Asheville hiking trails: our favorite hikes in western North Carolina

From tumbling waterfalls to towering mountains, hike Asheville’s most popular trails throughout western North Carolina. From waterfall hikes on the Blue Ridge Parkway to towering summits at Linville Gorge, and from grassy mountaintops on the Appalachian Trail to the ultra-scenic, waterfall-packed DuPont State Forest, these great hikes near Asheville top lists of favorites.

 
Looking Glass Rock Trail near Brevard, NC

Looking Glass Rock Trail

Hike the Looking Glass Rock Trail to an iconic, domed mountaintop near Brevard, NC, catching incredible, lofty views from the steep-sided, summit.

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Skinny Dip Falls Trail: top waterfall hikes near Asheville, NC

Skinny Dip Falls: Blue Ridge Parkway waterfall hike

Hike the Skinny Dip Falls Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville to a set of beautiful, cascading waterfalls. It’s a fantastic summertime hike, and family-friendly, too, at just under 1 mile.

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Moore Cove Falls Trail: top waterfall hikes near Brevard, NC

Moore Cove Falls: waterfall hiking near Brevard, NC

Hike the Moore Cove Falls Trail to a towering, 50-foot free-falling waterfall set in a scenic creek valley filled with fern and rhododendron. It’s a beautiful, moderate, one-mile hike, and located in the Pisgah National Forest just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Linville Falls Trail: hiking Linville Gorge waterfalls near the Blue Ridge Parkway

Linville Falls Trail at Linville Gorge

Hike to epic views of Linville Gorge’s enormous waterfalls on this Linville Falls Trail two miler. It’s north of Asheville, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway – and easily one of North Carolina’s best waterfall hikes.

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Hike to Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain on the Art Loeb Trail, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, NC

Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain loop: hiking the Art Loeb & Ivestor Gap Trails

Hike this double-summit, ultra-scenic five mile loop on the Art Loeb and Ivestor Gap trails, summiting Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain. It’s a sun-drenched, blueberry and blackberry-filled adventure over two bald mountains to some incredible views.

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Hawksbill Trail at Linville Gorge: hiking Hawksbill Mountain

Hawksbill Mountain Trail at Linville Gorge

Hike the Hawksbill Trail at Linville Gorge in western NC, scaling the mountain’s craggy, jagged summit to outstanding mountaintop views and spectacular sunrises.

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Table Rock Mountain Trail at Linville Gorge

Table Rock Trail: hiking Linville Gorge in western North Carolina

Hike the Table Rock Mountain Trail to breathtaking panoramic views from a soaring summit in North Carolina’s Linville Gorge.

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Shortoff Mountain Trail: hiking Linville Gorge near Lake James

Shortoff Mountain Trail: hiking Linville Gorge

Hike to the summit of Shortoff Mountain, scoring gorgeous views of nearby Lake James and carving across the view-packed southern rim of Linville Gorge.

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Hike the Catawba Falls Trail to beautiful waterfalls on the Catawba River east of Asheville

Catawba Falls Trail

Hike the Catawba Falls Trail east of Asheville, trekking through a mossy, shady forest valley to a beautiful series of waterfalls on the Catawba River.

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Rough Ridge: hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain

Rough Ridge: hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain

Hike the Tanawha Trail to Rough Ridge, a rocky, angular precipice that offers exceptional summit views in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain.

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Hike the Appalachian Trail at Max Patch Mountain to stunning views and endless fields of wildflowers

Max Patch on the Appalachian Trail

Hike the Appalachian Trail at Max Patch, one of North Carolina’s most popular AT hikes, on a grassy, bald mountain that’s covered in wildflowers. Catch a gorgeous sunrise, sunset or afternoon picnic on this moderate two mile loop with stunning 360-degree views and seemingly endless sunshine.

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Hike the Graveyard Fields Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, NC

Graveyard Fields Trail: Blue Ridge Parkway waterfall hiking

Hike the ultra-popular Graveyard Fields Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway to stunning waterfalls, through fields of wildflowers, blackberries and wild blueberries, and to beautiful Pisgah National Forest views.

