Explore Asheville


A Guide to Respectful and Responsible Travel

Asheville is home to endless opportunities for outdoor recreation in scenic public lands, parks and backcountry. As travelers, we all must do our part to protect the places we visit. Being a responsible, respectful traveler is crucial for minimizing negative impacts while maximizing positive contributions we can make to local communities and the environment. Before you travel, plan and be prepared. Learn about the location and destination you are heading to and be familiar with any local regulations and safety needs. Poor planning may result in a bad outing at best and a dangerous situation at worst.

In Asheville, we want to ensure our visitors have the most enjoyable adventure possible. There are steps we can take, especially when recreating outdoors, that ensure a safe but fun experience, by being prepared and getting educated. By following the Know Before You Go checklist, you’ll be fully prepared for a memorable time in the outdoors. We also encourage you to learn about and follow the 7 Outdoor NC Leave No Trace Principles to help preserve the natural beauty of our region and connect with nature like never before.

Being a responsible traveler means making conscious choices about your interactions to minimize your impact on the environment, be respectful of local communities and cultures, and how to have a positive contribution wherever you go.

Here are some tips to help you become a more responsible traveler:

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Discover Our Destination

Explore the unique charm of our region. Discover our communities' history at museums and visitor centers. Enjoy local flavors and cultures through dining and arts. Marvel at the natural environment, flora, fauna, and North Carolina's scenic landscapes.

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Spend Local

Support our local economy by enjoying unique restaurants, tasting fresh produce at farmers' markets, staying in locally owned lodgings, and buying crafts and souvenirs at boutique shops. Your dollars help create jobs for locals.

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Consider Your Environmental Footprint

Find ways to reduce trash and minimize your footprint. Use a reusable water bottle, dispose of trash and recycle. Pick up and dispose of dog poop. Walk or bike instead of driving. Minimize water and energy usage in accommodations. Small changes make a big impact!

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Be Kind in the Community

Let our culture and locals enrich your journey. Connect with people you meet, join community events, and ask about favorite trails and dining spots. Be kind to frontline workers who enhance your experience. A smile goes a long way.

Square Asheville Greenworks Cleanup

Give Back

Voluntourism allows travelers to support local non-profits on environmental or community projects. Become a destination steward by participating in or donating to local conservation or outdoor stewardship organizations during your visit.

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Join the Movement

Explore Asheville is a proud partner of the Outdoor NC Alliance and we’re thrilled to share our commitment to stewardship of our shared outdoor spaces with you. We have joined the Outdoor NC movement to preserve and protect our cherished outdoor spaces for future generations to enjoy.

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Be Prepared for Outdoor Adventures

Asheville is situated in one of the most botanically-diverse areas in the world. As you venture out and explore the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, please travel responsibly and be mindful of your impact on the environment. Review and follow the Outdoor NC Seven Principles of Leave No Trace to ensure that you and future generations can enjoy these mountains for years to come.

Plan Ahead

Before you venture outside, learn about your destination and safety regulations. Be prepared and pack food, water and the right clothes.

Stick to the Trails

Keep to designated trails and durable surfaces to protect trailside plants and avoid erosion. Only camp at existing or designated sites.

Trash your Trash

Pack it in and pack it out. Place all trash in garbage bags and carry it home. Pick up any litter you see along the trails. And, clean up after your pets!

Leave it as You Find it

Asheville is home to an array of plants and wildlife. When exploring, "take only pictures, leave only footprints" to minimize your impact.

Be Careful with Fire

If you want to have a fire, check the regulations beforehand. Before leaving, make sure the fire is completely out and ashes are cold.

Keep Wildlife Wild

Observe creatures from a distance, do not feed animals and keep your food secure in your car or at your camp site. Keep Asheville wild!

Be Considerate of Others

Help ensure that the outdoors is a welcoming space for all! Keep noise levels low, be considerate when passing others and listen to nature.

Asheville Hike Finder

Discover the perfect hike for your next outdoor adventure! The Asheville Hike Finder tool allows you to explore trails by difficulty, length and distance from downtown.

Make it Your Nature

Get up early and go explore the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. As you venture out into the great outdoors, be mindful of your surroundings and leave no trace. Pick up trash you encounter along the way and watch your step around waterfalls. Make it your nature by helping us protect Asheville's public lands and ensure that it's a place for all to enjoy for years to come!

Proud Supporters of

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