North Carolina Hiking & Running Trails: Moderate to Difficult

Catch some seriously beautiful sights and a great workout, too! These Asheville-area hikes and runs travel to gorgeous waterfalls and towering mountain summits on moderately difficult trails.

 
Ivestor Gap Trail: hiking to Shining Rock Mountain in western NC

Shining Rock Mountain on the Ivestor Gap Trail

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

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Hike Stone Mountain NC at Dupont State Forest near Brevard

Stone Mountain Trail at DuPont State 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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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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Appalachian Trail: hiking Standing Indian Mountain from Deep Gap near Franklin, NC

Standing Indian Mountain: hiking the Appalachian Trail from Deep Gap

Hike to stunning views from the Standing Indian Mountain summit on the Appalachian Trail, climbing from Deep Gap and the Standing Indian AT shelter 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 to Roan High Knob on the Appalachian Trail from Carvers Gap, climbing through a mossy, fir-filled forest to beautiful Roan Mountain views.

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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 on the Old Mitchell Trail, and visit sun-drenched fields of wildflowers and wild berries and a waterfall on this four-mile loop.

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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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Mount Pisgah Trail: best hikes on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, NC

Mt Pisgah Trail

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

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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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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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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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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!