Hiking

mountains to sea trail

Hiking the mountains of Western North Carolina

With many different access points, we recommend access from the Folk Art Center at mile post 382.0 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. You'll pass Craven Gap, Rattlesnake Lodge and Craggy Gardens before reaching Balsam Gap at mile post 359.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This suggested section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is 21.7 miles long, but you can turn around at any point.

The Folk Art Center is also home to a quarter-mile educational loop with information about the local wildlife and foliage. It's a perfect trail for young children and inquisitive minds.

The entire Mountains-to-Sea Trail will eventually extend from one of the highest points in the North Carolina Mountains, Clingman's Dome, to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Nags Head. Once the trail is completed, it will cover over 900 miles.

Length: 1-17 miles
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy to moderate
Trailhead Elevation: 2,240 feet

Directions from Asheville

  1. Get on US-70 E, or Tunnel Rd.
  2. Get on the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north.
  3. After a quarter mile, the Folk Art Center will be on your left.

Find more hiking trails in the Asheville Area...