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Hike the Plunge Basin Trail to Linville Falls, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway

Linville Falls Plunge Basin Trail

Hike the Linville Falls Plunge Basin Trail to stunning waterfall views, trekking to the base of the falls on the floor of Linville Gorge. It’s one of the undisputedly best, most beautiful waterfall trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville.

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Best fall hikes near Asheville, NC: our top 10 favorite trails through autumn leaf color

Best fall hikes near Asheville, NC: our top 10 favorite trails through autumn leaf color

Hike through western North Carolina’s autumn beauty on our top 10 favorite trails to stunning views and the the best fall leaf color near Asheville.

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Appalachian Trail in North Carolina: our favorite hikes

Appalachian Trail in North Carolina: our favorite hikes near Asheville

Hike the Appalachian Trail in western North Carolina, climbing to sun-drenched ridges and angular peaks, meandering rivers, wildflower-covered mountain balds and view-packed historic fire towers.

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Hike the Appalachian Trail from the Roan Highlands to the Overmountain Shelter, a historic red barn at Yellow Mountain Gap

Roan Highlands: Appalachian Trail to the Overmountain Shelter

Hike the Appalachian Trail to stunning views in the Roan Highlands, rolling from Carvers Gap to the Overmountain Shelter, a historic red barn at Yellow Mountain Gap, on this 11 mile adventure.

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Hike the Cloudland Trail at Roan Mountain, climbing to gorgeous views at Roan High Bluff

Roan High Bluff: hiking the Cloudland Trail at Roan Mountain

Hike the Cloudland Trail at Roan Mountain to two overlooks at Roan High Bluff, catching stunning summit views and trailing through a lush, high-elevation forest.

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Our top 10 favorite Blue Ridge Parkway hikes to summit views near Asheville

Asheville Blue Ridge Parkway hikes: our top 10 favorite trails to the best summit views

What a view! Hike our top 10 favorite trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, climbing to some seriously stunning mountaintop views.

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Hike the Beacon Heights Trail to stunning views of Grandfather Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Beacon Heights Trail: hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain

Hike the Beacon Heights Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway to wide panoramic views from two overlooks, climbing through a mossy forest to stunning views of nearby Grandfather Mountain.

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Mount Mitchell: hiking the Old Mitchell Trail and Commissary Trail Loop

Mount Mitchell: hiking the Old Mitchell Trail, Camp Alice Trail and Commissary Trail Loop

Hike the Mount Mitchell High Loop, catching stunning summit views at the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. Explore a rocky, high-elevation forest and sun-drenched fields of wildflowers and wild berries, and a visit small waterfall on a four mile loop.

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Hike the Whiteside Mountain Trail near Highlands, NC to exceptional summit views

Whiteside Mountain Trail

Hike Whiteside Mountain near Highlands, NC, climbing to exceptional summit views from the mountain’s sheer, 750-foot, towering rock walls.

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Hike the Big Laurel Falls Trail to a tumbling waterfall near Franklin, NC.

Big Laurel Falls Trail near Franklin, NC

Hike the Big Laurel Falls Trail to a gorgeous waterfall beneath abundant rhododendron in North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest.

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Hike the Mountains to Sea Trail from Devil's Courthouse to Black Balsam Knob near Asheville, NC

Devils Courthouse: hiking the Mountains to Sea Trail to Black Balsam Knob

Hike the Mountains to Sea Trail to stunning vistas, climbing to lofty views at Devil’s Courthouse and above the Blue Ridge Parkway before hiking to Black Balsam Knob.

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Craggy Gardens Trail: hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway through a rhododendron-filled forest

Craggy Gardens Trail: hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway through a rhododendron-filled forest

Hike the Craggy Gardens Trail, climbing through a beautiful high-elevation forest filled with blooming rhododendron, wild blueberries and wildflowers to stunning summit views.

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Crabtree Falls, North Carolina: Blue Ridge Parkway waterfall hiking

Crabtree Falls, North Carolina: Blue Ridge Parkway waterfall hiking

Hike the Crabtree Falls Trail to one of the most stunning waterfalls off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, NC.

