North Carolina Hiking & Running Trails: Easy

Hit the trail! These North Carolina hikes and run trail to some seriously beautiful sights – but are relatively easy, and are great for families with kids.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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!