The Trail goes past the observation area. Enjoy the pleasant, but moderate one-mile hike (with about a 450-foot elevation change) from the parking lot to bottom of Emerald Bay. The trail is fairly wide to accommodate the number of visitors to this popular destination. When at the end of the trail take the Vikingsholm Castle tour available 7 days a week from mid-June until the end of September from 10am to 4pm. All tours are guided and take approximately one-half hour. After you have enjoyed the castle, hike the short trail to Lower Eagle Falls which begins directly across from the castle or relax at Emerald Bay Beach.
Attractions and Considerations : View an authentic replica of a Viking castle which is part of the Emerald Bay State Park. Daily tours are given from mid-June through Labor Day. A nominal fee is charged. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the fabulous view of Emerald Bay and Fannette Island from the shoreline. Pets are not allowed.
Elevation: 6230′ / 6630′
Mileage (one way): 1 mile
This beautiful one mile trail takes moderate exertion making it an easy family hike down to the head of Emerald Bay. Think of the sheer granite face along the trail, views of Fanette Island on the bay, and a gorgeous Viking-style castle to explore at the end of the trail as your rewards for your effort.
The walk down is at an incline while the walk up could wind some a little but it is definitely worth the effort. The scenery is rugged and lovely, the air is clear, and on a sunny day, it's a nice opportunity to take a walk and commune with nature.
PACK A PICNIC
Stretch out a blanket or towel or claim one of the picnic tables along the water and enjoy the spectacular views of Emerald Bay State Park. There are also nearby restrooms.
SIGHTS TO SEE
-VIKINGSHOLM: A 38-room mansion built in 1928 by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight, it's considered to be one the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere. When you consider housing prices today, it's stunning to consider that the lady of the house purchased the property encompassing the head of Emerald Bay and Fannette Island for a mere $250,000.
-FANETTE ISLAND: It's easy to spot the stone structure a top this island. Built during the same time as nearby Vikingsholm, it was the tea house used by the home's owner and her guests.
-OBSERVATION AREA: Whether you stop by before you head down the trail or before you head back to you car, stop by the observation area near the parking lot to take in the view of Emerald Bay, the island and the surrounding pristine beachy coastline.