BOONE — Boone’s major overlook, Howard’s Knob Park, saw 22 local volunteers spend the morning of June 2 re-establishing the view from the boulder outcropping.

“These views had become obstructed due to invasive weeds and the growing density of tree limbs,” said Eric Woolridge of Destination by Design, which helped organize the effort. “Picnic areas were spruced up and existing trails were improved for safety.”

The work is a precursor to a Howard Knob Master Plan that is being spearheaded by the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority, who is partnering with High Country Recreation and Blue Ridge Conservancy on the project.

A 16-question community survey put out by the planning team for the master plan is available at

The cleanup garnered positive responses from local residents and provided a service for both locals and tourists who visit the park.

“As a family, we were thrilled to be a part of the cleanup. It was great to see all the kids working hard together and having so much fun,” said Abby Willis, who was joined by her husband Lynn and two daughters, Lucy, 12, and Annie, 10. “I was amazed at how much was accomplished in a short amount of time. We got to experience the bigger picture, figuratively and literally.”

The work was done in conjunction with National Trails Day. Destination by Design, High Country Recreation, Blue Ridge Conservancy, Watauga County Parks and Recreation and Stick Boy Bakery took part in the event.

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