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36 Best Asheville Hiking Trails Locals Love

The breathtaking Asheville hiking trails are famous, especially along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Explore the best hikes near Asheville, NC for all levels.

It’s no secret that one of the reasons we moved to Asheville, North Carolina is because we fell in love with those blue and green-hued, smoke-breathing mountains.

Heck, the Blue Ridge Mountains are even in Uncorked Asheville’s logo.

What’s even better is that these mountains envelope the best Asheville hikes, lakes, waterfalls, and picnic areas.

So, if you are visiting or live in WNC, what is the Asheville hiking scene like? What are the best hikes near Asheville, short and long?

What should you expect? How the heck do you find these hidden gems? Where do the locals go?

We’ll start with the best hikes in Asheville, including parks, gardens, and Biltmore trails. Then, we’ll branch out to popular and more difficult hikes near Asheville.

Trek along and in Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah National Forest, Gorges State Park, DuPont State Forest, Black Mountain range, the Smokies, waterfall hikes, and more.

So, are you ready to get fit while enjoying eye candy and fresh mountain air? Let’s get started with some of the best hikes near Asheville, NC!

Please keep in mind that we aren’t giving professional hiking advice. These are just our experiences.

Don’t Miss The Best Things To Do In Asheville & Top Waterfall Hikes, too!

Asheville Hiking Trails Best Hikes Near Asheville with picture of Blue Ridge Mountains at Craggy Gardens at sunset
Which Asheville hiking trails have gushing waterfalls and vibrant blooms? Don’t forget those jaw-dropping sunsets and incredible top-of-the-world views. What are the best easy hikes in Asheville that are close to downtown? And, which hiking trails near Asheville light up in the fall? With so many hiking trails in and around WNC, we’ll tell you our favorite hikes as Asheville locals with a few secrets, too.

This post may contain affiliate links that earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. If you love these guides, support Uncorked Asheville here.

Best Asheville Hiking Trails By Difficulty

Easy Hikes In Asheville, NC

These are the hikes in Asheville, NC that are closer to the downtown area.

Some include full hikes perfect for mountain biking. Others are nature trails in Asheville with easier accessibility.

Many of these Asheville hiking trails are free while a few require a parking or admittance fee.

Biltmore Estate & Hiking Trails

Biltmore Estate Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
Various trails and must pay a full ticket price or be a passholder to enter
Don’t Miss Our Guide To Biltmore Estate

Hiking In Asheville Biltmore Lagoon Trail with brown boat sitting on a lagoon
If you are looking for hiking in Asheville, NC, we love the Biltmore Estate’s Lagoon Trail, which is about 3 miles. Don’t forget to look up at Biltmore behind the Lagoon. Hidden around this area, you’ll find a bamboo forest and plenty of off-road parking.

Did you even visit Asheville if you didn’t drop by the Biltmore Estate? Biltmore is rich in history and forestry education. OK, and wine.

And, did you know that Biltmore has over 22 miles of trails and gardens?

If you are looking for hiking in Asheville paired with wine, special tours, a mansion, and delicious southern treats, you can easily spend a day here.

Uncover endless walking, running, and biking trails. Some of these Asheville hiking trails are as long as 3.5 miles and range from easy to challenging.

We recommend the Lagoon Trail to start. If you wish to sneak up on Biltmore House with entrance to the gardens, hike the more uphill Deerpark Trail, which is 2.5-miles long.

Deerpark is also popular with chill mountain bikers.

In addition, Biltmore has some of the prettiest gardens in Asheville, perfect for accessibility. Fredrick Law Olmstead designed these gardens.

You will need a ticket or annual pass to hike on the Estate. Biltmore’s trails are only 10 to 15 minutes from downtown AVL. Don’t forget that Biltmore’s trails and activities are family-friendly too!

Botanical Gardens At Asheville

Address: 151 W T. Weaver Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28804
Free to enter and casual nature trails to walk
Don’t Miss All Of The Fun Things You Can Do At Asheville’s Botanical Gardens

white and yellow flowers at Botanical Gardens at Asheville
One of the lesser-known hikes in Asheville, don’t miss the quiet nature trails at the Botanical Gardens At Asheville located within UNC-AVL. Here, find quiet pathways ensconced within rare and endangered wildflowers.

A somewhat hidden secret, encounter 10 acres of non-profit botanical gardens 10-minutes away from downtown Asheville. We sneak here to see gorgeous and rare wildflowers.

The grounds are quiet, and visitors will find a literary cabin in the woods, beautiful bridges, labeled flora and fauna, nature trails, and large streams.

One of the shortest trails for hiking in Asheville, NC, the loop is around .5 to .7 miles. The Botanical Gardens at Asheville aren’t for you if you want a hardcore hike, though.

You might also enjoy the most scenic Asheville picnic areas.

Beaver Lake Trail & Bird Sanctuary

Address: 1056 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, NC 28804
Free and donation-based parking at the Sanctuary and surrounding lots/streets
Permit for dogs and boats at Lake (no dogs allowed at the Sanctuary)
Perimeter Trail Length: 2.1-mile loop
Grab Our Complete Guide To Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake Trail Asheville NC with Blue Ridge Mountains, shimmering blue lake, and paddle boarder on lake surrounded by tall grass
For hiking in Asheville, NC you’ll love this local spot. Beaver Lake Trail and Bird Sanctuary are stunning throughout the year. Find white blooms in the spring and vibrant fall foliage in the autumn.

