Moderate Hiking Trails Near Asheville, N.C.

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 Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Panoramic views make this the perfect picnic hike 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 … 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

Black Balsam Hike on Art Loeb Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

A Blue Ridge Parkway classic, this is a local favorite When you think of views from the Blue Ridge Parkway , chances are these are the kinds of views that come to mind: the unimpeded, long-range vistas from Black Balsam Knob. Surrounded by … read more

Cold Mountain Trails

by Joanne O'Sullivan

A storied peak for ambitious hikers 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 … read more

Craggy Pinnacle Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Peak views here are postcard-perfect 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 … 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

Daniel Ridge Loop Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Mountain streams and mountain bikes 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 … read more

Deep Creek Waterfall Hike

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Three wonderful waterfalls on one Great Smoky Mountains National Park hike Deep Creek is one of the most beloved areas in the Smokies, known for offering the opportunity to see three beautiful waterfalls. Take a 5-mile loop hike to see them all or … read more

Devil's Courthouse Hike on Blue Ridge Parkway

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Intriguing name, spectacular sunsets From the parking area at Devil’s Courthouse Blue Ridge Parkway , you can see your destination above you: an imposing rock outcropping that dares you to climb it. Rise to the challenge: from atop this … read more

Glassy Mountain Trail at the Carl Sandburg Home

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Poetic mountain views at a National Historic Site 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 … read more

Graveyard Fields Loop Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

One of Asheville’s favorite hikes, with something for everyone 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 … 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

John Rock Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

A classic Pisgah hike, plus a simple nature trail for kids 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 … read more

Linville Gorge East Rim Trails

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Something wild for the advanced hiker Called “the Grand Canyon of the East,” Linville Gorge drops 2,000 feet to the Linville River. Part of the nearly 12,000-acre Linville Gorge Wilderness, this is unspoiled country where rock climbers … read more

Little Cataloochee Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Peaceful scenery and dramatic wildlife on this historic Smokies trail For nearly a century, Big and Little Cataloochee valleys in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were home to generations of farming families. Hike past abandoned (but mostly … read more

Lookout Trail Hike in Montreat

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Popular, easily accessible trail with picnic potential If traveling from downtown Asheville, you can be stepping on the Lookout Trail in Montreat in about 25 minutes and, after a brisk hike, stepping off it under an hour later. Rock outcroppings near … read more

Lunch Rocks Trail

by Danny Bernstein

Pack a lunch for this moderate trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway What to Expect This section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) leads from the Folk Art Center to a beautiful view of the Haw Creek valley at Lunch Rocks. After your hike, be sure to … 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

Mount Pisgah Trail

by Danny Bernstein

Hike to the top of Asheville's most recognizable mountain peak Mount Pisgah can be seen from many places throughout the Asheville area. In fact, many of Biltmore's windows perfectly frame this iconic peak. Once you reach the summit, … read more

Old Mitchell Trail

by Danny Bernstein

Visitors to Mount Mitchell State Park can walk in the footsteps of Elisha Mitchell himself, the man credited with discovering the highest peak in the east. This area of the Black Mountains would have been quite wild during Mitchell's treks in … read more

Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Hike

by Joanne O'Sullivan

A hidden-gem waterfall hike in a lush forest The Horsepasture River thunders down a 125-foot drop spraying up a mist that creates rainbows that sparkle in the sunlight. This magical sight can be seen at Rainbow Falls in Gorges State Park , one of the … read more

Roan Mountain Hike on the Appalachian Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Roam the Roan Highlands on this unforgettable section of the AT Considered one of the most scenic areas on the entire Appalachian Trail, this section starting from Carver’s Gap (elevation 5,512) takes you across three spectacular unique grassy … read more

Sam Knob at Black Balsam Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

Hike to views that will make your heart sing An alternative to the popular Black Balsam Knob hike that can be accessed from the same parking lot off the Blue Ridge Parkway , Sam Knob will win your heart with high mountain meadows and long-range … read more

Trombatore Trail

by Joanne O'Sullivan

An introduction to Hickory Nut Gap Steep wooded slopes, mountain creeks, open fields and long-range views: this trail has a little bit of every type of terrain that you'd find in the Hickory Nut Gap area. Since the trail is new (completed in … read more