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.
From towering cascades to tumbling rapids, there are hundreds of waterfalls in the Asheville area. Want to hit the highlights? Start here.
You’ve seen the postcard pictures: now see the real-life unforgettable views from these mountain high points.
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.
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.
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!
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.