For local Asheville hiking trails, Beaver Lake is another gentle nature walk option. Walkers and runners will find a gorgeous flat hike in the heart of a well-established Asheville neighborhood.

You’ll love the trees and lake perfect for fall foliage chasing, picnics, and bird watching. Beaver Lake is under 10-minutes from downtown Asheville.

Attached to the Beaver Lake Perimeter Trail, you can walk into or go around the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary.

Here, visitors may enjoy a beautiful nature walk filled with birds, dragonflies, and butterflies across 8-acres.

The Beaver Lake Perimeter Trail is about 2.1 miles. The boardwalk loop inside of the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary is under .5 miles.

If you are looking for hiking in Asheville that is chill but still exercise, Beaver Lake is where it’s at. Read more about the best lakes around Asheville’s mountains.

Not To Miss Hiking In Asheville NC Pinterest Pin with two pictures of Craggy Gardens at sunset and Mount Pisgah from observation tower
Hiking in Asheville, NC is by far our favorite thing to do. If you are headed to WNC, don’t miss these gorgeous hikes near Asheville. Save this post for later, and hike like a local with Uncorked Asheville.

The North Carolina Arboretum

Address: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806
Numerous trails, gardens, and pay to enter
Don’t Miss Our Complete Guide To The North Carolina Arboretum

Best Hiking In Asheville North Carolina Arboretum with steps, flowers, and fountain
The NC Arboretum is a hidden gem with some of the prettiest hiking trails in Asheville, NC. Walk around and past the gardens on your way to some of our favorite scenic Asheville hiking trails: Bent Creek and Hard Times Trails.

As annual passholders, we love The NC Arboretum for Asheville hiking trails and garden events.

Located south of downtown Asheville and off of the BRP, you’ll find botanical gardens and some of the easiest and most serene hiking trails in Asheville.

There are over 13 trails at The NC Arboretum. They range in distance and difficulty. Find .3-mile to 1.3-mile Asheville hikes. Some trails allow for mountain biking.

We especially love walking along the water on the Bent Creek Trail. The NC Arboretum is only about 20-minutes from downtown AVL.

Bent Creek Experimental Forest

Address: Hard Times Trailhead at 375 Wesley Branch Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
Bent Creek Experimental Forest Website:

Lake Powhatan South Asheville
For local Asheville hiking trails, Bent Creek Experimental Forest has a bit of it all.

Home to the Hard Times Trail and Lake Powhatan, don’t miss a series of pretty Asheville hikes perfect for walking and mountain biking at Bent Creek Experimental Forest.

It is free to park at Bent Creek Experimental Forest. You’ll find lots at the Hard Times Trail or plenty of nearby off-street parking.

AVL locals flock here on the weekends — us, included. We’ve also witnessed families teaching their younger children how to mountain bike here. The trails offer a great introduction to outdoor adventures.

Read more about all of Asheville’s family-friendly and easy hikes.

Riverside Cemetery

Address: 53 Birch St, Asheville, NC 28801
3.5 miles of paved roads
Grab Our Complete Guide To Riverside Cemetery With Must-See Sites

Thomas Wolfe Gravestone Riverside Cemetery Montford Neighborhood Asheville
Don’t forget to pay your respects to literary mastermind Thomas Wolfe at Riverside Cemetery.

Find 3.5 miles of paved roads surrounded by Asheville history. This beautiful Victorian-style cemetery is the final resting place for literary greats like Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry.

You’ll find many Asheville residents jogging and strolling through this historic Montford neighborhood. Please be respectful, too.

Nearby & Easy Asheville Hikes

Below, find easier hikes near Asheville, NC that are perfect for the entire family.

Many of these hikes include gorgeous waterfalls and swimming holes fit for a refreshing dip in the shallow, slow-moving water.

Catawba Falls Trail & Waterfall

Address: 3074 Catawba River Rd, Old Fort, NC 28762
Length: 2.7-mile hike; out and back

Catawba Falls Near Asheville NC
If you are looking for waterfall hiking near Asheville, NC filled with mini-waterfalls, cascading streams, and a huge reward at the end, you’ll definitely want to check out Catawba Falls.

Catawba Falls is a 30-minute drive from downtown Asheville and is one of the most gorgeous waterfall hikes near Asheville.

This part of the Pisgah National Forest is filled with moss, lichen, and a 100-foot cascading waterfall at the end.

For Asheville hiking, this 2.7-mile hike is great for families and pooches. Much of the trail is flat or mildly uphill.

DuPont State Forest Trails & Waterfalls

High Falls Access Area: Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718
Various trails, difficulties, & lengths
Visit Uncorked Asheville’s Guide To DuPont

Hiking Near Asheville NC Hooker Falls DuPont Forest with fall foliage
Filled with the most popular Asheville hiking trails located between Brevard and Hendersonville, DuPont State Forest is infamous for its waterfalls hikes. Explore Triple Falls, Hooker Falls (above), High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.

For the best waterfall hiking trails near Asheville, head to DuPont State Forest. This beautiful North Carolina State Park is around 45 minutes from Asheville.

The park is free to enter, and there are endless trails throughout the area. Find a Visitor Center and multiple restrooms, too.

