct a floristic study of the sepcies found at Buckeye Knob. This link offers a map of all the species the CCC saved through our purchase!

Mobile Friendly Hiking Map: