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FREE PRINTED TRAVEL GUIDE Travel Guide
December 15, 2014

Travel for Biltmore, gingerbread & artsOrbitz.com editor Jeanenne ... more

December 11, 2014

The weekend's pop-up shops & special sales This weekend, check out ... more

December 04, 2014

Prepare favorite Foodtopian dishes at homeOrder your copy of Farmer & ... more

December 02, 2014

Celebrate Christmas with small town charmHoliday decorations in Black ... more

Outdoor Adventures

The mountains of Western North Carolina are an ideal outdoor travel destination

Outdoor recreation and outdoor adventures are seemingly endless in the Western North Carolina mountains, the outdoor playground of the Southeast. Acclaimed by numerous magazines as a top outdoor adventure destination, visitors enjoy whitewater rafting, mountain biking, hiking, outdoor tours and experiencing the highest mountain peaks in the entire Eastern U.S.

What adventure seekers will find in the Asheville area: natural waterslides, rollercoaster-like mountain bike trails, and stunning vistas that will take your breath away faster than a Ferris wheel. Whether you're into extreme sports or soft adventure, the mountains surrounding Asheville offer endless adventures. Outside magazine consistently ranks Asheville among its top destinations for outdoor recreation and adventures.

  • Hiking Trails

    Asheville is the perfect place to home base your next hiking adventure. Hiking trails in the Asheville area are great for all hiking experience levels, and all boast amazing views and mountain scenery.
  • Great Smoky Mountains

    Chartered by Congress in 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the U.S. Learn more history and find directions to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park here.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway

    Outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities make the Blue Ridge Parkway one of the most popular sections of the National Park System. Named 'America's Favorite Drive,' the 469-mile scenic road celebrated its 75-year anniversary in 2010.
  • Zip Line Canopy Tours

    There are so many ways to explore the WNC mountains. On land you can hike or bike. In the water you can raft or swim. How can you explore the mountain forests by air? With a zip line of course! Harness yourself to an exciting adventure and glide through the canopy like a bird.
  • Scenic Drives

    There's always something around the bend with these scenic drives throughout the Asheville area.
  • Wildlife

    The mountains surrounding the Asheville area are home to one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Countless species of plants and wildlife can be found on mountaintop ridges, along the trails and even in urban settings.
  • Horseback Riding

    Asheville area businesses have plenty to offer horsemen and horsewomen of any skill level. Check these spots for a variety of excursions, horse rentals, trail rides, tack supplies and other services, amenities and events. Be sure to make advance reservations when planning any guided trips.
  • Water Adventures

    Water adventures in the Asheville area range wildly from whitewater rafting to a unique natural waterslide in nearby Transylvania County. Explorers can also expect to find fun swimming holes and beautiful waterfalls.	Western North Carolina is perfect for explorers who don't mind getting wet.
  • Parks

    Explore Asheville's parks, trails and recreation spots with this area map.
  • Stargazing

    There's nothing quite so spell-binding as looking up into a starry sky filled with constellations, distant planets and a golden moon. As a small city, Asheville produces minimal light pollution so you can easily make your move from the excitement of downtown to ponder starry skies in the mountains.
  • Biking

    The mountains of Western North Carolina offer exciting challenges to bikers of every level. Whether you want to quietly pedal along the lanes of our small towns or take your mountain bike over a challenging trail through the Pisgah Mountains, our varied terrain makes it an excellent place to bike.
  • Golf Vacations

    Golfers rave about the Asheville area's magnificent mountains: their scenic beauty, temperate year-round weather and lush fairways. Here is a guide to golf vacations in Western North Carolina.

Outdoor Attractions/Recreation Search

Show Mapped Listings
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Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

  • 1459 Caney Fork Road
  • Marshall, NC 28753
  • Phone: 828-649-3464

Explore the high country on horseback or in a horse-drawn covered wagon, several trails from which to choose. Offering one-, two-, three- or four-hour and all day rides. The big Belgian horses make quite a show. The 200 year old Little Pine Garnet …more

Second Gear - Downtown

  • 15 Walnut St
  • Asheville, NC 28801
  • Phone: (828) 505-8160
  • Region: Downtown

Second Gear is a consignment shop specializing in outdoor gear, clothing, footwear and accessories – used & new. We feature bikes, kayaks, paddling accessories, backpacks, tents, camping supplies, climbing gear, snowboards, disc golf equipment, …more

Sliding Rock – A Natural Water Slide

  • Pisgah National Forest
  • Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
  • Phone: 828-877-3265

This king of swimming holes, located in the mountains of Transylvania County near Asheville, is a 60 foot natural water slide. Ride down a well-worn slab of rock that has been providing summertime entertainment long before water slides became …more

Smoky Mountain Jet Boats

  • 22 Needmore Road
  • Bryson City, NC 28713
  • Phone: 828-488-0522

Hold on to the safety rails as your skilled driver cruises and spins the 11-passenger boat 360 degrees, all against the backdrop of Fontana Lake. Suitable for all ages - no age or weight minimum for the jet boat ride. Combination hike and ride trips …more

Smoky Mountain Trail Rides and Bison Farm

  • 1959 Walnut Creek Road
  • Marshall, NC 28753
  • Phone: (828) 768-9339
  • Region: North

Welcome to Smoky Mountain Trail Rides, located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina only 30 minutes from Asheville, North Carolina. Come and enjoy horseback riding at our peaceful, secluded mountain top setting. We ride to …more

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