Asheville Hiking Guide: The Trail Starts Here
Choose Your Own Hiking Adventure in Asheville, N.C.
Thousands of miles of trails twist, meander, dip and climb through the peaks and valleys around Asheville. In this world-class hiking destination, you can take your pick from peaceful hikes along mountain streams and technical scrambles up steep terrain; hikes that are short and sweet and multi-day adventures. Some hikes give you a view into the region’s past, and some just give you views of ridge after ridge of Appalachian mountain beauty.
You could spend a lifetime trekking the wild and well trodden trails of Western North Carolina (many people have!). But if you’ve got a shorter window of time, here are hikes to start with, with selections tailored to your taste in trails.
Top Waterfall Hikes
From towering cascades to tumbling rapids, there are hundreds of waterfalls in the Asheville area. Want to hit the highlights? Start here.
- Bridal Veil Falls Trail
- Catawba Falls Trail (pictured)
- Deep Creek three waterfalls hike: Tom Branch Falls, Indian Creek Falls and Juney Whank Falls
- Douglas Falls Trail
- DuPont State Forest three waterfalls hike: Hooker Falls, High Falls and Triple Falls
- Daniel Ridge Falls Trail
- Graveyard Fields Trail
- Hickory Nut Falls Trail at Chimney Rock State Park
- Moore Cove Falls Trail
- Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls Trail at Gorges State Park
Best Hikes for Great Views
You’ve seen the postcard pictures: now see the real-life unforgettable views from these mountain high points.
- Black Balsam Knob Hike on Art Loeb Trail
- Craggy Gardens Pinnacle Trail
- Deep Gap Trail
- Devil's Courthouse Trail
- Lover’s Leap Trail
- Max Patch Hike
- Mount Mitchell State Park Trails
- Mount Pisgah Trail
- Pinnacle Park Trail
- Roan Mountain Hike on the Appalachian Trail (pictured)
- Sam Knob Trail
Bring a picnic or a kite (or maybe even your bathing suit if the season’s right). These hikes are easy enough (and short enough) for young kids to enjoy.
- Bearwallow Mountain Trail
- Botanical Gardens at Asheville
- Dupont State Forest Trails
- Glassy Mountain Trail
- Graveyard Fields Trails
- Laurel River Trail (pictured)
- Pink Beds Loop Trail
- Rattlesnake Lodge Trail
Quick Hikes Closest to Asheville
Even if your time in Asheville is limited, you can still get out and enjoy one of these close-in trails, all of which can be reached in 25 minutes from downtown.
- Biltmore Estate Trails
- Craven Gap Trail
- Hard Times Loop Trail
- Lookout Mountain Trail
- Lunch Rocks Trail
- Riverside Cemetery
- Wildcat Rock Trail (pictured)
Up for a challenge? You’ve come to the right place. If you’re looking for day-long hikes or even an overnight, try one of these superlative hikes that are a little wilder, steeper and longer than the others. While these hikes are a challenge, you'll be rewarded with great views!
- Appalachian Trail
- Big Butt Trail
- Cold Mountain Trail
- Grandfather Mountain Trail (pictured)
- Graybeard Trail at Montreat
- John Rock Trail
- Little Cataloochee Trail
- Linville Gorge Trails
- Looking Glass Rock Trail
- Trombatore Trail
Photo credits: Top photo by Steve McBride. Catawba Falls photo by Hugo Gutierrez. Roan Mountain, Laurel River Trail, Wildcat Rock Trail and Grandfather Mountain Trail photos by Jason Tarr.