Elk Knob to host Great American Backyard Campout

Article Published: May. 6, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Elk Knob to host Great American Backyard Campout

In addition to stunning views, Elk Knob State Park will host the Great American Backyard Campout in June. File photo

Bears, bobcats and campers (oh my!) - Just a few of things you'll find at Elk Knob State Park the weekend of June 26.

If "campers," sounds strange to you, it should. This is only the second time camping has been allowed at Elk Knob. It's all part of the Great American Backyard Campout, a national program the park supports.

"They're trying to introduce people who have never had the opportunity to camp to camping ... to get them out and see how much fun you can have camping," EKSP ranger Kelly Safley said.

She said it's the perfect family activity, because it's all about "working together."

"You have to work together to build a fire, to be able to cook together ... it's togetherness," she said.

And, it's not what you expect here in the High Country.

"Elk Knob is one of only 12 peaks in this area known as amphibolite mountains ... that's a kind of rock that breaks down into what's known as sweet soil," Safley said.

Since the soil isn't acidic, you won't find evergreens and rhododendrons.

"We have different kinds of plant life," she said, including lilies and a flowering plant called "meehania."

EKSP covers the headwaters of the North Fork of the New River and contains a trail going straight up the peak, not to mention lush wildlife like turkeys, deer and bats.

Along with family time, activities planned for the campout include programs from Footsloggers (on camping equipment), bird hikes with the Audubon Society, stargazing, s'mores and a Mast General Store tent demonstration. REI has also donated tents for participants.

The free event is limited to 10 families (aged 6 and older), so register ASAP by calling the park office at (828) 297-7261.

Elk Knob State Park is located at 5564 Meat Camp Road in Todd.

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