Two of the waterfalls — Bridal Veil Falls At DuPont and Triple Falls — are The Hunger Games filming sites. Bridal Veil Falls was also in The Last of the Mohicans.

If you park at the Hooker Falls Access Area, head straight before crossing the scenic bridge. Follow the trail about .25 miles in for Hooker Falls.

Then, loop back up over the bridge for a moderate .5-mile climb to see Triple Falls. High Falls is another .5 miles after Triple Falls.

You may also pick up this hike from the Visitor Center, starting with High Falls. You could also continue on to Bridal Veil Falls.

If you add on or hike Bridal Veil Falls on its own, it’s about a 4.4-mile out and back, ending at the waterfall. Please note this is not the Bridal Veil Falls at Highlands.

Douglas Falls

Address: Douglas Falls, Barnardsville, NC 28709; park at Laurel Gap Parking
Length From FS74/Laurel Gap Gate Closure: Under 4-miles roundtrip; out and back; under 1-mile from official trailhead
Check Out Our Hiking Guide To Douglas Falls

Best Hikes Near Asheville NC Douglas Falls Trail with two pictures of cascading waterfall from front and behind
One of the best hikes near Asheville, NC if you love ducking behind waterfalls, don’t miss Douglas Falls. The long winding road up is a bit adventurous. Nothing beats a 70-foot waterfall that you can walk up to. Snap a picture of Walker Falls on your way up, too.

Douglas Falls is about an hour and 15-minutes away from Asheville. It’s a scenic but scary and winding drive into the Pisgah National Forest. On your way, you will pass Walker Falls.

For Asheville hiking, Douglas Falls houses a 70-foot waterfall that you can walk behind.

Douglas Falls has two access points: Craggy Gardens — which is an extremely difficult hike and long hike — and the FS74 entrance, which is under 1-mile roundtrip from the official trailhead.

There is a gate closure at Laurel Gap, though, adding about 1.1 miles. We recommend the shorter and easier hike.

Sometimes the Douglas Falls Trail has downed trees. This doesn’t mean that the trail is closed. You can jump over them or go around.

Also, keep in mind that this is a rough dirt road for your car to climb. Your car may take a beating and sometimes passing is difficult.

Skinny Dip Falls

Address: Looking Glass Overlook at Milepost 417; Skinny Dip Falls Trailhead
Length: Under 1-mile out and back
Grab Our Guide To Skinny Dip Falls

Skinny Dip Falls Trail North Carolina waterfall between trees and rocks
For hikes near Asheville, NC with famous swimming holes, Skinny Dip Falls is all the rage. Don’t miss the Dragon Tree on your way into this easy hike perfect for families. Photo by Sarah Resta Photography.

Located on the BRP about 3 miles from Graveyard Fields and one of the most popular hikes near Asheville, NC for swimming, don’t skip Skinny Dip Falls.

Pack a swimsuit, say hi to the dragon tree, and find your own private rock for a picnic.

People spread out around the falls, and there are plenty of wading pools for younger children. Skinny Dip is also known for cliff jumping, but this is not recommended for safety reasons.

The Skinny Dip Trail is a little under 1-mile round trip and it’s accessible for families.

You can park at Looking Glass Overlook, cross the street, and look for a marked post. Follow the signs for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) to start and keep going straight.

Cellphone reception gets a little spotty out here.

Carl Sandburg Home Hiking Trails

Address: 1800 Little River Rd, Flat Rock, NC 28731
Numerous trails; free to hike
Carl Sandburg Information:

Carl Sandburg Home Barn Trails with red barn, green grass, and tree
If you plan on hiking around the Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock, NC, we recommend parking at the Hikers’ Lot and walking in past the farmyard and house before heading up the Glass Mountain Trail.

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and poet Carl Sandburg settled down in Flat Rock, NC. At his 264-acre home, which is a National Historic Site, you’ll find 5 miles of trails along with a farmyard.

One popular hike includes the Glassy Mountain Trail, which is an easy to moderate hike. Trek about 1 mile each way from the back of the Carl Sanburg Home into shaded woods.

Don’t miss the rocky overlook at the top.

The trails are free to access, and you can park at the Hikers’ Lot. From here, we clocked 3.5 miles to the house, Big Glassy Overlook, and back. House tours require tickets.

Moore Cove Falls Trail

Address: US-276, Brevard, NC 28712
Grab Our Guide To Moore Cove Falls

Moore Cove Falls Pisgah National Forest NC near Daniel Ridge with waterfall cascading over a rock ledge
Sometimes you can catch a rainbow in the mist at Moore Cove Falls in the Pisgah National Forest.

Moore Cove Falls sits near Looking Glass Falls in the Pisgah National Forest off of the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway.

This is one of the most popular and easiest waterfall hikes near Asheville, especially for families. Trek a 1.4-mile out and back straight to a 50-foot waterfall.

Before or afterward, drive up to Looking Glass Falls. You may also want to check out Sliding Rock.

Bearwallow Mountain Trail

Address: 4854 Bearwallow Mountain Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Grab Our Guide To Hiking Bearwallow Mountain

Easy Hiking Trails Near Asheville Bearwallow Mountain Trail with black cow grazing in a meadow
Conserving Carolina manages beautiful trails including Bearwallow Mountain. A short and easy hike near Asheville, Bearwallow is perfect for families and those looking for wide-open views. Across the street, you’ll also find the harder 5-mile trail, Trombatore.

