North Carolina Hiking & Running Trails: 0-2 Miles

Looking for a quick hike? These North Carolina hiking and running trails travel are short on distance, but long on adventure, trailing to beautiful waterfalls and mountain summits.

 
Hike to Black Balsam Knob, catching stunning views from a grassy mountaintop on the Art Loeb Trail near Asheville, NC

Black Balsam Knob on the Art Loeb Trail

Hike to the view-packed Black Balsam Knob summit on the Art Loeb Trail, exploring a grassy, wildflower-covered mountain with 360-degree vistas, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Asheville.

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Beacon Heights Trail: hiking to Grandfather Mountain views off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone, NC

Beacon Heights Trail at 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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Rough Ridge Trail: hiking the Tanahwha Trail at Grandfather Mountain near Boone, NC

Rough Ridge: hiking the Tanahwha Trail at Grandfather Mountain

Hike the Tanawha Trail at Rough Ridge, a rocky, angular precipice that offers exceptional summit views of Grandfather Mountain and the Linn Cove Viaduct, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone, NC.

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Hooker Falls: hike to a waterfall and swimming hole in DuPont State Forest in western NC

Hooker Falls at DuPont State Forest

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

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

Hike to the mossy, rocky summit of Cedar Rock Mountain on the Big Rock Trail, scoring some beautiful summit views into North Carolina’s DuPont State Recreational Forest.

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Triple Falls NC: hiking DuPont State Forest to a trio of tumbling waterfalls

Triple Falls Trail at DuPont State Forest, NC

Hike the Triple Falls Trail at North Carolina’s DuPont State Forest to a trio of cascading waterfalls on the scenic Little River.

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Hike to Upper Bearwallow Falls waterfall at Gorges State Park in western NC

Bearwallow Falls Trail at Gorges State Park

Hike to Upper Bearwallow Falls at Gorges State Park near Cashiers, NC, a half mile, kid-friendly hike to a beautiful, cascading waterfall.

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

Pickens Nose Trail

Hike the Pickens Nose Trail through a beautiful rhododendron forest to exceptional views from a craggy summit near the Appalachian Trail and Franklin, NC.

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

Fryingpan Mountain Tower Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Hike the Fryingpan Mountain Tower Trail to stunning summit views from a historic steel fire tower just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville.

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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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Asheville Urban Trail: a free self-guided tour through historic downtown Asheville

Asheville Urban Trail

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

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Visit Looking Glass Falls, a stunning roadside waterfall near the Blue Ridge Parkway in western NC

Looking Glass Falls

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

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

Craggy Gardens Trail

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

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

Craggy Pinnacle Trail at Craggy Gardens

Hike the Craggy Pinnacle Trail through an exceptionally beautiful forest at Craggy Gardens, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, climbing to stunning summit views and abundant blooming Catawba rhododendron.

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Devils Courthouse Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Devil’s Courthouse Trail

Hike the Devils Courthouse Trail to exceptional views from the summit of this jagged, rocky, towering mountain. The mountain’s views are easily some of the best off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville.

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Hike to the Dry Falls waterfall north of Highlands, NC

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

High Falls Trail near Cashiers, NC at Lake Glenville

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 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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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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Whitewater Falls NC: waterfall hiking near Cashiers

Whitewater Falls near Cashiers, NC

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

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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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Let’s hit the trail, Asheville!   #ashevilletrails

Western North Carolina's beauty is simply stunning. From Asheville's urban biking and running trails to the curvy meanders of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and from the towering heights of Mount Mitchell to the shady, cool, waterfall-filled valleys of the Pisgah National Forest, there's a whole lot of outdoor beauty to be seen in Western NC.

Snap a selfie from a hike to your favorite mountain summit, a group shot of your favorite hiking buddies, or a morning sunrise from your trail run off the Blue Ridge Parkway... we'd love to see your adventures! Share your photos with us! Tag them #ashevilletrails on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We'll share our favorites, as well as our own favorite shots!