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Hike to The Pinnacle, a towering summit in the Plott Balsam range near Sylva, North Carolina

Pinnacle Park in Sylva, NC: hiking the West Fork Trail to The Pinnacle

Hike the West Fork Trail at Pinnacle Park in Sylva, North Carolina, climbing to exceptional views from The Pinnacle, a high-elevation, knobby summit.

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Grandfather Mountain Profile Trail: hiking to Calloway Peak

Grandfather Mountain Profile Trail: hiking to Calloway Peak

Hike the Grandfather Mountain Profile Trail to Profile View, the famous face-like profile on Grandfather’s mid-elevations, before climbing a rocky, boulder-filled ascent to stunning views from Watauga View and Calloway Peak.

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Shining Rock Mountain: hiking the Ivestor Gap Trail

Shining Rock Mountain: hiking the Ivestor Gap Trail

Explore North Carolina’s Shining Rock Wilderness and the brilliant, white quartz encrusted mountain of Shining Rock on the Ivestor Gap Trail, the easiest route to this beautiful, iconic summit.

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Cold Mountain: hiking the Art Loeb Trail from Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp

Cold Mountain: hiking the Art Loeb Trail from Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp

Hike the Art Loeb Trail from the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp in North Carolina’s Shining Rock Wilderness, climbing to stunning summit views from the Cold Mountain summit.

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Hike the Art Loeb Trail to the brilliant-white Shining Rock summit, rolling elevation over Black Balsam and a line of wildflower-covered, view-packed balds

Hiking to the Shining Rock summit on the Art Loeb Trail

Hike the Art Loeb Trail to the brilliant-white Shining Rock summit, rolling elevation over Black Balsam and a line of wildflower-covered, view-packed balds.

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Hike the Pickens Nose Trail to stunning summit views near Franklin, NC

Pickens Nose Trail

Hike through a dense, beautiful rhododendron forest to exceptional views from the rocky summit of Pickens Nose near Franklin, NC.

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Hike the Appalachian Trail from Carvers Gap to Roan High Knob, visiting the highest-elevation AT shelter on the trail

Roan High Knob: hiking the Appalachian Trail from Carvers Gap

Hike the Appalachian Trail from Carvers Gap at Roan Mountain, climbing through a lush, mossy, fir-filled forest to beautiful views at Roan High Knob.

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Hike the Appalachian Trail in Hot Springs, NC to Lovers Leap on the French Broad River

Appalachian Trail at Hot Springs, NC: hiking to Lovers Leap

Hike the Appalachian Trail through Hot Springs, North Carolina, on the banks of the wide French Broad River, climbing to beautiful views from Lovers Leap.

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Appalachian Trail: hiking Standing Indian Mountain from Deep Gap near Franklin, NC

Standing Indian Mountain: hiking the Appalachian Trail from Deep Gap, NC

Hike the Appalachian Trail to beautiful views at Standing Indian Mountain near Franklin, NC, climbing from Deep Gap and visiting the Standing Indian AT shelter.

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Roan Mountain: hiking the Appalachian Trail to Grassy Ridge Bald

Roan Mountain: hiking the Appalachian Trail to Grassy Ridge Bald

Hike the Appalachian Trail over the rolling Roan Highlands, hiking from Carvers Gap to grassy, wildflower-covered fields and exceptional 360-degree summit views at Round Bald, Jane Bald and Grassy Ridge Bald.

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Linville Falls in Winter: hiking the Linville Falls & Plunge Basin Trails

Linville Falls in winter: hiking the Linville Falls & Plunge Basin Trails

Hike from the winter-access trailhead at Linville Gorge, catching views of the tumbling Linville Falls waterfall from multiple overlooks, and plunging to the base of the gorge on the Plunge Basin Trail.

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Wesser Bald: hiking the Appalachian Trail from Tellico Gap

Wesser Bald: hiking the Appalachian Trail from Tellico Gap

Hike to the Wesser Bald fire tower on the Appalachian Trail from Tellico Gap, climbing to exceptionally beautiful panoramic views near Franklin, NC.

