When you think of mountain splendor, you often start fantasizing about hiking through the sweet smelling and unspoiled terrain. Here in the greater Asheville, NC area, including our own sweet town of Saluda (home to our precious Orchard Inn), we are surrounded by the luscious lure of Appalachian glory and the hills often plead to be perused by the seasoned and light hiker, alike. Now that we’re heading slowly heading toward autumn, now is the time to start planning your crisp, leaf-peeping getaway here in the North Carolina Mountains!
For Beginner Hikers or Those Hiking With Children:
- Hatcher Gardens, Spartanburg, SC: Come enjoy the paved paths that meander through peaceful gardens and stroll among the trees with the kids. Located at 820 John B. White Sr. Blvd., the gardens are open year round and the admission is FREE!!! Be sure to leave Fido at home as pets are not allowed in the gardens.
For Moderate Hikers:
- Triple Falls Loop: This three and a half mile hike is seated in the beautiful Pisgah Forest. It only increases in elevation 485 feet, so there isn’t a large vertical incline and therefore it’s rather family friendly. Dogs are welcome to join their families as you take in the spectacular views of High Falls. As always, be sure to use extreme caution when hiking, especially when around rocks and water. To get there, go through downtown Hendersonville, NC on the main street and then go west on Kanuga Road. At Dupont Road, turn left and there parking lot is on the right.
For Hikers Who Appreciate Challenging or Difficult Trails:
- Rainbow Falls, Cleveland, SC: This 2.5 mile hike covers an incline of 1200 feet and is surrounded by waterfalls, rocks, and foliage. This trail isn’t for the novice hiker and all pets must be kept on a leash. The trail to Rainbow Falls is in the Jones Gap State Park and there is a $2 fee for all adult hikers. There are many beautiful spots to stop and enjoy a packed lunch and just breathe the clean, mountain air. This trail can be accessed from both SC and NC.
For Extreme Hikers:
- Douglas Falls Trail, Barnardsville, NC: This is for experienced hikers only! For those of you who love strenuous hiking, this is for you! This 6 mile hike covers 1300 feet in elevation. The path is often rugged and the rocks are slick. However, the views of Douglas Falls and unspoiled nature are spectacular!
Of course, always be sure not to try something over your hiking ability. The point of enjoying the great outdoors is just that… ENJOYING! It’s always good to test one’s ability and push one’s standards, but that out in the open wild is not always the best place to do that. Always practice smart hiking habits and be sure that you never hike alone. If you’re curious about the difficulty of a specific, you can always use this handy hike difficulty calculator to make sure you’re staying within practical hiking parameters.
When you are planning your hiking excursion to the Asheville, NC area, contact us at Orchard Inn for your accommodations. We would love to hear of your adventures…and can offer some tips on beautiful hiking spots nearby.