Easy Trails

Find gorgeous mountain vistas without breaking a sweat. Suitable for kids and beginner hikers, these trails are typically less than three miles with an elevation gain of only 700 to 800 feet. Short and low-impact trails require limited skill and don’t pose much of a challenge.

Asheville Botanical Gardens Trails

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Meet the locals on this urban trail Just north of downtown, the 10-acre Asheville Botanical Gardens at the University of North Carolina at Asheville is an urban oasis with a shady half-mile loop trail that highlights 600 species of plants native to … read more

Biltmore Estate Trails

by Joanne O'Sullivan

A legendary landscape, a variety of hikes With 8,000 acres of nearly intact Western North Carolina landscape, the grounds at Biltmore are equally as grand as the famed house. The roughly 22 miles of trails here run through meadows with stunning views … read more

Bridal Veil Falls Hike

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Hollywood-worthy waterfalls make for family fun and great picnics Fans of The Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans were introduced to Bridal Veil Falls in Dupont State Forest on the silver screen. Hikers can easily take in the view, too, with this … read more

Catawba Falls Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Catawba Falls is relatively close to downtown Asheville (just 25 miles away) and offers stunning beauty thanks to a series of cascades that, together, are 100 feet tall. The U.S. Forest Service recently has made the easy-to-moderate trail even more … read more

Craven Gap Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

A perfect point of departure from the Parkway With thousands of acres of wilderness close to Asheville, where do you start to explore? For an introduction to the splendor of mountain scenery, try Craven Gap off the Blue Ridge Parkway, just 15 minutes … read more

Hard Times Loop Trail

by Danny Bernstein

Take a hike in the forest just 15 minutes from downtown Asheville What to Expect This gentle trail takes hikers through Bent Creek Experimental Forest and the North Carolina Arboretum , with great views of mountain ridges and Lake Powhatan, as well … read more

Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and High Falls Hike

by Joanne O'Sullivan

One hike, three of the region’s best waterfalls Dupont State Forest is the best place to discover why Brevard and Transylvania County is called “The Land of the Waterfalls.” Get a sampler of some of the area’s wonderful … read more

Laurel River Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Once a rail bed, now an idyllic hike along a mountain creek There’s something about the Laurel River Trail that feels hidden and undiscovered, even if you’re sharing this former rail-bed trail with others. Take a picnic, bring your dog … read more

Max Patch Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Play, picnic or practice yoga on this Appalachian bald Max Patch is a “bald,” the Southern Appalachian name for a hilltop without a single tree. While this mountain isn’t naturally bald (it was cleared for grazing in the … read more

Moore Cove Falls Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Walk behind a magical waterfall on this family-friendly hike This enchanting trail in Pisgah National Forest is an ideal introduction to hiking for families with younger kids. An easy .7 mile trail with wooden bridges, steps and boardwalks ends in a … read more