Another one of the most popular hikes near Asheville, either take the gravel access road or forest trail up to a beautiful meadow filled with cows.

Bearwallow Mountain is an easy 2-mile hike for families and is perfect for picnics and sunsets. This is also a good fall and winter hike.

Pink Beds Loop Hiking Trail

Address: Pink Beds Picnic Area, Pisgah Forest, NC 28801
Don’t miss our Complete Pink Beds Loop Guide

Pink Beds Hike Pisgah Forest NC with wooden bridge over water
Pink Beds is the perfect natural trail for blooms and butterflies. One of the flattest hiking trails near Asheville, don’t forget to pack a picnic.

Located in the Pisgah Forest close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, nature lovers will covet this 5.5-mile Asheville hiking trail.

Best in the late spring and summer, you’ll catch butterflies, birds, and wildflowers. Plus, hike in a mountain bog.

Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower & Trail

Address: Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower, Canton, NC 28716
Read More About Fryingpan Mountain

Fryingpan Mountain Tower and Mount Pisgah Near Skinny Dip Falls collage with sneakers hiking up Fryingpan Tower stairs, view of Mount Pisgah from Fryingpan Mountain Trail, and panoramic views of Cold Mountain, Pisgah National Forest, and Looking Glass Rock From Fryingpan Lookout Tower
For gorgeous 360-degree views, climb Fryingpan Mountain Tower — if you dare.

An easy to moderate 1.6-mile hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway immediately past Mount Pisgah, this gravel road trail leads to a 70-foot lookout tower.

Check out the 360-degree views of Mount Pisgah, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Looking Glass Rock.

Crabtree Falls

Address: Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 339.5
2-mile out and back or 2.5-mile loop

Crabtree Falls Blue Ridge Parkway waterfall
Crabtree Falls is a highly trafficked hike near Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

One of the most popular waterfall hikes near Asheville close to Little Switzerland, Crabtree Falls is a moderately easy 2-mile out and back.

You can also take the slightly harder 2.5-mile loop once you arrive at the falls. Crabtree Falls is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Mile Post 339.5.

Oconaluftee River Trail

Address: Oconaluftee Visitor Center 1194 Newfound Gap Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719
3-mile nature walk; out and back
Grab Our Complete Oconaluftee River Trail Guide

Purple wildflowers on Oconaluftee River Trail
Don’t miss the gorgeous spring wildflowers along the Oconaluftee River Trail.

Much farther out from Asheville – in Great Smoky Mountains National Park – encounter elk and wildflowers along the Oconaluftee River Trail.

Find a beautiful and easy 3-mile nature walk along the Oconaluftee River.

Max Patch

Address: Max Patch Loop Trail Head; State Rte 1182, Del Rio, TN 37727
1.5-mile or 2.5-mile loop; picks up AT
Check Out Our Full Guide To Max Patch

Max Patch Appalachian Trail with dirt pathway and blue green mountains at summit
For a gorgeous picnic area on a bald, head to Max Patch, one of the most beautiful hiking trails near Asheville.

Another one of the most popular hikes near Asheville, Max Patch promises trekkers a bit of everything.

Encounter views of Mount Mitchell and the Smokies along an easy 1.5-mile or moderate 2.5-mile loop. You can cross over onto the Appalachian Trail to reach the summit, which is perfect for a picnic.

Moderate Hiking Near Asheville, NC

Craven Gap

Address: Craven Gap Trail, N35.6479 W82.4910, Asheville, NC 28805
Trail starts at the stairs
Length: 5-mile out and back

Asheville Hiking Moderate Trail Craven Gap two pictures with white brunette woman in hiking clothes looking at view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and second picture of forest stairs
One of the best moderate hikes in Asheville, Craven Gap is a local trail with a fun fact: Did you know that the Obamas hiked Craven Gap in 2010? Also take note of these stairs, as they mark the start of the more hidden pathway.

Craven Gap is one of the more local Asheville hiking trails that’s only about 20-minutes from downtown. Craven Gap may lack breathtaking views but is sure to pay you back in exclusivity.

In fact, the Obamas hiked here in 2010. We love the Craven Gap hike for its babbling brooks, mini-caves, and wooden bridge.

The trail collides with the Blue Ridge Parkway at the other end where you can pick up more trails.

Craven Gap is part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and is a little under 5 miles. A moderate hike, Craven Gap gets very narrow.

Craggy Gardens Picnic Area & Visitor Center

Craggy Gardens Visitor Center (MP 364.4) – 364 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Black Mountain, NC 28711 or Craggy Gardens Picnic Area (MP 367.6) – 3676 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Barnardsville, NC 28709
Craggy Gardens Trail Length: 2-mile out and back
Our Guide To Hiking Craggy Gardens

Asheville Hiking Blue Ridge Parkway Craggy Gardens at Sunset
One of the best spots to catch a sunset on the Asheville hiking trails, Craggy Gardens and Craggy Pinnacle on the Blue Ridge Parkway won’t disappoint. Although a major tourist destination, Craggy is still one of our favorites.

One of the most visited and easier Asheville hiking trails, Craggy Gardens is 20-miles away from downtown AVL (45-minutes) with a variety of hiking, picnicking, and accessibility options.

Plus, there are restroom facilities. Craggy is especially gorgeous in the spring and summer with purple, white, and golden blooms.

