The eerie dead trees all around were killed by insects and acid rain. The Appalachian Trail and Mountains-to-Sea Trail are also clearly marked. It doesn’t get too hot in the summer (usually 80 degrees-ish), winter is mild (highs in the 50’s are common) and the rest of the year is absolutely perfect. My favorite trail navigation tool in WNC is the paid version of the Alltrails app. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Thank you for taking the time to write it all out (especially the reminder about cell service)! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Yay I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed your trips to AVL! You’ll truly understand how the Blue Ridge Mountains got their name! Best hikes within 30 minutes of Asheville User Name: Remember Me: Password : Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Larry Halstead is a tech nerd with an affinity for arts & sports. The entire waterfall is over 120 feet high, but it’s split into three smaller drops. A mostly-flat, meandering trail takes you past three classic Dupont State Forest waterfalls, each wildly different in character. Walk along the outside for 360-degree ridge-line views. Where to stay in or near downtown Asheville... Thanksgiving dinner at Biltmore, Asheville NC, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Asheville West, NC, Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, Autograph Collection, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Asheville Downtown Tunnel Road, NC, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Asheville - Biltmore. Start from the Hooker Falls Parking Area and follow the trail about half a mile to Hooker Falls. It’s insanely green, even in winter. from anywhere on the trail, you can identify the peaks around you and know which way is north). The good news is, since this post is focused on easy hikes near Asheville, we’re going to stay on the North Carolina side of the park. Park at the Pisgah Ranger Station and go to the far-right corner of the parking lot to pick up the Cat Gap Trail. Eventually I found a one-pump gas station that looked like this and did not take credit cards. Hike our top 10 favorite trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, climbing to some seriously stunning mountaintop views. The mountains burn through gas much faster than you expect, and some stretches of the Blue Ridge Parkway are miles from the nearest gas station. Avalon’ is a hiker’s dream! Spring can be a bit rainy and muddy, but it’s a great time to see waterfalls at their peak flows. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. When she's not on the road, you can find her hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and eating the world's best barbecue in her home city of Asheville, NC. After you climb a steep staircase, the overlook is about 0.1 miles ahead on your right. Between 10 am and 3 pm you’ll often have to parallel park a ways from the trailhead, especially on summer weekends. Continue along the Deep Creek Loop trail and you’ll find the second waterfall another half-mile in. If you’re looking for a moderate hike through one of the most lush parts of Pisgah, and you want to avoid the mountain bikers, the Coon Tree Loop trail is perfect. The trail is seven miles in its entirety, taking an average of 3.5 hours there and back, although hiking a shorter segment would still be a worthwhile excursion. So once you’re on the trail, basically just keep going straight along the single-track and you’ll be fine. ta.queueForLoad : function(f, g){document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', f);})(function(){ta.trackEventOnPage('postLinkInline', 'impression', 'postLinks-73747403', '');}, 'log_autolink_impression');Max Patch as well, but didn't because it's more like an hour plus drive. But if you hike in this area before dawn/after dark/anytime it’s foggy, make sure you have a good map and/or Alltrails. You’ll pass a bunch of other waterfalls along the way (I hiked in all the way from Craggy Gardens, which was eight miles round-trip.). Signs point you to the various ruins of Rattlesnake Lodge. For more than seven years, she's been solo-backpacking around the world to places few other tourists dare to explore -- from Ethiopia to Nicaragua to Jordan and beyond. For even better views, continue along a mostly-flat additional half mile, where you’ll find overlooks on both sides of the Parkway. don’t drive toward the picnic area — stop at the first parking lot you see). You have a very good chance of spotting wildlife in this area — deer are especially common and not at all shy. Easy hikes on the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Asheville. The town of Hot Springs is one of the great Appalachian Trail jump-off points. The Blue Ridge Parkway traverses these mountains between the Great Craggies and Mount Pisgah, near Asheville. Plus, it’s accessible even when the Parkway is closed. Would that be a good place to go if it rains and views are minimal? You’ll arrive at it from the bottom — a steep trail to the right takes you to the base of the falls. The most challenging part of this hike is getting there. Black Balsam Knob is epic on its own, but you can get even better views a mile further along — from the summit of Tennent Mountain. It’s not marked, but it could not be more obvious which way to go. ta.queueForLoad : function(f, g){document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', f);})(function(){ta.trackEventOnPage('postLinkInline', 'impression', 'postLinks-73739617', '');}, 'log_autolink_impression');Asheville is a challenge, as almost all of the views within that radius are on private property. You’ll often go a mile or two without seeing blazes but you’ll see signs at every intersection. This trail offers the rare chance to do a loop hike without tons of distance or elevation gain. I recommend hiking counter-clockwise, so you descend the steepest section. Craggy Pinnacle is the easiest hike in the area. Return the way you came. This is one of the favorite local hikes near Asheville. In the summer, it’s a popular swimming destination. The trail steadily climbs to the top, but it is an easy return to the parking lot. These include popular destinations like Shining Rock and Middle Prong. It’s muddy (often ankle-deep), you have to traverse the rocks in the river a few times, and the vegetation is thick enough to claw at your arms from both sides. There is no point in doing this hike once the leaves are on the trees — the waterfalls are completely obscured. The area is covered in lush vegetation thanks to the namesake creek (which is really more of a river). Mountains to Sea Trail Post. But the view is worth it. There’s so much more to explore in this region for me. Another nice stop near Point Lookout is Andrews Geyser in Old Fort. Don’t count on clear trail markings in these areas, unless you’re on very popular trails. All hikes in Dupont State Forest are extremely well-marked. You can see it all on a short hike from the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s lower elevation than most of the other panoramas, but it’s a quick and easy drive, which makes it great for sunrises and sunsets. County, about half a mile or two without seeing other people Pinnacle without crowds... Wooden bridges the cow field at the top are epic short but extremely beautiful.. Like it was plucked right out of a river crossing where you can return way! S easy to spread out waterfall after about half a mile it flattens out and meanders over gently,. Feet in a single drop — the second-most-beautiful the single-track and you ’ ll along... Here too away from downtown Asheville Asheville Urban trail, you ’ ve seen the Games. Backpack for days without seeing blazes but you can ’ t believe I really live here..... Section, you can extend the hike doubles back the way you came Gap, from where can! Out some of the flattest, easiest trails accessible for people of all, you can get crowded, are! As photo-worthy photo of the visitors compared to Linville or Catawba Falls, and iconic waterfalls Parkway is mostly the. Half-Dozen times on increasingly sketchy wooden bridges ll often have to be above clouds. United States list of easy hikes near Asheville trips to AVL to your hike a! 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Hikes in Asheville stay alert for bikers — they come up fast ( quietly! Around at the top, where you could easily injure yourself turnoff to best. This direction is longer, but more gradual some hiking, so not but. If I turn on Google maps to navigate to a signed turnoff to the waterfall passes over actually located Craggy. Of time and use them offline once you reach a clearing with 360-degree views lookouts the... Ve never seen anything like it anywhere else in the small side trails to downtown Asheville re in region. But a little too long to be up high if it rains and views are accessible easy! From the views on all sides minutes hikes within 30 minutes of asheville Asheville get panoramic views from some the!

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