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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

Asheville Botanical Gardens Trails

by Joanne O'Sullivan

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 5-mile loop trail that highlights 600 species of plants native to the Southern Appalachians. Reflecting … read more

Biltmore Rear View in Fall

Biltmore Estate Trails

by Joanne O'Sullivan

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 of the French Broad River and along the … read more

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls Hike

by Joanne O'Sullivan

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 easy, scenic stroll through the woods. With plenty of exposed rock … read more

Catawba Falls

Catawba Falls Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

While they’re just as beautiful as other waterfalls in the region, the two cascades of Catawba Falls (with 100 and 50-feet drops respectively) aren’t as well known as those further west. During this gentle hike (with only a few moderate … read more

Obamas Hiking Craven Gap

Craven Gap Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

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 from downtown. It’s an easy enough hike … read more

Hard Times Loop Hike

Hard Times Loop Trail

by Danny Bernstein

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 as a glimpse of the magnificent  Biltmore House . From the trailhead, … read more

Hooker Falls in Fall

Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and High Falls Hike

by Joanne O'Sullivan

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 waterfalls with a (mostly) easy hike to Hooker Falls, Triple … read more

Hiking Trail: Laurel River

Laurel River Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

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 and wear your swimsuit if it’s summer. There are many … read more

Max Patch Sunrise

Max Patch Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

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 nineteenth century), it’s certainly naturally … read more

Moore Cove Falls

Moore Cove Falls Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

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 50-foot plunge waterfall over a dramatic rock ledge. Kids … read more