7 Best Things To Do In Montreat, North Carolina: Hike & Explore - Updated 2023

things to do in montreat north carolina
| 4 min read

Pull on your hiking boots and fasten the straps of your backpack: Montreat is a hiker’s paradise. Don’t miss the Glassmine Falls, an 800-foot (244-meter) marvel cascading down from the mountain peaks. With a population of only 723, this tiny town is a good place to stay as a “base camp”, as you explore the surrounding area.

1. Appreciate the beautiful scenery of Lake Susan

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Located in Montreat’s town center, Lake Susan is a beautiful lake surrounded by historic stone buildings. This wonderful lake offers a soothing place for visitors to sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. The lake features five tennis courts for sports fans and a playground for the little kids. There is also paddle boating, canoeing, and fishing available on the lake.

There are also a number of hiking and walking trails nearby that lead visitors through beautiful wooded scenery that eventually reveals a beautiful view of the mountain.

Lake Susan

Address: Montreat, NC 28757, USA

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2. Presbyterian Heritage Center

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

PHC Exhibits Changing - Colonial Pulpit Late winter has seen PHC exhibits dismantled and the start of 2015 exhibits...

Posted by Presbyterian Heritage Center at Montreat on Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Presbyterian Heritage Center is a non-profit educational center that acts like a museum that showcases the history and heritage of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches as well as the history of Montreat. Some of the things the museum features include 30,000 books and a large number of microfilms, microfiche, and digitized materials. The museum has a total of six exhibits that regularly change every 6-14 months.

The museum also hosts special events that further encourage visitors to check out the museum’s exhibits so do check out the museum’s website and Facebook page to keep yourself updated.

Presbyterian Heritage Center

Address: 318 Georgia Terrace, Montreat, NC 28757, United States

Website: Presbyterian Heritage Center

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 4pm; Sat: 1pm - 4pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

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3. Explore the Great Craggy Mountains

Craggy Gardens rhododendron blooms taken during my Spring in the Highlands Photography Workshop. If you'd like to...

Posted by Dave Allen Photography on Thursday, 16 March 2017

Montreat is located in the heart of the Great Craggy Mountains, just one of North Carolina’s impressive mountain ranges. The trees taper off in the upper reaches of the mountain range, revealing incredibly impressive views of the mountain peaks.

Take a ten-minute drive down NC-9/S Montreat Road to Black Mountain, and you’ll encounter the Craggy Gardens visitor center, open from 9AM-5PM from Memorial Day through October (weather permitting). The visitor center will be able to offer you a map of area hiking trails and give you some tips on trail difficulty.

One of the most popular trails in this area is called the “Craggy Pinnacle.” It’s just a 1.5 mile (2.4 kilometer) trail, round-trip, but it offers incredible views of the mountain peaks - plus, you’ll walk through a stunning “tunnel” of rhododendron flowers on your way up. If you’re a more experienced hiker looking for a challenge, check out some of the longer trails designed for backpacking and overnight trips.

The roads leading to the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center are often treacherous in winter weather, so check the forecast before heading out!

Craggy Gardens Visitor Center

Address: Pisgah National Forest, 364 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Black Mountain, NC 28711

Website: Craggy Gardens Visitor Center

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4. Take in the view of the Glassmine Falls

Glassmine Falls is an 800-foot (244-meter) waterfall, cascading down from the Great Craggy Mountains. You’ll want to stop and see this natural wonder. As it disappears into the trees below, you might notice a rainbow over the thin ribbon of water. The waterfall is at its most impressive after heavy rains, so you’re in luck if you’re visiting during the spring.

To view the incredible Glassmine Falls, you’ll need to take a twenty-minute trek down I-40 W from Montreat to Asheville. Pull off the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Glassmine Falls overlook, where you can view the waterfall. The outlook offers a short trail that leads to a higher peak, where you’ll be able to see the waterfall as well as an impressive view of the surrounding mountains.

Glassmine Falls is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a beautiful stretch of North Carolina highway which showcases the natural wonders of this area. If you keep driving, you’ll be able to view a dozen more waterfalls, as well as beautiful overlooks of the mountains. The speed limit is 35-45 MPH (56-72 KPH) all down the stretch so that you can drive slowly and take in the sights.

Glassmine Falls

Address: Milepost 361.2, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville,NC

Website: Glassmine Falls Overlook

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5. Take a trek down Greybeard Trail

Posted by Ryan Kane on Saturday, 1 April 2017

Located right in Montreat, in the Pisgah National Forest, Greybeard Trail is a challenging trail best traversed by those who have some hiking experience. The National Parks Service recommends that the trail only be hiked from March until October. The trail is 9.2 miles (15 kilometers) long, and you’ll encounter a waterfall and incredible views of the mountains along the way.

Without long breaks, you should be able to hike to the top in two hours and hike back in another two. The waterfall is located halfway through the hike, with many hikers choosing to walk to the waterfall and turn back at the halfway point. The elevation changes quite steeply throughout the hike, with the last third of the trail being a steep, rocky uphill climb. Be prepared and bring proper footwear and hydration.

Feel free to bring a canine hiking partner, but all dogs must remain leashed on the trail.

Greybeard Trail

Address: Greybeard Trail, Black Mountain, NC 28711

Website: Greybeard Trail

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6. Play at Robert Lake Park

Wow! It is a lot of water! Raging creek in Montreat Conference Center's Robert Lake Park. Hoping for sunshine soon :-)

Posted by Lynn Tuggle Gilliland on Sunday, 5 May 2013

From the stone gates of Montreat, you can simply walk down the Gate Trail which leads into Robert Lake Park - or drive to the park, conveniently located within Montreat.

At Robert Lake Park, you can enjoy walking trails, wade in the creek that winds throughout the park, or enjoy the children’s play areas and picnic tables. The creek is the main attraction, winding underneath bridges and through the landscape of the park.

Visitors have praised the park’s cleanliness, meticulous landscaping, and beautiful location. According to regulars, it is a great place to unwind and connect with nature.

Robert Lake Park

Address: 317 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC

Website: Robert Lake Park

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7. Taste German cuisine at Berliner Kindl German Restaurant

Posted by Berliner Kindl German Restaurant on Monday, 23 April 2012

Located in Black Mountain, Berliner Kindl German Restaurant offers unique German dishes. If you’re a foodie, an adventurous eater, or just want to try something different, Berliner Kindl is for you!

On the menu, you’ll find favorites such as bratwurst, schnitzel, jager schnitzel, and kassler rippchen. The restaurant also offers a bar with a selection of German beers.

When you’ve finished your meal, stop by the deli next door to view the selection of German cookies, cakes, spices, vinegar, and other items that you can purchase and take home to create your own German food adventure.

Berliner Kindl German Restaurant

Address: 121 Broadway, Black Mountain NC

Website: Berliner Kindl German Restaurant

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Relax and connect with nature in Montreat

Waterfall Below Lake Susan in Montreat, NC
Source: Photo by user Zachary Love used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The tiny, quaint town of Montreat is a quiet retreat from bustling city life. Surrounded by the Great Craggy Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest, the views are unmatched. Take a drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway, and you’ll see numerous waterfalls and incredible overlooks of the mountain peaks. Back in Montreat, wind down at Robert Lake State Park or try some German food. If you’re looking for a quiet place to reconnect with nature and yourself, you’ve found it in Montreat.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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A storyteller first and foremost, Hannah has a bachelor's degree in English Creative Writing and a fascination with the written word. Over the past several years, she's gained experience as a...Read more

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