The Ultimate Guide to the Best Hiking in North Carolina

Your arrival at Orchard Inn is a magical experience. As you drive up the windy Orchard Inn Lane, you are surrounded by towering trees until you reach the inn. Once there, the historic building welcomes you. Inside, visitors find stunning views of the surrounding mountains that beckon you to explore. For those looking to immerse themselves in nature, hiking in North Carolina is an absolute must!

10 of the Best Spots for Hiking Near Asheville, North Carolina

“You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” —  Dr. Seuss

1. Our Nature Trail

You don’t have to go far to enjoy the most scenic hiking in Asheville, North Carolina during your stay at Orchard Inn! We have a nature trail right on our property. We know this trail well; we walk it nearly every morning with our dogs! You are welcome to come along with us or use it at any time during your stay at Orchard Inn. Although it is a short loop, it can be a challenge. You’ll go up and down the mountainside, so prepare yourself!

2. The Mountains to Sea Trail | The Blue Ridge Parkway

Much of the Mountains to Sea Trail close to Asheville is accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Segment 3 is the closest to The Orchard Inn. This section of the trail spans over 67 miles so feel free to make your hike as long or as short as you would like. Additional segments of the course that you might want to access include The Visitor Center Loop and The Folk Art Center to Bull Mountain trail.

3. Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park is well-known for being one of the best hikes in the state. Here, you will find a variety of trails that vary in difficulty. If you’re up for a challenge, we highly recommend the Skyline Trail. This trek is only 20 minutes, but it is categorized as a moderate to strenuous hike due to the number of stairs. Once you reach the top, you’ll have gorgeous views of the park from 2,480 feet up!

4. Craggy Gardens 

When you think about going hiking, one of the best parts is the view from the top. Here in Western North Carolina, there is no shortage of vistas. If you are looking for an astounding 360 view as well as a long-range view, then we suggest heading to Craggy Gardens. While this is a trendy place to go, there are never too many people on the trail at one time to make you feel like you are crowded. This trail is off the Blue Ridge Parkway and is an easy 30-minute hike perfect for adults and kids.

5. Max Patch 

If you’re looking for the most unobstructed views of the mountains, then you will want to hike Max Patch. This unique hiking destination is considered bald because it is too warm for alpine growth and too elevated for other trees to grow. We recommend this spot for those looking for the perfect place to watch the sunset or sunrise

6. Dupont State Forest

The Dupont State Forest is home to nearly 100 miles of trails that are great for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. If you’re looking for a short hike, we recommend heading here to trek to Hooker Falls. If you’re up for more of a challenge, you can continue to see four other waterfalls: Triple Falls, High Falls, Grassy Creek Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.

7. Green River Game Lands

People flock to the Green River Game Lands to see the gorgeous Green River Gorge and Green River. With more than 16 miles of trails to explore, you can spend the entire day traveling through the forest. There is even a zipline over the gorge for thrill-seekers!

8. Pink Beds Loop Trail

The hike at Pink Beds Loop Trail is about five miles long, but it is still only moderate in difficulty with minimal elevation gain. Hikers are treated to views of mountain bogs and pine trees; many of the plants in these bogs are very rare. If you go out of your way a bit, you can even see a waterfall!

9. Pearson Falls

If you were spending a perfect day outdoors in Saluda, we would send you to Pearson Falls. The trailhead is only about 10 minutes away from Orchard Inn, and it’s one of the top spots for both visitors and locals to head to. The hike is only a quarter-mile long, and you get to see a stunning, 90-foot waterfall!

10. Urban Trail in Asheville 

If you are looking for a bit of the city while you walk, one of the best hiking trails near Asheville is the Urban Trail. This is a walking tour of downtown Asheville that will lead you to the cultural sights that make Asheville what it is. The whole trail takes about 2 hours to complete and is well marked throughout Asheville. The Urban Trail starts with Marker 1 and goes up to Marker 30. Be sure to download their map and get a chance to familiarize yourself with it so you can have a great time.

Book Your Getaway Today

Come experience the beauty of Western North Carolina for yourself when you stay at Orchard Inn! Because we are in Saluda’s mountains, we are near some of the best hiking in North Carolina. If these options aren’t enough for you, we are always happy to recommend some others during your stay! Browse our accommodations to start planning your visit.

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