Are you a day-hiker or a thru-hiker? No matter how you like to challenge your stamina or flex those muscles, Asheville in North Carolina has a trail for you! Known for its Blue Ridge Mountains, the valley is riddled with natural beauty and some of the finest trails. On your hike, you will pass through stunning landscapes, hop and skip through waterfalls, and gaze at paths lined with colorful wildflowers. There is never a dull moment when you are hiking in the mountains of Asheville. There are long trails, steady climbs, and gentle ones that are suited for people of all ages. If you are feeling adventurous this summer, then check out these best hiking and trekking spots in Asheville, North Carolina.
1. Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower
If you are looking for a short hike, then Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower is the perfect trail for you. Just walk along Blue Ridge Parkway to reach the top of the tower and get panoramic views of Looking Glass Rock, Cold Mountain, and Mt. Pisgah located in Pisgah National Forest. Do note that the top of the tower is locked. However, you can climb just a few flights of stairs to reach an elevated platform and get your views.
Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower
Address: Canton, NC
Website:Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
A hike on Blue Ridge Parkway offers uninterrupted views of the Appalachian diversity. These blue-misted mountains are covered with rolling pastures, cascading waterfalls, and gorges inundated with colorful wildflowers. It is the perfect trail for hikers of all skill levels. While you are on this path, you will be gifted with close-up views of the stunning wilderness. The trail winds through a geologically diverse environment to take you into the heart of nature.
Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour with Guide
Duration: 5 hours
3. Wolf Branch Loop
Located at the base of the mountains, this relatively flat terrain is perfect for beginner hikers who want to explore the North Carolinian environment. Wolf Branch Loop has plenty of green cover, ground pine, and fern-filled woods to keep you company. The nice scenery along the way is just the icing on the cake. This popular trail is suited for people of all stamina levels and ages. So if you want to introduce your kids to the outdoors, then this is an ideal place to start!
Wolf Branch Loop
Address: Avery Creek, NC
4. Hard Times Road Trail
Hard Times Road Trail is a beginner’s trail spanning 12.7 km (7.9 miles) and located in Pisgah National Forest. Rated as moderate with gentle slopes, this dog-friendly path can be accessed all year round. You will especially enjoy the beautiful nature and bubbling streams that keep you company along the way. While it is definitely a great hike to flex those muscles, it can be a tad too easy for an experienced hiker. So if you are looking for a challenge, then you might want to choose another one.
Hard Times Road Trail
Address: Hard times Rd, Avery Creek, NC
Website: Hard Times Road Trail
5. Richmond Hill Park Trail
Scouting out a good hiking spot for our upcoming Rising Stronger Mindfulness and Yoga Retreat in Asheville.Posted by Terrie Elizabeth Reeves on Sunday, 27 October 2019
If you are looking for flat-trail practice before taking on a serious hike, then Richmond Hill Park Trail is the perfect starting point. This is a nice park located inside Asheville, known for its autumn colors and spring wildflowers. The park is beautiful, with deciduous trees lining the single track. While the place has a primary trail system, called Richmond Hills Trails, you can also try some loops if you want to add more miles under your feet. What’s more? There are mountain bike tracks and a golf course here as well to give you more variety.
Richmond Hill Park Trail
Address: 280 Richmond Hill Dr, Asheville, NC
Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)
6. Carolina Mountain Trail
Hit the trails and enjoy the sunshine today! [Photo credit: Ann Merritt]Posted by The North Carolina Arboretum on Sunday, 12 January 2020
Carolina Mountain Trail is 3.5 km (2.2 miles) long and is a moderate hike. This trail passes through all kinds of forests and gives you a wide variety of landscape beauty awash with pine trees, mixed hardwood, and many other native trees. Apart from the verdant greens, you will also hear the gentle bubbling of streams and Wolf Branch cascades to keep you company. It is suitable for all skill levels and a perfect hike for a weekend outdoor session with the family. Dogs are also allowed, provided they are on a leash. You can access this trail all year round. Note that you can enjoy a number of other activities here apart from hiking.
Carolina Mountain Trail
Address: North Carolina Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmstead Way, Asheville, NC
Website: Carolina Mountain Trail
Price: 8 USD
7. Coffee Pot Mountain Loop Trail
Coffee Pot Mountain Loop Trail is a moderate hike 13.3 km (8.3 miles) long. While it is mostly easy, there are some stretches that are slightly harder than the others. But the terrain is generally flat, which makes for a beautiful hike that can be easily completed in four hours. Hikers love this trail for the beautiful wildflowers and a gushing stream that lines the path. If you are hiking in the fall season, you will be amazed to see the riot of autumn colors along the way. No wonder this trail comes highly recommended by locals in Asheville.
Coffee Pot Mountain Loop Trail
Address: 3338 Boylston Hwy Rt 280, Mills River, NC
8. Pine Tree Loop
Pine Tree Loop requires 5 km (3.1 miles) of moderate hiking that gets the heart rate racing every once in a while. The trail is perfect for practice if you want to do more serious hiking in the future. It is suitable for all skill levels and makes for a lovely day activity on the weekend. You and your dog can walk into wooded oblivion on this trail and enjoy nature in its rawest form. Soak up the sights and sounds of the outdoors on this gentle hike that will gift you with splendid views in the end.
Pine Tree Loop
Address: Lake Powhatan Recreation Area, NC
Website: Pine Tree Loop
9. Explorer Loop
Explorer Loop is 7 km (4.4 miles) long and features a thick forest and stunning landscapes. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner hiker or an expert, you will love this trail either way. You can take a brisk walk here or indulge in a leisurely stroll. Explorer Loop is for every skill level. If you want to challenge yourself a little, you can also consider trail running on its undulating slopes. However you go about the hike, it would be great fun for sure.
Address: Avery Creek, NC
Website: Explorer Loop
10. Wolf Knob and Little Hickory Top Loop
Wolf Knob and Little Hickory Top Loop is 15.4 km (9.5 miles) long and is a moderate to difficult hike that will take you through thick forests and elevation gains. This wooded trail is slightly harder than the others and is used by not just hikers but also mountain bikers and trail runners. It can be accessed year-round. With its gentle ascents and descents, you will find plenty of stops where you can catch your breath and enjoy the views.
Wolf Knob and Little Hickory Top Loop
Address: Bent Creek Experimental Forest, Asheville, NC
Explore the wilderness of Asheville
Asheville is a treasure trove of things to do, but its remarkable trails are a true nature’s gift that everyone must explore. The city has plenty of trailheads and hikes suitable for all skill levels. Indeed you must add some of these best hiking and trekking spots in Asheville, North Carolina, to your list of activities.
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