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Siler Bald: hiking the Appalachian Trail from Wayah Gap in NC

Siler Bald: hiking the Appalachian Trail via Wayah Gap

Hike the Appalachian Trail near Franklin, NC to the grassy summit of Siler Bald, and grab some exceptional, 360-degree views.

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Hike the Appalachian Trail in NC to the Albert Mountain fire tower and Mooney Gap

Appalachian Trail: Albert Mountain fire tower to Mooney Gap

Hike the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina, climbing to the Albert Mountain fire tower, hiking through Bearpen Gap and catching stunning views along the Big Butt ridge to Mooney Gap.

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Blue Ridge Parkway hiking trails near Brevard and Asheville, NC

Asheville Trails: Map Search

Find a great hiking or running trail near Asheville! Our western North Carolina trail map highlights our favorite WNC trails and outdoor adventures.

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Asheville Urban Trail: a free tour through Asheville’s history, culture and architecture

Asheville Urban Trail: a free tour through Asheville’s history, culture and architecture

Walk or run the charming streets of Asheville on a free self guided walking tour, exploring Asheville’s history, notable residents, architecture and local art.

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Hike the Appalachian Trail in Winter at Roan Mountain

Roan Mountain: winter hike on the Appalachian Trail in the Roan Highlands

Stunning year-round, the Roan Highlands are exceptionally beautiful during a Winter sunrise. Hike the Appalachian Trail from Carvers Gap to Round Bald, Jane Bald and Grassy Ridge for nearly continuous, exceptional wintertime views.

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Hike the Triple Falls Trail in DuPont State Forest to a trio of beautiful waterfalls

Triple Falls Trail: waterfall hiking at DuPont State Forest, NC

Hike the Triple Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest to a trio of cascading waterfalls on the scenic Little River on a relatively easy, 1 mile, kid-friendly hike.

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Hike DuPont State Forest to visit three spectacular waterfalls: Triple Falls, High Falls and Hooker Falls

DuPont State Forest waterfalls: Three Falls Hike (Triple Falls, High Falls & Hooker Falls)

Hike to five popular, gorgeous DuPont State Forest waterfalls, High Falls, Hooker Falls, and three waterfalls at Triple Falls, on a 4.5 mile, ultra-scenic hike on the Little River.

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Hike to the High Falls waterfall near Cashiers, NC at Lake Glenville

High Falls Trail: waterfall hiking at Lake Glenville near Cashiers, NC

Hike to the stunning High Falls waterfall at Lake Glenville, descending into the West Fork Tuckasegee Gorge on a moderately challenging, 1.4 mile roundtrip through beautiful, lush forest.

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Hike to the Dry Falls waterfall north of Highlands, NC

Dry Falls: Waterfall hiking near Highlands, NC

Hike a short, kid-friendly, quarter-mile trail to Dry Falls, a gorgeous walk-behind waterfall on the Cullasaja River near Highlands. It’s one of North Carolina’s most beautiful and easy-access waterfalls.

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Hike the Deep Gap Trail from Mount Mitchell to Mount Craig and Big Tom Mountain

Mount Mitchell: hiking to Mount Craig on the Deep Gap Trail (aka the Black Mountain Crest Trail)

Hike the Deep Gap Trail at Mount Mitchell State Park, trekking a ridgeline to beautiful views at Mount Craig, the second highest peak east of the Mississippi River, and the neighboring Big Tom Mountain.

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Hike the Mount Mitchell summit and Balsam Nature Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Mount Mitchell Summit and Balsam Nature Trail

Hike to Mt Mitchell’s stunning summit views, and hike the connecting Balsam Nature Trail through gorgeous, lush, high-elevation forest. It’s a view-packed one mile hike off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Mount Mitchell State Park.

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Hike this loop trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Graveyard Fields waterfalls and views from Graveyard Ridge

Graveyard Ridge and Graveyard Fields Loop: hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway

Hike a moderate 6-miler to the ultra-popular Graveyard Fields waterfalls just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and ascend Graveyard Ridge to trek through fields of wildflowers, blueberries and blackberries and catch some stunning views.