Craggy Garden Picnic Area is right before the Visitor Center. Find an abundance of parking, charcoal grills, picnic tables, restrooms, and the Craggy Gardens Trail.

The main trail is just a little under 2-miles round trip with a gazebo and beautiful fields. Of course, you’ll find flowers and heart-stopping mountain views.

Before you head up to the lots, know that there are little side trails — we’ve tried a few.

The Craggy Gardens Visitor Center has stunning views of the fall foliage along with clean restrooms (that flush!), snacks, and a souvenir shop.

The mountains are always colder than in the city. Temperatures may drop 10-20 degrees cooler, and the mountain weather changes quickly. We always recommend wearing layers.

Craggy Pinnacle

Address: Milepost 364.1; 3641 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Barnardsville, NC 28709
Length: 1.4-miles out and back
Full Hiking Guide To Craggy Pinnacle

Craggy Pinnacle Hike Blue Ridge Parkway Asheville NC with view of Asheville watershed, stone wall, and blue sky with clouds
One of the best moderate hikes near Asheville for its stellar 360-degree views and famous sunsets, Craggy Pinnacle won’t disappoint…unless you hit the fog. Don’t forget to spot the Asheville watershed.

Craggy Pinnacle is one of the shortest but more moderate hikes near Asheville, NC.

Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway about 50-minutes away, this Asheville trail is most known for its 360-degree views at the top.

Hikers can spy down on the Asheville Watershed, Craggy Gardens, and Mount Mitchell. Don’t miss a famous Craggy Pinnacle sunset, either.

The Craggy Pinnacle hike is about 1.4 miles. We always take small runoffs when it’s not foggy. You’ll find at least three scenic viewing areas around the top.

Fog loves Craggy Pinnacle just like I love AVL beer. Sometimes you’ll find yourself literally in the clouds.

The trail also becomes icier into late October/early November, especially after heavy rain. The foliage dies around this time, too. Wear sturdy shoes.

Don’t miss the best hikes along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

Mount Pisgah Trail

Address: Milepost 407.6 along the BRP; Mount Pisgah Trail, North Carolina 28716
Length: 2.6-mile out and back
Don’t Miss Our Complete Mount Pisgah Guide

Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes Near Asheville Mount Pisgah view from observation tower
For fall hikes near Asheville, NC, everyone heads to Mount Pisgah. With a 750-feet gain, this moderate hike and the views are sure to take away your breath. We snapped this picture from the observation deck at the top of Mount Pisgah — right before the sky opened up over us. Always dress with layers and prepare for quickly changing mountain weather.

Mount Pisgah is by far one of the most recognizable mountain peaks around Asheville seen from the Grove Park Inn, downtown AVL, and Biltmore.

For Asheville hiking, Mount Pisgah gets slammed in the fall with its 5,721-foot summit and famous observation platform. Visitors can see Fryingpan Mountain and Looking Glass.

A moderate hike and about 1-hour away from Asheville, we love hiking Mount Pisgah for the summer rhododendron and mountain laurels.

The Mount Pisgah Trail is a tad tiring with an elevation gain of 750-feet. Encounter grueling mountain stairs.

Round trip, the trail is about 2.6 miles and you’ll have to climb over shaky rocks.

Graveyard Fields & Graveyard Loop Trail

Address: Milepost 418.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Various trails and waterfalls; restrooms

Graveyard Fields and Loop with waterfall in the distance surrounded by fall foliage
One of my favorite moderate fall foliage hikes near Asheville, Graveyard Fields has two large waterfalls surrounded by stunning leaves.

Located off of the BRP past the Mount Pisgah area, Graveyard Fields is about one hour from Asheville. The trails boast of two gorgeous and rocky waterfalls: Upper and Lower (Second) Falls.

Lower Falls is .4 miles at the trailhead when you take a right after the footbridge. Around the footbridge, you may wade into the water.

Loop back to pick up Graveyard Loop Trail, which is about 2.9 more miles, round trip. Follow signs for Graveyard Loop/Upper Falls (right and then a quick left at the big intersection).

If you keep going right and accidentally pass Upper Falls Trail, you’ll land on the Graveyard Ridge Trail.

Black Balsam Hike On The Art Loeb Trail or Sam Knob Trail

Address: Black Balsam Knob, Art Loeb Trail, Canton, NC 28716
Length: About 2-mile hike

Black Balsam Via Art Loeb Trail Blue Ridge Parkway with Blue Ridge Mountains during fall foliage with reds, greens, and oranges
For engagement and wedding pictures, Black Balsam is a photographer’s dream come true. But, like the Craggy Gardens area, this Asheville hiking spot gets frequently fogged in. We still love it, especially in the fall.

For engagement photographers, the Black Balsam hiking trails near Asheville are where it’s at. The Art Loeb Trail to Black Balsam borders between an easy to moderate 2-mile hike.

You can take numerous pathways that intersect the Art Loeb Trail, and you’ll find almost 360-degree views of the gorgeous mountains.

Black Balsam Knob is a also must-stop for Asheville hiking.

Blueberries and gorgeous wildflowers greet visitors in the summer. Black Balsam is about 1-hour and 10-minutes from Asheville.

Linville Falls Trails & Waterfalls

Address: BRP Mile Marker 316.4; Linville Falls Visitor Center
Length: Numerous trails and waterfall access areas

Linville Falls North Carolina
Don’t miss the variety of hiking trails around Linville Falls, such as the Plunge Basin Overlook, Upper Falls, and Linville Gorge Trail, to catch stunning waterfall views.

