Asheville, NC, is undoubtedly a mecca for folks looking to explore the great outdoors. With the city located between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, you will always have the option to discover a new trail or conquer a new peak. Sometimes, though, deciding where to head for the day can be just as daunting as the journey that awaits. To help expedite your decision and get you out the door before sunrise, we’ve created a list of some of our favorite hiking trails near Asheville, NC.
Dupont State Forest
Located near Brevard, NC, Dupont State Forest has nearly 100 miles of trails which are suitable for hiking, biking, and some horseback riding. For a shorter trip, you can hike a little less than a mile to get to Hooker Falls. For those looking for more of a challenge – to go along with even more beautiful scenery – you can start at the Hooker Falls access point and see five different waterfalls, including Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, High Falls, Grassy Creek Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.
Hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway and drive to the Mt. Pisgah parking area at milepost 407.6. This is where you can start your journey to the summit at 5,721 feet. You will travel a total of about three miles to the top of the mountain and back, gaining about 750 feet from the base of the hike until the summit. When you get to the top, you will be able to experience the 360 degree view – a view you won’t want to miss.
Pink Beds Loop Trail
The hike at Pink Beds Loop Trail is a little lengthier at five miles, but it is still only moderate in difficulty with very little elevation gain. Though many of the flowers are not still pink as the name suggests, you will get to see some mountain bogs and pine trees throughout the hike. Begin at the Pink Beds Picnic Area and enjoy a leisurely hike for a couple of hours.
Little Bradley Falls
Try a hike near Saluda, NC, at Little Bradley Falls. This out-and-back hike is about two miles in total and will take you along a stream. Once you get out as far as you can go, enjoy the beauty of the 50-foot waterfall before heading back. Another trail with little elevation change, this is suitable for all hikers.
You want a challenge? Then test your hiking skills at Mt. Mitchell and try to summit the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. In order to get to the top and then back down, you will go over 11 miles and experience more than 3,600 feet of elevation change. Once you get to the top, you will be at 6,684 feet. Soak in the views, and buy a well-deserved snack from the summit concession stand.
These are just a few of our favorite hikes. When you complete these and are looking for more challenges, be sure to seek out other hiking trails near Asheville, NC.
The trails are plentiful, but there is one option that exceeds all others in terms of where to stay. The Orchard Inn, located in Saluda, NC, is the perfect place to kick up your feet after an exhausting hike. Check out all 14 of the rooms, and decide which is best for you.
Photo courtesy Michael Sprague