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Hike the Craggy Pinnacle Trail to stunning Craggy Gardens views on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Craggy Pinnacle Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Hike the Craggy Pinnacle Trail through exceptionally beautiful forest to views of Craggy Gardens, Craggy Dome and stunning Pisgah National Forest vistas north of Asheville.

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Hike the Art Loeb Trail to Black Balsam Knob's grassy, wildflower-covered summit near the Blue Ridge Parkway

Black Balsam Knob: hiking the Art Loeb Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway

Trek this ultra-popular Blue Ridge Parkway hike to exceptional summit views from Black Balsam Knob, a bald wildflower-covered mountain on the Art Loeb Trail.

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Hike the Big Rock Trail to the Cedar Rock Mountain summit at DuPont State Forest

Cedar Rock Mountain: hiking the Big Rock Trail at DuPont State Forest

Dupont State Recreational Forest is well-loved for its waterfalls, but offers some excellent mountaintop trails, too. Hike the Big Rock Trail to the moss and rock-covered summit of Cedar Rock Mountain to score some beautiful DuPont views.

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Hike the Hooker Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest to a beautiful waterfall & popular swimming hole near Brevard, NC

Hooker Falls Trail: hiking DuPont State Forest waterfalls

Hike the exceptionally short and easy Hooker Falls Trail to an exceptionally beautiful waterfall and swimming hole at DuPont State Recreational Forest near Brevard, NC.

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Hike Stone Mountain NC at Dupont State Forest near Brevard

Stone Mountain Trail: Hiking DuPont State Recreational Forest

Hike to the Stone Mountain summit in Dupont State Forest near Brevard, NC to catch stunning, 180-degree panoramas from a wildflower-stippled mountaintop.

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Looking Glass Falls, near Brevard, is one of North Carolina's most popular waterfalls

Looking Glass Falls – Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC

Catch views of the gorgeous, cascading Looking Glass Falls, a roadside waterfall just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Brevard, NC.

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Hike to the Upper Bearwallow Falls waterfall at Gorges State Park

Bearwallow Falls Trail: waterfall hiking at Gorges State Park

Hike to the Upper Bearwallow Falls at Gorges State Park near Cashiers, NC – a half mile, kid-friendly, relatively easy trail to a beautiful, cascading waterfall.

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Hike the Sam Knob Trail to stunning views near the Blue Ridge Parkway at Black Balsam Knob

Sam Knob Trail: Blue Ridge Parkway hiking to stunning summit views

Hike the Sam Knob Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway, catching sweeping views from the Sam Knob summit and hiking through a wide, wildflower-filled meadow.

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Devil’s Courthouse Trail: Blue Ridge Parkway hiking near Asheville

Devil’s Courthouse Trail: Blue Ridge Parkway hiking near Asheville

Hike the Devil’s Courthouse Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway to stunning mountaintop views from this jagged, rocky, towering mountain with sinister-looking features.

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Hike the Mt Pisgah Trail to panoramic summit views off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville

Mt Pisgah Trail: Blue Ridge Parkway hiking

Hike the Mt Pisgah Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Asheville, trailing through a scenic forest to breathtaking views from the Mt Pisgah summit. It’s a moderately difficult but short climb, and oh-so-worth the effort.

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Hike the Fryingpan Mountain Tower Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Asheville

Fryingpan Mountain Tower: Blue Ridge Parkway hiking near Mt Pisgah

Hike to stunning summit views from a historic steel fire tower just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mt Pisgah on the 1.4 mile (roundtrip) Fryingpan Mountain Tower Trail.

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Hike to Rainbow Falls in NC near Gorges State Park

Rainbow Falls NC: Hiking at Gorges State Park

Hike to a trio of beautiful waterfalls near Gorges State Park including the towering Rainbow Falls, a stunning 150-foot single-drop waterfall that tumbles into a wildflower-filled forest.

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Whitewater Falls: waterfall hike near Cashiers, NC

Whitewater Falls: waterfall hiking near Cashiers, NC

Hike the Whitewater Falls Trail near Cashiers to the stunning, tumbling cascades of the upper Whitewater Falls waterfall on a short, family-friendly trail.

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