Many of the waterfall hikes near Asheville are over an hour to two hours away, including Linville Falls.

Linville Falls is also one of the most photographed waterfalls in WNC and has a Visitor Center with restrooms.

The falls are about 90-feet high, and there are 5 viewpoints that total a 4-mile hike. There are different hikes that you can take, including Erwins View Trail and Linville Gorge.

To the left of the Visitor Center, don’t miss the lesser-known trailheads that take you around the falls and to the base. For a challenging trail, Linville Gorge Trail is a 1.25-mile hike to the base of the falls.

We enjoy the Plunge Basin Overlook with a stunning waterfall view that is only about .5 miles round trip.

If you walk past the Visitor Center and cross the bridge, you will encounter a variety of trailheads ranging in difficulty with more waterfall views.

Upper Falls is about .5 miles round trip. Continue on to the Erwins View Trail, which is 1.6 miles round trip from the Visitor Center.

Daniel Ridge Loop & Falls

Address: Daniel Ridge Falls, National Forest Rd, Brevard, NC 28712
4-mile loop or 1-mile out and back
Read More About Daniel Ridge Falls

Daniel Ridge Loop And Falls Pisgah National Forest
A more local Asheville hiking and mountain biking spot, don’t miss Daniel Ridge Falls in the Pisgah National Forest.

Head to the Pisgah National Forest for a moderate 4-mile loop or easy 1-mile out and back passing by gorgeous Daniel Ridge falls.

This is one of the best hikes near Asheville to skip the crowds and is also a popular spot for experienced mountain bikers.

Hidden Falls, Rainbow Falls, & Turtleback Falls

Address: Gorges State Park Visitor Center, 976 Grassy Ridge Rd, Sapphire, NC 28774
4.1-mile out and back
For more information, head over to our Rainbow Falls Guide.

Rainbow Falls North Carolina with rainbow across 150 foot waterfall
One of the most popular moderate hiking trails near Asheville, head to Gorges State Park for Rainbow Falls.

An easy but slightly moderate waterfall hike, you’ll love Rainbow Falls — which lives up to its namesake. Along the way, pass Hidden Falls.

If you go as far as Turtleback Falls, you’ll clock about a 4.1-mile out and back.

Be prepared to cross light streams. Rainbow Falls sits in Gorges State Park and crosses into the Pisgah National Forest.

Little Bearwallow Falls & Wildcat Rock Trail

Address: 3823 Gerton Hwy, Gerton, NC 28735
4-mile out and back (or 2 miles to falls)

Wildcat Rock Little Bearwallow Falls
Conserving Carolina also manages the beautiful Wildcat Rock Trail where you can find Little Bearwallow Falls.

Take the 2-mile out and back trail to Little Bearwallow Falls or complete the entire 4-mile out and back to Wildcat Rock.

The complete hike grows much more difficult once you pass the falls. This trail is perfect for rock and ice climbers in the winter. You’ll also need sturdy shoes/crampons for the ice and mud.

Mount Mitchell’s Trails

Address: 2388 NC-128, Burnsville, NC 28714

Mount Mitchell Hiking Trails with blue and green mountains with trees
Mount Mitchell has numerous hiking trails near Asheville. Don’t miss the lookout at the top, too.

One of the most well-known Asheville hiking spots, Mount Mitchell showcases the highest peak east of the Mississippi at 6,684 feet.

Visitors can pick from a variety of trail lengths and difficulties, including the Balsam Nature Trail, Deep Gap Trail, and Mount Mitchell Trail.

Chimney Rock Trails

Address: 431 Main St, Chimney Rock, NC 28720

Chimney Rock At Chimney Rock State Park
Hickory Nut Falls Chimney Rock

Another heavily trafficked area, Chimney Rock offers some of the most popular hikes near Asheville, NC.

Eight of their hiking trails are more moderate.

A few tourist favorites include Hickory Nut Falls Trail, Exclamation Point & Devil’s Head, and Party Rock Trail. You have to pay to enter Chimney Rock.

Lover’s Leap Loop

Address: Silvermine Trailhead: 138 Silvermine Rd, Hot Springs, NC 28743
1.8-mile loop
Read More About Lover’s Leap Loop

Lover's Leap Hike NC Views with white brunette female looking over cliff at French Broad River, town of Hot Springs, NC, and mountains in Pisgah National Forest
Chasing those mountain views? Sit with the birds at Lover’s Leap Loop in Hot Springs, NC.

Located in the Pisgah National Forest in Hot Springs, NC, if you are hoping to hop on the Appalachian Trail, this is your chance.

Hike the moderate and somewhat terrifying trek up to Lover’s Leap Loop. This 1.8-mile hiking trail is filled with gorgeous vistas and sharp switchbacks.

Mingo Falls

Address: Mingo Falls Eastern Cherokee Reservation, Cherokee, NC 28719
.5 mile out and back
Read More About Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls Trail Cherokee NC with cascading waterfall, rocks, and green trees
Mingo Falls is one of the shortest but more moderate waterfall hikes near Asheville, NC.

If you are heading to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cherokee, NC, we have just the waterfall stop for you.

