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.

 
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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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 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 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 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 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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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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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 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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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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