North Carolina Hiking & Running Trails: Difficult

Hike or run through some seriously beautiful landscapes in western North Carolina, and get a great workout, too! These difficult trails explore some challenging and difficult terrain, but reward the effort with remote wilderness and exceptional views.

Shining Rock Mountain: hiking the Art Loeb Trail from Black Balsam Knob in western NC

Shining Rock Mountain: hiking the Shining Rock Wilderness on the Art Loeb Trail

Hike the Art Loeb Trail to the stunning, brilliant white, quartz-crusted Shining Rock Mountain, catching stunning vistas from Black Balsam Knob and exploring wildflower-covered, view-packed mountain balds in NC’s Shining Rock Wilderness.

Cold Mountain, NC: hike the Art Loeb Trail from the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp

Cold Mountain: hiking the Art Loeb Trail

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

Hike the Grandfather Mountain Profile Trail to stunning summit views at Calloway Peak

Grandfather Mountain Profile Trail: hiking to Calloway Peak

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

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.


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!