Here, you’ll find one of the tallest waterfalls in the Southern Appalachians. Mingo Falls is also one of the prettiest waterfalls near Asheville and clocks in at under a .5-mile hike.

Get ready for nature’s StairMaster, though.

Moderate to Difficult Hikes Around Asheville

These hikes near Asheville, NC are harder with steep inclines, not as cleared paths, and/or are longer in length.

We recommend strong hiking shoes, extra layers and water, covered legs, bug spray, snacks and/or a picnic, and a first aid kit.

Little Butt And Big Butt Trails

Address: Mile Marker 359.8; Walker Knob Overlook at 59700 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Black Mountain, NC 28711
Length: 5.1-mile out and back hike
Read Our Guide To Hiking The Butts

Little Butt Big Butt NC Blue Ridge Parkway Trails
For more local Asheville hiking trails, we love the views at Little Butt. These gorgeous mountains are a reward for climbing past Point Misery. Pack a picnic and budget half a day for this difficult but worthwhile hike off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

A more local Asheville hiking trail off of the Blue Ridge Parkway past the Craggy area — about 1 hour and 10 minutes from AVL — uncover largely quiet trails with stunning mountain views.

These trails may kick your butt, especially when you hit Point Misery. Pleasant sounding, right?

Honestly, anything with forest stairs is misery to me. However, we love Little Butt for a picnic on the rock and a good night’s sleep.

Little Butt Trail leads to Big Butt, starting at Walker Knob Overlook. The trail is about 5.1 miles, although you’ll see it labeled as longer.

Little Butt is not marked once you arrive; you’ll see a slightly hidden rock with incredible views of the Black Mountain range.

If you want to tack another mile onto your trip, head to Big Butt, which is an elevated climb without the Little Butt views.

There are also multiple Asheville hiking trails around here. Before the trailhead, you’ll see markers for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Across the street, you’ll find a trail for Glassmine Falls.

Looking Glass Rock Trail

Address: Looking Glass Rock Trailhead, Brevard, NC 28712
Length: 6.5-mile out and back hike

Asheville Hiking Looking Glass Rock
An iconic landmark on the Blue Ridge Parkway, don’t miss Looking Glass Rock.

You cannot miss the huge stone on the BRP that is Looking Glass Rock. About 45-minutes from downtown Asheville, this Asheville hiking trail is popular in the winter (but be careful).

Upper Looking Glass Cliffs offers stunning views, and this hike is considered more moderate to difficult as you climb over 1,700 feet in under 3 miles.

You’ll want to budget quite a bit of time for the Looking Glass Rock Trail hike as it is about 6.5 miles round trip.

Trombatore Trail To Blue Ridge Pastures

Address: 4854 Bearwallow Mountain Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792 (Across from Bearwallow Mountain)
Length: 5-mile out and back
Grab Our Complete Guide To Trombatore Trail

Trombatore Trail at Blue Ridge Pastures View of Mount Mitchell
For quieter Asheville hiking trails in the fall and winter, we love the newer (2014) Trombatore Trail, perfect for mountain views and picnicking.

We are all about hiking around Asheville, NC on those quiet trails and enjoying a picnic to ourselves.

If you are looking for a more strenuous and well-labeled hike, we highly recommend Trombatore Trail across from Bearwallow Mountain Trail.

Trombatore trail follows along the Eastern Continental Divide with a 1,200-foot elevation gain and is managed by Conserving Carolina.

At the top, find views of Mount Mitchell, Bearwallow Mountain, and the Hickory Nut Gorge.

Trombatore Trail is a 5-mile out and back that is labeled as moderate to difficult. Follow the trail posts and tree markings. Private property is also clearly marked.

Most Difficult Hiking Trails Near Asheville, NC

Grandfather Trail At Grandfather Mountain

Address: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646
Grandfather Mountain Website:

Difficult Hiking Trail Near Asheville Grandfather Trail with trailhead sign with warnings
You will need a permit to hike Grandfather Trail, and this trek is for experienced hikers only.

About 1.5 hours from Asheville at Grandfather Mountain, Grandfather Trail is called the “chutes and ladders” trail for its assists — cables and ladders.

Permits are required to hike Grandfather Trail. You have to be back at your car by a specific time or they will send out a search team.

Grandfather Trail is one of the most difficult hikes near Asheville and is for experienced hikers only.

This blue-blazed trail is 2.4-miles long and crosses the summit ridge from the Mile High Swinging Bridge to Calloway Peak.

We, personally, are not cool enough to hike Grandfather Trail, but I wanted to let you know that it exists.

Save The Best Hiking Trails Near Asheville For Later:
Best Hiking Trails Near Asheville NC Pinterest pin with Mingo Falls in Cherokee NC
Too many Asheville hiking trails to choose from? Save this post for later to remember the best hikes near Asheville, NC. Hike like a local with Uncorked Asheville.

Western North Carolina Hiking By Season

What is the best time to trek certain Asheville hiking trails? Below, we’ll share our favorite times of the year for Asheville hiking locations along with a few tips and tricks for a successful visit.

It’s always best to hike early and on the weekdays if you are hoping to beat the crowds. Of course, places like Craggy Pinnacle and Black Balsam are also amazing at sunset.

Winter Hiking

Looking Glass Falls in Winter with ice and snow
If you are hiking near Asheville, NC in the winter, Looking Glass Falls will demonstrate its namesake for you.

