Moderate Trails

Longer trails and steady climbs define these hikes, requiring some skill and endurance to complete. Moderate hikes could range anywhere from a few to ten miles with an elevation gain up to 2,000 feet. If you plan to go the distance, take along water and trail snacks to keep a high level of energy.

Bearwallow Mountain

Bearwallow Mountain Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Pack a lunch and pile in the car: Bearwallow Mountain is the perfect picnic hike from Asheville, close enough so that you can be back to town in time for other afternoon activities. With two trail options—a gravel access road and a switchback … 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

Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain Trails

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Local author Charles Frazier made this 6030-foot-high peak in the Great Balsams famous with his 1997 novel of the same name. The 2000 movie version won the hearts of even more fans. Hikers love it too, but it’s not a journey to take lightly. … read more

Couple at Craggy Pinnacle

Craggy Pinnacle Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

A short, easy-to-access hike through a rhododendron thicket brings you to the pinnacle and 360˚views, glorious sunsets or morning mist on the mountains. This close-to-Asheville hike includes a sampler of mountain scenery: long-range views, twisted … 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

Daniel Ridge Falls

Daniel Ridge Loop Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

With so many waterfalls in the Brevard area, Daniel Ridge Falls (a 150-foot cascade on Lanning Branch that’s also called Tom Spring Falls and less frequently, Jackson Falls) is often overlooked. Take advantage of its relative obscurity to have … read more

Foggy Morning at Connemara

Glassy Mountain Trail at the Carl Sandburg Home

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Carl Sandburg, “the People’s Poet” bought his historic home Connemara in 1945. After he died, his wife donated the property to the National Park Service and now this 267-acre National Historic Site preserves his legacy. This … read more

Graveyard Fields in Fall

Graveyard Fields Loop Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Waterfalls, rhododendron, fall color, summer blueberry picking and high-elevation meadows and forests: there’s a reason just about everyone who hikes near Asheville has been to Graveyard Fields. This family-friendly hike off the Blue Ridge … 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, … read more

John Rock

John Rock Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Pisgah National Forest is a world-class hiking destination. Among the 400+ miles of trails in the Pisgah Ranger District (there are two other districts in the 500,000-acre forest, too), the hike to John Rock is a ranger favorite. With forested … read more