Whether you’re a day-hiker or a thru-hiker, answer the call of the wild along one of hundreds of hiking trails across the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

10 Waterfalls You Want to Find Now

by Mark File

With hundreds of beautiful cascades near Asheville, where do you begin? Here’s a quick sampler to get you started. These 10 locations represent a diverse range of options, so there’s something for everyone. Tallest: Upper Whitewater Falls Walk a … read more

5 Great Hikes to Warm Up Your Winter

by Mark File

Taking a winter hike offers many rewards! First of all, you’ll appreciate the refreshing temperatures as you climb a mountainside. Often, you’ll have the trail all to yourself since there are fewer fellow hikers. In addition, see the best views of … read more

6 Drive-By Waterfalls: A Windshield Tour for All to Enjoy

by Mark File

The Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Asheville are home to thousands of beautiful cascades . While most are in remote areas or require a hike to see, here are half a dozen waterfalls that you can easily enjoy from the road. And they are all free to … read more

A Day Trip to DuPont

by Melissa Stanz

Less than an hour’s drive south of Asheville between Hendersonville and Brevard, drop-dead gorgeous DuPont State Recreational Forest is a wonderful day trip if you enjoy waterfalls, easy trail access, and beautiful scenery—and who doesn’t? Some 84 … read more

An Eden Still Unspoiled

by Janet Moore

There was drama in the mountains of Western North Carolina back in the 1920s and 1930s, and it had nothing to do with prohibition and moonshine. One need only read Serena , Ron Rash’s riveting novel set in the region’s rich timber country (or see the … read more

An Evening with the Elk

by Mark File

A quick trip to the gorgeous Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains offers big rewards. The biggest is getting a close-up view of the majestic elk that weigh up to 900 pounds, making them the largest animals in the park. The large meadows by … read more

Asheville Hiking Guide: The Trail Starts Here

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Thousands of miles of trails twist, meander, dip and climb through the peaks and valleys around Asheville. In this world-class hiking destination, you can take your pick from peaceful hikes along mountain streams and technical scrambles up steep … read more

Doing Pisgah Perfectly

by Mark File

The Pisgah National Forest is home to mile-high peaks, countless waterfalls, rushing rivers, endless trails and rich forests covering a mind-boggling half million acres. This vast preserve reaches north and west of Asheville and includes the first … read more

Going "Wild" in Asheville on the Appalachian Trail

by Lindsey Grossman

Asheville is very fortunate to have the Appalachian Trail -- a 2,200-mile route that runs from Maine to Georgia -- go right through our backyard. Some people summit Kilimanjaro for a cathartic one-with-nature (or man vs. nature) experience; some hike … read more

Great Ideas for First Time Hikers

by Melba Newsome

Asheville is an outdoor lover’s paradise, in large measure because of its many scenic hiking trails. Enthusiasts come from far and wide to explore the Blue Ridge Mountains. However, you don’t have to be a seasoned hiker to enjoy what nature has to … read more

Hike 12,000 Years of History in the Swannanoa Valley

by Susan Dosier

A group of hikers tops a ridge, puffing a bit at the incline. As they straighten and look up, pure blue skies open to sweeping views of the mountains surrounding the Swannanoa Gap. The Swannanoa Rim™ Hiking Series has once again lured serious hikers … read more

Hiking Craggy Gardens

by K.C. Cronin

Even after 14 years of living in Asheville, just a glimpse of the Blue Ridge Mountains casts a spell on me. It looks so far away but ahh…it is not. Just a short drive from downtown and I’ll be at Craggy Gardens (Craggy for short) and a soaring 5,892 … read more

Home of the Highest, Oldest Peaks

by Jack Igelman

The Cherokee called the mountain Tanawha, meaning Great Hawk or Eagle. While that name may be forgotten, no other ridge top near Asheville is so familiar as the lofty silhouette of Grandfather Mountain , the name adopted by early settlers. At its … read more

Mt. Mitchell

by Asheville Insider

At 6,684, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. At its summit you'll find a 360° panoramic view of the surrounding Appalachian landscape, filled with mountains and valleys. Experience the gradual change in plant life as … read more

Super Scenic Picnics with 360-Degree Views

by Mark File

Feed your eyes with spectacular views and your ears with serene sounds of nature with an al fresco meal that you will never forget. Before you head out for a picnic, pick up some seasonal goodies at a tailgate market or the WNC Farmer’s Market (open … read more

The 5 Most Photogenic Hikes on the AT

by K.C. Cronin

The Appalachian Trail (AT) is 2,200 miles long and traverses the mountains of NC on the way to its final destination – Maine. The white blaze of the AT marks entrances into hardwood forests, fields of spring wildflowers and spectacular views of … read more

The Beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway

by Asheville Insider

The seed was planted for a scenic road through the Blue Ridge Mountains when North Carolina geologist Joseph Hyde Pratt proposed a mountain toll roll stretching from Marion, VA, to Tallulah, GA. World War I halted work on the road, but the idea of a … read more

The Ultimate Guide to a Girlfriends Getaway in Asheville

by Shayla Martin

Mastering the perfect girlfriends getaway is a bit of an art. A mix of personalities means that the ideal destination needs to have a range of activities and dining options for everyone. Lucky for you, Asheville has it all! From world-class dining … read more

Wildflower Bloom Schedule

by Asheville Insider

The landscape of the southern Appalachians, the oldest mountains in the world, is rich in biodiversity, offering you an opportunity to discover flora not found anywhere else in the world. In Asheville, seasonal favorites like daffodils, tulips and … read more

Winding Trails, Wildlife and Waterfalls

by Jacqui Castle

The scenery at Chimney Rock State Park possesses a magnetic draw for tourists and locals alike. Over the years, artists, writers and filmmakers taken inspiration from the towering granite monolith and take-your-breath-away rock overhangs and … read more