Hiking near Asheville in the winter gets a little tricky. The Blue Ridge Parkway closes, the trails grow icy, and there is sporadic fog.

Always check with the National Park Service (NPS) before heading out on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It might be sunny in Asheville but not in the mountains.

Long stretches of the BRP will close, which sometimes you’ll catch first on your GPS. Find updated NPS closures here and look under ‘Weather,’ specifically to see if the Blue Ridge Parkway gates are closed.

Where can you hike near Asheville in the winter? Looking Glass Falls (the waterfall) has the potential to ice up for a beautiful picture.

We enjoy the waterfall hikes like DuPont Forest, Chimney Rock’s Hickory Falls, and Daniel Ridge Falls since the crowds dwindle down.

Bearwallow Mountain is also an easier winter hike. Grab our complete list of Asheville winter hikes here.

Spring & Summer

Biltmore Gardens in the Spring and Summer with red tulips
For spring and summer hikes in Asheville, you can take the Deerpark Trail up to the Biltmore gardens for a stunning view of both the home and Biltmore blooms.

To us, the best hikes near Asheville, NC in the spring and summer include Black Balsam, Craggy Gardens, and Craggy Pinnacle.

The Biltmore gardens are in bloom along with The NC Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at Asheville.

You may also enjoy Lover’s Leap, Rainbow Falls, and Crabtree Falls for the quietest and prettiest spring hikes near Asheville.

If you are looking to cool off in the late summer, don’t miss Sliding Rock and Skinny Dip Falls.

Fall Foliage Hikes

Fall Foliage Hikes Near Asheville NC Graveyard Fields with boardwalk trail surrounded by red and orange fall foliage
Don’t miss our post about the best fall foliage hikes near Asheville, NC! We especially love visiting Graveyard Fields in the fall.

For fall hiking in Asheville, we recommend the higher elevations, especially along the BRP. Graveyard Fields, Mount Pisgah, Black Balsam via the Art Loeb, and DuPont are especially nice.

Read more in our fall color forecast.

Peak fall foliage typically depends on the weather that season. Usually, the third and fourth weeks of October are a solid time to catch vibrant fall colors.

See all of the fun things you can do in Asheville in October.

Where To Stay In Asheville

Explore the best places to stay in Asheville. A few of our top suggestions:

  • Aloft – Downtown Asheville – Centrally located and recently renovated, enjoy a rooftop pool, gorgeous bar, and trendy rooms.
  • The Omni Grove Park Inn – Treat yourself to a luxury resort in North Asheville, complete with breathtaking sunsets, terrace bars and dining, and loads of Asheville history.
  • Hampton Inn And Suites Asheville Biltmore Area – A budget-friendly but renovated hotel on busier Brevard Road that’s perfect if you wish to stay between Biltmore Estate, Downtown Asheville, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Asheville Cottages – Gorgeous 1 to 3-bedroom cottages with a private deck, housing a grill and hot tub. Find luxurious heated-floor bathrooms with rain showers, a well-stocked kitchen, and the cleanest rooms in town.
  • Foundry Hotel – An oasis in Downtown Asheville, Foundry Hotel is a nod to AVL’s industrial history. Find famous restaurant Benne on Eagle while sleeping ensconced in charm and elegance.
  • Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Asheville Westgate, NC – Located off of the highway as you enter AVL, find a sleek and clean hotel at a great price. 
  • Black Walnut B&B Inn – Designed by Biltmore’s supervising architect, Richard Sharp-Smith, this 1899 inn is close to Downtown AVL and serves afternoon tea. Two rooms are pet-friendly.

Don’t miss out on these Asheville properties on, too.

Which of these gorgeous hikes have you tried?

What are your favorite hikes near Asheville? What’s on your Asheville hiking bucket list? And, what’s your favorite season for hiking in Asheville?

The summation for us: We love DuPont State Forest, the Craggy Gardens area, and Black Balsam. Of course, nothing beats the fall foliage hikes near Asheville like Graveyard Fields.

Let us know you in the comments.

You May Also Enjoy:

Best Waterfall Hikes Near Asheville
Beautiful Parks & Gardens
Where To Picnic Around Asheville
Top Mountain Bike Trails In AVL
Best Day Trips From AVL
Roller Skating Spots

Hikes By Season:

Stunning Fall Foliage Hikes Near Asheville
Top Winter Hiking Trails Near Asheville

More Things To Do:

Ultimate List Of Things To Do In Asheville, NC

wendy Fezer

Thursday 3rd of February 2022

As a new subscriber, I just want to say that your articles are very interesting and informative. Thank you so much for sharing so much information. 😊


Friday 4th of February 2022

I appreciate that so much! Thank you!


Sunday 20th of September 2020

There are so many great sounding hiking trails around Ashville. It kind of reminds me of where I live as there are so many trails and hiking spots to check out. Even though I'm not really into hiking, much to my husbands dismay, I think it would be fantastic to visit some of these trails just for the scenery alone. I like how there are different lengths and difficulties so those who aren't big on hiking can still get out and enjoy the trails without beating themselves up along the way.


Thursday 24th of September 2020

I cannot believe how many hiking trails there are around Asheville. This isn't even half of them. Some of the Asheville trails are more like casual nature walks if hiking isn't your thing. Those walks are always chiller and more pleasant, especially at places like Biltmore, The NC Arboretum, and the Botanical Gardens at Asheville.